After nearly two years of gathering public feedback and collecting traffic information, Tempe will move forward with a plan that includes keeping bicycle facilities while adding vehicle capacity back to a three-mile stretch of McClintock Drive. As part of a repaving project in July 2015, Tempe reconfigured McClintock between Broadway and Guadalupe roads to add bicycle lanes on each side, which required removing at least one vehicle lane.
The city maintained a minimum of two vehicle lanes in each direction as well as the center turn lane, medians and
formal turn lanes at signalized intersections. Since making the changes, the city has been working with residents, businesses, schools and others, gathering feedback through public meetings, online questionnaires, emails and phone calls.
In late 2016, Tempe staff and consultants began working to develop concepts to achieve the city council’s goals of improving traffic flow, decreasing congestion and providing facilities for bicyclists.
At a Sept. 7 city council issue review session, staff presented a project update with several alternatives for McClintock Drive. Councilmembers reached consensus on a plan that includes both bicycle facilities and additional vehicle lanes between Apache Boulevard and Baseline Road. They also asked staff to work with residents to address neighborhood access concerns in certain areas.
The vertical barriers or “candlesticks” installed by the city have now been removed. Amanda Nelson, a public information officer for the city of Tempe, said the candlesticks were part of a pilot program.
“It was to gauge public perception and see how they held up,” Nelson said. “The public sentiment was mixed, like everything else, about McClintock Drive, but when we went back to the City Council, that was one of the things they asked—that we remove the candlesticks.”
The city plans to add a third southbound travel lane and restripe northbound and southbound to
include 3-foot buffered bike lanes. Nelson said there will be bike lanes the whole way but not every segment will be necessarily buffered.
Instead, portions will be buffered, meaning marked with the special paint lines in the section between the
vehicle travel lane and the bike lane. The changes to McClintock Drive will be made through a combination of restriping, widening the roadway where necessary and modifying sidewalks and landscaping – including removing planter boxes in the railway underpass section between Apache and Broadway, according to Nelson.
During the first half of 2018, the city will contact neighborhoods that do not currently have mid-block signals to discuss ingress/egress issues. Two public meetings will be held regarding the section between Broadway and Southern to provide information on the construction process as well as to gather input on any desired changes to the landscaping between Broadway and Del Rio. Construction is set to begin in August.
Info: tempe.gov/mcclintock drive or