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A group of state and local transportation officials spent several days last week evaluating the intersection where Congress Street, Toole Avenue and Fourth Avenue meet.

Tucson’s Director of Transportation Jim Glock said in an email that the official report will be issued at the end of May, at that point, he said he’ll attempt to find funds to improve the intersection.

Here is the group’s preliminary recommendations according to Glock’s email:

Near term:

1. Paint a solid white lane line (or double white line) extending through intersection to discourage turning right onto Toole from middle lane

2. Place pavement word messages showing lane assignments for Congress, Toole

3. Refresh pavement markings

4. Add raised pavement markers to delineate the island and bulb-out at 4th and Toole.

5. Place “No right-turn on red” (except bikes) for south-bound 4th Ave. traffic at Toole/Congress.

6. Evaluate the sight distance from Toole Ave for consideration of “no right turn on red” signage for SE bound Toole Avenue traffic at Congress.


1. Make the outside lane right-turn only for 4th Ave, with right-turns for Toole made from the existing middle lane: drop outside lane at 4th Ave

Long Term:

1. Make Toole Ave one-way between 4th and 5th (or between 4th and entrance to Maynard’s)

2. Convert parking on Congress from 4th to 5th to right-turn lane. Lost parking can be reestablished on Toole and/or 5th. Consider closing Toole to through traffic between 4th and 5th.

What do you think about the suggestions?

Here is a video I shot riding through the intersection after a motorized bike rider was thrown from his bike and killed by a car.

3 thoughts on “Group suggests several fixes for tricky intersection”
  1. The reviewers’ suggestions don’t specifically address pedestrian and bicycle safety but they may improve conditions for non-car users just by simplifying the intersection for car drivers. A confused and distracted car driver is a hazard to pedestrians and cyclists.
    It isn’t explicitly stated above, but it sounds like they are considering closing north Toole so it doesn’t run into Congress at all. I love that idea. It would create a car free isthmus of land for pedestrians to cross Toole between Congress and 4th ave. It wouldn’t help cyclists in any direct way except that it would simplify the intersection even more than the transportation officials’ other suggestions and would reduce the number of directions that death can come from.
    If the ideas I gave the other day were implemented, cyclists would have routes through the area that are seperated from vehicular traffic at the intersection. I don’t care if my specific ideas were put in place but I think most cyclists would appreciate some form of seperated route(s) through there.
    As many people stated in the comments on the previous article on this matter, it’s a wonder that the needs of cyclists were so poorly addressed with the existing design. I hope that a fix is made that will benefit all users.

  2. Since downtown is the most popular bike destination in town it’s surprising that there aren’t easier ways to get in there by bicycle.

  3. Frank, when I travel downtown I usually take the 7 th & 9th Ave crossings. Much less traffic & confusion. I rarely ride down 4th Ave anyway, I avoid the train tracks whenever I can.

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