While the Tucson Chamber of Commerce is beginning to express some interest in getting involved in the bicycle community, neither Pima County nor the City of Tucson have a program to recognize bike-friendly businesses.
Tom Thivener, Tucson’s bike and pedestrian coordinator, said the city hands out bike-friendly window decals to the businesses that helped with Bike Fest. He said he hasn’t given much thought to expanding it beyond that.
“We are just starting to branch into working with the businesses more,” Thivener said. “The sky is the limit, but it kind of comes down to time resources over here. We probably won’t have time to get around to developing a program like that.”
Matt Zoll, Pima County’s bicycle and pedestrian program manager, said the county staff doesn’t have the time either, but thinks the Tucson Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee could set up a program.
“We are just kind of overwhelmed with all the other things we are dealing with,” Zoll said. “I’ve thought with the bike advisory committee that that would be really nice recognition from time to time — including encouraging those businesses that aren’t quite bike friendly to become bike friendly though various recommendations.”
The League of American Bicyclists has their own bike-friendly business awards. Currently TriSports.com is the only recognized bike-friendly business in Arizona. Cities like Boston and Toronto have their own bike-friendly awards.
Robert Medler the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber Of Commerce’s manager of governmental affairs said he is just beginning to get involved with the cycling community.
Medler said he isn’t sure where the chamber of commerce fits in with the cycling community, but he thinks they can figure out a way to help support cycling in Tucson while promoting local business.
“I am a cyclist as well and was kind of looking at what the chamber could do to help and promote cycling in Tucson,” Medler said. “It is a big economic driver here. While we support it, we aren’t actively involved. There are some cycling events here that bring people to town. People come to town and spend their money here in our town and our community.”
I’d like to start focusing on some of the unique things Tucson businesses do related to cycling. If you have recommendations of businesses to profile, please email me about what makes them unique.