It’s the holiday season. There’s hustle. There’s bustle.

But seriously, people — you’re going way too fast.

On Saturday, my wife and I spent some time cleaning up the section of 7th Avenue that borders the North Park Central neighborhood, and cars were screaming up and down the road. Both 7th Avenue and 7th Street have a 35-mile-per-hour speed limit posted, and for good reason: they are residential areas. In fact, many of the streets in Downtown Phoenix are residential roads because (newsflash) people live in Downtown Phoenix.

Beside the fact that there are people living up and down these major arterial roads, speedy and congested traffic discourages alternative modes of transportation like walking and biking — furthering the auto-centric bias that has plagued our developing city for some time. A simple plea: Next time you have to use 7th Avenue or 7th Street to get somewhere by vehicle, give yourself enough time between appointments to drive 35. Bikers, walkers and residents alike will thank you.


  • Patrick

    Thank you for saying this — hopefully some people will heed these words. I’ve always wondered why people rush to sit in the I-10 gridlock.

  • Jacob

    Snowbirds need not heed this advice.

  • Did you just steal… I mean borrow Glendale’s slogan? 😉

    Great points SIR.

  • Matt

    Don’t forget that when you use my (or other) small side streets to avoid morning traffic on McDowell, don’t drive 40mph. And if you must drive that fast in a residential area, please leave your address so I can come by your neighborhood this weekend and drive obscenely fast in front of your house when children are playing.

  • People aren’t going to slow down until the City decides to wise up and get rid of silly things like the suicide lanes. The 7’s are super wide and designed as mini highways (from before the 17 and 51 existed) and encourage people to drive like maniacs to get in and out of downtown. The same problem is present with the one way streets West of the Capitol that are residential streets, as well as 5th & 3rd ave downtown. Until the City wises up and develops a traffic/transit plan that isn’t exclusively for the auto we’ll have this problem.

  • Anthony LaMesa

    I agree with Will. People aren’t just going to slow down because of the presence of residential homes. The city needs to act boldly and replace the suicide lanes with landscaped medians, modern streetcars or bus rapid transit (of course the transit options would have to be part of a comprehensive transit plan). When roads look like a freeway, people will drive like they’re on the freeway. When roads are narrowed by landscaping and/or transit, people will drive with the kind of care and discretion that one would expect from an urban environment.

    I think an awesome “test zone” for these kind of traffic calming methods would be 7th ST from Washington to Roosevelt where you have a lot new development. Right now, that street acts like a giant barrier between downtown proper and the Garfield historic district.