Construction crews are working on a two block section of Tyndall Avenue near the University of Arizona that has the potential become an important connection for Tucson cyclists.

Work started last month and should be completed before the semester starts in mid August.

Once complete the street will have wider sidewalks and five-foot concrete bike lanes with narrow travel lanes.

Tom Thivener, the city’s bike and pedestrian program manager, said the bike lanes weren’t entirely needed but will help slow traffic down by narrowing the street.

“It is not that we needed bike lanes on the street, but it will kind of visually narrow [the road] by using a different material,” he said.

Thivener said the street has a lot of potential for creating a connection for cyclists heading toward campus from the south if funds were made available to create a bike and pedestrian signal or a refuge in the middle of Sixth Street to help people get across.

“With the density and number of people people that we have coming to the UA, we need more connections,” he said.

He said currently there aren’t a lot of great options to get across Sixth Street, Highland and Cherry Avenues are two of them.

The project is a collaboration between the City of Tucson which is managing the construction and the University of Arizona. which is supplying the $500,000 in matching funds needed for the Federal Transportation Grant, which is supplying another $500,000. The $500,000 for the project are Federal Stimulus funds. (See Thivener’s comment below.)



11 thoughts on “Construction on Tyndall could create new cycling connection to UA”
  1. “…if funds were made available to create a bike and pedestrian signal or a
    refuge in the middle of Sixth Street to help people get across.”

    Fingers crossed.  It’d be dope if the could eventually clear a path across Broadway, too.

  2. There is a path across Broadway, the HAWK signal at Park.  There’s also a light at Highland and another one (albeit inconveniently located) at Euclid.  The Park Hawk is directly in line with the entrance to Lost Barrio and the Aviation Bike Path.  

    The real barrier to southerly travel there is the railroad right of way and tracks. Of course there’s always Kino.

  3. Tom, I use 5th St. walking and biking into campus a lot, and the one problem I potentially see with five foot bike lanes is Taxis. During the school year from about 5PM into the night cabs pretty much live along this stretch waiting for dorm kids who want a ride to a party. Sometimes there are so many cabs I can barely squeeze my bike through the gaps. I envision the bike lanes just being used as more cab parking. Is there any physical solution you guys have considered to help this potential problem? UAPD is only gonna bother them to move every so often.

    It’s good to hear about that connection reopening again. I used to use it all the time before the dorm construction started.

  4. The cost of the project is actually only $500,000 with all the funds
    coming from the federal stimulus.  The City and U of A did not have to
    provide matching funds in this case.

    James, are you referring to the area where the turn around, semi circle parking area is?  There is some congestion there and I think if we could remove one of the parking stalls bikes could get through a little easier.  There would have to be modifications to the gates at Euclid like replacing them with bollards as well. Several things would need to happen to make 5th Street into a reliable and attractive route between Old Main and downtown.  If you were referring to cabs parking on Tyndall, one could always take the lane, it’s going to be a very slow street.

  5. Losing the gates at Euclid and 5th would really help.  I use that route a lot to get to Highland to go south.  

  6. I understand it’s gonna be a slow street, and I have no problem taking a lane in almost any situation personally. It would just be a shame to see cars camped out there at all times. But, such is the UofA campus.

    It would be great to see some things done to 5th street, gates removed, etc. to see that route kind of turned into a more decent bike route… I feel like the UofA kind is in conflict with itself sometimes with bike paths suddenly appearing and ending, gates installed, etc.

  7. Oh, yeah… I forgot about Park.  Thanks.  I usually just take up room on Euclid and turn off on 18th.  But you’re right about Barraza and the tracks.  Wish that we could copy-paste the snake bridge and link up Park and 16th… or something to that affect.


  8. It would appear that the city wants to shove bicycles off University Blvd. and onto 5th Street. During  street car construction, that may be necessary. As a ‘fix’ for tracks in University, I don’t think so. There will be a lot of people crossing Euclid with no traffic control device ( a major factor in creating safe bike boulevards). The area around 3rd Ave. is nuts with cars, busses, pedestrians, busses (did I mention cars?) from Tucson High and Roskruge middle schools. It’s pretty much a madhouse twice a day. It doesn’t result in any improvement, rather changing one dangerous situation for another.

  9. Red Star is pleased that City of Tucson continues to work on its property in a bikey way,  rather than on that of others.

    Awesome, given the city’s fiscal situation.

  10. Glad you mentioned the fiscal situation, Red Star, as a fellow cyclist and I were discussing that briefly this morning. It put me in mind of all the projects that have been done during the past 2 years of ‘no money’. Stimulus money, of course, accounted for some and it seems the RTA has made more funds available for transportation than any time before (anybody know that for sure?). But the mantra is ‘no money’.
    So I’m thinking that there is no money for the things the city and county don’t want to do and there is money for things the city and county do want to do and  sometimes those things coincide with what the citizens would like to see get done.
    Anyway, I’m boycotting the groundbreaking ceremony for the Cushing St. bridge on Thursday morning because I’m aware of the funding shenanigans that are making it possible and that thousands of citizens are going to make do with inferior street conditions so that a few may benefit somehow, someway.

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