Mountain Avenue nearing completion
An island on Mountain Avenue, which is designed to calm traffic.
The Mountain Avenue construction project should be just a few months away from completion.
Diahn Swartz a traffic engineering project manager for the Tucson Department of Transportation told the Downtown Subcommittee of the Tucson-Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee there is one additional layer of asphalt to be added before the final bike lane striping is done.
But according to Swartz, the final layer of asphalt can’t be laid down until the temperature is consistently above 40 degrees at night.
The road, which connects the University of Arizona to the Rillito River path and runs between First Avenue and Campbell Avenue, currently features several islands. (See photo above).
The islands were designed to slow traffic along the corridor.
TPCBAC member, Dave Boston, raised concerns about vehicles driving into the bike after maneuvering around an island.
Swartz said when the final striping was finished there would be buffer zones placed between the bike lane and car lane in areas without an island. She said the buffers should help with traffic movement.
The TPCBAC also requested that when the buffer disappears, the lane be striped at 8 inches rather that the standard 6 inches in the hopes it would be more visible.
According to City of Tucson Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator, Tom Thivener, the bike lanes will be a little tighter in the section north of Ft. Lowell than they are south of Ft. Lowell.
Between Speedway and Ft. Lowell there is a six-foot bike lane and a three-foot buffer. The portion from Ft. Lowell to Roger will have a five-foot bike lane and a two-foot buffer.
The subcommittee also began discussing a report documenting concerns about the Aviation bike path.
Much of the discussion concerned the intersections where the bike path crosses heavily trafficked streets.
Ann Chanecka a planner for the Pima Association of Governments said drivers don’t expect cyclists to enter traffic because of the separated nature of most of the bike path.
One of the options that the committee decided they would like to investigate is creating a raised crosswalk similar to a speed table, which they thought might slow down the traffic turning off or onto the Aviation Parkway.