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Bike boulevards to get a new name and update

Screen Shot 2013-03-21 at 6.31.26 AMSoon Tucson may not have any bike boulevards, not because they are going away, but because they will likely be renamed and rebranded.

Ann Chanecka, the City of Tucson’s bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, is starting a process to update the city’s bicycle boulevard master plan and one of the things she’s been hearing is that there is interest in renaming them.

She said communities like Portland changed the name of their bicycle boulevards to neighborhood greenways to make it more inclusive.

“It is just recognizing that the improvements that go into bicycle corridors also benefits pedestrians, kids walking to school, people waking their dogs in the evening, people walking to transit and just making the neighborhood more livable.

She added it has the added benefit of not turning people off because they don’t like bikes.

“Some people really enjoy having bike projects in their community and some people are less supportive,” she said. It’s more intuitive for some people to be like, ‘oh yeah, we are going to slow down traffic, we are going reduce cut-through traffic in our neighborhoods and we are going to make our streets nicer.'”

Chanecka is hoping to get input from the public on what the rebranded streets should be called. She’ll be checking this post, so leave a comment with your idea.

Some of the suggestions have been: Paseos, Urban Oases, Cool Street and People Promenades.

In addition to the rebranding of bike boulevards, Chanecka has three goals for the master plan update.

1. She wants to ensure that the identified network is the best network for the communities. The original bike routes – the ones with greens signs – through neighborhoods were identified in the seventies and changes might need to be made.

2. Chanecka wants to prioritize the corridors so she knows which ones ones should be the priorities.

3. She wants to get public input about the network and intends to create a survey to gather the opinions of the community.

Currently five bike boulevard projects are being worked on.

1. Third Street/ University is getting new bike boulevard signage and depending on funding may get a traffic circle or two.

2. Liberty is a federally funding project and is slowly making progress, but will be a while before construction starts.

3. Treat Avenue, Copper/Flower and 5th Street are all funded by the Regional Transportation Authority and the city is in the process of hiring a consultant to do the designs for the corridors.

Check out the interactive map below:


View Tucson Bike Boulevards in a larger map

14 comments
GatoGordo
GatoGordo

There is nothing wrong with "Bike Blvd."  It has become a recognizable term and isn't obscured by vague "green" or spanish terms that not everyone is familiar with.  The whole point of bike boulevard signage and promotion is to emphasize the infrastructure that is being put in place along these streets to make bicycling safer, more convenient, and less stressful.  It would be a mistake to remove "bike" from the naming.  These corridors must be pleasant and safe for pedestrians as well, but I believe the emphasis should be on bicycling.

Matt
Matt

Vias Verdes.  It's got a Tucson flair

EdCantrell
EdCantrell

Liberty is a federally funding project   =   Liberty is a federally funded project ?   Anyway it's good to know that it s being funded and is making progress slowly! 

GM
GM

Ambling Avenues, Bucolic Byways, Bucolic Backstreets, Car-lite Calles, Car-lite Concourse, Halcyon Highways, Mellow Milieus, Mellow-a-go-go, People Passageways, Placid Parkways, Placid Passageways (Plassageways?), Serene Streets, Tranquil Thoroughfares, Tranquil Thruways. . .

Gabrielle
Gabrielle

Replacing Yield signs with Stop signs not just around the 4th Avenue way, but in all residential streets, would be a great idea. I live in the Speedway/Country Club area and in our neighborhoods, (most) drivers will stop at Stop signs, yet regularly blow right through the Yield signs.  I think what happens is that unless they see a CAR (sorry, no other way to emphasize), their brain registers a "coast is clear" and they just zoom on.  I also think that more speed bumps at closer intervals would do much to calm (and also get rid of) fast/ cut through traffic in residential neighborhoods. A win for Living Streets and alternate transportation corridors. Martha, I am glad and relieved to hear that your friend was not physically harmed...hope the mental "shakes" subside soon too. After 2 car-doorings and one very close death-call, I stopped cycling for years.

Red Star
Red Star

In examining the two maps provided, it is notable to see a dream of correcting a huge gap in E/W and W/E boulevard cycling: connecting Rosemont at Wilmot to Pantano at 5th. Aside from cost, will, and easy technical problems (bridging two washes), does the presence of the Broadway/Pantano WQARF resulting from groundwater pollution at the old BNL make this connection problematic to impossible?

 

Is there another route that is more attainable?

MarthaRetallick
MarthaRetallick like.author.displayName 1 Like

I live just east of the 4th Avenue Bike Boulevard. I would like to bring the following concern to everyone's attention. A couple of weeks ago, I came upon a neighbor who was riding north on the Bike Boulevard. She was sobbing. Why? Because she was almost struck by a car at the intersection of 4th Avenue and Helen Street. This wasn't her first close call on the Boulevard. I've had them too. The problem relates to the signage on the side streets. Right now, the side streets that cross 4th at the roundabouts have yield signs. That isn't working. Too many drivers just blow right through the intersections. This is especially true at 4th Avenue and Drachman Street. Thus, I would like to request that all roundabout intersections be re-signed with stop signs on the side streets.

Nate Woiwode
Nate Woiwode

Dang it. I voted for "Wheelie Superhighways". :/

Gabrielle
Gabrielle

"Green Boulevards", "Green Corridors", "People Pathways", "Smart-Use Roadways"... just throwing some out there =)

jzora
jzora

It's hard to understand how anyone could not like a bicycle.  It's sort of like not liking a kayak, or not liking roller skates... any other quiet, low-impact transportation means. (Maybe people who don't like bicycles really don't like guys in spandex who race around and push pedestrians, old ladies, dogs and children out of their way by screaming "on your left" while barreling down the bike path...or riding two abreast in narrow high traffic areas because it's "safer.")  But all that aside...nice to see greenways are here to stay.  

guest
guest like.author.displayName 1 Like

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet"

CodyM48
CodyM48 like.author.displayName 1 Like

I like "neighborhood greenways." It's concise and to the point, uses a minimum of slang, uses no hokey alliteration, and matches the precedent set by Portland.

 

Whatever they're called, as long as we keep funding construction and improvements and spend a minimum on rebranding, I'm happy. I use several to get to and from downtown, friends' houses, and to run errrands 3-4 times per week. Thank you for all your hard work, Ann!

GM
GM

 @CodyM48 The problem with "neighborhood greenways" is that "green" is a four letter word to a lot of people.  It would cause more problems than it solves.