Biking for Commutes

BikeBicycling has excellent health benefits and is the most efficient mode of transportation. There are more than 1,000 miles of bicycle routes in the Tucson area, and the routes keep expanding. Check out the latest Tucson Regional Bike Map and Loop Map.

Free Bike Parking

Public Works GarageSecure bike parking is available for County employees at multiple locations in the downtown area.  Bring a lock to secure your bike to the racks at the following locations:

• A-Level Garage, 130 W. Congress: multiple racks throughout the level
• Public Service Garage, 38 E. Alameda: caged area located by north elevators
• Public Works Garage, 50 W. Alameda: 1st level near entrance booth, monitored
• El Presidio Garage, 165 W. Alameda: near Pennington entrance, monitored

Bike lockers are also available on the south and northwest sides of the Abrams Building at 3950 S. Country Club Road. These lockers are also free and you need your own lock. For more detailed information, email Facilities Management at Parking_Garage_Operations@pima.gov or phone   724-8200.

Check out these resources from the National Bike Challenge Love to Ride team:

On-line Tool Eases Your Commute

Learn more about what’s happening along your travel route by visiting www.TransView.org, a traveler information website that provides information on regional traffic incidents, construction updates and weather radar from the National Weather Service. Pima Association of Governments provides the information as a public service using data collected from local department of transportation crews, contractors and local police dispatch systems, and through partnerships with other agencies and public transportation entities.

Take Your Bike on the Bus:

A video by the City of Tucson Bicycle & Pedestrian Program

Check out this first of a series of videos from the City of Tucson Bicycle and Pedestrian Program that aim to demystify walking and biking in Tucson. The Take Your Bike on a Bus video shows how you can bring your bike with you on a Sun Tran bus in less than a minute.

Loop Riders: Try Carpool or Transit During Route Interruption

Due to an Arizona Department of Transportation bridge construction project at Ina Road, The Loop will be closed for approximately two years south of Ina Road at Ted Walker Road and north of Ina Road at the Crossroads at Silverbell District Park. The good news is that once it’s done, the Loop will continue on underpasses on each side of the Santa Cruz River, there will also be new access ramps to Ina Road, new bike lanes and new sidewalks along Ina Road.

For those of you who’s work commute is disrupted during this construction project, check to see if you could get connected in a carpool, or see if taking a Sun Tran bus would help.

PCDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Safety Videos

Check out the videos from PCDOT for a reminder about always wearing your anti-splat hat, the side-effects of biking to work, and crosswalk safety.

Free Bike Safety Classes

Pima County and City of Tucson sponsor FREE bike safety classes, taught by League of American Bicyclists instructors. Classes are free and open to residents of Pima County, including us employees. Classes are targeted to different audiences such as children, fitness enthusiasts, group riders, women-only, and those interested in bike mechanics and maintenance. Participants in the Traffic Skills 101 bike safety class will receive a FREE U-lock, FREE front/rear light set, or a FREE helmet.

One-on-one bicycle safety training is also available. View the class schedule at http://bikeped.pima.gov/allsafetyclasses.html.

Not so sure about riding your bike for commutes or errands?

Check out this fun, four-minute video that squeezes in basic bicycle skills for safe riding in traffic.How to Bike In the City by Grist Magazine, Inc.

Know what a HAWK is?

Check out the Pima Association of Government’s video and website about HAWKs and safety tips for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.

Walk Safe. Drive Safe.

Every year in Pima County, about 250 pedestrians are injured, and about 20 are killed. Walk Safe. Drive Safe. is a Pima Association of Governments message providing safety tips for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists, and asks people to join the pedestrian safety movement by taking the online Pedestrian Safety Pledge. It's a good reminder to be safe and be seen.

Check out the SunLink Tucson Streetcar site for street-smart tips for bicyclists. If you currently ride along the streetcar tracks, for safety sake, you might consider changing your route.

The Bike Buddy program, offered through the Pima County DOT Bicycle & Pedestrian Program includes personalized, one-on-one support services by experienced bicycle instructors who help people learn to ride if they were never taught as children, provide more advanced training for novice cyclists including youth, help folks get their bicycles in good mechanical working order, and assist individuals with finding and using bicycle routes appropriate to their abilities.

