Plan To Install Travel-Time Signs in Phoenix Hits Roadblock

Published: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 - 5:05pm
Updated: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 - 5:12pm
(Photo by Jim Drake)
The sign structure at Seventh Avenue and Vista was installed with no community input or notification and removed three days later before it was completed.

A plan to install travel-time signs for commuters in Phoenix hits a road block.

The trouble started on a Monday night in late January when residents along Seventh Avenue between Glendale and Northern heard construction work.

“The sign was enormous,” Jim Drake said. “It was quite a surprise.”

Drake told the city’s transportation subcommittee that no one notified neighbors a large sign structure was going up. It was supposed to be the first of several electronic signs along Seventh Street and Seventh Avenue. They would display real time travel information, similar to what you see on our freeways. But the sign was never completed. Residents’ phone calls to the council and mayor led to the structure’s removal three days later.

“We have a problem and we fully understand that we have a problem,” Maria Hyatt, street transportation director said. “We are in silos, we have multiple divisions, multiple contractors. We have so many people, different people working and we have all different rules or no rules and we need to address that immediately.”

The department is reevaluating the travel-time information display project and no signs will be installed without a public meeting and community outreach. Hyatt said the department will also prepare public notification and permitting policies for work on all streets and present the plan to council members for approval.

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