'Bicycle' boulevards getting positive spin Planners envision routes that will ring the city What once was seen as a recreational amenity for cyclists and joggers may prove to be increasingly important transportation corridors. Connectivity will be the key to making nonmotorized transportation a practical option throughout the community through a series of river park trails, midtown cycling arterials and "bicycle boulevards."
Soaring prices for motor vehicle fuels have prompted Americans to reduce their driving by the sharpest margin since 1942, when the Federal Highway Administration began keeping such records. In the 12 months that ended in March, Americans drove about 11 billion fewer miles than the year before, with many using alternative modes of transportation or planning trips more carefully to minimize stops at the pump.
That has area advocates of alternative transportation paying attention. They are looking to expand bicycle and pedestrian pathways to provide choices other than the personal motor vehicle. "When complete, these corridors will ring the city of Tucson and provide alternate nonmotorized transportation corridors, as well as recreational trail use and health and fitness opportunities," said Steve Anderson, principal planner for the Pima County Natural Resources, Parks, and Recreation Department. ( Read more.)
Increasingly popular with many bike-friendly city planners, bicycle boulevards are a a traffic calming strategy to improve bike safety by slowing vehicle speeds to a velocity close to that of an average bicyclist. They are popular because they don't ban car traffic, only slow it; and they are not capital intensive. And they are popular with pedestrians and neighborhood residents, as they improve overall street safety.