OPINION: Asks ‘What were they thinking?’ on Bullard Avenue ‘road diet’

Surprise Legacy Traditional School students cross the intersection of Bullard and Sweetwater avenues after school in this Jan. 26, 2018 file photo. [Jacob Stanek/Independent Newsmedia]

What do you think?

Is Bullard Avenue now better or worse than before?

Share your opinions below or email: wvnews@newszap.com


Dear Surprise Today editor:

Now that the new Surprise City Council has officially started, I would like to respectfully suggest that they clean up the Bullard Avenue mess once and for all.

More than three years ago, part of Bullard Avenue’s “road diet,” the plan to direct vehicular traffic by painting lines in the street, was abruptly changed to include a golf cart lane for an area with no golf carts.

This fiasco was met with an uproar from local citizens involving a bureaucracy including ADOT, new traffic lights, and another traffic study to come up with a plan to make that avenue safe for the many school children in the surrounding area.

Recently, this problem, instead of being solved, was substituted for another problem.

The “solution” was to construct a concrete curb separating the vehicular lanes from the bicycle lane. Now the traffic lanes for autos are narrower and present a hazard for drivers turning onto Bullard.

There was at least one minivan that drove over the six-inch-high curb and became stuck on top of it. I believe that family got out safely but had to be wondering: “What were they thinking.”

The isolated bike lane is not level and full of debris—presumably left over from the construction. A standard street sweeper is unable to clean that five-foot-wide section separated from the main road, causing one to ask: “What were they thinking?”

Most recently small plastic reflective indicators were installed at the beginning of the concrete barrier. The numerous black tire marks against the new barrier show that the reflectors have little effect, causing one to ask: “What were they thinking?”

I respectfully suggest the new City Council members create a personal file for their office and label it: “What was I thinking?”

This might be used as a cautionary tool to give them pause before rushing into a decision on new issues. But this is not meant to intimidate them against pushing for their won agendas.

There is a new wave of optimism for this City Council! They have the support of many residents who are praying for their success.

I hope they will charge in with fresh, bold initiatives; be creative when solving problems; and move forward with imaginative ideas.

And with each new action, briefly pause to consider: “Will this end up in my ‘What was I thinking’ folder later on?”

John Yaeger, Surprise

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