The City of Tucson recently upgraded the Third Street and Tucson Boulevard intersection to improve detection of bicycles.

The city added two “bike pucks” — circular black devices placed in the ground that detect the metal in bicycle wheels and send a signal to the light to change.

The city’s outgoing bike and pedestrian coordinator, Tom Thivener said he received a lot of complaints about the light not detecting cyclists waiting at the intersection.

“If you go through there at night, detection is kind of spotty,” he said. “The cameras aren’t picking you up very well. Bikes get frustrated and they just ride through.”

Any regular Third Street bike riders out there? Does it help?

10 thoughts on “Third Street intersection gets bike detection upgrade”
  1. I ride through that intersection daily.  

    The stop light occasionally doesn’t go green for the traffic crossing Tucson Blvd.  I’ve not really kept track, but I guess that I can’t think of any time recently that the light didn’t work.  It’s great that the City is sensitive to this sort of problem.  

  2. glad to see they’re making some improvements to this bike boulevard – but, i don’t ride it very much due to the fact that the roads are awfully bumpy – it makes for a pretty uncomfortable ride.

  3. I used to ride through there daily from 2003-2006, and I considered it a nuisance when the traffic light was installed, and there was conflicting signage about where to wait to trigger the light. This is a welcome change.

    How about changing these kinds of lights to flashing red instead of solid red, so cyclists can proceed when there are no cars coming? Tucson Blvd is narrow and doesn’t have much traffic outside of rush hour, so it seems silly to trigger the light most of the time.

  4. The cameras were very iffy. These work very well. These are also at
    6th Ave. and Grant.

  5. I don’t like stopping cars just so I can cross the street.  It’s wasteful and I feel like a jerk for stopping people who are in as much a hurry to get where they’re going as I am.  I don’t like the light at all, I wish it were gone.  I’m an adult, I can look down the road and see when it’s safe to cross.

  6.  I can remember when this intersection just had a stop sign. Yeah, I know. Stop signs. Our favorite-est road sign ever.

    I don’t know why the traffic light was installed and the stop sign was removed. Did it have something to do with pedestrian traffic going to and from Hughes Elementary School?

  7.  Thank goodness!

    There are times when I’ve waited. And waited. And waited. To the point where I thought I should have brought the Sunday New York Times to read while waiting for the 6th and Grant light to change.

  8. A student, I think, was hit and killed there. Before the light got installed, they were busing the students across the intersection.

  9.  Yes, there was a fatality (maybe 2005 or so) and it was an elderly woman.  The original plan was to install a HAWK signal but the issues about allow bicyclists to use the HAWK were still up in the air.  Instead, a full traffic signal and median islands were built.

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