Cyclists riding the Urban Loop likely see changes every time they ride the route.

Pima County workers are out there every day adding new paths and signs and taking out others.

The progress and the recent connection has one group so excited that they are organizing a ride to highlight climate change and are using the path to demonstrate the possibilities of using bicycle to reduce carbon emissions.

Here is update on some of the new sights along the route. Check out the ride details below.

The old graffiti covered stop sign and gate on the Rillito River path just east of I-10 has been removed. I'm told by Pima County's bike and pedestrian program manager, Matt Zoll, that this section of the path will be repaved soon. Photo courtesy of Art Gillespie

The bridge at La Cholla and the Rillito River path is also now open.

The bridge now has bike lanes in both directions.
It also has separated sidewalks. Zoll said cyclists can use the sidewalk to cross rather than ride on the street.

In the past, the La Cholla bridge was used for cyclists heading west to cross to the south side of the river because the path on the north side ended. Now however the path on the north side continues to Camino de la Tierra. (Check the map below to see where the new sections of path are located.)

There are also a lot of new paved paths on the south bank of the Rillito between La Cholla Boulevard and Mountain Avenue. Here is what it looks like.

Heading east just past La Cholla on the south bank of the Rillito. You can see the gravel path on the right side of the photo.
The county tries to make connections to parks and neighborhoods when possible.
A sidewalk connects to a parking lot off of Oracle Road.
On the east side of Oracle, the path turned to dirt, though I've been told that this was paved in the last few days.
The path ends here. Cyclists have to get onto the road through the Tucson Mall's parking area.

Zoll said a long term goal is to continue the path through the area, but building a cantilevered bridge along the south bank the Rillito.

Once you ride through the mall, you cross Stone and ride into the bus station and get back on the path.

Here is the connection to the bus station.
This is a section of the path just east of Stone Avenue.
The "no bikes" signs still haven't be removed, though.
A separate granite path breaks away from the paved portion at First Avenue.
The county is building a separate bridge for the paved part of the path.

Zoll said the county is working on creating wayfinding signs to help path users determine which way to go.

View Additions to the Rillito Path in a larger map

6 thoughts on “Urban loop progressing quickly; group plans ride on path”
  1. I rode the south bank on Thursday night.  The dirt section near Oracle has indeed been paved.  The gate at Galleria Mall was still there, but it may be gone by now, I don’t know.  I’m sure it will go when bollards are put in.  This new path is beautiful in sections and will improve cyclists access to shopping at the malls and the stores at First Ave.  I say “Thanks!” to the folks involved in this project.  I look forward to the completion of the Campbell – Mountain section and the installation of the new bridge near Mountain.

  2. One more thing.  Riding the ring road at Tucson Mall wasn’t a problem for me, or crossing Stone at the light.  However, since the path already goes under Stone, it would be nice if it were extended a bit to the West and come up on the Tucson Mall side of Stone.  It would be cheaper to get land from the mall folks for just a “landing” than a full path across their property.  This does raise the issue of how the mall was allowed by the zoning folks to run the parking lot right to the river’s edge and not reserve 10 to 20 feet for a park.  That’s water under the bridge now, but I hope the lesson is well learned.

  3. Wow! Talk about progress! I rode through here at the beginning of August and it sure didn’t look like this. Woohoo!

  4. Ride for Moving Planer- Sept 24th to show our enduring desire for more clean green energy and more sustainable transportation including wonderful bike paths.

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