Ann Chanecka has been Tucson’s bicycle and pedestrian program manager for three weeks. We caught up with her early this week to see how she is adjusting to her new role.
Turns out there is a lot of catching up. Chanecka said she has spent her first two weeks trying to get the lay of the land.
She said she’s been attempting to figure out what projects the city has on the books and which ones need her attention the most. She’s concerned about overcommitting because there are so many things she wants to be doing.
She is also learning how to navigate the larger bureaucracy of the City of Tucson. She said it’s been interesting to come from Pima Association of Governments with 40 workers to the City of Tucson, which has 5,000.
Chanecka said she has been pleasantly surprised about the number of people throughout the city government who are trying to work toward better bicycle infrastructure in their projects.
“There are a lot of people who are really interested in providing better bike and ped facilities than I was ever aware,” she said. “There really are a lot of people trying to be aware of the issues in their projects.”
Though she did say a lot of the projects appear to be underfunded.
She said she is developing a list of items that need her immediate attention and a list of things she is hoping to get to.
On her list of to-do items now:
- Third Street enhancements (no pavement fixes)
- Safety improvements for Aviation Bike Path intersections
- A midtown bike map (More on this next week)
- Road diet on Church Street
- Streetcar bike facilities
Chanecka said the biggest challenges facing the department are a lack of funding and a lack of personel in the bike and pedestrian department.