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Phoenix Bike Summit Recap

Phoenix bike summit provides opportunity for bicyclists and officials to discuss safety

Jack Fitzpatrick/DD

Phoenix bicyclists met with city officials in an annual bike summit hosted by the city’s Street Transportation Department Saturday to discuss issues that could increase the safety of local bicyclists.About 60 bicyclists, including several spandex-clad enthusiasts who rode to the summit, came to the Burton Barr Central Library in downtown Phoenix. They focused much of their attention on possible locations for new bike lanes.

City of Phoenix Traffic Safety and Bicycle Coordinator Joseph Perez began the six-hour meeting, providing statistics and possible solutions to obstacles facing Phoenix bicyclists.

Perez discussed High-intensity Activated Crosswalks, or HAWK, pedestrian crossings. The signals stop traffic for pedestrians crossing the road, and are cheaper than full traffic lights. Perez said Phoenix currently has nine HAWKs, but none downtown.

Kerry Wilcoxon, a traffic engineer for the City of Phoenix, mentioned “road diets,” which involve reducing the number of car lanes in a road and using the space to add bike lanes.

A road diet on 15th Avenue near Bethany Home Road effectively decreased traffic in a residential area, and made the avenue more navigable for bicyclists, Wilcoxon said.

Wilcoxon said the bike summit was especially important for Phoenix officials to get direct opinions from the bicycling community.

“The main thing you can do is be here today, and follow up on what we’re doing,” Wilcoxon said.

Phoenix police officer Toby Ehrler discussed traffic laws involving bicycling and said Phoenix police are not currently sufficiently trained in traffic laws that relate to bicyclists.

“I would say the training is somewhere between zero and, in all honesty, no more than a couple hours,” Ehrler said.

Ehrler said he was in the process of trying to make a mandatory training video focusing on bicycles for Phoenix police officers.

About 12 people raised their hands when Ehrler asked how many in the crowd had been hit by a car while riding a bicycle.

“Subconsciously, as a driver or as a motorist, you’re looking for a car,” Ehrler said. “You’re looking for a truck. You’re looking for the UPS guy because you’re expecting that package. You’re looking for everything other than a bicyclist.”

One of the “break-out” sessions included bicyclists from specific areas in Phoenix, like downtown and Ahwatukee, drawing on maps of their neighborhoods where they thought improvements could be made for bicyclists.

Brent Freiberger, a downtown resident who has commuted by bicycle since 1993, said many downtown bicyclists wanted a bike lane on Third Street from Indian School Road at least as far south as Fillmore Street.

Wearing bright yellow and red cycling apparel after riding his bike to the summit, Freiberger said he came to learn about the issues affecting him as a bicyclist. He said bicycling had made him feel more independent than people who rely on cars.

“Maintaining a car was an unnecessary burden,” he said. “With the combined insurance cost and fuel cost, I discovered I could live a fuller life without being shackled to a car.”

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Bike Summit coming to downtown Phoenix on March 18

[Source: City of Phoenix]

Bicycle Summit in downtown PhoenixThe city’s Street Transportation Department will host a free Bicycle Summit from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 19, at Burton Barr Library, 1221 N. Central Ave.


The summit will include discussions on:

  • Possible projects: Bicycle Boulevard, City of Phoenix Bicycle Plan 2011
    Meetings and events: Bicycle Initiatives Subcommittee, Bicycle to Work 2011, San Tan Wheelie Jam (bicycle festival)
  • Opportunities to improve conditions for bicyclists: 2011 street overlay, tunnels, bridges, paths, bike lanes, etc.
  • Resources: Bicycle Collision Summary, Bicycle Graphic Novel for Children, Maps
  • Possible long-term projects: Connections between Parks and Recreation Department trails and on-street bicycle facilities, road diets to add bike lanes, bicycle corrals and racks.

Residents who ride a bicycle for commuting, athletic training or recreation are invited to attend.

For more information about bicycling in Phoenix, visit

To reserve a seat at the free event, please contact Joseph Perez, Phoenix bicycle coordinator, at 602-534-9529 or


“Cartography and the Cultural Terrain III” Exhibit at Downtown Phoenix ‘s Burton Barr Library

[Source: Phoenix Public Library]

Phoenix Public Library Exhibits “Cartography and the Cultural Terrain III” by Deborah Springstead Ford

"OM" Silver gelatin print, 12" x 12" © 2008/9 Deborah Springstead Ford

Burton Barr Central Library will host an exhibit by Deborah Springstead Ford, titled “Cartography and the Cultural Terrain III,” Jan. 12 – March 20 at the library’s @Central Gallery, 1221 N. Central Ave.

