Cyclists want to build bike path in
West Desert Preserve

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

By Kevin Duke Green Valley News

Last year, the cyclists on the Santa Cruz Valley Bicycle Advocate Committee helped get four bike lane projects completed, two shared-use paths done, and printed 12,000 copies of the Santa Cruz Valley bike map.  But they aren’t slowing down in 2012.
The group is now proposing an asphalt path in the West Desert Preserve, on the west side of Green Valley.
“We’re in the beginning stages,” Chuck Hill, webmaster and member of the committee said. “We’re trying to figure out where to get the money.”
“The driving force is to provide bicycling facilities for people that don’t want to ride on the streets in the traffic,” Bill Adamson, co-chair for the committee said. “We wanted to create low-stress places for people to ride, and this was part of that.”  The rough estimate is that the path will cost $1 million to $1.5 million.
The committee came up with the idea last spring, when they looked at all the improvements to bike lanes in the area and decided that they didn’t need to continue to focus on that.  The group has already discussed and presented the idea to various groups to raise money, including the Green Valley-Sahuarita Chamber of Commerce, the Community Performance and Art Center, the Green Valley Council and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold.  “We’ve also presented the idea to Pima County officials,” Adamson said. “They’ve recognized that it’s a good idea, but we have to figure out where to get the money. We haven’t found anybody against it.”

The proposed path would run along the eastern side of the preserve, just west of the residential areas, starting on the north from West Camino Casa Verde and running all the way to the south side of the preserve.
It will be accessible at many already existing access points in the neighborhoods just east of the preserve.
“There will be several access points, including at the performing arts center,” Hill said. “They’ve already said they would like to put in an access point there.”  The path would be 10 to 12 feet wide and run for about three miles.
It would eventually connect to the Anza Trail on the north and south ends of the path.
“We could have a Santa Cruz Valley loop, just like they have the Tucson loop up in Tucson,” Hill said.