The Main Stream

Aug 4, 2011 10:46 AM

2 Wheelin' in Tucson: New intersection brings new cycling treatments to Tucson

TUCSON - The Mission and Starr Pass intersection was under construction for many months. Now that it's complete, both drivers and cyclists are noticing some changes.

Erik Ryberg, who lives on Tucson's west side, uses the new interchange, and likes some of the new cycling amenities.

"It might be the most sophisticated intersection in Tucson, in terms of the bike infrastructure that's been installed here," Ryberg said.

Not only is the asphalt much smoother and easier to ride along, specific safety treatments have been built throughout the traffic interchange.

"We've got the green boxes along the streets to tell drivers not to drift into that area because it's exclusively for cyclists. We've got some sophisticated crossings here to allow cyclists to come on to 22nd from mission," Ryberg continued.

However that's not all. In some of the more dangerous areas for cyclists, the City has built special sidewalks for cyclists and pedestrians only.

Tom Thivener, Tucson's Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Manager, says the feedback has been positive.

"Folks are saying it has some pretty cool treatments. I think it's higher standards than what Tucson bicyclists are used to because normally we're used to a stripe on a pavement but here we actually pulled them off with a couple ways to reenter the roadway. A lot of signage, pavement markings, so we kind of got the works with this project," Thivener said.

Additionally, the traffic light crossing signals have been placed for easier access for cyclists, and across the Santa Cruz River, there's a two lane bridge for cyclists and pedestrians. Again, it pulls 2 wheelers and walkers off of the busy roadway, and channels them back to the street at a safer location.

However, even with all the safety features, cyclists should still be cautious when cycling through the area. Because the interchange looks similar to a freeway interchange, cars tend to pick up speed.

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