Pages Navigation Menu

Tucson's two-wheeled news source

TPD to restart bicycle and pedestrian enforcement

A motorcycle officers pulls over a vehicle who used the bike lane as a right turn lane.

The Tucson Police department was awarded another grant for targeted enforcement of bicycle and pedestrian laws.

According to an email from Sergeant Jerry Skeenes, who ran the targeted enforcement that wrapped up in October, they will begin deploying officers in early January.

Skeenes said this enforcement campaign will be less intense because it will stretch over a longer period of time.

Skeenes is looking for more feedback from the bike community.

Last fall the enforcement focused less on stop signs and more on wrong-way riding and sidewalk riding.

Check out the previous post about the enforcement and how many cyclists and motorists were cited.

Leave a comment about where and what you would like to see TPD focus their attention on to benefit bicycle and pedestrian safety.

5 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Human Centipede 2
Human Centipede 2

With the economy as bad as it is, we're getting ticketed for the slightest infraction. Half the drivers in Tucson won't even turn right on a red light at those camera intersections and really I can't blame them. And whoever decided to put the line you have to be across way out in the middle of the intersection, instead of having it be the crosswalk as we were trained, deserves a kick in the junk. It may be the new law but it's counter intuitive. Go through a yellow light *at all*, and you'll likely not make it. Nobody has any money now, and those tickets are like two hundred bucks.

Collin Forbes
Collin Forbes

Rynsa hits it squarely on the head! The single most thing TPD can do to improve the safety of bicycles and pedestrians in Tucson is to improve the overall safety of the roads in Tucson. Have police officers enforce speed limits and red light violations. Using officers instead of cameras will also help catch motorists driving with suspended licenses and without insurance. But that's not what the grant is about. The grant requires officers to do specific enforcement actions which will show quantified results. You can't claim to have prevented collisions through enforcement, but you can point to the number of hours spent and number of citations issued. With those things in mind, here are my recommendations: Continue the wrong-way riding enforcement, particularly watching for wrong-way riding on the sidewalks. This is the most important thing you can do for cyclists with this enforcement grant. In the 2007-2009 BAC crash data, wrong-way riding amounts to over 33% of the total collisions (with right-hook collisions a very close second). In the very limited subset of 2010 crash data (TPD sent the BAC 41 reports from an estimated 440 crashes in 2010): * 11 crash reports showed cyclists riding the wrong way * 11 crash reports showed motorists hitting cyclists with right hooks * 11 crash reports showed motorists hitting cyclists with left crosses * 6 crash reports showed cyclists having various street crossing issues * 2 crash reports were collisions caused by cyclists running stop signs This is why I say wrong-way riding is the most important thing to enforce. Right-hooks and left-crosses are caused by lousy drivers. Wrong way riding is caused by lousy cyclists and you can enforce that in the grant. I also think you should expand your enforcement efforts to other areas of town. Here's a "heatmap" of Tucson's Bicycle Collisions in 2010: http://goo.gl/fYXim (source spreadsheet: http://goo.gl/XkxlB) Darker "blood splotches" (I use those colors for a reason) represent more collisions. It's easy to see most of the collisions are centered around Downtown and the UA -- that's where a lot of cyclists are riding. But the number of collisions isn't proportional to the larger numbers of cyclists. In the 2007-2009 crash data, I've noticed a cluster of wrongway riding on Oracle near Roger road and you can see a similar cluster in the 2010 map between Roger and Prince. Go spend some time around those parts of Oracle, for instance. For pedestrian enforcement, I don't think you should try to ticket jaywalkers in the downtown core again. In August/September, you got a lot of bad press for it and the "lousy pedestrians" to enforce against aren't even downtown -- the three downtown pedestrian deaths in 2010 were from trains. Here's the heatmap for Tucson's pedestrian incidents: http://goo.gl/3IW51 (source spreadsheet: http://goo.gl/PJdib ) I think you should run "crosswalk stings" at various times and locations around town (definitely do rush hours in the evenings). You'd be watching for motorists running the first few seconds of the red lights, and hurrying pedestrians in the crosswalk, but you can also ticket for jaywalking (not activating the lights) at these intersections as well. Look for any sort of blood-splotch clusters outside the downtown area, but particularly pay attention to these intersections: * 1st/Yavapai (pedestrian crossing) * Treat/Speedway (pedestrian crossing) * Grant/Oracle * Grant/Alvernon * Camino Seco/Broadway * 1st/Yavapai (pedestrian crossing) * Treat/Speedway (pedestrian crossing) * Grant/Oracle * Grant/Alvernon * Camino Seco/Broadway In particular, the Camino Seco/Broadway intersection shows up as a cluster area on *both* the pedestrian and bicycle heat maps. If you can do anything to slow down motorists and curb red light running in that area, it'll help cyclists and pedestrians greatly. Finally, if any of the grant money can be used to help the TPD Records Division provide bicycle crash and collision reports to the Tucson/Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee, I'd be very very happy (I am a designee member of the Enforcement Subcommittee). I suspect the records division is as greatly overworked and severely underpaid as the rest of the police department, but the collision data is very important and is an untapped resource in bicycle policy. -- Collin Forbes, just random person.

zz
zz

Wow, Collin, that's some really good analysis. Mega-kudos to you for this effort and a nice feather in the cap for the BAC's Enforcement Subcommittee. Does TPD do anything like this with its own data, or does it just sit there? Who's the Captain of the Cerebral Division? It may not behoove TPD to interpret the intent of the grant the same way you, I, we do. It would be nice if TPD could be up front with how it views the use of this grant. What other " specific enforcement actions" do they know to do besides writing tickets? Where enforcement could mesh with education is to persuade participation in the diversion program instead of lightening cyclists' pockets. Do they have data on the percentage of participation in that? Grant-based enforcement has an inconsistancy about it that is counterproductive.

rynsa
rynsa

"Leave a comment about where and what you would like to see TPD focus their attention on to benefit bicycle and pedestrian safety." Jeez... this is easy: cars. Cars, cars, cars!!! You can just about throw a dart and hit a bad motorist. But, frankly, I don't expect much from the TPD. The stats from their last enforcement escapade indicate a clear bias in favor of automobile drivers. It's kind of pointless issuing an opinion on the matter when the results are predictable.

zz
zz

No noticable change in behavior at 9th St. and 4th Ave. - a focus area for the last enforcement rush. A few people glance over to where the cop used to sit in front of the Coronado, but that just takes their attention away from the intersection. Sporadic enforcement bothers me...I'm never sure what the intent is. Its lack of effectiveness is clear. If people do what they're supposed to, they won't get a ticket, right?