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Phoenix considers Central Avenue plan to add bike lanes, cut vehicle lanes

(City of Phoenix)

PHOENIX – City planners are considering making significant changes to traffic flow on a prominent stretch of Central Avenue in Phoenix.

Under the proposal, the 2½ miles of roadway between Bethany Home Road and the Arizona Canal to the north would go from two lanes in each direction to one.

That would allow for the addition of a dedicated center turn lane and bike lanes in each direction.

Ashley Patton of Phoenix’s street transportation department told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday that the addition of a two-way left turn lane is linked to a 47% reduction in collisions.

“However, there could also be an increased delay for people driving, particularly during rush hour,” she said.

If the plan is approved, Central would be striped with the new configuration after scheduled paving treatment is completed.

“When we treat a road, it becomes a blank slate,” Patton said. “So our team uses that as a cost-effective opportunity to identify potential safety improvements by modifying the striping or the lanes that are painted on the street.”

The Bethany Home-Northern section will get paving treatment in this fall, and the stretch between Northern and the Arizona Canal will be done in the spring/summer of 2022.

If the proposal isn’t adopted, the street will be striped in the current manner after the paving treatment.

The city held a virtual public meeting on May 20 to explain the reason behind the plan and take questions from community members.

For those still wishing to provide input, the city is conducting an online survey through June 11.

A final decision will be made in the fall.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Kinnerup contributed to this report.

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