On August 13, City of Phoenix Traffic Engineer Kerry Wilcoxon and Coalition Board Member Gene Holmerud were interviewed by Nick Richert of KillRadio.org. Kill Radio is associated with KPFK-FM Los Angeles which is operated by Pacifica Foundation, an independent, listener-supported (alternative) organization.
Kill Radio has a number of cycling oriented programs, specifically at 10AM, for two hours on every Saturday is regular program “Bike Talk”. Kerry & Gene’s interview was broadcast on August 15 as part of that show.
Nick and his associates had heard comments questioning the bicycle friendliness of Phoenix, so he decided to find out. Kerry is the City Traffic Engineer most responsible for land and intersection design, and is himself a cycling commuter. Gene is a League Cycling Instructor and concentrates his efforts on Bike Ed and Rail/Cycle issues.
The program begins with introductions and then Nick asks “How is Phoenix rated?” Although Phoenix does not have a LAB rating as do other nearby cities, Kerry outlined the efforts of the city and Gene discussed our education efforts.
- We have a grid system where section streets (mile apart) and collector streets (in-between) either have bike lanes or lanes are planned
- City advocacy was lost during the recent budget adjustments cut the Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator position. To be restored when economics allow.
- Council districts do vary as some Council members are more supportive.
- Light Rail, although a multi-city endeavor, is very supportive of cyclists.
- Looking to integrate Bus routes and Bike Paths into Google mapping.
- Recent “traffic calming” street re-design has improved bicycle use.
- Major difficulty is that Phoenix “grew up” in the automobile-is-king era, now we’re trying to retro-fit.
- Model cities are Portland and others in Northwest part of US, the Tempe and Scottsdale.
- Wants to thank the cycling community for their strong input over the years.
- Making it safer to use the streets by learning skills, and following the laws, wearing bright clothes and driving consistently.
LISTEN TO THE SHOW via KPFK ARCHIVES (look for Bike Talk, 8/15/2009)