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BAC takes up bike parking debate

This bike parking at the Himmel Library is close to the front door, which makes it easy for cyclists to see and use.

The Tucson-Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee passed two motions to oppose the city planning commission’s new bicycle parking codes, which control the location and number of bicycle parking spaces.

The committee will send two letters to the mayor and city council, who have the final say on the parking code.

The letters will ask the council to change the bicycle parking code to match the bicycle parking guidelines of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals.

Ann Chanecka, a Pima Association of Governments bicycle and pedestrian planner, said the League of American Bicyclists knocked the region for its bike parking during the last time the region applied for platinum certification.

According to Chanecka, the new application asks whether the region’s parking code is as good or better than the APBP guidelines.

During the meeting, BAC member Kylie Walzak said officials need to plan for the city we want, not the city we have.

“What kind of a community do we want to promote?” Walzak said. “This is an important decision. We are BAC, we need to set high expectations and take the lead on this.”

The committee discussed bicycle parking distances and the number of bicycle parking spaces required for developments separately, but ultimately decided in both instances it was important to follow the APBP standard.

Additionally the letters will stress that the APBP standards are a bare minimum and would like the council add an incentive program for businesses that go above and beyond the bare minimums.

BAC members also want the letters to note the economic benefit cyclists provide to businesses and that the city is trying to raise the cycling rate in the region to 5 percent.

Bike facility standards approved

The BAC approved a document which will be forwarded to local jurisdictions, outlining minimum standards for  bicycle facilities in the region.

The goal of the guide is to encourage local governments to follow the same guidelines when designing bicycle facilities so that cyclists and motorists can expect the same types of facilities throughout the region.

Here are some of the notable suggestions:

Traffic lanes be limited to 10-11’ wide wherever necessary to accommodate on-road bike routes
with striped shoulders to assist in keeping traffic speed reduced and allow
adequate space for the on-road bicycle routes….

Request the standard width for on-road bike routes in new construction should be 6’ for a paved
shoulder or 6’ with vertical curb and no gutter pan….

Signs for bicyclists indicating “Wrong Way” should be placed on the back of Bike Route/Bike Lane
signs for the purpose of keeping the bicycle traffic flow with vehicular traffic…

“Colored lanes” be used where vehicular traffic crosses an on-road bike route such as at right turn
lanes, drop lanes, merges and constricted conditions. Examples include Rillito Bridge over Dodge.
Green pavement markings could also be implemented in new construction, such as bike boxes for
westbound bicyclist from La Cholla traveling north to Magee.

The “Bike Lane Ends” signs should be eliminated; or, if it remains required, a “Share the Road”
sign should immediately follow. The addition of sharrows with “Share the Road” signs could be of
benefit when used in these situations.

Download the entire document.

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