Wow... lots of questions. I'll do my best to answer them to the best of my ability.
I think it is probably a fluke that you only saw 10 people while you were out riding, which may have to do with the roads and areas you were at. I'd say most people avoid the major roads (like Broadway) for other less busy streets. You'll also find a lot more cyclists near the UA and 4th Ave. area.
That being said, I think the ridership may not be as high as other places given the infrastructure we have.
I understand what you are saying about having drivers on both sides of you can be a little strange, but I think the idea behind them is to eliminate right-hook accidents. Because the driver who wants to turn right has already merged to the right of the rider, you don't have to worry about them tuning right into you.
I don't own any mountain bikes actually, but I think more people are starting to look at the dutch bikes, but I think that is a trend everywhere.
I THINK all new construction is required to have bike facilities when they are building something. Usually there are bike racks, but sometimes they aren't right out front, For example, the Borders on Broadway has bike racks, but they are on the side of the store. Sometimes you have to hunt, but usually they are there.
I am glad you enjoyed your time in Tucson. Are you still here or have you left already?
I will have a few more opportunities during the course of the next 10 days to go again to Tucson and plan to bike all over town. lol
I'll make sure to bike in the UA area, and downtown. Today, I am driving a friend to an appointement at the VA Hospital, and that is yet in another part of town. Bike and bike map are on board!
I am so impressed by such a network of bike paths and lanes, you guys are spoiled! ;-)
And spoiled by such bike friendly weather most of the year. Although I immagine that scorching heat is not so bike friendly.
I will be on the lookout for those hiding bike racks. ;-) Thank you very much for the tip. It is great to hear that city has actually made it a requirement for new buildings to have bike facilities. That is something Montreal can certainly learn from Tucson.
As for the lane in between the right lane and the next one, I do understand the concept (not finding ourselves in the path of the cars turning right), but my question was more about the riders. How do people feel about that set up ? Do people feel safe, safer, to ride in that lane ? Are people using those lanes/streets, or rather avoid them ? We have so many issues to fix in the Montreal bike path network, that learning from rides in other cities is precious.
I was also wondering about some bike lanes that are to the left of a row of parked cars (as opposed to being between sidewalk and parked cars). Doesn't that increase the risk of riding right into a driver's opening their door to get out ?
Don't get me wrong, I was overall extremely impressed by the way things are in Tucson. But I felt comfortable coming in here to ask those questions,knowing I was in a forum of people advocating bicycling in Tucson.
Our main battle this winter has been to keep pressure on the city to clear the snow on the 'white network' (a very limited portion of our bike lane network that is supose to be accessible year round, even in winter). And in January, there has been a 'shovel-in' (as in 'sit in') to protest the fact that authorities are not clearing the only major bridge between south shore and the island of Montreal (Montreal being on an island) where riders could cross to commute year round. Different latitudes, different battles. It is fascinating to travel to other cities and see the things that are done, and learn from that.
Thanks for your replies.