Dec 10, 2013 11:58 PM by Nichole Szemerei
MARANA - Last month we told you about an accident on Dove Mountain Boulevard and Paseo Vista Solana involving a cyclist and a garbage truck. According to the Marana Police Department, no one was cited or badly injured. After that story, one viewer contacted News 4 Tucson Investigators, saying this will become a trend unless something is done.
Jack Bartell sent us a string of email conversations he had with the Marana Police Department regarding the dangers of Dove Mountain Boulevard before that accident occurred. He says he's been trying to work pro-actively with the department to increase safety, but is frustrated with a lack of response, especially when he feels this recent accident could have been prevented.
"I don't have any satisfaction having, kind of predicted that, I think anybody could've, it's not hard to do," says Bartell.
Bartell knows this stretch of road well and says the community needs to be aware of its danger and action needs to be taken now.
"The sensitivity is pretty high now people would be very receptive to a message. Now is a really good time to reengage on that."
Bartell says the biggest issue is that there are no defined bike lanes. Instead, they have multi-use lanes. He's asked Marana PD to define the rules of these lanes for the community.
"I'm looking for a clear and definitive statement from the Marana PD that will let all of us in the community know that there are no bike lanes on Dove Mountain Boulevard and that the rules that apply to cyclists are the same as slow moving vehicles. That'll make it pretty clear," says Bartell.
"We did put together a flier on bike safety and explain the responsibilities of drivers, motorists, and bicyclists alike," says Sgt. Jose Alvarez.
Marana Police came up with a flier that Bartell says makes it even more confusing. For example, it tells both drivers and cyclists to yield the right of way.
"We haven't heard of any confusion. We trust that if citizens don't understand what we're doing, that they come forward and express that," says Sgt. Alvarez.
Bartell did come forward.
We also asked Sgt. Alvarez if the flier could be changed. He said it's no longer in use and directed us to Marana's website for information on bike safety.
"We look at the type of accidents that we're having and collisions and that determines what type of changes we need to make. If you look at our record, there's not really a spike in traffic involved collisions as far as motorists and bicyclists," says Sgt. Alvarez.
We requested the number of accidents in the last three years along Dove Mountain Boulevard and according to Marana Police, there has only been the one that happened this November.
Regardless of the numbers, Bartell still doesn't feel safe.
"If I were riding down this road at 40 mph and that cement truck was riding next to me in a single lane of traffic, that's not safe. I'm a pretty skilled rider, that's still not safe for me."
Following our interviews Sgt. Alvarez has agreed to talk to Jack Bartell in hopes of clearing up any confusion.
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