In January, Tucson received about $1 million from the Regional Transportation Authority to construct two new bicycle boulevards, but the money won't fund the full construction.
City transportation department officials have begun making some of the safety improvements, and have more intersection improvements planned, said Ann Chanecka, the city's bicycle and pedestrian coordinator.
For the Treat route, the city is adding what’s called a bicycle HAWK crossing at East Broadway Boulevard and Treat Avenue.
“This is a treatment that we’re looking to do more and more, so it’s a signal that makes it easier for pedestrians in that it stops traffic, but also makes it easier for bikes as well and they don’t have to ride up onto the sidewalk," she said. “It’s modeled after the pedestrian signal, but includes some improvements to make it easier for bikes to use.”
That is going in in the next six months, she said.
"Getting across the major intersections is one of the biggest barriers for people using these streets, so if we make the neighborhood streets really nice, when you get up to a major intersection that’s still a huge barrier," Chanecka said.
The projects were estimated to cost about a million dollars each, but the Regional Transportation Authority is providing five hundred thousand dollars for each.
Improving intersections and setting safety as the first priority should help attract other funding sources to complete the projects, including federal money, Chanecka said.