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Scottsdale City Council Replaces 68th Street Traffic Lanes for Bike Lanes

By March 24, 2023No Comments

By J. Graber | Daily Independent

Cars are out and bikes are in on 68th Street between Indian School and Thomas Roads.

The city council voted 4-3 during its March 21 meeting to remove one lane of traffic in each direction and replace them with buffered bicycle lanes. Council members Barry Graham and Betty Janik as well as Vice Mayor Kathy Littlefield voted against the move.

The move cuts traffic lanes down to one in each direction for the addition of bike lanes as well as add two flashing crosswalk lights and ADA ramps for crosswalks and the creation of left and right turn lanes.

It also matches the stretch of road up with a larger segment, which has one lane of traffic each way with bike lanes.

The federal government is picking up $1.5 million of the cost for the project, while Scottsdale is footing $181,000 of the bill.

Scottsdale City Engineer Alison Tymkiw said the city held an open house on the controversial project Dec. 5, 2022, to which 45 people came. She said 13 comments came from the open house and added there have been 72 comments on the project on the city’s website “overwhelmingly in favor of the project.”

Many who oppose the move said they never heard of it until the last moment, but Tymkiw said the city sent out 5,950 postcards to residents and businesses regarding the project.

City councilwoman Solange Whitehead supported the project.

“We have a road that is one lane each direction with a center lane throughout the entire length of this road with the exception of a mismatched section where we suddenly have four lanes and we have not correct ADA access, Americans with Disabilities Act access, and we don’t have bike lanes. So this is fixing a problem,” Whitehead said.

“As I said, I’m not a big fan of spending any dollars to fix something that isn’t broken and nobody wants but this is a broke section of the road that does need repairs. It needs to be consistent with the rest of the road and there will be many benefits to the people who are in cars as well as the people who are riding bikes. And I want to point out people with disabilities have every right to be safe on our roads as well as people in cars.”

She pointed out that a senior in a wheel chair was recently hit and killed by a car while trying to cross the road “because there was no crosswalks like the ones that are going to be installed on this road.”

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