"Based on existing regulations governing allowable markings in the street, as well as overriding concerns with safety, risks and federal guidelines for markings on streets, the City of Phoenix cannot accommodate your request," read a letter signed by city manager Ed Zuercher to the mural planner. "...installation of a mural, or any other non-standard markings, on a city street...is not currently allowed."
The letter was posted on Twitter by Phoenix city councilman Sal DiCiccio on Sept. 9.
The proposed mural would have included the "Black Lives Matter" statement along with painted images of Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez and John Lewis. The proposal also aims to have the mural near Talking Stick Resort Area, Phoenix City Hall or the Arizona State Capitol.
Community members in Phoenix requested approval for the project and had planned to meet with the city's Street Transportation Department to address location and costs as well as any safety or liability concerns for the mural in a city meeting on Sept. 2. The agenda item pertaining to the mural project, however, was withdrawn, and the city did not provide a reason.
Cities across America, including New York City, Chicago and Minneapolis have approved similar street murals in support of Black Lives Matter.
The Black Phoenix Organizing Collective spoke out against the mural, calling it an "empty gesture."