Cycling community praises Adamson, Gorman
April 19, 2009

By Nick Prevenas,

Few communities in America can match Southern Arizona’s passion for bicycle safety.

From the bike routes along every major roadway to the sustained efforts toward safety education, Green Valley and the surrounding areas are constantly working to improve cycling conditions for riders of every level.

Green Valley residents Bill Adamson and Jean Gorman have been vital to this cause. As a result, both were honored with the first Bicycle Advocate of the Year award at a ceremony held in downtown Tucson by the Tucson-Pima County Bicycle Advocacy Committee on Friday.


Bill Adamson (left) and Jean Gorman were named the
Cycling Advocates of the Year in a ceremony in Tucson on Friday


“Bill and Jean are absolutely phenomenal,” said Santa Cruz Bicycle Advocacy Committee member Chuck Hill. “It is truly amazing what they have been able to accomplish for bike safety.”  Hill, along with fellow SCBAC members John Pilger, Jim Jordan and Tony Crosby, made Adamson’s case in a letter dated March 19. In the letter, they state that, “We in the Green Valley are particularly fortunate having Bill as our own and to have witnessed the emergence of a true advocate.”

Meanwhile, Gorman began her work as a safety advocate in 1999 after her son Brad was killed in a cycling accident.  “The next thing I knew,” Gorman said, “I was on my way to the House of Representatives and the Senate.”  Gorman threw herself into politics and successfully lobbied for the 3-foot bike law, where every vehicle was required to give cyclists a yard of room. The law was signed in April 2000 and went into effect that July.  Gorman didn’t stop there. She set forth to make sure her cause (Bicyclists Ride Alongside Drivers — BRAD) gained as much support as possible.

“Jean is a remarkable success,” Adamson said. “She has to be the most devoted person I’ve seen with regard to victims’ advocacy. She is always there to lend a helping hand.”  She served as the Tucson mayor’s cycling safety representative until last August, when her eight-year term expired. When she took the job in 1999, she said there was roughly 200 miles of bike paths in Southern Arizona. Today, that number is closer to 800.  She has remained active in the Pima County BAC, volunteering in the facility, enforcement, education and outreach subcommittees, sponsoring bicycle safety classes in Tucson and working tirelessly to provide support for any injured cyclists.  “This is something my son would’ve done,” Gorman said.

Adamson formed the SCBAC with Jordan in 2003 and hit the ground running, tripling the number of bicycle lanes in Southern Arizona and establishing relationships with Pima County and the Town of Sahuarita to provide the safest possible cycling environments. His “master plan for multi-use lanes and trails in Green Valley” helped to pave over previously dangerous shoulder areas and “ensure that bicycle and pedestrian needs were considered” in any construction project. He also interacts with Tucson in every major cycling safety meeting “to make sure that Green Valley isn’t forgotten.”  Adamson helped spearhead the many initiatives that led to Green Valley becoming one of only nine areas to earn a gold safety designation in March 2008. As a result, a handful of “Bicycle Friendly Community” signs will be placed in high-traffic cycling areas within the next couple of months.

“Green Valley takes pride as being a very bike-cautious community,” Green Valley Community Coordinating Council President Stan Riddle said in a Feb. 19 meeting.

While Adamson and Gorman are the first recipients of this award, they said such an honor wouldn’t even be possible without the hard work of the countless other individuals who volunteer their time and energy toward the cycling advocacy cause.  “This was a total team effort,” Adamson said. “We have so many great people who are truly devoted to this cause.”

The next major event on the cyclists’ calendar is the Ride of Silence on May 20.