Road runner: Strewn tacks create cycling hazard on popular routes

2013-06-24T00:00:00Z 2013-06-24T12:29:26Z Road runner: Strewn tacks create cycling hazard on popular routesJoe Ferguson Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
June 24, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Tucson's cycling community is facing a new threat on some streets: thumbtacks left along popular routes.

Deputy Jesus Bañuelos, with the Pima County Sheriff's Department, said deputies are investigating at least one incident in which hundreds of tacks were strew along a portion of the Catalina Highway, frequented by cyclists, near Mount Lemmon.

The Pima County Department of Transportation swept the road, but not before the tacks did their job and punctured the tires of an unknown number of bikes.

Lorna MacQuarrie, an employee of Sabino Cycles, said she is aware of numerous incidents where someone dumped tacks along the popular road to Mount Lemmon.

She, too, has fallen victim to the villain, noting that her tires have been flattened by the tacks.

She said the problem has spread to other parts of town with other cyclists telling her about similar incidents along Gates Pass Road and near the intersection of University Boulevard and First Avenue.

MacQuarrie encourages cyclists to report encounters with tacks that look like they were deliberately laid out. Cyclists should call the Pima County Sheriff's Department nonemergency line, 351-4900. Those who are found spreading thumbtacks are likely to face criminal charges.

Down the road

• Contractors working for Pima County will begin working today on Orange Grove Road between Camino de la Tierra to La Cholla Blvd., part of a 12- to 14-month project to widen the popular east-west corridor.

Drivers can expect lane and speed reductions as crews work to expand the stretch of road to three lanes, one in each direction as well as a dedicated center turn lane.

• Arizona Department of Transportation construction crews will be working along a two-mile stretch of Arizona 86 west of Three Points this week, part of a drainage improvement project.

Motorists should expect to encounter brief delays as ADOT crews install concrete barriers in preparation for the drainage work.

Barriers will be set about two miles west of the turnoff to Arizona 386, which leads to Kitt Peak.

• The Motor Vehicle Division office at 3030 N. Grand Ave. in Nogales will reopen for normal business on Friday after closing last week for renovations.

ROAD Q

Joyce Miller wonders why she sees so many "No Parking on Pavement" signs on North Valley View Road. "I occasionally see some cars parked on the road near the tennis courts or near the church on Sundays but certainly not enough or often enough to warrant 50 signs within such a short distance. It seems like overkill and certainly detracts from the beauty of the area."

A: Parked vehicles from events at St. Thomas Church have historically presented safety concerns, said Priscilla Cornelio, director of the county's Department of Transportation.

Initially, a few signs were installed, but vehicles migrated to other areas on Valley View, she said. Therefore, additional signs were installed and that segment of Valley View was designated a no-parking zone, including the sections between the driveways. The signs have been in place since 2011.

The additional signs, plus church's efforts to secure additional off-site parking and enforcement efforts from the Pima County Sheriff's Department have mitigated this parking problem. In the future, Cornelio said, the department will re-evaluate the number of signs to determine if some can be removed.

Send your Road Q questions by email to roadrunner@azstarnet.com or to 4850 S. Park Ave., Tucson, AZ 85714. Please include first and last names.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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