Citizen blogger says Tucson is too unsafe to ride

Check out this blog at the TucsonCitizen.com.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

I used to bike daily. My bike’s only purpose of late has been getting in my way in the garage, where it slumps with deflated tires.

In the three years I’ve lived in Tucson, I’ve hopped on my bicycle twice. Once for a glorious ride along the Rillito River path and another for that heart wrenching trek a mere two miles to Blockbuster on North Swan Road.

My heart is still pounding from the Blockbuster jaunt.

Several folks I know agree that biking in Tucson is like taking our lives into our own hands.

Actually, it’s putting our lives in the hands of Tucson drivers.

That can never be a good thing. The only thing that seems to stay safe in some of those hands is their cellphones.

So how can we make Tucson a safer bicycling place?

The best solution, especially in honor of all this Earth Day hoopla, is to ban all cars. It works in Michigan’s Mackinac Island. Everyone there must get around on foot, bicycle or horse.

Since in Tucson that will never work, and make too many folks late for work, we can simply stick to riding bicycles around bike paths.

While these rides would certainly be safe and scenic, they, too, could interfere with our getting to work. Unless, of course, we happen to work in the Rillito riverbed.

Any other ideas?

What say you?

30 comments
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israel
israel

I recently wrote about this issue at http://tucsonverve.com/hb2633/. I moved here from Albuquerque, where there are fewer cyclists overall, and much less infrastructure. Yet, riding here often feels more dangerous, and it is because of the extremely poor drivers and the outright animosity towards cyclists displayed here. Additionally, TPD actively discriminates against cyclists, while in ABQ the cops try to ticket for any violation, including cars buzzing cyclists, etc. With that being said, I'm not going to stop riding, it isn't that bad, just bad enough that I don't think Tucson should get anything like Platinum or Gold status until it addresses the non-enforcement of cycling laws.

israel
israel

I recently wrote about this issue at http://tucsonverve.com/hb2633/. I moved here from Albuquerque, where there are fewer cyclists overall, and much less infrastructure. Yet, riding here often feels more dangerous, and it is because of the extremely poor drivers and the outright animosity towards cyclists displayed here. Additionally, TPD actively discriminates against cyclists, while in ABQ the cops try to ticket for any violation, including cars buzzing cyclists, etc. With that being said, I'm not going to stop riding, it isn't that bad, just bad enough that I don't think Tucson should get anything like Platinum or Gold status until it addresses the non-enforcement of cycling laws.

James
James

She has other strange blog posts too... A couple months ago she wrote one about how people shouldn't stand on sidewalks because they are in her way when she is walking. Her reference was 4th ave.

James
James

She has other strange blog posts too... A couple months ago she wrote one about how people shouldn't stand on sidewalks because they are in her way when she is walking. Her reference was 4th ave.

Coghauler
Coghauler

Oh no; we were the consummate gentlemen and never mentioned leverage when our friend Monet would come along. Between the two of us, however, we referred to that as a nipple ride.

Coghauler
Coghauler

Oh no; we were the consummate gentlemen and never mentioned leverage when our friend Monet would come along. Between the two of us, however, we referred to that as a nipple ride.

Red Star
Red Star

So do something with 'friction shifting' (other than enjoying, loving the bike and the ride)...

Red Star
Red Star

So do something with 'friction shifting' (other than enjoying, loving the bike and the ride)...

Coghauler
Coghauler

I'll just explain a little about my ol' ridin' buddy, Tarwheel. We would always speak in bicycle reference when we were out doin' stuff. Like: He was a 'dropout', often out'spokin' and misconstrued as a 'crank'.

Coghauler
Coghauler

I'll just explain a little about my ol' ridin' buddy, Tarwheel. We would always speak in bicycle reference when we were out doin' stuff. Like: He was a 'dropout', often out'spokin' and misconstrued as a 'crank'.

Red Star
Red Star

Zen says: April 22, 2010 at 7:41 PM "The new improved Mtn ave is a perfect example, it was safer before they changed it. I see cars in the bike lane almost every time I ride down Mountain now." Hey, Zen -- complain to Old Pueblo DOT and to TPD and get some serious enforcement going on the new Mtn. There's a huge (by Old Pueblo standards) investment in this project. Work the right levers with just the right amount of pressure and they might put down their bagels and doughnuts long enough to see the project through. But hurry...time is of the essence: looks like TPD will soon have to gear up for ethnic cleansing.

