Jackson: a better, safer McDowell Road is essential for sustained growth

I’m a South Scottsdale resident who lives between Thomas and Mcdowell roads just East of Hayden. I also own a business in the south Scottsdale area that I started last year.

Steven Jackson

I’m encouraged about how the community is growing, and how many of the residents are actively involved in making south Scottsdale a better place. I’ve seen the reports lately about the rebranding of the McDowell Corridor and am hopeful for positive change.

Recently, however, crime seems to be up and the road has seen better days. There was a reported murder just off of McDowell Road a few weeks ago, and there have been numerous burglaries and reported crimes in our neighborhoods.

It is also difficult to walk along the McDowell Road Corridor at night, inadequate lighting along the road and in the surrounding areas reduces walkability. The sidewalks and roads are sometimes covered in trash, and the bus stops are frequently inhabited by people who aren’t waiting for the bus.

Thomas Road was recently rejuvenated through a city beautification project. Better lighting, roads, sidewalks, and a more prevalent police footprint might help to alleviate some of those problems for the McDowell Road Corridor. While costs might be prohibitive for some of the needed fixes, Scottsdale will only bring in the talented minds necessary for creation of a successful corridor if the brand is reflected by the feel of the community.

With all of the emphasis on development, rebranding, and new business, I hope the mayor, Scottsdale City Council, and the Gateway Alliance consider more than just the brand for the area. SkySong isn’t the first thing people will see as they come from the 101. A better, safer McDowell road will be an essential part of any sustained success for growth.

Editor’s note: Mr. Jackson is a resident and business owner in south Scottsdale

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