When you sign up for the Bike Buddy program, you can receive a free helmet, bicycle U-lock, front and rear bicycle lights, bike bell, and other items to help you get rolling safely on the roads and paths.
 

Don't have a bike available during your work day?

Maybe you can borrow one, free of charge. Pima County Department of Transportation has made several bikes available for employees to borrow for transportation instead of driving vehicles to meetings or errands. You can even use the loaner bikes for personal use like an exercise break during lunchtime.

Participants should wear a helmet and become familiar with safety issues and bike laws by reviewing the Share the Road guide. Loaner bikes are fitted with a rear rack spring-loaded "book holder" plus a front basket to carry any supplies you may need. Equipment such as helmets and locks will also be provided with the bikes.

There are several locations from which you may borrow bikes (see below). Phone or e-mail the contact closest to you to reserve a bike. If you are interested in hosting a bike loaner location, contact Brian Eller at Brian.Eller@pima.gov. The program is sponsored by the Pima County Bicycle and Pedestrian Program and the bikes came from a grant from the Pima Association of Governments, the Brad P. Gorman bicyclist safety fund, and a private donation.

 Department Contact Potential Bikes Available # Bikes
Fleet Services Fatima.Morales@pima.gov, 724-2652 Raleigh, 54 cm 1
Health, Abrams Public Health Center, 3950 S. Country Club Rd. Brian.Eller@pima.gov 724-7952 Schwinn Coffee
Schwinn Cream
2
Housing, 801 W. Congress Mayra.Armenta@pima.gov 724-2480
Marcos.Ysmael@pima.gov 724-2462
Med Schwinn women's, Med Schwinn men's 2
 IT, 33 N Stone, 14th Fl  Jane.Connors@pima.gov 724-7100
Aaron.Shepherd@pima.gov 724-2970
Schwinn
Raleigh
 2
Office of Emergency Mgmt., E 22nd St Griselda.Moya-Flores@pima.gov 724-9314 Raleigh, 54 cm 1
Pima Neighborhood Investment Partnership, 3810 S. Evans Blvd, #130 Daniel.Tylutki@pima.gov 295-2925 x 2 Schwinn men's 3
Regional Flood Control District, 201 N. Stone, 6th Fl Greg.Saxe@pima.gov 724-4633 Med Schwinn women's, Med Schwinn men's, Raleigh, 52cm 3
RWRD, Avra Valley, 10000 W. Snyder Hill Rd. Nicholas.Conzemius@pima.gov 319-0103 or Timothy.Mason@pima.gov 724-6168 3-wheel trike, Raleigh 59 cm 2
RWRD, WESC 2955 W. Calle Agua Nueva Jason.Grodman@pima.gov 724-6052 Raleigh, 45 cm 3
RWRD, 201 N. Stone Ave., 3rd Fl Amy.Katzenmeyer 724-6774 Med Shwinn women's 1
RWRD, Conveyance, 3355 N Dodge Lilian.VonRago@pima.gov 724-3424 Raleigh, 45 cm 1
RWRD, Green Valley Kevin.Bonin@pima.gov 625-0025 Med Schwinn men's 1
RWRD, Sub Regional, 4527 W. Walker Rd Jackie.Belasco@pima.gov 724-6150 Raleigh 49 cm, Raleigh 59 cm 2
Supervisor Elias' Office, 130 W Congress, 11th Fl Marjarva.Ramirez@pima.gov 724-8711 Med Schwinn men's, Med Schwinn women's 2
Transportation, 1313 S Mission Danny.Fleming@pima.gov 724-2366 Raleigh 52 cm 1
Transportation, Field Engineering, 1313 S Mission, Bldg 11 Ali.Fermawi@pima.gov 740-2813 Raleigh 54 cm 2

 

 

1,000 Miles and Growing of Bicycle Routes in Metropolitan Tucson

The Loop Non-Motorized Pathway

Go to www.pima.gov/TheLoop for a map of the 100+ mile, non-motorized, multi-use pathway connecting the River Parks surrounding Tucson and spurs connecting further. The Loop is being developed around metropolitan Tucson with links to Marana, Oro Valley, and South Tucson. Pima County residents and visitors on foot, bikes, skates, and horses can enjoy miles of multi-use paths without having to worry about motorized traffic or emissions from tailpipes. If it doesn't have a motor, it's good to go on The Loop.

