So, just how are traffic lights and increased traffic patrols considered in the West Valley?
Tonight in Goodyear, city traffic engineers will explain to council members how traffic signals are evaluated and prioritized within the city's Capital Improvement Program - or CIP.
Deciding whether to install a traffic light actually starts at the top with the Federal Highway Administration's guidelines. These guidelines, detailed in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, (MUTCD), include nine "warrants." Warrants are factors identifying the need for traffic signals such as peak hours, school crossings, crash history, and volume of traffic in specific intersections.
Goodyear's traffic operations staff have identified nine intersections in its All-America City which are not currently funded in the CIP program but are being evaluated. Maybe you've driven through them....
Because Goodyear has no ongoing funds for installing new traffic signals, staff need to ask lawmakers for CIP funding. From this graphic below, you can see Yuma Road and Canyon Trails Boulevard is the most critical intersection under evaluation meeting four traffic signal warrants. It's reported a developer has upped 75% of the funding for a new traffic light. The other 25% will need to come from Goodyear's CIP for Fiscal Year 2015-2016.
Discussion about traffic signals got a boost after our blog post April 14th. The night before, Goodyear City Council unanimously approved a Taco Bell drive through in Estrella without first considering the traffic danger in front of the Starpointe Residents Club. Residents were surprised because they had expressed concerns to staff previously and decided the only way to bring attention to lawmakers was to start a petition and letter writing campaign.
When we purchased our home in Estrella Mountain Ranch we chose our home location based on proximity to the shopping center, club house and lakes. We wanted to be able to reach these amenities by foot or bicycle. Each morning I enjoy taking my 2 youngest children in their double stroller for a walk around the lakes. When my 7 year old is home he likes to tag along on his bike. It has become increasingly dangerous to cross the intersection. I have witnessed many close calls and 2 accidents. I am concerned for our drivers, pedestrians, and bikers. I am urging city council to please install a traffic light at this intersection. ~Suzanne McEvoy, Estrella Resident
As commercial and residential development continues in the Estrella and Canta Mia areas, traffic is getting congested and dangerous in the intersection of San Gabriel Drive and Elliot Road, where the entrance/exit is to the Starpointe Residents Club. City Council has recently approved a Taco Bell with a drive through, just east of this intersection. We are asking the Goodyear City Council to consider installing a traffic signal for the safety of our residents and guests, whether they use that intersection as pedestrians, motorists, or bicyclists. We would like to see the City Council act in a proactive fashion, instead of waiting to react to a serious accident. ~Sara Gilligan, Estrella Resident
My hat's off to residents who care enough to get involved and speak up. Lawmakers can make decisions without really understanding the local needs of the people... especially when residents do not show up at council meetings to provide public input. I do appreciate city staff and lawmakers who actually visit locations to see for themselves what concerns are BEFORE going to a vote. I do appreciate lawmakers who are willing to meet with residents, listen to their concerns, and consider options for accommodating new growth while ensuring the safety of the people in the immediate area.
HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED
GOODYEAR AND AVONDALE
In Avondale, the police department is taking a proactive approach with its highlighted "crash zones." Here's the link to the police department. You can email the Avondale mayor and council at this link.
This is the link to Maricopa County's Department of Transportation.