Task force discusses future of Bullard Ave; weighs pros and cons of design alternatives
Surprise, AZ (September 25, 2015) The Bullard Avenue task force met last night to determine the long-term traffic management and safety improvements for the section between Greenway Road and Peoria Avenue.
The 13 member task force consists of residents, developers, business professionals and Dysart Unified staff who represent various opinions on the design of Bullard.
City Manager Bob Wingenroth facilitated the discussion and advised the group that their goal was to achieve a consensus recommendation on the final design while considering the balance of safety, efficiency and quality of life.
During the initial presentation, two city-developed design alternatives were presented to the group as starting points for discussion with the understanding that their task could create a new alternative or construct a hybrid alternative that combined elements from the city’s design.
The design alternatives, keeping the speed limit at 35 MPH, presented were:
• Restore TWO LANES of travel in each direction using 11’ lanes, relocate crosswalks 300 feet from intersection and install “push button” activated pedestrian signals with overhead flashing red lights.
• Maintain ONE LANE of travel in each direction and 15 mph school zones. Replace Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) lane with painted diagonal striped buffer between travel lane and bike lane. Add or clarify right turn lanes.
City Engineer Karl Zook led the task force through the pros and cons of each alternative and answered questions regarding traffic counts, traffic control placement and the potential long-term impacts of their decisions.
Questions about the cost of the potential designs arose on several occasions. Wingenroth shared that the city had received grants to design the recommended alternative and that Surprise had allocated excess funds from the budget to make changes as well. He stressed that although the group should be conscious of costs, they should not be a determining factor when deciding the long-term design of Bullard Avenue.
After deliberation, the group agreed that Bullard Avenue should maintain the 35 MPH speed limit however requested that city staff compile additional data and create modeled layouts of both alternatives before they decide whether Bullard should remain one lane of travel in each direction or return to two.
The task force hopes to reach a decision regarding the final design at their next meeting which is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, October 8 at 6 p.m. in the City Hall Community Room; the meeting is open to the public. (UPDATE: The meeting is being rescheduled for a later date. Details will be shared when they become available.)
For additional information regarding the task force, visit http://surpriseaz.gov/bullard.