Posted 7:33 AM 9/26/2012 : Bicyclists track streetcar mishaps with new online tool
TUCSON- The modern streetcar won't be operating for another year, but it already has some bicyclists literally stopping in its tracks.
Now a new online accident tracker, launched by Living Streets Alliance, will hopefully make the commute a bit smoother. "I've definitely gotten my tires stuck and then wandered into the area in between the two tracks inadvertently," says Kylie Walzak of Living Streets Alliance.
The online tracker asks bicyclists to record the time and date of their crash, as well as where it happened. It also asks them to send in any pictures. "We're really just providing a service and a tool to help the University of Arizona and City of Tucson, so they get a good solid picture of how many accidents are happening on the tracks," Walzak says.
Modern Streetcar project leaders welcome the feedback.
"Part of the design was done just to make sure we could limit the conflict points for the cyclists," says Streetcar Project Manager Shellie Ginn. "So you'll see a lot of center stops in this alignment and the track is pulled more toward the center of the roadway, which allows the bicyclists to ride on the side of the road."
Ginn says there will also be public service announcements going out about streetcar safety for bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers.
Bicyclists say as long as everyone has a safe path, they're ready for passengers to ride the rails. "We're for all kinds of different transit, anything that involves walking, bicycling, taking public transit, that's going to help us with congestion in this area as we become more dense," Walzak says.
If you're a bicyclist who would like to report a crash, just head to: www.livingstreetsalliance.org/our-work/projects/streetcar-crash-tracking/
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