Pages Navigation Menu

Tucson's two-wheeled news source

Chanecka pleasantly surprised by level of bike friendliness in city staff

Kidical Mass bikers ride down Third Street, which is slated for some improvements, but will not get new pavement.

Ann Chanecka has been Tucson’s bicycle and pedestrian program manager for three weeks. We caught up with her early this week to see how she is adjusting to her new role.

Turns out there is a lot of catching up. Chanecka said she has spent her first two weeks trying to get the lay of the land.

She said she’s been attempting to figure out what projects the city has on the books and which ones need her attention the most. She’s concerned about overcommitting because there are so many things she wants to be doing.

She is also learning how to navigate the larger bureaucracy of the City of Tucson. She said it’s been interesting to come from Pima Association of Governments with 40 workers to the City of Tucson, which has 5,000.

Chanecka said she has been pleasantly surprised about the number of people throughout the city government who are trying to work toward better bicycle infrastructure in their projects.

“There are a lot of people who are really interested in providing better bike and ped facilities than I was ever aware,” she said. “There really are a lot of people trying to be aware of the issues in their projects.”

Though she did say a lot of the projects appear to be underfunded.

She said she is developing a list of items that need her immediate attention and a list of things she is hoping to get to.

On her list of to-do items now:

  • Third Street enhancements (no pavement fixes)
  • Safety improvements for Aviation Bike Path intersections
  • A midtown bike map (More on this next week)
  • Road diet on Church Street
  • Streetcar bike facilities

Chanecka said the biggest challenges facing the department are a lack of funding and a lack of personel in the bike and pedestrian department.

8 comments
zz
zz

Well, yea, sure, OK, I guess. But something doesn't gel. If there are so many people throughout city government so interested in better bike infrastructure, yet right off the bat: 'No Pavement for 3rd St.!!' with hundreds of cyclists then where and what exactly is their focus? Seems like it's some sort of taboo subject. Why isn't heavy use justification for a mile of pavement treatment? Can you look at the 4th/Fontana Bike boulevard and say something's been done for our bicycle infrastructure? There's nobody on it. Don't people using it/whatever figure in the picture?

Colby
Colby

Just like auto infrastructure, it's way easier to find funding for bike lanes, green paint, bike blvds etc. There's no ribbon cutting for new pavement.

zz
zz

It's a really hard sell that over all these years the money just couldn't be found to address the pavement on 3rd. Not even filling the chasms. Pathetic. Wonder what the real story is.......

Ann C.
Ann C.

Two other thoughts I forgot to share! 1. I sure do want to do something about the pavement on 3rd Street (especially the section Campbell to Tucson). So far there isn't a funding source for it though. 2. If you like bike/ped news on Tucson and you are on Facebook, consider 'liking' the City of Tucson Bicycle and Pedestrian program. It will be updated about weekly with stuff happening (or dreaming about happening) in Tucson. Today's post is from Florida on their bike share system and whether or not public bike share would work in Tucson.

Ann C.
Ann C.

Colby you better believe when we get 3rd Street repaved, we're throwing a block party! We'll ribbon cut that success!

Martha Retallick
Martha Retallick

Just gave your Facebook page the likey-likey. More than anything else, I'd like to see the city recognize that bicyclists aren't just pretty visuals for Tucson tourism promotions. We're here. We use our bikes to get around. And our numbers are growing all the time.

Red Star
Red Star

The reason Red Star asks is that are some severe potholes that are probably unfortunate yet safe in the "business as usual" sense for car culture motorists but deadly for cyclists on 3rd Street between Dodge and Richey. Why haven't these potholes been fixed? Costs too much? Are cost effective means to repave 3rd Street being researched? Would that research cost too much? Why bother to have bicycle boulevards if proper implementation cannot be obtained for whatever reason?