If Tucson Can Do It, Volume XXXVIII: Leading Pedestrian Intervals

The city used perhaps more than any in social science research comparisons with Albuquerque, Tucson, continues to kick Burque’s ass when it comes to roadway improvements designed to make walking, cycling and other non-motorized travel safer.

For instance, they’ve installed the following:

tucson lpi
Note the statistics on how much safer “LPIs” are

I found out about this as a subscriber to the monthly newsletter put out by City of Tucson Bicycle and Pedestrian Program. There’s quite a bit to comparatively note in the past sentence or two, namely:

  1. Tucson has a Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, Albuquerque doesn’t
  2. Tucson’s program has four on its Program staff, Albuquerque, obviously has zero
  3. Tucson’s Program puts out a monthly newsletter; Albuquerque’s nonexistent Program, unsurprisingly, does not
  4. Tucson has installed a Leading Pedestrian Interval, Albuquerque…okay, I’ll stop now.

No Tucson isn’t perfect. Hell, for one thing it’s in Arizona. Tucson’s rate of pedestrian fatalities is far too high, figures that have “helped” AZ to “achieve” the highest rate of death in the country for those trying to walk the state’s roadways. Nevertheless, A: Burque and New Mexico have less than very little to brag about in this regard; B: We don’t have a Bicycle and Pedestrian Program or even a Walking and Cycling Coordinator at either the City or County, or both.

I could go on and on listing all the shortcomings and limitations in place due to lack of a Bike/Ped coordinator. In short: Hiring a fully supported walking/cycling coordinator and creating a fully supported non-motorized transportation program headed by this coordinator is the single most currently pressing transportation-related need in this City/County.

Okay, that wasn’t as tersely stated as possible, but the “fully supported” is so important, it demands two mentions. What would help achieve both the coordinator/program and its “fully supported” status would be full community/governmental embrace of a Vision Zero traffic safety policy. Talk around town is that we’re getting closer to such a commitment. Hiring a coordinator and creating an intergovernmental non-motorized program would be is an absolutely essential element if we’re to make any Vision Zero policy effective, and the roadways far safer, in Burque and Bernalillo County.


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