The Phoenix City Council unanimously approved $2 million in funding for safety improvements on Wednesday in an effort to reduce the number of pedestrian deaths in the city.
The money approved for fiscal year 2019-2020 will go toward updated street lighting, adding more pedestrian crossing lights, updating crosswalks and more.
According to preliminary numbers from the Arizona Department of Transportation, there were 112 pedestrians killed on Phoenix roads in 2018, a dramatic increase of 67 percent over the last five years and more than 200 percent over the last 10 years.
Those numbers have improved this year -- but not dramatically..
In the first six months of 2019, the Phoenix Police Department reported 37 pedestrian deaths, a 24 percent decrease in those fatalities compared to the 49 fatalities in the first six months of 2018.
According to a city council agenda, the funds will go to:
• Adding street lights on both sides of streets in high pedestrian collision areas where only single-sided lighting exists and at some existing crosswalks or roadway segments
• Adding four HAWK (High-Intensity Activated crossWalK) signals at high pedestrian activity and/or collision locations
• Installing raised medians at locations with the highest pedestrian activity
• Funding research through Arizona State University to analyze the factors that led to the increasing pedestrian crashes in Phoenix
• Creating and printing an pedestrian safety activity book for children in grades three to six in both Spanish and English
• Purchasing a variety of safety-related and age-appropriate items to educate students
• Upgrading mid-block, unsignalized arterial and selected collector road crosswalks to high-visibility crosswalk standards
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