Red Star
Red Star

Zen says: April 22, 2010 at 7:41 PM "The new improved Mtn ave is a perfect example, it was safer before they changed it. I see cars in the bike lane almost every time I ride down Mountain now." Hey, Zen -- complain to Old Pueblo DOT and to TPD and get some serious enforcement going on the new Mtn. There's a huge (by Old Pueblo standards) investment in this project. Work the right levers with just the right amount of pressure and they might put down their bagels and doughnuts long enough to see the project through. But hurry...time is of the essence: looks like TPD will soon have to gear up for ethnic cleansing.

Coghauler
Coghauler

Well, coming from the bicycle nirvana that Copenhagen is, I might understand that they would not want to ride here. They've had a couple generations to incorporate cycling into their psyche and culture. It's where Tucsonans want to go when they die (or retire, if they're lucky). It's a tough comparison. I contend, however, that the bike infrastructure is improving, albeit slowly, all the time. Latch on to one of the groups working for the improvements and help raise the voice.

Coghauler
Coghauler

Well, coming from the bicycle nirvana that Copenhagen is, I might understand that they would not want to ride here. They've had a couple generations to incorporate cycling into their psyche and culture. It's where Tucsonans want to go when they die (or retire, if they're lucky). It's a tough comparison. I contend, however, that the bike infrastructure is improving, albeit slowly, all the time. Latch on to one of the groups working for the improvements and help raise the voice.

Paul
Paul

Man, after reading Ryn's post at the Tucson Citizen website, I have to wonder if people who blog should be allowed to post on issues they are completely ignorant about. She has ranted about sharing the road in the past and clearly views bicyclists as second class citizens, thus her constant points about how dangerous it is to ride, sort of as a proad to keep more people from riding. She brings up a car-free community in Michigan as some sort of goal for Tucson but then quickly discounts it as not being possible. I am sorry but did this community not just pull off a car-free event last sunday? An event that brought out lots of happy people biking. Why no mention of this? She is completely out of touch with her community. Tucson is just fine to bike in. If you don't feel comfortable riding down Country Club, try Treat. If you don't feel comfortable riding down Speedway, try 3rd Street. There is a facility for virtually everyone out there. Get off your ass Ryn and stop making excuses for your laziness.

Paul
Paul

Man, after reading Ryn's post at the Tucson Citizen website, I have to wonder if people who blog should be allowed to post on issues they are completely ignorant about. She has ranted about sharing the road in the past and clearly views bicyclists as second class citizens, thus her constant points about how dangerous it is to ride, sort of as a proad to keep more people from riding. She brings up a car-free community in Michigan as some sort of goal for Tucson but then quickly discounts it as not being possible. I am sorry but did this community not just pull off a car-free event last sunday? An event that brought out lots of happy people biking. Why no mention of this? She is completely out of touch with her community. Tucson is just fine to bike in. If you don't feel comfortable riding down Country Club, try Treat. If you don't feel comfortable riding down Speedway, try 3rd Street. There is a facility for virtually everyone out there. Get off your ass Ryn and stop making excuses for your laziness.

Rhys
Rhys

I'm all for improving the bike infrastructure, but I find it pretty insulting that a person who has ridden in Tucson TWICE feels that she can call Tucson unsafe for cycling. A two mile jaunt to blockbuster that still raises her heart-beat? Give me a fucking break. I don't know about your Copenhagen friends - I ride here everyday and I think this place is the shit. Maybe the streets of Copenhagen are paved in gold. Or maybe your Copenhagen friends are just lazy?

Rhys
Rhys

I'm all for improving the bike infrastructure, but I find it pretty insulting that a person who has ridden in Tucson TWICE feels that she can call Tucson unsafe for cycling. A two mile jaunt to blockbuster that still raises her heart-beat? Give me a fucking break. I don't know about your Copenhagen friends - I ride here everyday and I think this place is the shit. Maybe the streets of Copenhagen are paved in gold. Or maybe your Copenhagen friends are just lazy?

