Tucson Street Car Safety – Tips for Pedestrians and Cyclists

As Tucson introduces its StreetSmart streetcars, city planners continue to remind the public about safety measures that must be taken by motorists, pedestrians and cyclists as they share the roads with these green energy vehicles. To make Tucson residents aware of how to share the road, as well as what is expected of them when they venture out into the city while these vehicles are in service, the city has created a YouTube video for everyone’s reference.

With its push toward green energy and conservation, Tucson encourages residents to bike wherever they need to go each day. However, as they cycle on the city’s busy roadways, cyclists must remember to be on the lookout for the streetcars with which they will share traffic. The tracks on which these streetcars travel are already in place on the roads. The tracks could pose a risk to bikers who try to cross them without proper caution. Rather than get a tire stuck in the tracks or fall off their bikes when they try to turn around a curb, cyclists should use the designated pavement markings to cross the tracks safely. They can also travel safely next to streetcars and motorists alike by using the green bike boxes and sharrows— shared lanes–that are designated in some of the city’s busier areas.

Pedestrians also should be on the lookout for streetcars and the tracks in the roadways. For example, women who wear high heels should step over the tracks carefully to avoid getting their heels caught. Likewise, people should use the designated crossings and obey the crossing signals to ensure that they get from one side of the road to the next safely. Additionally, children should be kept close to their parents or guardians as they cross traffic with streetcars. These precautions will ensure that streetcars can continue on their way and pedestrians are safely and legally sharing the roadways.

Motorists in Tucson are already used to sharing the roads with cyclists and pedestrians. However, they could fare well to remember how to drive next to streetcars. When a streetcar is at an intersection, a motorist should never try to pass it. Likewise, drivers should also remember to use their side view mirrors before exiting their cars to make sure that the space next to them is free from streetcar vehicles and cyclists. Drivers should additionally avoid pulling up into a designated green bike box at an intersection, leaving this space instead for cyclists. Bicyclists should lead the way through an intersection, with drivers following safely behind.