In this body of work, Ford combines photographic images of landscapes and geological forms with historic maps and text to explore the ideas surrounding westward expansion, colonialism and the search for natural resources.

Ford uses photography to engage viewers with issues of the environment and our relationship to it.  Her images are often altered in the camera or in the darkroom, using various photographic techniques, resulting in one-of-a-kind pieces.

"Shoshone" Silver gelatin print, 12" x 12" © 2009 Deborah Springstead Ford


Phoenix Public Library is a system of 15 branch libraries and the Burton Barr Central Library.  For more information, call 602-262-4636 or visit  Follow them on Twitter at


NPR’s StoryCorps coming to Downtown Phoenix in January

[Source: City of Phoenix]

KJZZ joins StoryCorps to record stories told by Valley residents during the month of January

Photo credit: Omar Omar on Flickr

StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs, is en route to Phoenix, Ariz. to record 120 interviews with Valley residents from Jan. 6 – 29 as part of its cross-country MobileBooth tour.

The StoryCorps team will collaborate with public radio station KJZZ 91.5 FM to record voices of the Valley.  KJZZ will air selections of the local interviews recorded in the StoryCorps MobileBooth—an Airstream trailer outfitted with a recording studio—and create special programming related to the project. Segments of select interviews may also air nationally on NPR’s Morning Edition.

“We’re in the business of storytelling, so it only makes sense we join in this partnership, said KJZZ Programming Manager and Associate General Manager Bill Shedd.  “Among our most important priorities is to create a forum in which Arizona listeners can hear and share stories with people from all around the globe.  This StoryCorps project gives us another way to do that.  We also think the Arizona StoryCorps archives will make a great gift to our state for its centennial celebration.”

Reservations will be available 10 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 16 and can be made by calling StoryCorps’ 24-hour toll-free reservation line at 1-800-850-4406 or visiting  Additional appointments will be available on Jan. 7.  Reservations are restricted to one per family. Participants can find more details on what to expect and how to prepare at  Open reservations for the public are likely to fill quickly.  In addition to public interviews, StoryCorps will reserve interview appointments for people served by a diverse group of Valley community organizations.

The MobileBooth will be parked at the Phoenix Public Library’s Burton Barr Central Library (1221 N. Central Ave.), which draws more than 2,000 daily visitors from a wide range of cultural, social, and economic backgrounds.

KJZZ and the Phoenix Public Library will host a press conference and an opening ceremony in front of the Burton Barr Central Library on Jan. 6 at 11:30 a.m. to welcome the StoryCorps team and to celebrate the StoryCorps launch in Phoenix.

“We are very excited to welcome StoryCorps to Phoenix,” said Mayor Phil Gordon.  “Our Burton Barr Central Library is a place where stories are told, read and created every day – a perfect complement to the StoryCorps mission.”

StoryCorps’ MobileBooth interviews are conducted between two people who know and care about each other. A trained StoryCorps facilitator guides participants through the interview process. At the end of each 40-minute recording session, participants receive a complimentary CD copy of their interview. With participant permission, a second copy is archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for future generations to hear.

Founded in 2003 by award-winning documentary producer and MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient Dave Isay, StoryCorps aims to create a growing portrait of who we are as Americans. By traveling to every corner of the country, StoryCorps currently has one of the largest collections of American voices ever gathered, with interviews collected from more than 60,000 Americans in all 50 states.

“StoryCorps tells the true American story—that we are a people defined by small acts of courage, kindness and heroism. Each interview reminds people that their lives matter and will not be forgotten,” said Isay. “By strengthening connections between people and building an archive that reflects the rich diversity of American voices, we hope to build StoryCorps into an enduring institution that will touch the lives of every American family.”

In addition to two traveling MobileBooths, StoryCorps currently operates stationary recording booths at Foley Square in New York City, at Atlanta’s public radio station WABE-FM, and at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco.

To ensure a diversity of participants, StoryCorps sponsors four major initiatives: Historias collects the stories of Latinos throughout the United States and Puerto Rico; Griot preserves the voices and experiences of African Americans; the Memory Loss Initiative reaches out to people affected by various forms of memory loss; and the September 11 Initiative honors and remembers the stories of those most personally affected by the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

To help offset its operating costs, StoryCorps requests a donation of at least $25 for each MobileBooth interview. If participants cannot afford the suggested donation, they may participate at no cost to ensure that StoryCorps remains a free public service.