Zen
Zen

I don't understand why cyclist in Tucson don't want to improve the bike infrastructure in this town. I know a couple from Copenhagen who rode all the time at home. They don't ride here at all. The cities that are seeing huge increases in ridership are being way more innovative than Tucson is. We will be out of the top 10 biking cities in a year or two. We don't even lead our own state, Tempe has a higher ridership than Tucson. We are the only city in the top 10 that has decreased ridership since 2000. If we keep doing the same thing, we will keep getting the same results which right now is less riders. If we don't demand more, than they will just keep spending money for auto traffic while giving us the least they can to keep us happy. The new improved Mtn ave is a perfect example, it was safer before they changed it. I see cars in the bike lane almost every time I ride down Mountain now. I would love to know how many cyclist are single & how many have kids? I think that changes how you feel about safety.

Zen
Zen

I don't understand why cyclist in Tucson don't want to improve the bike infrastructure in this town. I know a couple from Copenhagen who rode all the time at home. They don't ride here at all. The cities that are seeing huge increases in ridership are being way more innovative than Tucson is. We will be out of the top 10 biking cities in a year or two. We don't even lead our own state, Tempe has a higher ridership than Tucson. We are the only city in the top 10 that has decreased ridership since 2000. If we keep doing the same thing, we will keep getting the same results which right now is less riders. If we don't demand more, than they will just keep spending money for auto traffic while giving us the least they can to keep us happy. The new improved Mtn ave is a perfect example, it was safer before they changed it. I see cars in the bike lane almost every time I ride down Mountain now. I would love to know how many cyclist are single & how many have kids? I think that changes how you feel about safety.

Steve Wilson
Steve Wilson

I was a little nervous when I started riding in Tucson too. But I thought I should stick with it for awhile before making any rash judgements like the blogger above. That was about 108,000 miles ago, so I guess I'd have to say cycling in Tucson isn't that bad :-)

Steve Wilson
Steve Wilson

I was a little nervous when I started riding in Tucson too. But I thought I should stick with it for awhile before making any rash judgements like the blogger above. That was about 108,000 miles ago, so I guess I'd have to say cycling in Tucson isn't that bad :-)

Coghauler
Coghauler

I'm gonna have to quote my ol' ridin' buddy, Tarwheel. when it comes to this feeling safe on a bicycle business-- His favorite saying was, "I'M 'TIRED' OF HEARIN' ABOUT IT." Amen 'Tar'

Coghauler
Coghauler

I'm gonna have to quote my ol' ridin' buddy, Tarwheel. when it comes to this feeling safe on a bicycle business-- His favorite saying was, "I'M 'TIRED' OF HEARIN' ABOUT IT." Amen 'Tar'

Rhys
Rhys

Yeah, it's pretty dangerous out there. We should lobby for bike lanes that are lined with air mattresses. Better yet, there should be an invisible wall dividing the bike lanes from the car lanes, made of a magical force field that's only penetrable by pedestrians and cyclists. If we have a magical, invisible wall, we may as well make a magical, invisible ceiling to go with it and air condition that shit. I'd also like to see some time-manipulation function that slows down time so that you may make it to work on time, because fuck leaving for work 5 or 10 minutes earlier than normal.

Rhys
Rhys

Yeah, it's pretty dangerous out there. We should lobby for bike lanes that are lined with air mattresses. Better yet, there should be an invisible wall dividing the bike lanes from the car lanes, made of a magical force field that's only penetrable by pedestrians and cyclists. If we have a magical, invisible wall, we may as well make a magical, invisible ceiling to go with it and air condition that shit. I'd also like to see some time-manipulation function that slows down time so that you may make it to work on time, because fuck leaving for work 5 or 10 minutes earlier than normal.

Ben
Ben

Here's what I got out of that: "I rode my bike once. I was scared." I think I was scared the first time I swam in a swimming pool. Maybe some instruction from the League of American Bicyclists or the county-supported education programs would be a good idea before jumping right on in there. Maybe we shouldn't expect people (or ourselves) to make a seamless transition from driving a car to driving a bicycle without some instruction or help along the way.

Ben
Ben

Here's what I got out of that: "I rode my bike once. I was scared." I think I was scared the first time I swam in a swimming pool. Maybe some instruction from the League of American Bicyclists or the county-supported education programs would be a good idea before jumping right on in there. Maybe we shouldn't expect people (or ourselves) to make a seamless transition from driving a car to driving a bicycle without some instruction or help along the way.

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