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Phoenix Public Transit makes changes following neighbor’s roundabout traffic concern

PHOENIX — Concerns about a neighborhood roundabout were raised by some homeowners after they witnessed buses having issues making the turn.

Jim Jacobson reached out to ABC15’s Operation Safe Roads team about the roundabout in a neighborhood located off Interstate 17 and Greenway Road.

His concern is that children may eventually get hit and killed.

On Monday, neighbors sent us a video of a city bus entering the intersection and sitting next to the roundabout for about a minute, then children on bicycles squeezed by.

The City of Phoenix’s Street Transportation Department told ABC15 that after the first story, they put out a camera to take a look at the area and see if there were any issues. Eventually, a spokesperson said they concluded it was not an issue with the roundabout, but with bus operators.

The roundabout was put in place in 2009 after a traffic fatality, the city said.

While Jacobson doesn’t have a specific issue with the roundabout, he’s more concerned about the bus drivers.

The video shows buses having issues getting through.

“If this goes away, our accidents come back,” Jacobson said of the roundabout. “Although, it has created another issue with the children.”

Jacobson wishes the city would change the bus route through that specific area, however, the city’s public transit department said they will not do that.

“If they can’t train these drivers to drive around it properly, then they need to reroute them,” he said.

The Public Transit Department tells ABC15 they’re not aware of any additional injuries or fatalities since the roundabout was installed.

The Phoenix Public Transit provided the following statement:

Phoenix Public Transit and its contractors have been working to provide training and information to bus drivers on taking the roundabout. There have been no other complaints from residents other than the recent ones from the residents you have spoken to.  Route 27 , which is the route that travels through this roundabout, is a heavily used route. We don’t see re-routing as an option, it would eliminate dozens of bus stops with high passenger usage along the route. Bus operator training and education in this area will continue. Additionally, Public Transit staff are taking steps in the October 2023 transit service schedules to minimize 60-foot bus assignments on the route, as those vehicles navigate the traffic circle at a slower pace. Instead, 40-foot bus assignments will be prioritized for use on the route.

While the city said it will make the small changes, Jacobson still feels it’s not enough.

“It’s not a matter of if. It’s when we’re going to have another tragic accident. I just can’t let that go,” he said.


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