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Skip Hall: Sunrise road extension is needed priority

Posted 7/21/21

Improving transportation safety in the city of Surprise is a priority for our city.

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Skip Hall: Sunrise road extension is needed priority

Posted

Improving transportation safety in the city of Surprise is a priority for our city.

We have been able, at times, to move forward with building out roads and completing transportation gaps ahead of development; the recent Litchfield Road, Waddell Road, and Greenway Road widening projects are examples of this.

However, developers have built much of the city’s transportation infrastructure at the same time, as their projects are moving forward on adjacent land. This has saved taxpayers millions of dollars in infrastructure costs while allowing growth to pay for itself.

One long remaining gap in the city’s transportation system is the unfinished segment of Sunrise Boulevard, south of Bell Road. Completing and connecting this road is one of the requirements for the property owner of the adjacent parcel to develop their property.

When city council approved a final plat for this parcel in 2007, this completed roadway was a required component of that plat. However, that development stalled with the great recession.

In 2020, the city council approved a revised preliminary plat for this parcel, which continued to show this important roadway connection. City council approved the most recent final plat on June 1, and once again included completing this road as a requirement of this development moving forward. 

The completion of this roadway is important to the city’s overall transportation system because it allows an additional option for the residents of Mountain Vista Ranch to enter and exit their neighborhood. Additionally, this access alternative will reduce traffic congestion at the existing access points to this neighborhood by disbursing traffic flow and shorten emergency response times for public safety vehicles at the same time. 

This currently unfinished section of roadway has attracted illegal dumping and other nefarious activities that the road’s completion will prevent. The benefits of completing Sunrise Boulevard are important to the public safety of Surprise residents.

A recent interview published in this newspaper quoted a resident referring to this project as saying it was their “intention to make a public spectacle of how this went down.” In contrast, it is the city’s intention of leading and inviting productive public discourse, in civil forums, on all issues affecting our city.

Each one of the above-mentioned council approvals was part of a public meeting that included the opportunity for public comment. Citizen engagement is one of the hallmarks of the city of Surprise, and every public meeting of the city council provides an opportunity for residents to speak on any city issue of interest.  Besides public meetings, residents have opportunities each month to interact directly with their elected representatives and can contact city officials via email, mobile app, or web comments at any time.

We remain focused on promoting public safety in our city and genuinely appreciate the positive and productive feedback regularly received from residents as part of the public process in decision-making. 

We invite those who may have turned to name-calling, exaggerations, and misrepresentations of fact in the past, as a strategy to further their arguments, to instead seek to understand first and then to partner in productive ways that improve our community. 

Editor’s Note: Skip Hall is the mayor of Surprise.

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