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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.

29 comments
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Coghauler
Coghauler

Well, I know I should have said 'a' route since Tucson's grid system provides cyclists great options for getiing somewhere from where ever. I had never attempted to get from 22nd to the Aviation bikeway and Palo Verde seemed the most direct way. Bikes routes up to now seem to have evolved from a majority of bike traffic. It will be interesting to see if the Bike Boulevard (create the route and they will ride it) style will be embraced by cyclists. The thinking is that these routes will appeal to and encourage new bike commuters.

Coghauler
Coghauler

Well, I know I should have said 'a' route since Tucson's grid system provides cyclists great options for getiing somewhere from where ever. I had never attempted to get from 22nd to the Aviation bikeway and Palo Verde seemed the most direct way. Bikes routes up to now seem to have evolved from a majority of bike traffic. It will be interesting to see if the Bike Boulevard (create the route and they will ride it) style will be embraced by cyclists. The thinking is that these routes will appeal to and encourage new bike commuters.

Red Star
Red Star

"I was out today and scoped the route between the Rillito and Aviation bikeways." (Coghauler says: January 26, 2010 at 8:00 PM) NB: "...the route..." as if there is only the Coghauler route. Ignore Craycroft and Treat Bikeway. And so many others. Spread a little thin, bicycle bureaucrats? Anyway, the bland though "strange" signaled crossing between 22nd and Reid Park is a disgrace for cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists. And leave that last 100 feet as dirt...the unwitting irony is worth preserving...

Red Star
Red Star

"I was out today and scoped the route between the Rillito and Aviation bikeways." (Coghauler says: January 26, 2010 at 8:00 PM) NB: "...the route..." as if there is only the Coghauler route. Ignore Craycroft and Treat Bikeway. And so many others. Spread a little thin, bicycle bureaucrats? Anyway, the bland though "strange" signaled crossing between 22nd and Reid Park is a disgrace for cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists. And leave that last 100 feet as dirt...the unwitting irony is worth preserving...

Coghauler
Coghauler

I was out today and scoped the route between the Rillito and Aviation bikeways. The city could tidy up the route and make a couple accommodations, but basically it's all there. Dodge Blvd. works from the Rillito and is a bike route to Speedway. That awkward crossing could be improved. Dodge at 5th St. is a little better. Dodge at Broadway is OK. Then taking Randolph Way there is a signaled crossing (though rather strange) at 22nd. I did not know that was there. Then Palo Verde goes almost all the rest of the way until a 100 foot dirt path connects two cul-de sacs. This would be very easy to create bike access as an asphalt path and you are right there at the 34th St. intersection with the Aviation bikeway. It would have been nice if El Con Mall had maintained the access to the Northwest corner using Jones Ave. I think that was supposed to have been done but...you know.

Coghauler
Coghauler

I was out today and scoped the route between the Rillito and Aviation bikeways. The city could tidy up the route and make a couple accommodations, but basically it's all there. Dodge Blvd. works from the Rillito and is a bike route to Speedway. That awkward crossing could be improved. Dodge at 5th St. is a little better. Dodge at Broadway is OK. Then taking Randolph Way there is a signaled crossing (though rather strange) at 22nd. I did not know that was there. Then Palo Verde goes almost all the rest of the way until a 100 foot dirt path connects two cul-de sacs. This would be very easy to create bike access as an asphalt path and you are right there at the 34th St. intersection with the Aviation bikeway. It would have been nice if El Con Mall had maintained the access to the Northwest corner using Jones Ave. I think that was supposed to have been done but...you know.

Michael McKisson
Michael McKisson

I suspect there are two main reasons why things don't get done in this city: Money and political will.

Michael McKisson
Michael McKisson

I suspect there are two main reasons why things don't get done in this city: Money and political will.

Coghauler
Coghauler

I'm put in mind of the old Star Trek episode where the Guardian of Forever says, " A question! Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited a question." Let's hope, Red Star, it doesn't take that long to get a response to yours.

Coghauler
Coghauler

I'm put in mind of the old Star Trek episode where the Guardian of Forever says, " A question! Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited a question." Let's hope, Red Star, it doesn't take that long to get a response to yours.

Red Star
Red Star

Now that you've finally gotten terminology out of the way, answer this: If they, your City of Tucson/Pima County transpo friends can do it between Speedway and Whatever (like between Whole Foods and Enterprise Leasing), why can't they do a signaled cross across 22nd between Randolph/Reid Park and Aviation Bikeway?

Red Star
Red Star

Now that you've finally gotten terminology out of the way, answer this: If they, your City of Tucson/Pima County transpo friends can do it between Speedway and Whatever (like between Whole Foods and Enterprise Leasing), why can't they do a signaled cross across 22nd between Randolph/Reid Park and Aviation Bikeway?

Zen
Zen

I like bike activated signals also! I don't understand why we don't have more in this town. It's not always easy to push the crossing buttons when you are carrying things with your bike. Also, the Campbell/River Pathway is a mess. Crossing the bridge on Campbell is dangerous but I have done it several times and each time I think I will never do it again. Either maintain the north side path or pave the south side. It needs to be done. I would be happy if the city focused on connecting the existing paths. I was happy to see the city connect the Stone Ave. bike path between Limberlost & Roger and the downtown crossing that you mentioned yesterday.

Zen
Zen

I like bike activated signals also! I don't understand why we don't have more in this town. It's not always easy to push the crossing buttons when you are carrying things with your bike. Also, the Campbell/River Pathway is a mess. Crossing the bridge on Campbell is dangerous but I have done it several times and each time I think I will never do it again. Either maintain the north side path or pave the south side. It needs to be done. I would be happy if the city focused on connecting the existing paths. I was happy to see the city connect the Stone Ave. bike path between Limberlost & Roger and the downtown crossing that you mentioned yesterday.

