First the new signal helps add to, one of the city’s best walking streets. Because the super block created by the Arizona Center, Taylor dead ends at this busy traffic crossing with only pavement markings to indicate a pedestrians right of way. Hopefully, the signal will help make this a much more pedestrian friendly crossing and possibly activate the Arizona Centers under utilized third entrance.
So why is Taylor a good walking street? For an East-West street it has a decent amount of shade from the Phoenix sun, the buildings and the tight line of Palo Verde trees all help in this regard. It has destinations at both ends; Space Park / Fitness center on one end and Arizona Center/ (Bio Med campus, if integrated right) on the other end. Because of the ASU buildings there is typically always some individuals walking down the street at least while school is in. With this new signal, all the crossings have either quick pedestrian signals or stop signs. The sidewalks are all protected either by parked cars, wide planters, or no traffic, so it feels comfortable to walk down.
Of course things could be better. The Green Lot and Sheridan parking structure make the south side far less attractive. The pedestrian mall between 1st street and Central only works because of the University buildings, and my guess is that this new signal is only a result of lobbying from ASU and not because the City is concerned about any other pedestrians in the area; ok, maybe ushering the Sheridan’s guests to the shopping center was considered. But hey it is still a helpful addition to a street I choose to walk down often. Now if only there were more of them.
Jeffery is a native Phoenix area resident and lives in the Downtown Evans Churchill neighborhood. He has a Masters in Globalization and Development from The University of Sussex – Institute of Development Studies and a Political Science B.A. From A.S.U. He currently works as a Project Manager for a Phoenix based small business. All opinions are strictly his own. All rights on written and creative ideas are reserved.