Daily Archives: August 3, 2008

Many Phoenicians wonder when Cox “On Demand” actually comes

Hello?  Digital Max?  When will I receive Cox "On Demand?"  Max?  Max?On May 20, 2008, Cox Communications announced that its digital cable customers in Arizona; Roanoke, VA; Kansas; and Middle Georgia will soon have on demand access to hits from ABC and NBC with the addition of MyPrimetime to Cox’s “On Demand” library.  Yet many Cox cable customers in downtown and midtown Phoenix wonder when they’ll ever get “On Demand.”

One local blogger has seen “Coming Soon!” commercials for “On Demand” since September 2007.  An entire online discussion forum has been set up to ask the same question, “When exactly is ‘Coming Soon!’ going to end?”

So what happened on “Peace and Love Day” in Phoenix?

Pat Shannahan, Arizona RepublicOn July 31, Ringo Starr had fun backstage at the Dodge Theatre with Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon, who gave the drummer-singer a key to the city and a proclamation for “Peace and Love Day” before the ex-Beatle took the stage to bring smiles to an adoring audience spanning all ages. 

So what happened outside of Dodge Theatre on “Peace and Love Day” in Phoenix, Arizona? 

The next day, August 1, Phoenix’s Police Department did issue some very good news: Reductions in violent and property crimes for the first six months of 2008 were the largest decreases in more than 10 years.  Reported incidents of violent crime dropped 8.5% overall, homicides down 25.7%, aggravated assaults down 14.2%; property crimes down 10.4% overall, arson cases down 12%, and motor vehicle thefts down 29%.

ASU study critical of Phoenix’s reversible lanes

[Source: Casey Newton, Arizona Republic] — Phoenix should improve signage along its twin reversible-lane corridors or else eliminate them entirely, according to a new study from researchers at Arizona State University.  The report, which was commissioned last year by the City Council, will help decide the fate of reversible lanes on Seventh Avenue and Seventh Street.  The council will discuss the issue in September.

For more than 25 years, the lanes have eased the way for commuters coming downtown in the morning and returning home at night.  But residents and some merchants complain that the lanes confuse motorists and make the corridor unfriendly to pedestrians.  Surveys of more than 200 people by researchers at ASU’s Phoenix Urban Research Laboratory found widespread dissatisfaction with the lanes as they exist today.  The lack of left turns along the corridors causes cut-through traffic in neighborhoods and parking lots, erratic U-turns, and additional travel as drivers are forced to make a series of right turns, the authors found.  Some drivers simply avoid the streets altogether.  “Either an upgrading of the lanes or a return to normal operation is in order,” the authors wrote.  “If there were an inability to upgrade the signage, we feel that a most popular option would be to return the lanes to normal operation rather than keep them as is.”

Councilman Tom Simplot, whose district includes part of the study area, said the findings confirm that the lanes are a detriment to the area.  “I support the conclusion that the lanes should be eliminated,” he said.  But eliminating them would greatly increase commute times — doubling them on Seventh Avenue, a separate analysis by Phoenix’s streets department found.

Ramp meter lights to start flashing on I-17, I-10

[Source: Arizona Department of Transportation] — Two major freeways in central Phoenix will have ramp meters activated next week to help drivers merge safely and ease the flow of traffic during morning and evening commutes.  The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) will activate the ramp meters in time for the morning commute on Tuesday, Aug. 5.  They are located on westbound and eastbound I-10 (Maricopa Freeway), and on northbound I-17 (Black Canyon Freeway).

  • Westbound I-10 ramp meters will be activated at 40th St., 32nd St./University Dr., and Sky Harbor Blvd. during the morning commute from 6 to 9 a.m.
  • Eastbound I-10 ramp meters will operate during the evening commute from 3 to 7 p.m. and are located at 24th St., 32nd St./University Dr., and 40th St.
  • Northbound I-17 ramp meters will also regulate traffic during the evening rush hour.  They are located at 16th St., Seventh St., and Seventh Ave.

[Note: To read the full press release, click here.]

Frugal things to do in Phoenix

Phoenix Museum of HistoryBlogger Jason Mitchener writes that The Money Life Network has been running a series called “Frugal Things To Do In…” featuring frugal things to do in various cities. 

Having lived in Phoenix since 1972, Jason thought he would contribute his own list (most under $10 for an adult).  Click here to read Jason’s list of low-cost main attractions, museums, hiking and backpacking, and sports.

Do you know of others?

Revisions nearly done to Wesley Bolin Plaza’s Sept. 11 memorial

[Source: Associated Press] — Revisions to Arizona’s controversial Sept. 11 memorial are almost finished, nearly two years after the structure was first dedicated.  Memorial supporters hope the changes put to rest controversy about the memorial since it was unveiled at the state Capitol in downtown Phoenix on Sept. 11, 2006, the 5-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.

Among the changes made to the memorial include removing a pair of inscriptions referencing an “erroneous U.S. air strike” in Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden’s address to the American people.  Two less contentious inscriptions have taken their place, and a large plaque with a series of explanatory panels has been installed along the walkway leading to the memorial.