Coghauler
Coghauler

A speed table is a speed bump with a 8-10 foot flattened top. If you draw a crosswalk across the flatened top, you have a raised crosswalk. The idea is to give some prominance to to existance of the two-way bike route using the crosswalk. Meh... I like the bike-activated signals idea a lot...and... connecting the Rilitto and Aviation bikeways would serve much more than just the connection of those two.

Michael McKisson
Michael McKisson

Red Star... A speed table is also known as a speed hump. Speed hump on Wikipedia The concept is that the crosswalk would be raised up several inches in the hopes that it would get motorist to slow down. It wouldn't create a bump for cyclist or pedestrians. This is a preliminary idea that they are going to start researching.

Michael McKisson
Michael McKisson

Red Star... A speed table is also known as a speed hump. Speed hump on Wikipedia The concept is that the crosswalk would be raised up several inches in the hopes that it would get motorist to slow down. It wouldn't create a bump for cyclist or pedestrians. This is a preliminary idea that they are going to start researching.

Red Star
Red Star

"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." Two technical terms, definitions please: 1) raised crosswalk 2) speed table It's difficult to interpret the committee's decisions without knowing what they are talking about... But no matter, of course. At any rate, something like the signaled crossing of Speedway between Camino Miramonte and Richey is sorely needed in the Randolph/Reid Park area across 22nd. And across 5th/6th: Shazaaaam! You planners will have connected two dedicated bikeways: Rillito and Aviation.

Red Star
Red Star

"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." Two technical terms, definitions please: 1) raised crosswalk 2) speed table It's difficult to interpret the committee's decisions without knowing what they are talking about... But no matter, of course. At any rate, something like the signaled crossing of Speedway between Camino Miramonte and Richey is sorely needed in the Randolph/Reid Park area across 22nd. And across 5th/6th: Shazaaaam! You planners will have connected two dedicated bikeways: Rillito and Aviation.

israel
israel

I ride the Aviation (from Golf Links) path nearly everyday, and the intersections are death traps. Nearly all of them have lights, which helps some. But the first highway intersection that the Aviation path crosses coming from the east (Aviation and Richey Blvd) has no light. People basically ignore the stop sign there and blow right through it attempting to turn right on Aviation. I have nearly been hit 3 times now by drivers failing to stop at the stop sign. A good idea that I saw in Albuquerque (I doubt Tucson can afford it however) was to put lights that turned red when a cyclist was coming. Like the crosswalks around town, but with motion sensors on the path to trigger them instead of a button. If this cannot be done, a normal light needs to be installed at Richey, that intersection is the absolute worst!

israel
israel

I ride the Aviation (from Golf Links) path nearly everyday, and the intersections are death traps. Nearly all of them have lights, which helps some. But the first highway intersection that the Aviation path crosses coming from the east (Aviation and Richey Blvd) has no light. People basically ignore the stop sign there and blow right through it attempting to turn right on Aviation. I have nearly been hit 3 times now by drivers failing to stop at the stop sign. A good idea that I saw in Albuquerque (I doubt Tucson can afford it however) was to put lights that turned red when a cyclist was coming. Like the crosswalks around town, but with motion sensors on the path to trigger them instead of a button. If this cannot be done, a normal light needs to be installed at Richey, that intersection is the absolute worst!

Erik Ryberg
Erik Ryberg

Those Aviation Bike Path crossings are a real problem. I had a guy who was hit in one and threatened with a ticket for riding in a crosswalk. Drivers don't know how to deal with them and neither do cyclists. A similar problem is the East side of the Santa Cruz bike path where it crosses Congress. It spits you right into high-speed traffic and your options for crossing are all terrible ones that involve narrow sidewalks, high curbs, bad pavement, high speed traffic turning into gas stations, and multiple traffic lights next to a freeway. Good grief!

Michael McKisson
Michael McKisson

I totally agree about the crossings. I'm glad it is something they are trying to work on. The section of the Rillito Path at Campbell is pretty similar to the Santa Cruz at Congress. To continue on the Rillito path, you have to either try to ride across the bridge's sidewalk or get into traffic on Campbell, which at the bridge doesn't have a bike lane. The problem could be solved by paving the rest of the path on the south side of the Rillito from Campbell to Mountain. Then cyclists could cross at the pedestrian/bike only bridge. I here there is one owner holding that up. Might be a story there.

Erik Ryberg
Erik Ryberg

Those Aviation Bike Path crossings are a real problem. I had a guy who was hit in one and threatened with a ticket for riding in a crosswalk. Drivers don't know how to deal with them and neither do cyclists. A similar problem is the East side of the Santa Cruz bike path where it crosses Congress. It spits you right into high-speed traffic and your options for crossing are all terrible ones that involve narrow sidewalks, high curbs, bad pavement, high speed traffic turning into gas stations, and multiple traffic lights next to a freeway. Good grief!

Michael McKisson
Michael McKisson

I totally agree about the crossings. I'm glad it is something they are trying to work on. The section of the Rillito Path at Campbell is pretty similar to the Santa Cruz at Congress. To continue on the Rillito path, you have to either try to ride across the bridge's sidewalk or get into traffic on Campbell, which at the bridge doesn't have a bike lane. The problem could be solved by paving the rest of the path on the south side of the Rillito from Campbell to Mountain. Then cyclists could cross at the pedestrian/bike only bridge. I here there is one owner holding that up. Might be a story there.

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