New lanes needed
Safety reasons cited for extension

Sunday, March 24, 32013

By Kitty Bottmiller


Cyclists concerned about an increase in traffic on the East Frontage Road from a proposed hospital will get a chance to speak up this week.

Currently, there are no bike lanes from about the Springs development south to Canoa Road; several groups are calling for the completion of the bike lanes before the hospital opens next year.

The GVC, local residents, bicycle-safety advocates, Pima County road officials and representatives from the county-owned historic Canoa Ranch, are calling for the stretch to be completed for safety reasons.
The paved shoulders abruptly end not far from the proposed hospital site on the East Frontage Road. The proposed plan would extend the shoulders to the next freeway interchange at Canoa Road, about a half-mile south.


The lanes, used by bicyclists and which would provide additional space for traffic to make way for emergency vehicles, were originally part of planned improvements on the stretch from Continental Road, but were left incomplete when funding ran shy last year.
Written requests for the fix were sent to Scott Beck at Arizona Department of Transportationís Tucson office, who hasnít acknowledged them but then, local officials didnít really expect him to, at least yet, said Stan Riddle, GVC President.
Updated development plans for the proposed hospital, including a recently released traffic impact analysis, will also be discussed at the two GVC committee meetings at 9 a.m. Thursday at The Springs Social Center, in the first floor Fiesta Room. The traffic study did not address the bike lanes.
The analysis has received conditional approval from ADOT and Pima County road officials and has been forwarded to the county. Plans including considerations for site drainage will be discussed.