A woman was struck and killed by a motorcycle while crossing South Mountain Parkway in Ahwatukee’s Mountain Ranch community last week.
Jan Hong, identified by Phoenix Police only as being in her 60s, was crossing in the 15000 block of South Mountain Parkway around 8:18 p.m. Nov. 11 when a 2009 Suzuki motorcycle operated by an unidentified 32-year-old man struck and killed her.
The pedestrian was declared dead at the scene and the motorcyclist was rushed to the hospital with what police called serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
“He was wearing a helmet,” police spokesman Sgt. Tommy Thompson said. “Impairment does not appear to have been a factor in this collision.”
It is unknown if speeding was a factor, but a Mountain Park Ranch resident who has been complaining of conditions in and around his community said the area has long been a danger to pedestrians.
John Broussal, who came upon the accident while jogging, said, “I was not surprised that a pedestrian was hit and killed at this location.
“From Ray Road to Chandler Boulevard, there are no crosswalks provided along that entire stretch of S. Mountain Parkway,” Broussal said. “And this is a very dangerous and out of control stretch of road, where excessive speed is very common.”
Oddly, the city has installed curb ramps for wheelchairs at the intersection of E. Ranch Circle South and the parkway, he noted, “but failed to paint crosswalks.”
“Each and every time that I cross that intersection, it is a potentially dangerous situation,” he said
“There is a lot of traffic, much of which is traveling at excessive speeds, and very seldom, if ever, does a vehicle yield to pedestrians at this intersection.
“In fact, because there are no crosswalks, many motorists honk their horns or verbally chastise pedestrians trying to cross this intersection.”
Brussal said the city “has known about this situation for several years” and that other neighbors “have told me that they have called the City of Phoenix to raise attention to the problem and I myself have also called and requested crosswalks at this intersection.”
It appears the victim was crossing the parkway near E. Ranch Circle South, Broussal said and that there was “a very lengthy trail of motorcycle parts” extending from the site where she had been struck.
“Sadly, someone appears to have lost their life due to the City of Phoenix’s negligence in addressing the well-known problems at this intersection,” Broussal said.
Streets spokeswoman Heather Murphy said, “We are required to upgrade ramps to the latest ADA standards before we do any other work on the streets.”
Noting that the city “recently paved both Ray Road and S. Mountain Parkway,” she said, “we have a pending project” for the fiscal year beginning next July 1 “to go north on East Ranch Circle.”
“I’m sure the work is in preparation for future work,” she said of the new curbs, though she added, “As for the striping, I don’t know if a crosswalk is planned for that area.”
Murphy also said the three curb ramps have been there since at least 2008 and never had crosswalk striping.
What crews did recently as part of microsurfacing and overlay projects was to upgrade the ramps to meet new Americans with Disabilities Act requirements that call for “truncated domes” rather than solely brick pavers.
“Two were judged as needing to be replaced,” Murphy said. pointing to two that would allow crossing S. Ranch Circle E.
“The ramps are more obvious now with concrete and domes whereas before the brick pavers served as the ramp. Still, there was no crosswalk prior to the ramps being upgraded. Not all ramps lead to a striped crosswalk,” she added.
Speeding on main thoroughfares has long been a complaint in Ahwatukee, and police have said in recent months they would be increasing patrols to crack down on it.