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This is the City of Tucson's Bicycle & Pedestrian Newsletter. It is designed to inform Tucson's bicyclists and pedestrians about current bike/ped happenings, how you can get involved, and how you can have fun on bike or on foot!
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Bikes and Books

The Pima County Joel D. Valdez Main Library has a brand new bike rack ready to use during your next visit! Designed by Troy Neiman of BICAS, the bike rack spells out the word “READ,” and is engraved with text that states “Park your bicycle here.” The READ bike rack replaces a bike rack that was removed last year.

Getting the bike racks in place was a collaborative effort of the City Bicycle and Pedestrian Program (which purchased the bike rack), the Parks Department (which installed the bike rack), and Pima County Main Library staff. Specifically, we’d like to give a special thanks to Peg Weber from Parks and Sandy White from Pima County.

Come check out this functional piece of public art that reminds everyone about life’s great pleasures: riding bikes and reading books.

New bike racks at the Pima County Main Library

Bikes are already using the new READ bike rack.
Mayor, Troy, and Kylie

Bike rack designer Troy Neiman, Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, and Living Streets Alliance Program Manager Kylie Walzak stand in front of the bike rack following the Bike to Work with the Mayor event during Bike Month.

Tucson's 1st
Protected Bike Lane

Tucson recently installed its first protected bike lanes on St. Mary’s Road between I-10 and Main Avenue. Bicyclists and motorists traveling both east and west along St. Mary’s Road will notice a two feet wide buffer lined with hardy plastic protectors – placed approximately 30 feet apart – between the six feet wide bike lane and the right-most vehicle lane.
The protectors aim to make the bike lane more visible to motorists and prevent motorists from drifting into the bike lane.
If you are happy biking along busy roadways without a physical barrier, you are probably a
“Strong and Fearless” or “Enthused and Confident” cyclist according to research done by Portland State University. But the City of Tucson Bicycle and Pedestrian Program wants to make it easier for a far larger segment of the population, “Interested but Concerned” bicyclists and would-be-bicyclists, to take to the streets on two wheels. We hope that protected bike lanes will help all bicyclists feel more secure as you ride – and encourage you to ride more often, too.
This first protected bike lane was part of the
Downtown Links Phase II project, and it will help connect west-side residents with attractions downtown and at the University of Arizona. Additional protected bike lanes are in the works, including Stone Ave adjacent to the Courthouse and along Church Avenue between Cushing Street and St.Mary’s Road/6th Street.
Have you ridden in the new protected bike lane? Email Jessica to tell us what you think.
City crew installs plastic delineators


A crew installs the plastic delineators along St. Mary’s Road.

Meet the new Safe Routes to School Program Manager

We first told you about our new Safe Routes to School program in February. Here is an Interview with Sarah Prasek, the Safe Routes to School Program Manager at Living Streets Alliance (LSA and Toole Design Group have been contracted by the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program to run the City's Safe Routes to School Program).

Bike/Ped Program: What experiences do you bring to the City of Tucson's Safe Routes to School program?

Sarah: I have a Bachelor's Degree in Sustainable Development Studies and a Master's Degree in Planning. I ran the Santa Cruz County Safe Routes to School Program for five years. The Santa Cruz County SRTS project was a brand-new initiative when I took the position, so I had the chance to build that program from the ground-up as well. This is an exciting opportunity to work with Tucson/Pima County schools!


Sarah Prasek, Safe Routes to School Program Manager

Bike/Ped Program: What will be your first steps as the Safe Routes to School Program Manager?

Sarah: My first step is to talk to a lot of people who work in the local schools to learn about needs and opportunities in the districts, and get suggestions for candidate pilot schools. I've also been meeting with other groups who support walking/biking to plan ways we might collaborate in the coming year.

Bike/Ped Program: What components of the program do you want our readers to know about?

Sarah: Safe Routes to School does so many things. We can help parents/kids/communities map-out and improve their neighborhood routes; sponsor fun events like Kidical Mass rides; provide bike safety education and equipment; organize regular Walk to School events and bike trains, and more. One of the best things about Safe Routes to School is that it can adapt to an individual school's situation and really help them meet their specific needs and goals.

Bike/Ped Program: What are your plans to make the Safe Routes to School program sustainable? Do you envision the program growing over time?

Sarah: A key component to making SRTS programs sustainable is building support and capacity within a school community with the goal of schools ultimately taking ownership of programs that are successful and have momentum. Yes, we'd love for this program to grow and reach more schools over time.

Bike/Ped Program: Are there any big events that will be part of the Safe Routes to School Program?

Sarah: We have a few events in the works. We'll be promoting ongoing celebrations like International Walk to School Day, and will offer several other events to schools throughout the region. The summer is a great time to plan so stay tuned for more info.

Bikes outside City High School in Tucson's downtown. (Photo Credit: City High School)

Bike/Ped Program: What advice would you give to parents who want their kids to walk and bike more?

Sarah: Give kids the tools they need so that they're safe (bike/ped education, helmets, and appropriate supervision), and then make it fun -- It IS fun! Be an example and walk/bike as a family; encourage kids to walk or ride in a group of friends; decorate your bikes; use your walk to school as a time to catch up, go on an after-school neighborhood scavenger hunt, explore. Another idea is to find out what's motivating for your child (maybe tracking mileage, etc.), and help them set and achieve a goal.
Bike/Ped Program: What words of wisdom can you give to parents who are hesitant to let their kids walk and bike on their own?

Sarah: Parents can feel that their child is too young or their route too hazardous to walk/bike without supervision, and that's fair. A couple first steps to feeling more secure about letting kids walk/bike on their own are to teach them how to stay safe when traveling on/near streets, practice with them so you know when they're capable of traveling alone, and then do your homework to locate the best/safest routes to a destination. There are also a lot of creative ways to provide supervision when that's needed (walking/biking as a group with an older child or an adult; meeting neighbors along a route and asking for them to keep an eye out, etc.). It's important that parents feel comfortable before letting their kids walk/bike solo.

Bike/Ped Program: Thanks! We are very excited to see this program get rolling!

Ahora, puede tomar la encuesta en Español!

Thank you to the nearly 600 people who took our Bicycle and Pedestrian Program survey! You have provided us with valuable information regarding how to move the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program forward.

The survey is now available in Spanish. If you know any Spanish-speakers who would like to take the survey, please pass along this link


Coming Soon:

  • Want to nominate someone for bicyclist or pedestrian of the month? Email Jessica.

  • Thank you again to those of you who took our survey! Stay tuned for highlights from the results!
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Copyright © 2014 City of Tucson Bicycle & Pedestrian Program, All rights reserved.

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