Instant information about the parks and trailheads along the pathway is available on The Loop's interactive map. Use it with computers, tablets and smart phones to find out if you can take a bus to get there, measure the length of a particuar route, or create and print your own Loop map. This interactive map uses over 30 different GIS map layers to provide detailed information about biking throughout the region.

Pima County Regional Bike Map

Find your best route! The Tucson Metro bicycle map include Green Valley, Marana, Oro Valley, Sahuarita and South Tucson. The map includes paths, bike routes, paved shoulders, bus/bike lanes, mountain bike trailheads and future improvements to the bikeway system.

Voices on Bicycling

Ty Pessin, ITD, A lifetime of encouragement!

I’ve spent the majority of my life pedaling a bicycle. Whether it’s a BMX, commuter, mountain, or road bike, I’ve had a great time with different people along the way. One of the many joys I’ve continually experienced, is to witness the encouragement from one another to get out and ride. Lately, that encouragement has been contagious among my co-workers! It has turned some of my solo rides, into a fun-filled group ride where we occasionally take advantage of the Chuck Huckelberry Loop. The excitement motivates me to ride more, and it’s great to see it does the same for others!

Dusty Alexander, ITD, Better together

Being a new employee at the County and seeing the encouragement for cycling I thought that this would be a great opportunity to get back in shape. I decided to start by riding home on Fridays and easing back into the 17-mile commute. I asked Ty if he would like to ride with me and we found a path where we both ride together before we finish the rest of our commutes. I’m finding that although the ride is a bit out of the way, the remaining commute is made easier while riding on the high of having just pushed myself riding with friends. Other colleagues have joined us and now we are riding two times a week. I appreciate that my colleagues take the time to ride with me and not drop me while I’m getting back in shape.

Red Walsh, Facilities Management, On the Loop

On the Loop

Our love affair with the “Loop” actually began long before its completion. My son then six years old and I would leave from our house on Wetmore and peddle north on La Cholla until we reached the Rillito then head down river on its south side bike path. My mountain bike with the attached “tag-a-long” was equipped for off road riding with our fat knobby tires and we would need them once the path terminated as it dropped below the railroad bridge and I-10 freeway that crossed the river. From where the Rillito met the Santa Cruz, it was loose sand and dirt from there on. We would cowboy our way cross country down the east side of the Santa Cruz following a labyrinth of rouge four wheel drive trails  blasting through troughs of murky chocolate water. There was a sprawling homeless bike camp before Ruthrauff along the river where we were greeted with waves and hearty “hellos”, testimony of the unspoken kinship bicyclists share. We crossed the river at Ruthrauff continuing south on single track and a service road eventually reaching our goal for a picnic lunch, Columbus Park. Well, that has all changed now with a seamless ride along the completed Loop.

When we graduated from the tag-a-long to our home built “buddy bike”, a special tandem where the stoker sits in the front rather than behind, we would go under the freeway at Ruthrauff and ride the frontage road to Sweetwater Wetlands. After some birding and a snack at the “keyhole” pond, we rode an elevated dirt brim on the south side of Sweetwater which terminated at the railing lined Santa Cruz, then down river along the gated service road past the Roger Road spillway ending at Ruthrauff with the option of returning home or Columbus Park. Entering and exiting the service road meant hoisting the bike over the locked gate. Now, that side of the river has a silky smooth asphalt bike path with access from multiple points including a thoughtful back entrance into the wetlands!

