Learn about new streetcar’s impact on bikes Wednesday

Cyclists will have the opportunity to learn more about Tucson’s modern streetcar plan as it pertains to biking in Tucson on Wednesday.

Engineers and planners in charge of Tucson’s modern streetcar will present updated plans to the Tucson-Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting at 6 p.m.

Tucson’s bike and pedestrian program manager Tom Thivener encouraged cyclists to attend the presentation.

“It makes sense that [cyclists] come out to learn what is in the plan,” Thivener said. “If they do have questions, that is a great place to get answers.”

Thivener said they should have people there who can answer technical questions.

He said there are several things cyclists should know about:

  • The existing tracks on University and Fourth Avenue will be removed and the new tracks will be placed in the travel lanes.
  • There will be several new signals including one at Park and University, which will slow cyclists’ progress through the area.
  • New tracks will be placed on 2nd Street through the University of Arizona campus, which is a smaller street.
  • The Warren Street underpass will be redesigned to accommodate the street car, which will narrow the area reserved for bike and pedestrians. The plan is to create a shared-use path under Speedway.



Because of the new signals and complicated track crossings, Thivener said it might make sense to create a second east/west bike corridor through the UA. He said 5th Street already has an entrance into campus and would need a few upgrades to make it an alternative to University.

One issue that will likely be raised is safety concerns related to the tracks. Many cyclists have crashed on the tracks when trying to cross them.

Thivener said he is working on different types of pavement markings to set cyclists up to safely cross the tracks as close to a right angle as possible.

According to Thivener, the new tracks used with the streetcar will be more flush with the road.

Thivener said the plans are not complete and there is still time to have changes incorporated into them to make the streetcar project more friendly.

Check out the event listing for the meeting time and location.

Check out the video below of a StreetFilms video about crossing tracks and check out the pavement markings they are using.

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5 comments
Brody
Brody

The only reason I can fathom for a streetcar nowadays is that it's a cool, quaint thing that adds to the ambience of 4th Avenue. There is absolutely nothing cool or quaint about a "modern" streetcar and it certainly will not fit with 4th Avenue's ambience. Whose disjointed idea was this again?

zz
zz

It has been clearly and emphatically stated at BAC meetings that the City has shown insufficient concern over injuries and the hazard these tracks present to cyclists. The death that occurred a couple months ago was on the new section of track....supposedly more bike friendly. And in an area where there is little bike traffic. They're going to install eight additional miles of this track in the travel lanes of the most highly traveled bike route in the city. What do they expect will happen? "We'll fix it with paint" has been essentially the response so far. Unacceptable! Provisions must be made for the compromise of safety and usability of this established bike route. The City is attempting to lure more cyclists to the streets with the establishment of Bike Boulevards in areas where the numbers are few, yet directly jeopardizes thousands of cyclists well-being where riding is proven most desirable and frequent. This is most fustrating.

Red Star
Red Star

"All aboard!" Exhorts the bike and pedestrian program manager... Ah, the elixir of federal funding no matter how nonsensical the project! Think of how all that money could improve transpo cycling in the Old Pueblo in rational ways.

James
James

Good thing we put in those bike corrals on University and are still working to make 3rd/University a bike boulevard, and 4th ave and University a bike boulevard intersection... ? But, truth be told, the places I go make 5th St. a better option anyway.

3wheeler
3wheeler

They take my tax money and use it to ruin the roads I cycle on. And for what? We have busses right now.