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Tucson's two-wheeled news source

Tucson planners look back and ahead

With 2016 almost almost behind us and 2017 just around the corner, we asked the managers of the Pima County and Tucson bicycling programs to reflect on their biggest accomplishments in 2016 and their goals for 2017.

2016 accomplishments: 

Matt Zoll, Pima County

Probably for 2016 it would be our education activities, in particular our Team Bike program where we now have bikes, helmets and equipment at 16 area elementary, middle and high schools. It’s a pretty cool program with quite a variety of schools involved. We also do our pedestrian and bicycle safety education with around 40 other schools where we take in the equipment.

Ann Chanecka, City of Tucson:

1) Growing and Institutionalizing the Bike/Ped Program: In 2016, the staffing of the Bike/Ped program changed to reflect a growing commitment to bicycling and walking at the Department of Transportation. There are now two full-time permanent staff within the program (prior to 2016, the second staff member was a grant-funded position but this was changed this year). We also have two part-time staff helping out on several projects at this time. More staff means more productivity!
2) Developing the Bicycle Boulevard Master Plan: TDOT now has a concrete vision and process for implementing bicycle boulevard projects. A lot of great input was provided by members of the community and that feedback is being incorporated into the final version of the plan.
3) Improving Connectivity: Some smaller but critical projects were finished in 2016 that improve the safety and accessibility of getting around Tucson on two-wheels. These include a BikeHAWK at Campbell Ave and 9th Street, a BikeHAWK at Grant Rd and Sahuara Ave, and the new ramp for bikes for the Jim Glock Bypass at HiFi.
4) Bike Parking: In 2016, TDOT added 126 new bike parking spaces throughout the region. But we’re always looking to grow that number so we’ll continue to promote the free bike rack distribution program!

Goals for 2017: 

Ann Chanecka, City of Tucson:

1) Bike share: We will be launching a public bike share program in 2017.
2) Developing a Low-Stress Bikeways Analysis for Tucson: The Bicycle Boulevard Master Plan was a major step in the right direction for planning a safer and more attractive bikeway network for Tucson. However, bicycle boulevards are only one piece of a comprehensive bikeway network. The City of Tucson will be performing a low-stress bikeways analysis that will look at the existing and planned shared use paths, bicycle boulevards, and separated bike lanes to prioritize connectivity for bike riders of all ages and abilities.
3) Separated Bike Lanes: Several separated bike lane projects have been identified and in some cases, designed along select corridors in the urban core. However, funding challenges have prevented these from being implemented in 2016. A goal for 2017 is to raise funds via grants, donations, etc. to ensure these projects happen in a timely fashion.

Matt Zoll, Pima County

For 2017 we look forward to expanding the Team Bike program to 20 schools and also to the completion of The Loop, probably by late summer (The main Loop itself with the connection of the Santa Cruz-Rillito-Pantano-Harrison-Julian). We have three SRTS projects that will finish construction in 2017 too.