City will have contractor widen bike lanes on Anklam
Soon cyclists like Andy Suter won’t have to choose between riding in the dirt and hugging the painted line separating the bike lane and the car lane on Anklam Road.
Suter said while he appreciates the new pavement, the stretch of road near the entrance to Pima Community College heading east toward the city, is very narrow and doesn’t feel safe.
“I have had some close calls there and the new construction didn’t do much to open up that section,” Suter said via Twitter.
Suter said he rides that section between five and 10 times a week and if he is riding his mountain bike, he’ll just ride in the dirt rather than ride in the bike lane, which measured between 1 1/2 to 2 feet in some sections.
According to a written statement from Michael Graham, a City of Tucson public information officer, the city will have the contractor return to the area and add more pavement.
“When the contractor milled and repaved the roadway, they did so in a straight line/edge and did not follow the wandering, ragged edge that existed. The contractor has agreed to return to this location and remove the leftover, ragged remnants and provide a small amount of additional paving, at their cost, to provide the bicycling community with a wider bicycle lane than what previously existed on Anklam Road.”
Tom Thivener, Tucson’s bicycle and pedestrian program manager, said in addition to the added pavement, the city will also narrow the automobile lane to 11 feet from 12 feet.
“Eleven feet or greater is the standard,” Thivener said. “Twelve feet is often sought, but there is a whole balancing act of trying to get the bicyclists’ needs taken care of.”
According to the statement from Graham, once the additional asphalt has been added and the travel lane has been reduced, the bike lane should be between four and five feet along Anklam.
Thivener said the city received a few emails and an inquiry from Tucson Velo, which prompted them to take another look at the area.
We realized after the fact that bicyclists didn’t have enough room, so we’ve got to get that fixed,” Thivener said.
Check out the video and images of the narrow section:
YouTube version here.