Green Valley recognized for excellence in
In some areas of the county,
motorists and bicyclists share a contentious relationship with
regard to roadway access.
Here in Southern Arizona, those two groups have a much more
cooperative arrangement. Motorists and cyclists have learned to
share the roads in hopes of increasing safety for everyone
Last March, Pima County became one of nine gold-rated areas in
the United States for bicycle safety, as rated by the League of
American Bicyclists. The other eight include cities like
Portland, Seattle and San Francisco, while Pima County — which
includes Green Valley, Sahuarita, Tucson, Marana, Oro Valley,
the Pasqua Yaqui and Tohono O’odham areas — is the only region
As a result, a handful of “Bicycle Friendly Community” signs
will be placed in high-traffic cycling areas within the next
couple of months.
Senior transportation planner for the Pima Association of
Governments Gabe Thum presented the first of these signs to
Green Valley at Thursday’s Board of Supervisors meeting at the
Desert Hills Social Center. Thum said 40 signs will be dispersed
throughout Pima County.
“It’s a special thing for our entire region to place such an
emphasis on bicycle safety,” Thum said.
The gold rating was achieved by this area’s increased focus on
engineering, education, enforcement, evaluation and
Santa Cruz Bicycle Advocacy Committee members John Pilger and
Jim Jordan discussed what this rating means for the community,
as well as the plans the SCBAC has to make Green Valley even
more safe and enjoyabe for cyclists.
Both men pointed out how instrumental SCBAC member Bill Adamson
— who spent Thursday in Phoenix at the ADOT Bicycle and
Pedestrian Steering Committee meeting — was to bringing these
signs to the area.
“Green Valley takes pride as being a very bike-cautious
community,” Green Valley Community Coordinating Council
President Stan Riddle said.
Part of what made Green Valley’s transition to a
bicycle-friendly community so smooth was this area’s reliance on
alternative transportation — specifically, golf carts.
“Those golf-cart lanes around town really made it easy for us,”
With the bicycle lanes along Nogales highway, Jordan pointed out
that a cyclist can almost ride from Tucson to the Canoa road
exit. Once the roundabout planned at the intersection of
Continental road and Camino Del Sol finishes construction in
early summer, a cyclist’s ride will be uninterrupted.
Bike lanes will also be added to the east frontage road
underpass, once construction begins on that area later this
The SCBAC also has a user-friendly cycling map designed, which
will point out the best areas to take a ride.
“We have so many part-time residents and visitors that we feel
this map will make cycling a lot easier for everyone,” Pilger
said. “I have friends from Vermont who came out here, and they
were blown away with how bike-friendly our roads are.”
A 2007 Pima County Department of Environmental Quality survey
determined that nine percent of Pima County residents use their
bikes at least once a week, which puts roughly 100,000 cyclists
on the road at any given time.
Cyclists line up
eastbound on Duval Mine Road on Saturday during a round trip that
started at the University of Arizona. Photo by Scott Taras/Special
to the Green Valley News
Stan Riddle holds a
sign like those that will be placed across the region touting a
commitment to bike safety as Gabe Thurm, senior transportation
manager for the Pima Association of governments, applauds