I wasn’t able to attend the Downtown Tucson-Pima County Bicycle Advisory subcommittee meeting on Monday, but TPCBAC member Dave Boston, sent along this recap:
The T-PCBAC’s Downtown subcommittee reviewed two crucial topics at this Monday’s meeting.
First was the proposed modern streetcar’s effect on the current bicycling structure along its route. The stations (stops) along the majority of the route have been located in the center of the street, having minimal effect on cyclists. The stations at Cushing St. and at Congress St. (at Granada) pose some potential problems, depending on how much future usage there is.
However, the tracks at the intersections of 4th Ave./University Blvd. and at Park Ave./University Blvd. are very problematic. Cyclists will have to cross the tracks at a bad angle while dealing with intersection-type traffic. Please know that the tracks will be two-way: that means a set of tracks going each direction and doubling the amount of track that currently exists. Also cyclists will be riding parallel to the track on University Blvd. in the traffic lane.
To some at the meeting, introducing this level of hazard on an existing designated bike route is unacceptable, to the point of jeopardizing Tucson’s quest for a platinum level bicycle community.
It remains to be seen how well or in what manner cyclists handle this condition. It appears the City is comfortable with its level of liability that could arise from this situation.
The second topic was the subcommittee’s recommendation to the full BAC on the adjustment to the RTA funding level for Bike Boulevards. This is a complex issue.
The RTA is a Regional funding source, meaning county-wide. Bike boulevards are applicable to Tucson’s core cycling transportation needs. Bike boulevards are seen as crucial to increasing the level of bike ridership, providing a safer alternative to arterial routes. Current funding level proponents contend that bike boulevards can be adequately funded through existing designations without diluting the funds for greenway and road striping projects.
Greenway projects are those that are separate from auto traffic, such as the highly used Rilitto multi-use path. These facilities are attractive to different types of cyclists and the difficulty is determining the greatest number of who will be best served. The decision will also somewhat steer the type of cycling community Tucson is apt to become in the future. The BAC must give its recommendation on this subject to the RTA by the end of the month.
Please give this issue some thought and bring an opinion to express at the special T-PCBAC meeting on March 24th.
As soon as the TPCBAC announces a time and place for the meeting, I will post an update. Additionally, I am working on a story about bike boulevards and what the change to the RTA funding level will mean.
Thanks for the update, Dave.