'Suicide' lanes recommendation to decide whether they stay or go

Posted: Updated:
Another public meeting scheduled
azfamily.com

PHOENIX - Many people say the so-called 'suicide' lanes are confusing and dangerous but they have been around for almost 30 years.

Two years ago taxpayers asked the city to study them and now they have the findings, which could spark controversy.

Kaylee Griffin stirs up coffee working as a barista at Copper Star, but it is driving there that stirs up her emotions.

It is scary because the so called 'suicide lane' sits in front of her coffee shop.

Weekday mornings on 7th Avenue and 7th Street drivers headed south can use the reversible center lane from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Drivers headed north in the afternoon can use it from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

It is supposed to ease congestion for commuters headed in and out of downtown but 3TV took a drive in the lane to see for ourselves.

While we did not have any near mishaps, customers at the coffee shop say they have had plenty so many of them avoid the area all together.

The city transportation department will soon make a recommendation to the city council and the traffic engineer says a recent study found a remarkably high number of drivers use the lanes and he says not only were there not a lot of crashes, but " there were a surprisingly low number of head-on crashes."

Regardless, Griffin says the lane is keeping fewer customers from crashing on her coffee.

The transportation department will make its recommendation to keep the lanes at the end of next month.

Then it will be up to city council to decide.