Daily Archives: December 29, 2008

Fatal car crashes in Phoenix down 29%

[Source: Associated Press] — Arizona’s new statewide speed-enforcement program certainly has its detractors.  But the Arizona Department of Public Safety says the program already is saving lives and helping prevent accidents.  Between Sept. 26 and Dec. 16 — the first 80 days of the program — DPS says fatal collisions in the Phoenix metro area decreased by 29% from the same time period last year.   Also in that time period, DPS says injury crashes decreased by 17%.

Arizona became the first state in the nation to launch a statewide photo enforcement program.  The program calls for 100 mobile and fixed devices on freeways throughout Arizona.  More than 40,000 drivers were issued tickets in the first two months of the program.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Metro Phoenix light rail now ready to take on serious commuters

[Source: Nick R. Martin and Mike Branom, East Valley Tribune] — The opening weekend of light rail in the Valley was mostly given over to spectators — the politicians, journalists and locals who were just plain curious.  But today, the first working day for many since the Metro went public, the rail line is expected to be handed over to the serious riders, the ones who will board it to reach their crosstown jobs and destinations.

For people like John Tynan, a Tempe Web developer, it means he and his wife can finally ditch one of their cars.  In fact, the couple’s transportation options were recently crippled when one of their two cars made a catastrophic trip to a repair shop.  Instead of buying a new car, they tried to figure out how they could manage life in the Valley with just one vehicle.  The opening of light rail, Tynan said, provided a solid push toward alternative transportation.  “It got us thinking that we could really become a one-car family.”  For them, it was an easy choice.  One of the Metro stations is less than a mile from their house.  Another in downtown Phoenix is just two blocks away from where Tynan will be starting a new job in mid-January.  “It’s pretty much door to door,” he said.

Metro officials are trying to assure commuters that they can also make light rail a part of their lives, even if they live much farther away from the single, 20-mile line.  On Sunday, Metro spokeswoman Hillary Foose stood on the platform of one of the stations, answering rider questions and frequently pointing them to the online “Trip Planner.”  The feature lets riders type in their starting address and destination, and in return, it gives them detailed directions on how to use buses and/or their own feet to meet up with the rail line.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]