Tucson, Arizona¬†is rated one of the top cities in the nation for bicycle commuting. In part due to the extensive network of bike paths and also Tucson's push to become a platinum-rated bike-friendly community, bicycle ridership increased 58 percent between 2009 and 2010. While the city as a whole has made great strides, there are a few pockets where bicycle safety needs an extra boost.
The University of Arizona (UA) campus is one such pocket. With around 11,500 bicyclists on campus each day, the UA campus has the highest concentration of bicycles in the Tucson metro area. With bicycles, vehicles and pedestrians (often using cell phones) competing for the same limited space, safety must be the number one priority in order to prevent Tucson motor vehicle accidents involving bicycles and bicycle accidents themselves.
Because of numerous on-campus bicycle accidents, the UA and the Pima Association of Governments are jointly funding a $100,000 UA Area Bicycle and Pedestrian Study. The goal of the study is to collect data through bicycle counts and student surveys to identify the most problematic areas on campus and determine what improvements can be made. The following areas have been mentioned as potential locations for evaluation:
- In front of the Harvill building and between Highland Avenue and Second Street
- The Student Union Memorial Center area
- University Boulevard between the Main Library and Old Main (known as "the gauntlet" around 11:50 a.m. when classes are out)
The study will also make bicycle and pedestrian safety awareness a priority.
At this point, the study's project managers are keeping an open mind and leaving all options on the table as to better ways Tucson bicycle accidents can be prevented on campus. They are hoping to first get input from all interested and affected parties through a series of open-house style meetings. If you are interested in providing input for the study, the first planned open house is January 26, 2012 in the Student Union Memorial Center's Catalina Room between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
After considering all of the relevant factors, the outcome of the study should help implement changes to improve the safety of bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers on the UA campus. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident or car accident involving a cyclist, a personal injury attorney in your area can explain your options for payment of crash-related expenses.