The city needs to refocus on making the core services, that Phoenicians rely on, more efficient and responsive.
Infrastructure and Traffic
Why does it take so long for potholes, sidewalks, signs, streetlights, and roads to get repaired? The city uses a prioritization system to determine which reported problems get repaired first. That means a low level pothole repair will get bumped whenever a priority location gets reported, indefinitely. As mayor, I will propose a First In - First Out system.
Travel down the westbound lane of Thomas Road at 3pm on any weekday and you will experience firsthand the gridlock plaguing Phoenix. What causes this daily traffic jam?
Daytime construction projects and road maintenance, frequent stops by school and city buses, trading traffic lanes for bike lanes, and static traffic lights are few of the main culprits.
As mayor, I will propose limiting construction and non-emergency road maintenance, which can cause traffic slowdowns, to evenings and weekends in primarily commercial areas. I will also seek developers to help sync the city’s traffic lights up to newer technologies that can adjust the signal times based on real-time traffic data.
Riding a bike is fun, taking the bus is economical, and a trip on the light rail is quick. How you get from point A to point B is a decision best left up to you. Creating public transportation policies that punish you for choosing to use your car have Phoenix streets all backed up.
Riding a bike is a fun, healthy, and environmentally friendly way to get around the city. But it is not a viable transportation option for most Phoenicians. Especially in the summer months when temperatures are well into the 100’s.
Phoenix currently has nearly 800 miles of bike lanes and paths. The city is implementing a 5 year plan that will add another 200 miles. The Street Transportation Department has admitted that it doesn’t have enough easements for this project and will need to “be creative”. That is code for taking more traffic lanes. I support adding more bike lanes and paths, but not at a cost of increased commuter traffic.
Also, as part of that plan, the city wants to commit to adding an additional 1,000+ miles of bike lanes and paths by 2050.
Clean and Reliable water
While Phoenix is an arid desert city, we often take for granted our clean supply and reliable delivery of water. Water is critical for all of us. Without a clean, reliable, and affordable supply of water Phoenix will vanish.
Did you know that current low water levels at Lake Mead could potentially trigger an automatic “Tier 1” shortage or that the Colorado River operational agreement expires in 2026? How is the city planning for these potential issues? Are the programs put in place 5, 10, or 30 years ago working?
Instead of focusing on pet political projects, perhaps the city leaders could update the 2015 “Water Resource Plan” or the other public documents from 2011 on our water storage programs.
Trash and Sanitation
Do you know when your bulk and heavy trash weeks are? Most people don’t. It’s not their fault, it’s complicated schedule of what week ever couple of months you can put trash out and then what week the city will come by and collect it. In the mean time you have a pile of trash in front of your house for a few days to a couple weeks.
Wouldn’t it be easier if there was just one day per month, or even every two months, which was designated as bulk trash day for your neighborhood? It would be the same day each time, without a complicated calendar or a landfill in your front yard.
That’s how most major cities handle bulk and heavy trash collection and there is no reason for Phoenix to continue its outdated and cumbersome schedule.
Walking down the alleys and back rows of Phoenix is disgusting. Trash and yard waste everywhere. But there are just too many miles of alley ways for the city to keep them clean. On the other hand, you as a property owner shouldn’t bear the punishment of cleaning it up or face a fine because someone dropped trash behind your lot.
As mayor, I will develop a volunteer program similar to the AZ Adopt a Highway program. Neighborhood and civic groups, local business, and even HOA’s would sign up for a two year commitment to collect trash along a stretch of alleyway. For this they would get city recognition, volunteer credit hours, and a sign and other notifications to the neighborhood that they are helping to keep the area clean and free of debris.