Mesa is seeking input from residents on how to better improve transportation means of all kinds throughout the city.
The city Transportation Department launched Move Mesa, a campaign designed to gather information and ideas for ways to boost the driving, walking and biking experiences in Mesa.
A two-minute resident survey posted on the department’s website features a variety of questions surrounding such commuting themes as more connected streets, better traffic flow, more bike lanes and more sustainable features incorporated into Mesa’s transportation grid.
Road-widening projects, shared-use pathways and traffic congestion are all touched upon in the survey.
“Reaching out to our residents is one way the City of Mesa plans our future,” Mayor John Giles said. “The input will help us prioritize upcoming projects that can range from more bike pathways to reducing road congestion.”
“I’m excited to see the results and learn how we can better serve the residents of Mesa,” he continued.
Some survey questions seek to determine priorities for safety – such as minimizing traffic congestion and removing bottlenecks – and others related to vehicle accidents and pedestrian safety.
Mesa is also focusing on providing “smart streets” through technology and infrastructure innovations.
Energy-efficiency technology for signals and streetlights, self-driving vehicles and synchronized traffic signals are all areas to be touched on in the future, explained transportation department spokesperson Amy McConnell.
“The survey has pretty broad questions and it’s very thematic,” she said. “We wanted to make sue we’re getting the types of thematic things that people are most interested in so we can kind of capture the whole city.”
“We’re not asking about any specific projects at this point,” she added.
Mesa Moves was initially inspired by the previous Imagine Mesa campaign, according to McConnell.
Imagine Mesa was an interactive digital forum designed to engage Mesa residents, businesses and visitors to share ideas for shaping Mesa’s future by getting public input on community priorities back in 2017.
“The city got a ton of engagement from residents,” said McConnell. “But transportation isn’t as visible as culture departments or parks and recreation and so people know what they want for those more visible things but when it comes to infrastructure, crowdsourcing is not apples to apples.”
She said the city is now hoping to use Mesa Moves as a way to “recreate the magic” of Imagine Mesa, but in a way that would hone in on transportation priorities.
The campaign also drew part of its inspiration from the Southeast Mesa Land Use & Transportation Plan, which was tailored to update the land use and transportation portions of the 2008 Mesa Gateway Strategic Development Plan.
“Earlier this year, the Southeast Mesa Transportation studies we did had some community meetings,” said McConnell. “We hosted two public meetings that had over 150 at each, so we were really excited to see that.
“But that was only one area of the city, so now we’re looking at this as a way to harness more ground,” she added.
Data collected from Mesa Moves will be provided to city staff to offer recommendations on proposed projects for potential implementation.
The Mesa Moves survey will be open for three months – but completing the survey is just the beginning of the information gathering process.
In the fall, the city will host a series of community meetings, interviews and focus groups to drill down into the details of what the community specifically wants regarding the transportation network.
“Transportation is a really big department and we have a lot going on,” said McConnell. “We all can make a decision on what to spend our investments on, but at the end of the day we want to be good stewards of our taxpayers – making sure we are delivering what they feel is priority one is very important.”
The survey will be open until Sept. 30 and can be found at mesaaz.gov/residents/transportation/mesa-moves.