Unfortunately, despite its stellar natural grandeur, Arizona does not embrace bicyclists the way some people would prefer. In fact, bike only lanes are few and far between and riders risk their lives as most roads do not even have a shoulder for them to ride on to avoid traffic.
The Arizona Transit Association is seeking public opinion on moves to increase the number of bike lanes and available riding areas for bicyclists around the state. This move is meant to support anyone seeking an alternative mode of transport other than an automobile.
It is also a sign that those who drive in Arizona should be aware that they are sharing the road with bicyclists who might not have wiggle room when they are passed by cars.
The Bicycle and Pedestrian Program was initiated in 2003. The number of cyclists using roads, especially in Southern Arizona has grown considerably since that time. The economic downturn has affected road quality (just take highway 83 south to Parker Canyon Lake to see it in action), as well as road upkeep. Updating the plan is vitally important for everyone using Arizona’s highways.
In a state where cars are king, and downtowns lose out to urban sprawl and buses are seen as smog spewing monsters instead of the beneficial people movers that they are, the voice of Arizona’s pedestrians and cyclists needs to carry some weight. The only way that this can be accomplished is through effort. Drivers of cars need no voice in Phoenix, they already have it. So, if you care about riding or walking in this state, you have to balance out all the cars who have already had their say.