29 Sep 2017-The Vision for 3rd and 5th Avenues
Willo’s Vision 3.5 Committee was established in the spring of 2017 to discuss the neighborhood’s vision for 3rd and 5th Avenues through Willo, and to strategize with the City of Phoenix about how we may work together on that vision.
The Vision 3.5 Committee brought a motion to the Willo Neighborhood Association Board during the neighborhood association meeting on September 14, that the Willo Neighborhood Association “recommend 3rd and 5th Avenues to be one-way, one lane, with 3rd being northbound only, and 5th being southbound only, adding historic street lights, providing protected bike paths, adding sidewalks, and protecting existing parking.” The motion passed unanimously and the recommendation will be made to the City of Phoenix in hopes that the requested modifications will be implemented through the neighborhood.
On June 30, members of the Vision 3.5 Committee met with Ray Dovalina, Street Transportation Director for the City of Phoenix, Mark Melnychenko, Deputy Director overseeing the Transportation Planning and Programming Division of the Street Transportation Department, and David Longoria, Chief of Staff for Vice Mayor Laura Pastor. The meeting began with committee members delivering statements summarizing their ideas for 3rd and 5th Avenues through Willo.
Overwhelmingly, these statements included concerns about vehicle speed and ways to mitigate that, protected bike lanes, protected walkways, and sidewalks. Beautifying aesthetic improvements such as historic-style streetlamp lighting along with landscaping were also mentioned. Representatives from the City were then asked to discuss the current plans for 3rd and 5th Avenues south of McDowell, between McDowell and Van Buren.
As of the June 30 meeting, the plan for these Avenues was to change from one-way vehicular traffic to two-way vehicular traffic between Roosevelt and Van Buren. Between Roosevelt and McDowell, vehicular traffic will be one-way, one lane in each direction (southbound on 5th Avenue and northbound on 3rd Avenue). Committee members expressed concerns with the transition at McDowell into and out of Willo: changing from one lane northbound on 3rd Avenue at McDowell to two lanes through the neighborhood may encourage speeding in Willo, and changing from two lanes southbound on 5th Avenue at McDowell to one lane may cause vehicular backup during busy times.
City representatives stated they are aware of concerns regarding this transition point. Construction on these changes south of McDowell will not begin for at least another year. Willo intends to work closely with the City during the final stages of planning. Now that the Committee’s motion has Board approval, the Vision 3.5 Committee will continue to work with the City as plans for our neighborhood’s future develop.