Sunday, November 05, 2006

Then again...

Perhaps all this business with Powell's has put me in a good mood. In any case, I want to focus on the reverse side of the
no sidewalks problem. Tucson has a fantastic bike path system. Specifically, the Rillito Park pathway and Mountain Avenue are two examples of bike path genius.

We have a bike trailer now and several times this week we've taken it out for a spin on the Rillito. This is a paved, multi-lane bike path that runs along a dry river bed for miles and miles and miles. It is uninterrupted by city streets because, first of all, it is bordered by the river bed, and second of all, the path runs under any intersecting roads.

Another great thing about this path is that it is not closed off from the businesses that back up to it on the north side. There are small access paths that lead to the post office, the mall, apartment complexes, parks, or whatever else is nearby. This is a nice break from the clueless building design I see sometimes where a shopping complex appears to be conveniently located to your residence but in fact is rendered almost inaccessible by a circumference of cinderblock wall or the lack of crosswalks or sidewalks. With the Rillito Park pathway, however, I can actually do errands on foot or on a bike.

This evening, we rode our bikes to campus. We rode all the way on Mountain Avenue, which has spacious bike lanes for both directions of traffic. It even has sternly worded signs along the way warning cars not to trespass in the bike lanes.

So it appears that if Tucson does not treasure its pedestrians, at least it treasures its cyclists. For now, I'll have to be satisfied with that.
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