About StoryCorps

StoryCorps’ mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, preserve, and share their stories. StoryCorps is currently one of the fastest-growing nonprofits in the country. Each week, millions of Americans listen to StoryCorps’ award-winning broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition. StoryCorps has published two books: Listening Is an Act of Love in 2007 and Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps in 2010—both of which are New York Times bestsellers. StoryCorps’ major funders include: The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), The Atlantic Philanthropies, The Ford Foundation, The Annenberg Foundation, The Kaplen Foundation, and Joe and Carol Reich. StoryCorps also relies on support from its participants and listeners. For more information, or to listen to stories online, visit

About KJZZ 91.5 FM

KJZZ is a listener-supported public broadcasting station licensed to the Maricopa Community College District.  It is a community service of Rio Salado College’s Division of Public Service, which also includes KBAQ 89.5, Sun Sounds of Arizona and MCTV.  KJZZ features a mix of local and NPR news, entertainment, jazz and blues—serving more than 240,000 weekly listeners.  For more information, visit

This KJZZ and StoryCorps MobileBooth visit is made possible in part by the financial support of Simply Bread, a locally owned bakery serving Phoenix since 2006.



Downtown Phoenix’s Burton Barr Central Library offers extended hours

Flickr image by all in green

Beginning today, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010, Phoenix Public Library will offer expanded hours of service at Burton Barr Central Library (1221 N. Central Ave.)   The library will now be open until 9 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.  These additional hours were funded through budget saving measures identified by library.

Mesquite Library (4525 Paradise Village Parkway N.) will also offer extended hours.

For more information, call 602-262-4636 or visit  Follow on Twitter at

December College Depot Workshops for Students and Parents

[Source: City of Phoenix]

College Depot, located on the second floor of Burton Barr Central Library at 1221 N. Central Ave., will host four free workshops in English and Spanish in December.

  • Understanding Financial Aid
    Thursday, Dec. 2, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
    Learn about grants, work study, loans and scholarships.
  • No Parent Left Behind: Helping Your Students Through the College Planning Process
    Tuesday, Dec. 7, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
    Survival for you and help for your students during this transition.
  • How to Pay for College (in Spanish)
    Saturday, Dec. 11, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
    Figure out how to pay for college by exploring financial aid and scholarships.
  • Organizational Skills to Get You Through College
    Tuesday, Dec. 14, 5:00-6:15 p.m.
    Learn about goal setting, time management, study skills and note taking.

Space is limited. To register or for more information, call 602-261-8847 or e-mail

College Depot is a full-service college planning center that offers free one-on-one assistance, family consultation and workshops on all aspects of the college planning process, from financial aid to career exploration. The service is open to anyone seeking assistance with planning for college.

For a complete list of workshops and events, visit

Follow on Twitter at

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City of Phoenix Meetings and Events, Nov 15th – 21st

Here’s this week’s list of downtown and central Phoenix related meetings and events hosted by the City of Phoenix:

Monday, Nov. 15

Construction Begins on Central Station, Bus stops relocated, $5 million ARRA project

Central Avenue and Van Buren Street

Marie Chapple, 602-261-8254


5:30 p.m. Public Meeting on Proposed Taxicab Ordinance

Steele Indian School Park, Memorial Hall, 300 E. Indian School Road

Marcie Colpas, 602-262-6164

Tuesday, Nov. 16

10 a.m. City Council Seniors, Families and Parks Subcommittee

Phoenix City Hall, 12th floor, City Council Subcommittee Room, 200 W. Washington St.

Alejandro Montiel, 602-261-8512


1 p.m. City Council Finance, Efficiency and Innovation Subcommittee

Phoenix City Hall, 12th floor, City Council Subcommittee Room, 200 W. Washington St.

Alejandro Montiel, 602-261-8512


4 – 5 p.m. College Depot Workshop, “College 101,”

Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N. Central Ave., second floor,

Rita Marko, 602-534-2025

Wednesday, Nov. 17

9:30 a.m. Prescription Drug Discount Card Program Kickoff News Conference

Phoenix City Hall, 11th floor, Mayor’s Conference Room, 200 W. Washington St.

Jon Brodsky, 602-261-8980


3 p.m. City Council Formal Meeting

Phoenix City Council Chambers,200 W. Jefferson St.

