At its meeting on Wednesday, The Tucson-Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee voted to support the creation of a distracted driving ordinance in the City of Tucson and encourage other jurisdictions to enact their own distracted driving law.
According to draft meeting minutes the motion passed unanimously with two abstentions.
The BAC said they would support a ban that would be a primary law, meaning police officers would be able to pull over a driver for texting rather than waiting for a driver to violate another law.
The Tucson City Council is considering a ban on text messaging within the city limits and decided to continue discussing the law in the coming weeks.
KOLD has a good story about the ban. Check it out.
Bicycle staffing in the city
The BAC passed a motion urging the Tucson City Council and transportation director to increase the city bicycle staffing level.
Currently Tom Thivener, the bicycle and pedestrian program manager, is the only Tucson employee working on bicycling projects. At this point only 75 percent of his time is spent on bike-related planning.
According to a presentation to the BAC, the American Association of Bicycle and Pedestrians Professionals publishes a report every year about to the number of city staff full time employees working within the Departments of Transportation. Currently Tucson is ranked 25th in the number of employees despite having the sixth highest level of bike commuters.
According to the presentation, studies have shown cities with more employees see faster gains in bike riding.
The BAC’s motion said the group recognized the correlation between higher staffing levels and increased ridership and urged the city to add more employees to work on bicycling.