Street (Tempe) Trees, Wide Sidewalks Encourage Pedestrians
Sometimes simple things make all the difference. By making sidewalks
wider and planting trees, planners in Tempe are making walking in the city safer and more
enjoyable. The West Fifth Street Pedestrian Improvements will combine the redevelopment of
a park and community center with smart-growth improvements to a key connector road.
Jaycee Park and the West Side Community Center had become run-down and needed repair.
But instead of just rebuilding, planners decided to also make West Fifth Street -- which
links the two projects with the surrounding community -- more walkable. To do this,
sidewalks are being widened and bike lanes are being added to the street. A row of trees
will be planted to create shade and provide a buffer between cars and people. Meanwhile,
measures meant to make drivers more aware of pedestrians -- like extending curbs at
crosswalks and replacing a traffic light with stop signs -- are being used to make the
area safer for those on foot.
(Phoenix) Del Webb Develops the Desert
Arizona has one of the nation's worst cases of suburban sprawl. Poorly
planned development has eaten up fragile desert open space at a dizzying rate. Does
Arizona need better tools to deal with sprawl and promote smart growth? You bet. The
Anthem housing development demonstrates why.
Anthem is a classic example of leapfrog development: A developer jumps over open
space to build far from existing communities. Del Webb, the developer, has thrown up 1,300
houses in the middle of the desert and has plans to expand the development to house up to
50,000 people. Unfortunately, Anthem's closest neighbor, New River, is a small, rural town
that has few jobs or shops and is located over 30 miles from downtown Phoenix. In fact,
before a new grocery store opened, residents had to drive almost 20 miles to reach a
Not only is Anthem quite far from everything its residents need, the development is
totally auto-dependent: There is no public transportation whatsoever between Anthem and
Phoenix. Current traffic has created serious air-quality problems for the area -- more
traffic will make it worse.
Del Webb plans to develop the overwhelming majority of the 5,800 acres they have
purchased at this site. Less than 20 percent will be protected from development, and most
of this open space will be used for a planned golf course and an artificial lake.