Phoenix OKs changes at reverse-lane intersections

The intersection of Seventh Avenue and Camelback Road will get a left -turn signal, one of biggest changes drivers will see on Phoenix’s reverse lanes since they were installed more than 30 years ago.

The new left turn during reverse-lane hours is expected to be active by the end of August and is one of many changes the City Council approved Wednesday to the controversial lanes on Seventh Street and Seventh Avenue.

The city will monitor safety and traffic changes at Seventh Avenue and Camelback Road for a year to help determine if the left-turn signal should stay and if more left-turn signals should be added along the reverse lanes.

Councilman Tom Simplot, who has been fighting for years to remove the reverse lanes, said this is just a first step that could lead to more changes in the future…

…Councilman Bill Gates, who represents much of north Phoenix, was the only dissenting vote Wednesday. He said the city’s budget for construction projects was already stripped of $12 million by Arizona lawmakers trying to balance the state budget this year and that instead of spending nearly $5 million for lights and beacons along the reverse lanes, the city should save its money for neighborhood street projects that residents have been demanding for years.

Gates also said city studies and reviews by outside consultants have proven that the reverse lanes are no more dangerous than any other major street in Phoenix.

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Bill Gates serves as the District 3 Supervisor for Maricopa County. His Maricopa County District 3 reaches from the far southern boundary of McDowell Road, north to the border of Yavapai County, from the eastern boundary of Scottsdale Road in places, to the western boundary of 43rd Avenue and includes the areas of Anthem, New River, and Desert Hills.

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