In the early hours this morning, the city of Tempe began construction on a roundabout at Grove Parkway and Priest Drive.
As part of the Vision Zero action plan city leaders say they are on the prowl to reduce traffic crashes and fatalities. For Tempe to reach this goal, officials say they will be making the switch from traditional intersections to roundabouts in some areas where studies have proven to reduce accident rates.
“Roundabouts are actually a proven way to increase and improve traffic flow while also doing so safely,” Tempe Mayor Corey Woods said. “Tempe adopted a plan called Vision Zero and the point of that is to try to reduce traffic crashes and fatalities down to zero. People should be able to reserve the right to commute back and forth from work or to go pick up their kids from school and to return home safely at night.”
With safety at the forefront of everyone’s mind atop Tempe City Council, elected leaders are also looking to make traffic flow easier with less stop-and-go traffic.
“Roundabouts are a proven safety countermeasure,” Mr. Woods explained. “It will result in drivers traveling at lower speeds, have fewer conflict points and not as much moving and waiting like you would normally have at an intersection.”
The municipality is not looking to just convert one intersection into a roundabout, but rather according to Mayor Woods, City Council has plans to revamp multiple intersections into roundabouts with more potential projects kicking off as soon as this summer.
“We’ve got approximately $2 million in our capital budget that is slated to be voted on before June 30 this year,” Mr. Woods pointed out. “This will address 10 different intersections in the city where we have seen higher rates of speeding, accidents or fatalities.”
With construction beginning, April 5 Tempe residents can expect minor traffic and bus detours during the duration of the project, which should take approximately four months to complete.
As part of Tempe’s Vision Zero action plan, city leaders will continue to explore more options to make the City safer with several possible solutions, according to Mr. Woods.
“We are really committed here to move people along in a safe and efficient fashion and we believe in the Tempe Vision Zero Action Plan is the correct way to do that,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the continued advances that we continue to make in the City of Tempe when it comes to Traffic and Transportation.”