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Phoenix's roads are getting deadly. The city is spending $10M to make them safer

Over 200 people died on Phoenix's roadways in 2021. The city wants to reduce that number down to zero.

PHOENIX — The Phoenix City Council has approved spending $10 million on a new safety plan that aims to reduce traffic fatalities throughout the city. 

The Vision Zero Road Safety Action Plan was ratified by the council on Wednesday and sets the goal of reducing Phoenix's traffic deaths down to zero by 2050.

To achieve this, the plan outlines over 40 strategies Phoenix should implement to make the city's roads safer. 

Some of the strategies listed in the plan include:

  • Analyze safety data annually to identify high-severity crash areas.
  • Improve data sharing between the city's departments
  • Expand the enforcement of school zone laws
  • Construct mid-block crossings on busy arterial roads
  • Build shade structures in pedestrian waiting areas 
  • Improve street lighting

City officials said approving the Vision Zero plan will make it easier for Phoenix to access federal funding that will help pay for new safety infrastructure.

"My commitment to the people of Phoenix is to make our roadways safer, whether you're on foot, on a bike, or in a car," said Mayor Kate Gallego in a statement.

The council's actions come at a time when traffic-related fatalities have been rising throughout Arizona. 

At least 231 people died on Phoenix streets in 2021, public records show, which is an increase of 25% compared to 2020.

City officials say 2022 is already on track to surpass 2021 in its number of traffic deaths. 

The $10 million allocated by the council comes from Phoenix's general fund and the Highway User Revenue Fund, a state taxes on motor fuel.  

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