Drug dealing, fights and defecation around the Main Library bike racks prompted the city to remove them.
Peg Weber a Tucson Parks and Recreation administrator said the racks, which are located just outside the children’s section of the library, had become a hotspot for illegal activity.
Weber said the library requested the racks be removed because of the proximity to the children. The racks were shaded and when bicycles were parked there prevented the security guards and other people in the plaza from seeing what was happening behind them.
She said the police already patrol that area a lot, but that it wasn’t enough so she pulled the racks.
“There is only so much enforcement you can do,” Weber said. “Police indicate it is the single most visited site downtown. The racks were removed and the problems went away.
Weber said she recognizes that the library needs more bike parking and is working with the Downtown Subcommittee of the Tucson-Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee to determine the best sport for new racks.
“I am really trying to listen hard to what folks who park there need or want to have,” she said.
The city’s bike and pedestrian program manager Ann Chanecka was one of several people to help identify a new location for bike racks to serve the library.
“We are trying to find a good spot that meets various and sometimes competing interests,” Chanecka said.
Weber said her first priority was shade, but after meeting with the BAC members realized that their priority was being able to see the bikes from the library.
She said they determined the best location would be about 40 yards away from the main entrance. She said for now it wouldn’t have a lot of shade, but that the parks department would try to find a way to provide shade in the future.