News Ticker

Tempe Working on a Safer University Drive

By Kristen Hwang for The Arizona Republic

Design ideas for improving pedestrian and bicycle traffic along University Drive between Ash Avenue and Priest Drive were forwarded to the Tempe Transportation Commission on Tuesday.

The city hopes to re-characterize University and make it safer for multimodal transportation.

Funded by a $1.1 million federal grant, the project would include continuous and protected bike lanes, more north-south crossing opportunities and a center median landscaped with native plants.

Project manager Eric Iwersen said the changes along University Drive would provide residents with greater accessibility to areas of Tempe.

Between 1998 and 2008, the average number of cars per day on that stretch of University Drive has decreased by 18 percent, making those traveling by bus, by bike or on foot a larger proportion of the traffic.

The project also includes plans for public-art opportunities that Iwersen said would create a community identity and hopefully help the 93 businesses that line the route.

Construction is projected to begin next summer, Iwerson said

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