More bike lanes than ever
for GV cyclists

Wednesday, April 28, 2011

 

Get on your bikes and ride, Green Valley. It's safer than ever.

Since its inception in 2006, the Santa Cruz Valley Bicycle Advocacy Committee has set out to give area cyclists the safest, most enjoyable experience possible. So far, so good.  To date, the number of bike lanes has tripled since 2005 and most of the gaps that existed in the lane network are now closed. In 2011, bike lanes are set to be completed along the East Frontage Road, the I-19/Continental intersection, the road leading to Continential School, and on Sahuarita Road from La Cañada to La Villita.  The bike lane on Sahuarita Road from La Villita to Country Club is underway, as are the lanes set to go on I-19/Esperanza, North Abrego, Hughes Access Road and Alvernon, and Pima Mine Road.

By 2014, the SCVBAC hopes to have a bike lane for every road in Southern Arizona, so cyclists can ride from Tucson to Nogales, if they wish.  "We're still working on getting more bike lanes where needed, but we are over the hump for catching up with Tucson," said committee co-chair Bill Adamson. "Some of us think we are even better."

Southern Arizona, which has received a gold rating for bicycle safety from the League of American Bicyclists, has developed a reputation as one of America's best-kept secrets in the cycling community. Cyclists - from road riders and mountain bikers - from all over the nation travel to the Santa Cruz Valley to take in this area's scenic (and, above all, safe) cycling opportunities.

 

Dozens of local cyclists take part in the 2010 Ride of Silence, one of the many events and initiatives spearheaded by the Santa Cruz Valley Bicycle Advocacy Committee.

In addition, rising gas prices have led more Green Valley residents to dust off the two-wheeler - or even buy a new one.  "All the new bike lanes completed over the past five years have created a vast connected network for bicycling in our region, and the number of bicyclists have dramatically increased," Adamson said.

The SCVBAC is in the process of updating its popular cycling map, which provides a quick and easy reference to the most bike-friendly areas in Southern Arizona, and still puts on bike safety classes at Continental School, with more classes to be offered in upcoming months focusing on helping new riders identify low-stress bike routes, as well as how to safely and legally ride on roads with traffic.

The SCVBAC hopes this outreach effort will result in a record turnout for the upcoming Ride of Silence, scheduled for May 18 at 5:30 p.m. at East Center. While bike safety is always improving, it's important to remember that it can still be dangerous. The Ride of Silence is to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured and to raise awareness to the existence of bicyclists on the road.

Resources

• Santa Cruz Valley Bicycle Advocacy Committee: http://scvbac.org.
• Southern Arizona Mountain Biking Association: http://sambabike.org.
• League of American Bicyclists: http://www.bikeleague.org.|
• Green Valley Bike and Hike: http://www.gvbikehike.com, 520-393-7433.
• Green Valley Bike Hub: 284 W. Calle De Las Tiendas, 520-648-1308

nprevenas@gvnews.com | 547-9747