Councilman Bill Gates applauded the Phoenix City Council’s unanimous approval of the North 32nd Policy Plan on Wednesday, Dec. 3. The Plan is the culmination of a comprehensive two-year, citizen-driven effort by Councilman Gates and Vice Mayor Jim Waring to revitalize land uses, upgrade the number and types of businesses and improve the amenities available for residents along North 32nd Street. The working group included residents, area business leaders, and city staff with support from Arizona State University and the Urban Land Institute.
The full plan, which covers the corridor from the Phoenix Mountains Preserve in the south to the Loop 101 in the north, is available online at phoenix.gov/district3.
“A project of this magnitude requires a clear vision, comprehensive community input and a collective desire to make big changes.” Councilman Gates said. “This plan includes all three of those elements. Residents and business owners will see the first positive changes in a matter of months when work begins on the road diet. This will change the nature of North 32 Street by making it quieter, more walkable and easier to bike. It also will create a buffer between traffic and adjacent homes and businesses that will be more attractive for future development and revitalization. Additionally, residents will see North 32nd branding in street signs at major intersections along 32nd Street from Shea to Bell.”
“With detailed involvement from business owners and residents over two years, this plan is a true consensus on the needs and priorities of this important corridor,” Vice Mayor Jim Waring said. “The city council’s unanimous approval demonstrates the importance of improving conditions for businesses to grow and thrive while continuing to look for ways to keep established residential neighborhoods attractive and vibrant.”
The road diet includes removal of one vehicular northbound travel lane and addition of bike lanes on both sides of North 32nd Street. The project will be completed in the spring of 2015, and also includes modifications to several traffic signal poles and the addition of traffic cameras at several intersections. Beyond the road diet, there is limited municipal funding.
“This plan really is just the beginning of our long-term goals and efforts for this corridor,” Gates added. “The City of Phoenix will work tirelessly to identify potential funding sources and public-private partnerships, but we’ll also need consistent involvement from residents and businesses as we move forward.”
The plan includes recommendations from three working group subcommittees: Branding and Events, Transportation and Street Improvements, and Land Use. The Branding and Events Subcommittee focused on ways to promote the area’s unique character through marketing, branding, and community events. The Transportation and Street Improvement Subcommittee identified public property in need of repair and explored ways to encourage private property improvements. The Land Use Subcommittee recommended improvements to city processes, regulations, and enforcement, while also providing feedback to future land use improvements and entitlement changes.