As urban centers become denser, its important to consider the safety of others who arent traveling by car.

In 2017, Tucson city officials jumped on the issue by adopting the Bicycle Boulevard Masterplan.

Youve probably noticed these bicycle boulevards while traveling through town.

Andy Bemis, a senior project manager for DTM, explains that the goal of these residential streets is to prioritize bicycling and improve conditions for walking.

“We know theres a lot of demand for people who want to do that more,” he said. “But dont necessarily feel safe or comfortable doing it on our major streets.”

Bemis says depending on where you are in town, the look of these boulevards will vary, but they all keep key elements in mind for improving safety.

“It is important when were driving on those streets, we make sure were going really slow, drive like you live there,” said Bemis. “These projects help enforce that with some physical traffic calming and stuff like that.”

Features of the bicycle boulevards include traffic circles, speed bumps and reduced posted speeds to encourage drivers to slow down when traveling in these neighborhoods.

The implementation of bicycle boulevards has been something avid cyclists like Josh Lipton, owner of Campfire Cycling, have enjoyed.

“The crossing hawks at all the major intersections help. The barriers in the roads help,” he said. “So that was a real big win. Ive noticed some of them other places here and there.”

HAWKS, or high-intensity-activated crosswalks, are one of the biggest safety features implemented along these designated bike paths.

“Were in the middle of a pedestrian safety epidemic right now, we have a serious problem with it,” Bemis explained. “We can be proud in this city the hawks were actually invented here to try and address that problem. It hasnt solved it entirely, of course, but its a very important tool.”

Currently, there are 10 completed bicycle boulevards across Tucson. Bemis said a total of 66 are planned, with 32 already funded.

Have a road issue or a question for the Operation Safe Roads team? Call (520)290-7690 or email