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County working on fix to Rillito path at Campbell

The Pima County Parks and Recreation department is currently developing two projects which they hope will make cycling easier and safer on the Rillito River path at Campbell Avenue.

A cyclist crosses the Campbell Avenue bridge on the sidewalk

Assistant County Administrator Nanette Slusser said the county is investigating paving the north side of the Rillito between Campbell Avenue and the Country Club bridge, as well as the south side of the Rillito from Campbell Avenue to Mountain Avenue.

County officials are working with area residents to ensure their concerns are considered in the development process. Slusser said no timeline for completion has been set.

The two projects would allow cyclists to remain on the north or south side of the Rillito without having to ride on dirt and would allow cyclists who want to switch sides to switch at the bike-and-pedestrian-only Mountain Avenue or County Club bridges.

Currently cyclists who want to remain on the paved portion of the Rillito must cross the Campbell Avenue bridge, which does not have bike lanes. Many cyclists ride on the narrow sidewalk instead of the road.

A hand cyclist rides on the unpaved south side of the Rillito bike path

Rosa Valenzuela, who rode against traffic on the sidewalk, said she rides the Rillito path often. She said crossing the bridge can be dangerous, especially when there are people trying to cross in the opposite direction.

Lynne Sterr said she thinks it is dangerous to ride on the dirt on the north side of the Rillito and is excited about the prospect of Pima County paving it.

“It is dangerous,” said Sterr, who was crossing the Campbell bridge to get to Trader Joe’s. “You have to go slow and you have to be careful. I’d like to get some asphalt and do it myself.”

6 comments
Martha Retallick
Martha Retallick

Personally, I think the unpaved north-side stretch between Campbell and (almost) Dodge is a blast. It offers a chance to practice one's off-road skills without the need to travel far outside the city.

Bruce
Bruce

I use the bike path for my commutes, and ride the north side on that stretch--actually it used to be a lot worse--but okay to ride on. Having it paved is great news! Cheers! Bruce

Scott
Scott

But yeah, I agree it would be a little tough to skate on dirt - as much as skaters are more of a danger to cyclists than riding on dirt is, the river MUP *is* a _M_ulti _U_se _P_ath after all.

Scott
Scott

Dangerous?! A little bumpy in spots maybe, but it's hard-pack, fer cryin' out load, not like it's soft sand singletrack or anything. I could see where the vibration might be annoying on a skinny-tyred fat-tubed unsuspended road bike, but you rarely see roadies on the river MUP - usually just families on MTBs or old guys on recumbents. I actually like that section, I can let my guard down and relax a bit because everybody else is on the other side of the river.

Maribeth
Maribeth

I am an inline skater who uses the path regularly. To finish paving the north side frome campbell to the country club pedestrian bridge would be a HUGE improvement for skaters. At this point, the path is so rough west of campbell, that paving the south side to the mountain bridge would probably not be used by skaters. I'm happy to hear the county has some money for improvements finally.

Zen
Zen

This would be huge for my wife & I! Anytime we want to go East, it is a major pain in the butt. We usually go down Limberlost and cross at Campbell but it is very dangerous. I would prefer paving the North side of the River path but ultimately, paving either side would work for me. I am glad to know that the county is working on this!

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  1. [...] Pima County Parks and Recreation department is looking for feedback from cyclists about a proposed addition to the south bank of the Rillito River path between Campbell and Mountain [...]