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Feb 3, 2014 6:21 PM

City looks to build protected bike lanes

TUCSON - As downtown continues to grow, city leaders are looking for ways to make getting around easier and safer.

That's why the city has applied for funding from the "People for Bikes" green lane project.

The project will select cities to help build protected bike lanes that further separate cars and cyclists.

The city has several streets in mind, including the stretch of Church Avenue between Pima County Justice Court and the Main Library.

This is a top priority on the list of 9 streets the city feels could use protected bike lanes. They are focusing heavily downtown.

"Over 70 percent of the people downtown walk or bike downtown and so I think looking at downtown in particularly, we don't have those facilities at this time," Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Ann Chanecka said.

The downtown cyclists agree, the ride to work can get hairy.

If Tucson is one of the 6 cities selected, they'll get some funding and technical assistance but the city will have to find money somewhere to complete the project.

Ruth Conseca says it would put her mind at ease knowing careless drivers are further away.

Another street high on the priority list is St. Mary's between Interstate 10 and Church. They coty already has plans to put in a protected lane as a pilot project. That should be done in April.

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