Students request stop signs be implemented near Bioscience High School

Residents have expressed concerns for years about the busy intersection near Phoenix Union Bioscience High School. Students noticed the intersection has continuous traffic, especially around school start and end time. (Emily Mudge/DD)

Former students at Bioscience High School are pushing for 4-way stop signs to be placed at intersections surrounding the school.

Residents have expressed concerns for years about the busy intersection near the school. Students noticed the intersection has continuous traffic, especially around school start and end time.

Meagan Farney-Schamp, a Bioscience teacher, helped a group of students with their drive to bring awareness to the city about the additional safety the intersection appeared to need.

“Most Bioscience High School students walk to school from Valley Metro light rail stops, bus stops, or surrounding neighborhoods,” Farney-Schamp said. “In the interest of student safety, we’d like to see 4-way stop signs installed on Sixth and McKinley streets, as well as on Fifth and McKinley streets. Well-marked crosswalks would also help keep our students safe.”

Most students who advocated for the signs to be placed at the intersection have graduated and won’t be able to see the addition, but it will benefit the incoming and currently-enrolled students, she said.

Lenah Lankhaar graduated from Bioscience High School in 2015, and she, along with other students, wanted to make sure the busy intersection would be safe for the high schoolers.

“We did a project on it our senior year of high school to get 4-way stops surrounding the school and better crosswalks by the school,” Lankhaar said. “Our main focus was to better the surroundings.”

Lankhaar noticed how the area wasn’t the safest situation for herself and other students to be placed in.

“The traffic definitely made it more dangerous, especially with Seventh Street close by,” Lankhaar said. “There’s a lot of parallel parking nearby, the crosswalks were super faded, I don’t believe there were 4-way stops so you had to watch for traffic; and at the time, there was a lot of construction.”

Senior Superintendent of Construction for Chasse Building Team Kenneth Guadiana said he knows there’s been a progressive amount of construction in the valley, not only downtown Phoenix.

He said he wasn’t surprised that there were requests for stop signs to be placed near a school.

“We get a lot of our work surrounding school work in the summer times, and this includes anything that directs traffic,” Guadiana said.

He said counters — little black boxes that send a shot of air and simultaneously count every time a car passes by — will likely be placed at the intersections.

“Someone has to request it, then the city will do surveys over the course of a week at different times,” he said. “The city will do a review and decide ‘yay’ or ‘nay.’”

Currently, Guadiana doesn’t have any specific information regarding the stop signs being placed at Fifth and Sixth and McKinley streets.

Officials from the city of Phoenix’s Street Transportation Department were not available for comment on this story.

Contact the reporter at Suelen.Rivera@asu.edu.