Cyclovia tests out bike lane idea on thousands of cyclists

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Cyclovia tests out bike lane idea on thousands of cyclists

By Rikki Mitchell. CREATED Apr 6, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - With some city streets shut down on Sunday, cyclists had the freedom to ride without worry. But any other day of the year, those cyclists will tell you they try to avoid busy streets all together.

"Some of the streets like Speedway have a really narrow bike lane and it feels really dangerous," said Fernando Gonzalez, who bikes everyday.

But what if there was a barrier separating you from traffic? This year's Cyclovia put that idea on display with wooden boxes lining a bike lane on Sixth Avenue. 

The boxes serve as both small gardens and protection for cyclists.

"The key to biking and getting more people to bike is making them feel like they can bike safely," said Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, who spoke at the event.

He said you may start seeing a lot more of those barriers. A portion of St. Mary's Road will have something like that installed at the end of the month.

"It feels a lot safer to a lot of people," said Kylie Walzak, program manager for Living Streets Alliance, the organization that puts on Cyclovia every year.

Walzak says other cities have tried the protected bike lane idea.

"They're doing studies like what's the usage of this bike lane before a protected bike lane goes in and what is is after and the numbers just skyrocket," she said.

Here in Tucson, the demo went over well with cyclists.

"It would be an amazing benefit to making our bike commute a bit safer," said Gonzalez.




Rikki Mitchell

Rikki Mitchell

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Rikki Mitchell is a proud University of Arizona grad and joined the KGUN9 team after graduation. Rikki reports as a video journalist for the evening and weekend newscasts.