Rincon Heights is recognized by the national website Walk Score (www.walkscore.com) as being a place where you can accomplish most errands on foot (Walk Score = 72) as well as a biker’s paradise (Bike Score = 99).
If you’ve lived here for a while, you probably already know that our neighborhood is in “the middle of everywhere” you need to go, but you may not know about some of the features recently completed or being planned for our neighborhood.
New BikeHAWK at 9th Street & Campbell
The City of Tucson Department of Transportation, with funding from the Regional Transportation Authority, recently completed the installation of a new HAWK Pedestrian/Bike crossing at 9th Street & Campbell Avenue. This new crossing includes high-visibility flashing lights with a curbside button, white stripes for people who are walking, green stripes for people on bikes, and a protected entry/exit “lane” on both sides of Campbell Avenue.
New Bike Box at Highland and 6th Street
The City of Tucson recently installed a new Bike Box on the south side of 6th Street on Highland Avenue. The funds to install it were generated by the Residential Parking Permit program run by Park Tucson. A big "Thank You" to Ward 6 Council Member Steve Kozachik for helping to make this possible.
How does a Bike Box work? There are two goals for this bike box. 1. To increase visibility of bicyclists on Highland Avenue, which is a primary bicycle route connecting neighborhoods and other bicycle routes to the University and beyond.
2.To reduce the risk of bicyclist and driver conflicts. Currently southbound traffic faces a “pinch point” where cars and bikes must merge in the middle of the intersection.
What motorists should know When the traffic signal is yellow or red, motorists must stop behind the white stop line behind the green bike box. Don’t stop on top of the bike box. Keep it clear for cyclists to use.
New Bike Share Stations
The City of Tucson is in the final stages of planning for its new Bike Share system. The City plans to roll out the system in several phases, with Phase I coming in 2017 to include about 300 bikes available at 30 self-service kiosks throughout Tucson, where users can check out a bike and ride it across town to another station near their destination. The system will be accessed through low-cost subscriptions ranging from one-day access to annual membership.
The city won $1.3 million in federal grant funds to pay for the materials needed to start the bike-share program, and the operating cost of the program will paid from user fees and sponsorships. No taxpayer funds will be used for the system operations. As part of Phase I, a bike share station capable of holding 15 bikes will be installed at the intersection of 9th Street and Park Avenue. Phase II will see another bike share station installed near Highland and Broadway Boulevard. You can find more information on Tucson Bike Share, including maps of all proposed bike share stations, at https://www.tucsonaz.gov/bicycle/tucson-bike-share.
Three Planned Bike Boulevards
And finally, the piece that literally connects all these amenities together is the network of existing and planned Bike Boulevards across the city, including three within Rincon Heights Neighborhood! Bicycle boulevards are residential streets designed to prioritize bicycling and enhance conditions for walking. They also support several community values such as improving the health of residents by providing active transportation options, stimulating the economy and local businesses, and providing opportunities for stormwater capture and green infrastructure.
The City of Tucson recently released a Draft Bicycle Boulevard Plan that identified 193 miles of future bicycle boulevards along 64 corridors to improve connectivity to schools, parks, libraries, stores and other key destinations. Our very own 9th Street is identified in the prioritized list as a future Bike Boulevard, with a designation of “in progress”, meaning the City is actively seeking funding to complete the traffic calming, signs, and pavement markings along this corridor. The planned 9th Street Bike Boulevard runs from 4th Avenue on the west end to another planned Bike Boulevard at Treat Avenue on the east end. The existing HAWK at 9th Street and Euclid Avenue and the new Bike HAWK at 9th Street and Campbell provide safe connections across the major roadways and are a great jumpstart to this future Bike Boulevard.
Other future Bike Boulevards through Rincon Heights include Park Avenue and Warren Avenue. More information on Tucson’s Bike Boulevards, including the planned network map and prioritized list, can be found at https://www.tucsonaz.gov/projects/bicycle-boulevards\
Living Streets Alliance hosted a series of Walking Workshops in the Fall 2012 in our neighborhood to get resident's input on walking destinations and routes and to map on the ground conditions. You can read more about the workshops here.