Elly Blue discusses bikenomics during her Tucson Dinner and Bikes tour stop.

Portland bicycle blogger Elly Blue picked Tucson as the best biking city she encountered during her month-long Dinner and Bikes Tour of the western states.

In her wrap-up column she said Tucson was the best biking city. Here is what she wrote:

The surprise standout for me was Tucson. I predict it’ll be the League of American Bicyclists’ pick for No. 1 bicycling city in the next three years. They’re doing it all, and they’re getting it right. Major streets have been triaged with bike lanes and the city is building a network of state-of-the-art bike boulevards. Meanwhile, the county is spending millions on a 55-mile network of connected bike trails that are, like the ones in Minneapolis, designed for transportation, with two lanes and a separated walking path — they’re even building a new bridge in one place so there isn’t a squeeze. And Tucson is blessed with an energetic bike culture that is extremely equity minded, from BICAS, the arts-focused bike project, to El Grupo, a road-riding group for Latino/a youth.

Of course, El Grupo isn’t actually limited to Hispanic youth, but the rest is pretty spot on.

In order for Blue’s prediction to come true however, Andy Clarke, the League of American Bicyclists president, said our region needs to increase the number of people using their bikes for transportation.

Perhaps the most refreshing thing in the column is this:

What do you want to bring home to Portland?

A. The bike freeways in Minneapolis and Tucson, please. (I’m not going to call them trails or paths when they’re built properly like this.) And it would be great to see more of the can-do attitude that we found in Kansas.

It’s the first time I can remember someone from Portland coveting something bike related from Tucson. Usually it is the other way around.

It will be quite interesting to see if Blue’s prediction comes true. What do you think?

2 thoughts on “Portland bike blogger picks Tucson as best biking city”
  1. Well, hah cha cha!  Li’l ole Tucson does something right.  That’s nice to hear.  I’d love to know more of the specifics about our infrastructure and programs that she likes and how Portland’s is in comparison.  Mr. Mike, is there any way you could interview her over the phone and draw her out on this?
    As for her prediction, I don’t know.  Since she’s been all over, she knows more than most folks do about what other towns have, she may be right about the future. 

  2. Woot! Sweet! Maybe the official Loop ride coming up on the 22nd will get cycling more publicity and more people on bikes. There’s a banner over Congress street and word about the Loop is spreading. My friend, who doesn’t ride at all, asked me if I was going to be in it which means she heard about it. Maybe the publicity will make people say, “I didn’t know Tucson had a bicycle highway.” According to my calculations the banner should still be up and within sight of Occupy Tucson at Pancho Villa Park on the 15th and Tucson Eat Yourself the same weekend. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.