The post about being passed by the streetcar on Fourth Avenue generated a significant discussion and even a story on KVOA.

It also garnered a response from the streetcar team about their safety training related to bicycles.

Here’s the email response to a streetcar officials about the training drivers get from Sun Link operations manager Cleve Cleveland:

Just wanted to follow up with you to ensure you that we do train and enforce the requirement to allow 3 feet of clearance for bicyclist.  I have shared this video and information with our staff to show what this looks like form a bicyclists perspective.  We are committed to the utmost safety in our operation of the streetcar and sharing the road with bicycles. When taking complaints such as this it would be most helpful whenever possible to get an approximate time and vehicle number to assist us in our effort to ensure that the operator is trained appropriately. Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.

Interesting the very day the post came out and the day the drivers were shown the video, I had a streetcar come up behind me on University Boulevard. Instead of passing, it stayed behind me until it reached the next stop.

If you have an issue with a streetcar driver, be sure to record the location, time of day and if possible the number of the streetcar. You can report it to (520) 624-5656 or

In case you are interested, here is the video produced by KVOA.


6 thoughts on “Streetcar officials respond to video of tight squeeze”
  1. It seems like a no win situation.  It should never have been designed to sandwich bikes in the door zone, trapped between the train, tracks, and parked cars.  Someone is going to get hurt.  It’s going to happen.  Maybe TPD could stop ticketing bikes for riding on the sidewalks so cyclists who don’t feel safe on 4th can use the sidewalk as a safer alternative.  I don’t normally think that bikes belong on the sidewalk, but in this case, I think it’s very dangerous for them to be on the street here.

  2. Tucson Velo, thanks for being a watch dog on issues such as this.  No one else in Tucson, including bureaucrats supposedly overseeing cycling/pedestrian safety, seems to be looking out for the interests of bicyclists.

  3. Well, I think bikes on sidewalks creates a whole other host of safety problems, but I think one thing about this situation is clear:  there is no easy solution.  Getting rid of parking seems the most logical, but the Merchants’ Association will have a fit.  And…they have a point.  Much of the parking near 4th Ave. is permit-only.  So a plan would have to be put in place to change the parking situation in the entire 4th Ave. area.  Because anything that involves a plan at the City usually involves a clusterf*ck of delays, confusion, and procrastination, I don’t foresee a solution to this quickly.  I sincerely hope I am proven wrong.

  4. Move the bike lane next to the sidewalk and put the parking between the bike lane and the streetcar.  I’m not actually sure there’s enough room there to keep the bikes out of the door zone, but if there is, it would work.

    Otherwise, you have to get rid of the parking.

  5. neroden Wouldn’t be long before the streetcar took a car door off. Which would have great entertainment value.

  6. I was confronted by related problem for the tight squeeze created for cyclists along 4th Ave.  A couple of days ago, a truck pulled abruptly out in front of me from the curb and while I contended with him, I had the street car tracks to deal with at the same time.  I have a healthy respect for the hazard the tracks create, as they have taken me down on one occasion.  Anyway, thank god a street car was not coming by at the same time the truck pulled out.  

    Regarding the idea suggested about moving the car parking over next to the street car, besides the obvious problem pointed out of the street car hitting car doors. there are other issues.  I have used this kind of arrangement in other cities and found it to be a problem.  Cyclists are less visible at intersections when they ride a line behind parked cars.  I also have found car drivers often wander unexpectedly over into the bike lane when parking.

    I think the only solution is for the street cars to not pass cyclists until they have a chance to pull over and give the street car some room.

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