New works director will study school traffic issues

By Tara Drach

Chandler’s new public works director, Bryan Patterson, may have some problems to solve in the next few years, including managing the growth that has propelled the city into a national spotlight.

He’s not spending many sleepless nights, however.

“I look forward to the many challenges that lie ahead for the city,” said Patterson. “We have such a dynamic community, and we will continue to grow at a very swift pace.”

While Chandler generally has received praise for accommodating its growth, there are a few potential trouble-spots on the horizon, including residential and commercial expansion in and around west Chandler.

Because of the area’s proximity to Tempe, some of the issues will require action from both cities.

“My staff is working to amend the traffic situation around Corona del Sol High School,” said Patterson. Although the school is in Tempe, a large percentage of the student body comes from Chandler, creating increased traffic on Chandler streets and the resulting potential for problems.

“We are working within the neighborhoods to reduce problems,” said Patterson.

Chandler’s strategies include holding public meetings to address specific issues aimed at keeping the students and surrounding community members safe throughout the school year.

Another area-specific issues is construction of the San Tan freeway, scheduled to open by the end of 2003.

“ADOT has three different construction contracts on that project,” said Patterson. “There is someone working on the I-10 interchange, another group on the Price interchange and yet another working on the mainline between the two.”

In addition to the actual construction of the freeway, both Kyrene and McClintock roads south of Chandler Boulevard need to be widened and redesigned in order to accommodate the traffic coming on and off of the freeway, according to Patterson.

Additional public works projects in the Kyrene Corridor include adding a right-turn lane in the westbound lane at Rural and Ray roads, opening up the median at Ray Road and Desert Breeze Parkway and increasing bus service in west Chandler.

“Tempe has a greater transit funding source than Chandler, so it is hard to match their level of service,” said Patterson.

“We are working to update our transit service and are meeting with the city council in August to establish greater funding.”

No matter how many challenges face him, Patterson is well prepared.

He has been working as the city’s assistant public works director for transportation since 1993.

In addition, he has served as the city’s engineer and deputy public works director, holding the interim public work’s director job since 2001.

Patterson also held several positions over a 13-year span at the Arizona Department of Transportation.

“Bryan has proven to be a tremendous asset for the city during the past nine years and we look forward to many more years of professional service,” said City Manager Donna Dreska.

“He has an extensive background in public works projects and his professionalism will serve the people of Chandler well.”

Patterson likewise is optimistic about his opportunity to grow with the city.

“This city has done well in keeping ahead of the curve in terms of providing adequate infrastructure and service to residents,” he said.

“I look forward to ensuring we maintain that success.”

Patterson earned his master’s degree from Arizona State University and a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University.

His annual salary is $114,685.