Posted 3:29 PM 6/7/2012 : UA study reveals need for bike and pedestrian improvements around campus
TUCSON - Forty percent of people who drive to the University of Arizona live within five miles of campus. To get more people out of their cars, the University conducted their first bicycle and pedestrian study.
The initial results have just been published, and Alta Planning and Design is proposing six major recommendations.
Students like Shadow Williams, know just how challenging it can be for cyclists and pedestrians to maneuver around the school.
"Sometimes when I'm walking I feel like I've got to dodge out of the way because cyclists are coming both ways so you got to move to get out of the way."
Faculty member, Tait Hansen, agrees.
"It can be dangerous sometimes for pedestrians walking on the sidewalk where bicyclists cross those paths."
Pima Association of Governments was also involved in the study, and Alta Planning and Design, along with Kimley-Horn and Associates conducted all the research.
One of the areas they'd like to change is the University Mall.
Ann Chanecka, with Pima Association of Governments says speed is one of the factors.
"The mall in particular because there's wide areas on both sides so it tends to be an area where bikes move pretty fast right now."
To make it safer, they'd like to install a cycle track, which separates cyclists and pedestrians from each other.
They've also proposed intersection and signal improvements on 5th and 6th Street, constructing a bike path on Highland Avenue, improving portions of Mountain Avenue, and building better walking and cycling access on 2nd Street.
The projects range in price form $11,000.00 to $413,000.00, but Chanecka says that the changes could pay off.
"Obviously this is where there's a lot of people and a lot of trips, and so making sure that this area is a model could serve the whole region."
For more information on the complete study, and all the changes that are proposed, go to http://www.pagnet.org/tabid/1052/Default.aspx. While you're there, you can also give your thoughts on the project by filling out a comment card.
A public workshop to review this draft, and provide input is also being held on Thursday, June 14th, from 6:00-7:30 p.m., at the UA Swede Johnson Building.
There will be free parking, and the address is 1111 N. Cherry Avenue.
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