City of Tempe Long-Term Bike/Ped Project Prioritization – Send your input!

The last City of Tempe Multi-Modal Committee reviewed current and upcoming projects in an effort to prioritize them in the case of budget reductions. If you’d like to give input to the discussion, send along your thoughts on the following list of projects. How would you rank them in importance? The projects are:

Rio Salado Multi-Use Path Tempe to Phoenix
University Dr. Streetscape Improvements
Hardy Rd. Streetscape Improvements
I-10 Bike/Ped Bridge Crossing at Alameda

Do send your thoughts I will be sure to incorporate them into TBAG’s message at the upcoming committee this Wednesday. Thanks!

8 thoughts on “City of Tempe Long-Term Bike/Ped Project Prioritization – Send your input!

  1. My list of priorities would be as follows

    Rio Salado Multi-Use Path Tempe to Phoenix
    I-10 Bike/Ped Bridge Crossing at Alameda
    University Dr. Streetscape Improvements
    Hardy Rd. Pedestrian Improvements

    Having a multi-use path from Tempe to Phoenix would be a top priority. There are many ways to bike downtown from Tempe, but none are particularly attractive of the decent ones none are anywhere close to “straight line.”

    An I10 crossing at Alameda is long overdue and would be a major enhancement.

    The last two would be comparatively much lower on my list.


  2. As a member of the committee, there’re a couple things I should point out.

    First, the next meeting of the committee is this coming Wednesday (the 4th) at 3:30 in the new Tempe Transportation Center at 5th and College. The meeting is open to the public, but public involvement is officially restricted to three-minute-per-person statements at the beginning of the meeting. The committee is more relaxed than some, so that restriction may or may not be enforced. The entire meeting will be devoted to this matter.

    Next, Aaron’s list is only of future projects in their very earliest phases. There are twice again as many ongoing projects whose budgets are also subject to review; for example, one proposal is to cut 75% from the local funding for the College Avenue streetscape project, resulting in savings of over $2.5 million.

    The actual decision will be rather more complex than a simple “Which is most important?” Not all projects cost the same; projects are funded from different sources; projects are at different stages of planning and commitment; and some have more built-in flexibility than others. A simple ranking doesn’t hurt, but it doesn’t do much, either. It’s more important to know why different projects are important.

    As another example, Robert Yabes, the City’s planning guru, thinks we can combine the University and Hardy projects, each with a proposed local budget of $120,000, along with their combined anticipated federal funding of $2.3 million, for a truly spectacular project that only costs the city a quarter million dollars. The Rio Salado path, on the other hand, has no local funds budgeted, only $400,000 in federal funds currently available, would cost many millions, and would only be useful if Phoenix also spent millions on their side of the city border. As much as I’d love to see it come to life, I can almost guarantee it’ll be the first thing to be cut from the final budget.

    Lastly, we really are in a huge budget crunch. Without significant changes, the transit fund would go bankrupt in several years. Right now, the only talk is of cutting spending (though, to be fair, far and away the largest savings will come from using the substantial transit fund balance to pay down debt and thus reduce interest payments). I keep trying to address the question of increasing revenue, the dreaded “T” word, but nobody pays me any attention. A fraction of a cent addition to the current transit sales tax would go a huge way towards eliminating the transit fund’s budget crisis. Considering all we’d get, I think it’d be an investment that would more than pay for itself…but I seem to be alone in such thinking.



  3. Thanks Ben for adding some detail. Indeed, these decisions are more complex than how I portrayed it in the post. But, in order to get feedback from folks in a short amount of time, I decided to only ask for opinions on those projects which appear to be most exposed to major changes/cutting. (The other projects being discussed were more straightforward and seemed resolved in our last meeting, or constrained in some way, so I didn’t include them.) I do think that knowing some members’ rankings of the projects would add to the discussions this wednesday. And, as you point out, if anyone wants to appear in person to discuss these projects, please feel free to attend. Thanks Ben and Matt for commenting!

  4. Thanks for gathering our feedback. My top desire is the I-10 bike/ped bridge. The only E-W options right now for going from Tempe to Phoenix are either much farther North (e.g. Washington, Oak) or a bit dodgy (Southern under the I-10). Alameda in Tempe and Roeser in Phoenix are some of the most bike-friendly roads around and it would be great to connect them.

    After that (in order from most important to least):

    Rio Salado Multi-Use Path Tempe to Phoenix
    University Dr. Streetscape Improvements
    Hardy Rd. Streetscape Improvements


  5. I-10 Bike/Ped Bridge Crossing at Alameda
    Rio Salado Multi-Use Path Tempe to Phoenix
    University Dr. Streetscape Improvements
    Hardy Rd. Streetscape Improvements

    However, Ben’s comments make perfect sense. The biggest impression we have after living in Seattle for years is the lack of connectors or ways to overcome barriers to cycling regionally: the route ends in a dead end, or some Interstate Highway. The cycle/pedestrian bridges over US 60 at College and Country Club have made our cycling much more efficient and pleasant; connectors are essential elements in the city’s transportation infrastructure.

  6. I10 and southern.

    It always amazes me how we can have billion dollar freeways without spending a few million to create a way for pedestrians and cyclists to get across.

    We need a few pedestrian bridges. Can we get a three for one?
    Western @ I10 , Alameda @ 101, Alameda @I10. These have been on the books since the 90s.

  7. 9 months later………..

    My first vote, Alameda and the 10! I echo the comments above about the importance of linking paths over freeways.

  8. How about finishing the Central Canal Pathway at Baseline first?

    I get the impression the pathway was intentionally diverted away from the canal on the south side of Baseline by traffic engineering so that they wouldn’t have to deal with canal traffic trying to across Baseline and continue along the pathway. They also ended the path about 100 feet from Baseline, so it looks like it’s ends right there and there is no pathway or access to the other side of Baseline.

    It’s a shame Tempe spent so much money on such a beautiful facility for alternative traffic only to have it misaligned, disconnected and unfinished. (It’s been in it’s current state for two years now. How about completing it before taking on another project.?)

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