Cyclists riding east into downtown Tucson on Congress now have their own space on the road.

The City of Tucson used stimulus funds to repave the section of Congress between I-10 and Grande. In the process — Tom Thivener, the city’s bicycle and pedestrian program manager — said they did a partial road diet.

Before the repaving project, Congress had two lanes in each direction. The city reconfigured the street so that there is now only one lane heading east into downtown. The change allowed for the extra space needed to add the bike lanes.

According to Diahn Swartz, a traffic engineer for the city, the existing paint is temporary because the road needs time to cure. Once the asphalt has cured, they will add reflective paint as well as bicycle legends and dashed lines to indicate where merging will occur.

There is no bike lane heading west just after passing under I-10. According to Swartz, the center median made the lane too narrow to add one for bikes.

She said Thivener tried to convince the Arizona Department of Transportation to allow them to reconfigure the median, but ADOT wouldn’t do it.

Swartz said they are looking at other alternatives and aren’t giving up on extending the bike lanes to I-10.

Watch the video to see where the bike lane is missing and where it begins:

Watch the YouTube version here.

4 thoughts on “City carves out space for bikes on West Congress”
  1. Hey, can you tell them to put some kind of street crossing deal there for the Santa Cruz bikeway? You have to get off the bikeway, cross St Mary’s street, then get back on the bikeway. I rode down to the crosswalk and crossed there but I saw 3 or 4 cyclists ride right across the road. That can’t be too safe. It made me wonder how many cyclists get hit there. An underpass or overpass or some kind of short crossing signal for bikes would be cool. Just some safe way to get across. Homeless people on bikes as well as regular folks cross there often.

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