September 25 2012

Building an Attractive Cycling Environment in Tucson, Arizona

Sustainable development is a goal of almost every United States city. Combined with fun, fitness, and environmental purpose, promoting cycling may be the most popular strategy that many cities have implemented. The local government of Tucson just introduced to its citizens a new sustainable plan: Bicycle boulevards.

Many people are unfamiliar with bicycle boulevards since very few exist in the United States. Bicycle boulevards are low speed streets which have been specially designed to accommodate cycle users. When compared to driving a car or riding on a bus, one can find riding a bicycle has many advantages such as good speed, low-cost, door-to-door access, easy parking, etc. These advantages make cycling the best way to travel within five miles. However, safety issues constantly prevent people from riding.

Therefore, in order to encourage bicycle use, mitigating safety concerns is significant in transportation planning. Bicycle Boulevards are effective measures that create comfortable cycling environments by calming and reducing traffic, increasing crossing treatments, and so on.

Bicycle boulevards in Tucson

Bicycle boulevards in Tucson

The roadways that have been identified in Tucson as bicycle boulevards are up to 170 miles. According to the 2009 Regional Plan for Bicycling, constructing bicycle boulevards has been made a priority for the Tucson region. With the plan implemented, the direct result would be the incremental increase of bicycle use. Actually, from the year 2009 to 2010, Tucson moved its ranking of bike commuting in major cities from the 12th to the 6th in the United States.

Even though cycling is considered one of the most sustainable forms of transport, some research has found that making cycling mainstream is still difficult in many cultures.

In which city are you living and what is the best reason for you to ride a bike when traveling within 5-miles?

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

Wanyi Song

Wanyi Song is a graduate research assistant of the University of Arizona in Science of Planning. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Landscape Architecture when she was living in Southern China. After her undergraduate studies, Wanyi worked full-time as a Landscape Designer in China and Singapore. Her interests range from environmental science and GIS technology to architecture and urban design. She enjoys participating in sustainable development projects which integrate green techniques and a sense of aesthetics, to create livable communities as well as to mitigate natural resources conflicts.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 at 5:11 pm and is filed under Community/Economic Development, Environment, Government/Politics, Transportation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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