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Mesa seeking public input on traffic safety concerns

May 24—The Mesa Streets & Transportation Department has launched a community survey to gauge people’s concerns about road and traffic safety issues, including an interactive map where respondents can pinpoint specific problems.

Sabine King, supervising engineer with Streets & Transportation, said the survey — part of the city’s Comprehensive Safety Action Plan — aims to identify the key issues that community members are facing on the road.

“We’re doing the outreach to the public to get some input from people that are in Mesa, to see where the most concerns are, so we can really cater our efforts towards those areas and get the best results,” King said.

Based on the feedback, the department will then develop data-driven solutions to educate community members about road safety while it addresses traffic and road safety concerns strategically.

“We will come up with some projects or some strategies that we can employ here in the city in order to reduce crashes,” King said.

King said his department analyzes crashes across the city but that it also needs input from people who live or work in — or travel through — Mesa.

“We combine those two datasets to come up with a strategy on addressing safety in Mesa,” King said.

The department said an average four people are killed or seriously injured on Mesa’s roads every week.

It determined that between 2017 and 2022, more than half of injury crashes occurred at intersections, and 21% of fatal or serious crashes in Mesa involved driving behaviors like speeding and influence of alcohol or drugs. King said there has also been an increase in serious crashes involving pedestrians, bicycle and motorcycle users.

She said, “40% of those fatal and serious injury crashes include bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcycles, and that’s really been going up specifically in the last three years.”

Mesa’s main goal is to reduce fatal and serious crashes by 30% by 2030.

The department said the study will enhance Mesa’s efforts to reduce crashes through safety planning and education, redesigned streets and updates to policies and operations.

King said the department looks at solutions like “engineering, improving our roadways to an infrastructure project, working with police to do enforcement or maybe modify our current laws to address some of the issues we’re seeing.”

The survey asks respondents to rank roadway areas and driving behaviors where they have the most safety concerns with. Some roadway areas listed are bike lanes, crosswalks, intersections, turn lanes, main roads and more.

The survey also asks respondents to rank several proposed solutions to enhance road safety for pedestrians, cyclists, public transit users and drivers in Mesa.

The online community survey includes an interactive map where respondents can use a marker tool to identify a specific area with a text box.

The map also includes different methods of transportation like walking, driving, and cycling, as well as specific roadway safety categories like intersection, transit and lighting.

Since the online survey opened, respondents identified a number of areas where they found safety concerns with. One anonymous respondent marked the intersection University Drive and Country Club Drive with a caption “Bike lanes too narrow at the intersection.”

The department is also investing in driving education solutions. King said it offers a community pledge system, where people can promise to follow safe driving practices. It also offers different bicycle and pedestrian education classes.

“We realize it can’t all be fixed with engineering or enforcement with police,” King said. “We really need the community to have a culture shift to help us in improving safety. Everybody’s going to have to have a part of it.”

Mesa is hosting the road safety survey and plan on its project web page, and is communicating the survey through news releases, public safety and city management newsletters, and Valley Metro and social media networks.

The road safety survey is open until May 31.

The department is offering a $100 gift card raffle for survey participants and their feedback.

“We just wanted to bring attention to this effort, and really get people on board with the idea that we are trying to address this issue in Mesa and we really want to partner with them,” said city representative Cassie Robles.

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