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Why Tucson Needs Protected Bike Infrastructure for Safer Cycling

Mar 11, 2023 | 0 comments

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Mar 11, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments

Tucson city is Pima’s County county seat in Arizona State in the United States. Tucson city is significantly famous for its consistent moderate climate as well as its cycling culture. Gale states that The League of American Bicyclists calls it the cycling community on the ‘Gold’ level (26). However, even with their popularity and being legendary for cycling Tucson is well known to be a significantly dangerous place for cyclers. Therefore, great steps have been taken towards improving the overall cycling safety. Tuscon has now begun pushing for the implementation of well-protected bike infrastructure. Gale expresses that, unfortunately, this movement is facing a significant level of resistance from the county and State government because of the unnecessarily long processes involved in attaining the cost-benefit analysis, city permissions as well as the public perceptions (30).

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According to Gale, protecting bike lanes is vital in reducing the risks of fatal road accidents involving motor vehicles (29). It is important to note that Central Tucson faces a significant amount of bike traffics, due to the numerous people who commute as well as ride recreationally daily. Therefore, ensuring the safety of the bike riders should be a priority to the local authorities. In the year 2014 alone, about seven cyclists all in Pima County were victims of tragic accidents involving motor vehicles. Moreover, the number of reports in the total of car crash victim cyclists was two hundred and seven. Tucson’s history of a rising number of crashes as well as fatalities should be a number one reason the government to take the initiative and focus on protecting bike lanes.

Furthermore, the impacts of the significantly increasing cyclists’ safety program should be embraced far beyond the reduction of the bike-automobile accidents.

According to Orange County Transportation Authority, a protected bike lane holds various definitions and can be in the form of many creations (35). However, there are three primary characteristics they all share as per the Green Lane Project. First of all, there is a physical separator that is put in place between the motor vehicles traffic and the cyclists (Orange County Transportation Authority 36). The separator is presented in a number of forms such as vertical plastic posts, parked cars, curbs, bollards, amongst others. Secondly, Orange County Transportation Authority states that a lane preserved only for the cyclists, in the exemption of the non-avoidable mixing zones. Thirdly, and last among them is the adjacent lane that runs parallel, which is located adjacently to all roadway (36).

Moreover, a proposal to building protecting bike infrastructure is not alien, Tucson has brief segments in existence of the protected bike. Nevertheless, Orange County Transportation Authority points out that, numerous cities within the United States alone are already in the commitment of the instalment of well established protected bicycle routes (40).

Moreover, the building of the bike lane protection will reduce stress to a significant percentage of the people of Tuscon. Studies show that at least forty-three percent of the Tuscon people agreed that there is the much higher likelihood of them riding a bicycle if a physical protective barrier was built between the automobiles and the bikes. Thus, showing the significant number of potential riders who have their focus and choice to cycling in a comfortable environment rather than the latter (Orange County Transportation Authority 45). Orange County Transportation Authority mention that it is vital to note that the bikeways that have physical protection separating them from the motor traffic carry the least level of the stress caused by traffic between intersections (36). Therefore, the creation of an environment which encourages and attracts riders, would as a whole rise the total population riders. Noting that an increase in ridership portrays the numerous of positive impacts on the Tuscon community.

Nevertheless, increased cyclists will, in the long run, lead to the development and encouragement of a healthier population of Tuscon. Pucher and Ralph state that, cycling for recreational purposes as well as for transportation enables people to exercise at least half an hour daily. Such a routine ensures lower risks of obesity, as well as high blood pressure (55). Moreover, Pucher and Ralph further state that, individuals who are daily commutates of cycling experience enormously minimal levels pollutants exposure in comparison to the motorists (56).

Besides the general safety of the Tuscon population, the apartments by the cycling paths as well as the pedestrian paths in New York City had their rent increased significantly. Many of the residents wholly supported the protection of the cycling lanes (Pucher and Ralph 65). Thus, all in all, initiating the protection of the bike lanes protection will lead not only to the increased safety of the people but also to the reduction of stress, encouragement of cycling, growth in business as well as public desirability.

Works Cited

Gill, A. (January 01, 2012). Bike Transportation System Design.
Orange County Transportation Authority (Calif.). (2015). OC bike: Orange County bikeways guide.
Pucher, John, and Ralph Buehler. City Cycling. Cambridge, Massachusetts; London, England: The MIT Press, 2012. Print.

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