A Tucson City Council plans on proposing a pilot program aimed at making the roads safer for cyclists. Ward Six Council Member Steve Kozachik thinks the way to do it is simple: lower the speed limits on the bike boulevards.
"I'm hoping that this pilot program that I'm proposing will serve as a model for the rest of them," Kozachik said. "Let's just drop the speed limits down and make them safer for the bikers, the pedestrians, and you know, the automobile traffic as well."
Currently, there are two bike boulevards in Tucson. However, the city is in the process of adding seven more.
Kozachik believes lowering the speed limit will do more than just lower the number of accidents; he thinks it will lessen the severity of accidents when they happen.
"Every study that I've seen shows that if you are hit by a car that's going 20 miles an hour, you've got a 95% chance of survival," Kozachik said. "If it's going 30 miles an hour, that number drops to 60%. So, this is all about safety."
University of Arizona senior Nick Leitner bikes a mile-and-a-half to and from the university every day, and doesn't always feel safe on the road.
"Especially when I come to a stop sign," he said. "Sometimes they'll be running stop signs and I have the right of way. So, I don't feel safe, especially if they're speeding."
His main route takes him on the 3rd St. Bike Boulevard, which happens to be the location for the pilot program Kozachik is proposing. His plan would lower the speed limit from 25 miles per hour to 20 miles per hour.
"I know it may be a little pain, especially going through the residential neighborhoods," Leitner said. "But I would definitely feel a lot safer if they tried lowering the speed limits."
However, the U of A student did say that as a driver, he can understand why the lower speed limit would be a nuisance. That being said, he would respect the rules and make sure the road is safer for cyclists.
"As a biker I'm happy about it," he said. "As a driver, I'd just have to put up with it. But, I'd have to say I'm happy with it, as a biker especially, commuting to and from campus every day."
Council Member Kozachik plans on proposing the pilot program at a study session on October 19th.