Rides to Children’s Memorial Park from our house were actually the real beginning for my infatuation with the then only in the planning stages part of the Loop. My youngest daughter rode on the rear rack of my mountain bike with the aid of a pillow taking care not to drag her feet on the pavement. Eventually, her little brother took her spot only in a real rear mounted baby seat. He would expend so much energy at the park that I needed to attach Velcro to the back of his helmet so when he would fall asleep on the way home, rather than being slumped over drooling on himself, he would sit straight up his head Velcroed to the seat back. We would also ride the then undeveloped side (see photo) of the Rillito all the way to Oracle Road for lunch or the mall.

We’ve been fortunate to see much wildlife along these natural corridors, birds of prey, coyote, fox, even rattlesnakes. One cool November evening just as the sun had set, we came upon an out stretched Western Diamondback on the still warm pavement. I was glad to have recently purchased a 1000 lumen bike light.  We turned around to take a better look see and were treated to a little comic relief. The snake retaining it’s stretched poster inching off the path as if on it’s tippy toes. I imagined it saying “Hey…,I’m a stick, just a stick who is moving oh so slooowly”. Once off the path, it moved into the thick brush like you would expect a snake to move.

Yes, the “Loop” has and continues to provide us with many gratifying moments just as a love affair should!

Brian J., Flood Control District, September 2013

We had gotten a heavy monsoon storm the during the night. With an August sun blazing in the morning, it was hot and humid. I would have liked to have driven my car to work instead of riding my bike, but I knew that there were probably dozens of tiny "commuters" who would need my help. After large storms, baby frogs disperse from a low lying area near my house and many try to cross a road that I commute down, but they are too small (some smaller than my pinky fingernail) to jump up the vertical curbs and get trapped on the road. If unassisted, they desiccate and die by days end. I have thus taken on the role of frog rescuer.

On this particular hot and muggy morning, using a homemade "frog scoop" I carry during the monsoon season for just such a purpose, I rescued 68 frogs from certain death. I felt great the whole day knowing that I had given all those frogs a fighting chance of finding a new home on the other side of the street. I also get a chuckle imagining what people driving by me are thinking to themselves when they see a guy on a bike stopped on the side of the road flinging frogs over the curb.

Update Note: Brian probably saved more than 175 frogs that rainy season, and hundreds more previous and future years, of at least four different species: Couch's Spadefoot Toad, Red-Spotted Toad, Sonoran Desert Toad and Woodhouse's Toad. Most of what he sees are Woodhouse's Toads and Sonoran Desert Toads.

Brian E, Health Department, Fall 2011

I first started biking to work because I enjoy being active. I ride 12 miles round trip at least 2 times a week and the days that I ride, I find that I am more focused, have a better attitude and am more productive at my job. There is nothing better than blasting down the Aviation pedestrian path all by myself in the early morning or late afternoon. I get home energized and ready to spend quality time with my kids instead of getting home upset cause some silly person cut me off. Commuting by bike adds 10 minutes to what it would take in a car but it's an extra 10 minutes of recommended daily exercise according to the CDC. I highly encourage anyone else out there to give it a try. Start small, once a week. You'll be surprised at how much easier it is than you think! Heading home!

Jim M., Assessor's Office, Fall 2011

Sunrise at Sombrero PeakSombrero Peak "Eruption" It’s been 11 years since my wife & I decided to give up our second automobile, and it’s worked out just fine! I’ve bicycled to public transportation and back home again each day. The exercise is great, helps keep me fit, the fresh air is wonderful, and what a great way to decompress on the way home!! I’m very lucky to be able to ride a bike trail along the Santa Cruz for part of it, really nice to enjoy the nature. I’ve seen lots of hawks, ridden right thru packs of coyotes, and have even seen 2 bobcats, besides all the bunnies, ground squirrels, etc. Still looking for the cougar, though! And besides the health benefits, if you factor together the cost of a second vehicle: insurance, maintenance, gas, and parking, the cost of a bus pass pales in comparison, and the County subsidizes the bus passes. I’ve included two photos, neither of which I would ever have seen if I had to watch traffic, instead! A gorgeous morning sunrise of Sombrero Peak (technically Safford Peak) and a really neat cloud formation that resembled Sombrero Peak as an erupting volcano!