A cyclist rides west on Third Street. You can see the alligator cracking on the road, which is caused by water getting under the the asphalt and washing away the ground underneath.

An effort to repave some of the residential streets most in need of repair is underway, but unfortunately for cyclists none of them are major bikeways.

Tucson Department of Transportation director  Jim Glock announced that five neighborhoods would be chip sealed in the coming months. There are no significant bike routes in any of the five neighborhoods, but there is some hope that a few popular bike routes will get chip sealed in the future.

Glock said he has been working with Tom Thivener, the city’s bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, to prioritize bikeways that need repaving within the city.

“Tom has brought me a priority list of heavily used bike streets whose surface is rough,” Glock said. “As I and my successor return to council seeking more funding we will make those a priority as well.”

Glock said the City Council and Mayor’s office directed the city’s transportation staff to focus on the five neighborhoods being targeted.

As for the bike route priorities, Thivener said he has a lot of streets that he would like to see fixed up, but has a few very high-priority corridors.

The routes he sees as high priority are (see the map below):

  • Third Street between Campbell Avenue and Alvernon Way.
  • Treat Avenue from Speedway to Broadway Boulevard.
  • Park from University Boulevard to Sixth Street
  • Liberty Avenue from Ajo Way to 43rd Street.

He said there are a lot of medium-priority streets, but given the limited city funds he’ll focus on the above routes.

The blue shapes are the neighborhoods being chip sealed and the red lines are the highest priority bike routes in need of pavement fixes.

View Pavement in a larger map

5 thoughts on “Some residential streets to be repaved; major bike routes not included”
  1. This may be a blessing in disguise…

    Does chip seal result in a surface that is safe for cyclists? Does chip seal solve the fundamental problem of cheapo Old Pueblo infrastructure or is it just a torn dirty band aid?

    If the best COT DOT can come up for fixing bike routes is to *someday* chip seal, then one might hope that day never comes.

    Meantime, commute/utility cyclists will eventually find other routes around neglected and unsafe streets aka “bike routes.” Which, of course, questions the premise of official bike routes.

  2. A few months ago, one of my neighbors hosted an “adopt a pothole” bake sale at Park and Drachman. That intersection is like a moonscape. I notice that it’s not on the list in this article.

  3. What was the outcome of the bake sale? I think there’s a fine for patching potholes with stale baked goods.
    The city plopped some asphalt down on that intersection a while back, but it was no improvement for cyclists. Lots of students live on that route and the pharmacy at Park & Grant is a significant student destination. There are people in the city who understand how and why people chose certain routes for riding and what conditions will cause someone to disregard riding as an option altogether. So, why Park continues to be ignored completely baffles me.
    And, this has been bothering me for some time: How is a driver supposed to know what a sharrow means? I couldn’t find a mention or picture of one in any DMV stuff. It’s just another road marking; if drivers even notice it at all. It lacks the implication to drivers that cyclists have the right to be ‘out’ in the ‘lane’ which most drivers believe we do not have.

  4. The only problems my skinny tires have had in the 7 years I’ve been riding all around Tucson have been those related to broken glass, sharp metal, goat heads, and any of the other sharp detritus that gets washed onto the roads during the monsoon.

    No matter the case, roads aren’t going to get repaired or resurfaced at anything near lightning quick given the slashed budgets and the shortsightedness of both politicians and voters.

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