Johnson speaks at Wednesday's BAC meeting.

The Tucson-Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee elected Ian Johnson as their new chair at the committee’s meeting last night.

Johnson has been a BAC member for the last year and has been the chair of the BAC’s Downtown Subcommittee. He is also involved with Living Streets Alliance.

Here are a few of his goals and thoughts about bicycling in Tucson.


To increase public awareness of the BAC and get more people involved. Johnson says the BAC is a representative body and the more people involved, the better the feedback they can provide to officials in each of the jurisdictions.

Johnson says he would like to increase ridership in Tucson.

“My personal goal is to increase ridership in Tucson and do whatever it takes to get us there and make bicycling an easier and more common and frequent choice amongst all different kinds of riders,” Johnson said.

Lastly he says he wants to work closely with previous chairs, to make a seamless “transition where all the big projects that are up in the air won’t get dropped.”


“The biggest challenge right now is the perception that bicycling is a weird activity or is a recreational activity and that only students and children enjoy — or weirdos,” he said.

“The biggest challenge we have, I believe, is making bicycle riding not just a hobby, but instead a completely legitimate and respected form of transportation; and educating drivers the correct way to behave when they are sharing the road with cyclists to make sure bicyclists and cars can interact with each other in a civilized and safe manner.”



13 thoughts on “BAC elects new chair”
  1. Wow! I am so excited. My main complaint about the BAC was how mired in the meta the meetings were. Ian’s straightforward style can only help to move forward what is already an important and essential organisation. I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for the BAC and bicycling in Tucson. The recent emergence of the Living Streets Alliance in its role of alternative transportation advocacy was already an amazing leap forward. Things can only continue to get better.

  2. Congratulations Ian. I’m looking forward to seeing how cycling in Tucson improves with your recommendations.

  3. A breath of fresh air is def a good thing with BAC.
    We’re still mired in the pesky public meeting rules which limits what can be discussed/acted on/etc at the meetings. If it ain’t on the agenda, it’s gotta wait til next month.
    One way around that is to be involved in the sub-committees . . .

  4. There was a call to include discussion of the Modern Streetcar to next month’s BAC agenda. The question is whether to drop BAC support of the streetcar project based on feelings of misrepresentation of aspects of that project to the cycling community. I don’t suppose, politically, it would be beneficial for the BAC to do that. However, the group has not seemed to be able to attract any serious consideration or discussion among the factions invovled regarding the conditions the streetcar will create for cyclists….and everyone else. What do we want there? Merchants, residents near the area and all other users have a stake in the results. Now is the appropriate time to address this before the project evolves into something less than desirable requiring marginal work-arounds in the future.
    I don’t think conditions for cycling should suffer in this situation. It is one of the desirable modes of transportation for the area. The BAC has been a willing participant in support of options so far. I don’t think it is obliged to continue that support in a project giving little relevance to its needs.
    It would be really good for cyclists, merchants (FAMA), West University neighborhood residents and even city representatives to show up with ideas, statements, pictures or anything that might aid in this decision process.

  5. Elsewhere in this thread, the following was said:

    The question is whether to drop BAC support of the streetcar project
    based on feelings of misrepresentation of aspects of that project to the
    cycling community.

    To which I say:

    This sounds like a good idea to me. Withdrawal of our support may be the shot across the bow that’s needed to make a better project that works for everybody.

  6. I think if withdrawal of BAC support is considered, they should counter with specific recommendations (i.e. don’t just complain, bring a solution). I know this has been done previously, but just saying it again.

    I think the streetcar engineering/$/politics is too far along to change much about the physical layout – so i think the BAC focus should be on parking changes etc to give bikes more room.

  7. Yea, an accommodation that hardly costs anything. How could we do better than that? We need to solicit as many ideas as we can.

  8. If you’ve ever been assaulted by a motorist and want to be mocked for reporting a TPD enforcement failure, be sure to speak up at a BAC meeting. Good times.

  9. The handwriting was already on the wall when the absolute most dangerous to cyclists segment of the street car route had t-rail pre-installed over a year ago.  Why they continued to spend money on consultants and meetings if what they were going to end up with was the same old  tracks of death we’ve been falling on for the last 20 years is confusing to me.  What is there for bicyclists to support in the new Modern Street Car route?  And no that isn’t a rhetorical question.

  10. That’s a good question for Andy Clark, League of American Bicyclists president who will be here for a presentation on Monday. He’s seen many streetcar situations, I suppose, and may have some insight. 

  11. BTW, Mr. Clark’s visit here is being underwritten by  Richard deBarnardis. Anyone who sits on a bicycle seat in Tucson should know a little about him and be glad he’s here. 

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