Arizona

Bicycle Photography: Free the Bike Racks!

There’s a big streetcar construction project underway in central Tucson.

The construction is wreaking havoc on the smooth flow of vehicular traffic, the survival hopes of small, locally owned businesses in an already tough economy, and the ability of bicyclists to ride safely and find places to park.

The hip and happening section of 4th Avenue between University Boulevard and 9th Street has been heavily impacted by the streetcar construction.

Judging from this stretch of 4th Avenue between 4th and 5th Streets, the pavement will be a very tough place for bicyclists to navigate once the streetcar is running. Note the narrow space for a bicyclist to ride. Imagine what would happen to said bicyclist if someone opened a driver’s side door…

Photo essay - streetcar construction and road design not bicycle-friendly in Tucson, Arizona

Far be it from me to say that 4th Avenue business don’t need some of that green money-love right now. They sure do…

Photo essay - signs noting that 4th Avenue businesses are open during streetcar construction in Tucson, Arizona

Okay, I’ll be real nice and polite about this part of the post — I’m tempted to go into a major Martha-rant — but there’s a major problem with the 4th Avenue bicycle parking…

Photo essay - fenced off bicycle racks along 4th Avenue during streetcar construction in Tucson, Arizona

Enough of the imprisoned bike racks. Here’s one that is available for use between 6th and 7th Streets. And did I mention that it’s the only bike rack that’s usable on the west side of 4th Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets? Uh-oh. I feel a rant coming on…

Photo essay - the only available bicycle rack on the west side of 4th Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets in Tucson, Arizona

If you don’t mind the lack of an anchored, stationary object to fasten your bicycle to, here’s a corral. Yee-hah…

Photo essay - bicycle corral in Antigone Books parking lot in Tucson, Arizona

For a city that proclaims its bicycle-friendliness on a regular basis, I find the 4th Avenue bicycle parking situation to be a huge disappointment. Same thing has happened along Congress Street in Downtown.

It wasn’t as if Tucson’s bicycling community remained silent and elusive when public input on the streetcar construction was sought. Believe me, we were quite vocal.

All I can say is Free the Bike Racks!

Postscript: After shooting the above photos, I spent the rest of the day at a nearby business that understands how to accommodate bicyclists. Kudos to Spoke6 for its indoor bicycle parking…

Photo essay - indoor bicycle parking hooks at Spoke6 in Tucson, Arizona

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