Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 9.17.46 PMI’ve received several concerned  messages from readers about the new Walgreens being built on the corners of First Avenue and Grant Road.

The readers were upset that the company had eliminated the bike lane in front of the store along 1st Avenue.

It seems like that is exactly what happened because the bike lane stops right before the new building.

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 9.32.33 PM

In actuality, a bike lane on that section of road never existed. Looking at aerial photos and Google Street view images confirm that the bike lane abruptly ends in the northbound direction a block before the new Walgreens.

The intersection itself is a complicated one for cyclists and has no connection heading north or south.

Cyclists heading south on First Avenue toward Grand Road lose the bike lane a block before the intersection. It is not picked back up until a block south of Grant Road.

Cyclists heading north lose the lane a block before Grant Road, but pick up a bike lane immediately after the intersection.

I’ve seen people do some strange things at this intersection because of the disappearing shoulders. Have you ever ridden on 1st through Grant Road?


18 thoughts on “Walgreens did not eliminate bike lane on 1st Ave; it never existed”
  1. With the 4th Ave/Fontana bike blvd. to the west, and Park or Mountain Aves. to the east, I choose not to ride on 1st Ave in this area.  Very risky intersection for bike riders and drivers alike.

  2. I agree Randy,  I never ride on busy streets. My lungs are too precious to breathe all that car exhaust.

  3. You have to love when you’re riding along and the bike lane just goes away for a block.  Really though, don’t ride on Grant, there are much better ways to get across town.

  4. This intersection has always been difficult both eastbound and northbound. This random discontinuity is very frustrating. I know a bike lane is small comfort for some when riding beside a massive steel monster going 50 but even those few feet make me feel better. The breaks are all over town at major and minor intersections.

  5. I think the hardest part of riding a bike in Tucson is phasing out of existence right before an intersection. I have to exist in a different space time continuum until the bike lane starts after the intersection.

  6. I ride through there almost daily, as I live in the neighborhood just south of grant. That has always been a bad area, I had hoped with the redevelopment of the corner businesses that they would knock the sidewalk out and redo it, but no such luck. Use caution, the road is also not so great leading up to the stoplight, so even if you have room to stay where the bike lane would be, you may be forced up on the sidewalk

  7. @jeff If you do a good enough job of taking the lane in that situation, you can actually get through an intersection more comfortably than you would in a bike lane. However, some roads, including both Grant and First, are not worth the effort.

  8. What does the end of the line actually mean? The sign indicates the bike route continues straight, left and right. The lane does not get narrower so bikes are entitled to the same space.
    Before Walgreens, the gas station and deli  had several entrances and exits and any line would have worn off quickly. If that’s the city’s thinking, it’s now antiquated. All bike features should point to bikes belonging there, instead of the other way around.

  9. Hurri47 Yep. Being comfortable asserting your right to be there and taking the lane is the best way to get through places like that. 
    I do it all the time off on Limberlost heading east from First. It’s too narrow for a bike and car, but motorists will try to squeeze through anyway.

  10. EdBeighe Many avid riders in the transportation community know the difference between the two, but it’s common to call what is technically a striped shoulder a bike lane for the sake of understanding. 
    I know it drives some of the people who are really knowledgeable in the area nuts. 
    Thanks for the link. The striped should ends about two-three blocks before the intersection. There has never been one that has extended beyond that. 
    Confident riders will know that the safest thing to do in that situation is to take the lane, but most people are not confident riders. Most people the shoulder and get up on the sidewalk or hug the curb.

  11. It would be great to have an explanation why, for the 300 feet or so of new curb, sidewalk construction for Walgreens and up to the intersection, the curb could not have been moved up against the sidewalk providing two or three feet more space for bicycles. That’s the way it exist on the other side 1st Ave. and the way it is many, many blocks prior to the  intersection going North. But when you get to the intersection…bam you’ve got two or three feet of no man’s land between the curb and sidewalk and bikes are squeezed.  Cost to the city: nothing…benefit to cyclists: immeasurable and the indication to cyclists that the city  is thinking about them.

    This is not my idea of how a ‘bike friendly’ community works. Little things add up and illustrate a bike consciousness on a continual level. The way the effort is now is make-up for the harm done so as to look good in the brochure.

  12. @zz Did you remove your other comment? I see 10 here, but the last one you posted seems to have disappeared.

  13. MikeMcKisson No,  I didn’t even know I could do that. There was a comment from Ed B. that you replied to and  it’s gone, too. (about bike lanes and striped shoulders)

  14. MikeMcKisson EdBeighe My comment came back 🙂 
    yes, i know some know. The trouble is many many do not know or understand the distinction… so i was hoping to point it out to any newbies who might stumble across this,,,

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