Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Now playing:
On Air
Listen Live

City of Tempe unveils design for multi-million-dollar pedestrian and bicycle bridge near ASU campus

Tempe is constructing a new pedestrian bridge east of Arizona State University.

During a public information meeting on Sept. 14, Principal Planner Chase Walman introduced Tempe Residents to a new preliminary design for the bridge to be built over an abandoned railroad spur off the Union Pacific Railroad.

The bridge is designed to allow bicyclists and pedestrians to easily access Broadway Rd. from Apache Blvd. The shaded bridge is part of the Tempe Transportation Master Plan and Vision Zero Tempe Grand Plan to turn Tempe into a “20-minute city”. 

The idea of a 20-minute city is a city where the residents can easily walk or bicycle to meet all basic, daily, non-work needs.

Funding will be provided through the Maricopa Association of Governments Design Assistance grant program.

“We cannot give exact figures, but looking at previous pedestrian projects, we are looking at a multimillion-dollar project,” Walman said.

The design concepts received feedback, both positive and negative feedback, from Tempe residents. Matthew Salenger, a resident, raised concerns about the bridge’s design.

“I don't like the idea of having to rely on public art; I would like to see a little more thought be put into making the design more human,” Salenger said.

Other residents had concerns about the bridge’s safety. On the early design rendering, near the bridge's apex over the railroad, there is a sharp, near-45-degree angle with minimal railings, which some residents believed would not be ideal for a bicycle bridge. 

“I agree with the point about the bikes and people whipping around the corner and hitting somebody,” Salenger said. “Having some visual marks around there is great; otherwise, it's going to feel very inhuman to be in there, and it's not going to be very welcoming.”

The city offered to add a stairs shortcut near the curve’s vertex to increase visibility and allow pedestrians on foot to walk the path more easily.

Some residents, however, support construction of the bridge. Steven Gerner, who is the president of Tempe Bicycle Action Group, a nonprofit organization working to make bicycling prominent and safe, was in favor of the design.

“We are super excited for this route to be completed,” he said. “This one was planned in the 1990 general master plan, so I am so excited to see it coming to fruition after so many years.”

Gerner said the complaints are “little things.” He said he is happy with the progress Tempe is making.

The reception has been largely positive, with the project only in the preliminary design phase. 

The City of Tempe plans to gather feedback for the next couple of weeks. Tempe then plans to perfect the design, returning in January or February to present those refined designs and asking for additional feedback.

“From there, we anticipate finishing that final project assessment report 15 percent level plans and a cost estimate in the springtime,” Walman said.

Tempe plans to start construction within the next two years.

Similar Posts