Alejandro Montiel, 602-261-8512


6 p.m. Public Briefing on Status of Park Lee Apartments

Park Lee Apartment Clubhouse, 1600 West Highland Avenue

Lisa Hubbard, 602-348-0228

Friday, Nov. 19

Noon Faces of Diversity Brown Bag Series, “Thanksgiving: A Cornucopia of Faiths”

Phoenix City Council Chambers, 200 W. Jefferson St.

Marcie Colpas, 602-262-6164


Saturday, Nov. 20

8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Healing Racism Series, “Uncovering Racial Perspectives: A Day-long Exploration”

GateWay Community College, MA 1100 N and S, 108 N. 40th St.

Sina Matthes, 602-534-6648


2 – 3 p.m. College Depot Workshop, “Colegio” 101, in Spanish

Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N. Central Ave., second floor

Rita Marko, 602-534-2025

The meetings listed in the calendar are accurate as of Friday, Nov. 12.  For possible changes and additional city meetings, visit

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City of Phoenix Meetings and Events, Nov 1st – 7th

Here’s this week’s list of downtown and central Phoenix related meetings and events hosted by the City of Phoenix:

Monday, Nov. 1

6:15 p.m. Encanto Village Planning Committee

Phoenix College, Willo Conference Room, 3310 N. 10th Ave.

Michael Hammett, 602-495-5405

Tuesday, Nov. 2

5 – 6 p.m. College Depot Workshop, “SAT vs ACT: What is the Difference”

Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N. Central Ave., second floor

Rita Marko, 602-534-2025

6 p.m. Camelback East Village Planning Committee

Devonshire Senior Center, 2802 E. Devonshire Ave.

Michael Hammett, 602-495-5405

Wednesday, Nov. 3

10 a.m. City Council Downtown, Aviation and Economy Subcommittee

Phoenix City Hall, 12th floor, City Council Subcommittee Room, 200 W. Washington St.

Alejandro Montiel, 602-261-8512

3 p.m. City Council Formal Meeting

City Council Chambers, 200 W. Jefferson St.

Alejandro Montiel, 602-262-8512

Thursday, Nov. 4

9 a.m. – noon Fair Housing Workshop

Phoenix City Hall, assembly room D, 200 W. Washington St.

Marcie Colpas, 602-262-6164

10 a.m. City Council Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability Subcommittee

Phoenix City Hall, 12th floor, City Council Subcommittee Room, 200 W. Washington St.

Alejandro Montiel, 602-261-8512

5 p.m. Mayor’s State of the Downtown

CityScape, 1 E. Washington St., (Washington to Jefferson streets on Central Avenue)

Gerardo Higginson, 602-534-9505

Friday, Oct. 22

10 a.m. – noon Grant Writing 101

Neighborhood Services Department West Facility, 3325 W. Flower St., Suite 100

Lisa Honebrink, 602-262-6180

1 – 2:30 p.m. Meet Journalist Terry Green Sterling,

Burton Barr Central Library, Pulliam Auditorium, 1221 N. Central Ave.

Rita Marko, 602-534-2025

The meetings listed in the calendar are accurate as of Friday, Oct. 29.  For possible changes and additional city meetings, visit

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Hance Park Visioning Session on Nov 3

Phoenix Library - Burton Barr Central Library

Image via Wikipedia

The 20th anniversary of Margaret T. Hance Park (Deck Park) is fast approaching. Work is under way to pump new life into the 32-acre park that is built above the Deck Park Tunnel.  The City is constructing ADA upgrades for the Phoenix Center for the Arts, as well as adding a skateboard plaza and basketball court in the park.  They want residents’ input on other possibilities for the park.


Burton Barr Central Library 4th Floor Lecture Hall

1221 N Central Ave

Wednesday, Nov 3, 4 – 5:30 pm

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Donate your Used Pens, Pencils and Markers at Phoenix Public Library

[Source: City of Phoenix]

Phoenix Public Library and the city of Phoenix Public Works Department kick off Recycle Write on Monday, Nov. 1, 2010. Visit any one of 16 library locations or nine OfficeMax retail stores in Phoenix to deposit used pens, pencils and markers of all types in designated collection containers.

The collected writing instruments will be shipped to TerraCycle, a company specializing in making consumer products from post-consumer materials. Proceeds from the program benefit the Friends of the Phoenix Public Library. Founded in 1977, the Friends support library programs such as the children’s summer reading game, GED classes and other services.

Newell Rubbermaid Office Products is assisting the Friends by underwriting the cost of shipping collected materials to TerraCycle.

Phoenix Public Library is a system of 15 branch libraries and the Burton Barr Central Library. For more information, call 602-262-4636 or visit Follow them on Twitter at

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