Cyclovia in Tucson began in the spring of 2010 when a small group of community members from a wide range of disciplines got together to discuss strategies to improve the quality of life in our community, encourage people to get more physical activity by incorporating active transportation into their daily routines and reach the more than 60% of people who are interested in riding a bike for transportation, but are concerned about safety. We call this type of cyclist the “interested, but concerned” and you can read more about them, here.
The original Cyclovia Steering Committee developed six goals to guide development of the event. They are:
1. Enhance the brand and identity of Greater Tucson as a progressive urban community
2. Increase the health and activity of Greater Tucson area residents
3. Promote and increase awareness for cycling and walking as an acceptable and safe mode of travel on public streets
4. Increase neighborhood mobility, livability, and access
5. Provide a unique and sociable fun experience for citizens
6. Provide a free public event affordable for all
First event, April 18, 2010
The first event took place along sections of Fourth Avenue, University Boulevard and connected high-density neighborhoods north of the University of Arizona to key business and entertainment districts. The event occurred on the same day as the Greater Arizona Bicycling Association’s (GABA) Spring Bike Swap, and some 5,000 people enjoyed parts of Fourth Avenue free of cars. This was before the construction of the Tucson Modern Streetcar!
Here are some photos from that first event by Kathleen Dreier. You can see all the photos, here.
Second event, March 27, 2011
The second Cyclovia Tucson marked a major milestone with the development of the very popular “Downtown to South Tucson” route. This route was specifically designed to address Tucson’s social, economic, and geographic barriers between the City of Tucson and the City of South Tucson – a one-mile square city within a city. The second event saw a doubling of participation, with more than 10,000 people exploring historic downtown neighborhoods, dining at world-famous Sonoran-style Mexican food restaurants, and playing in car-free streets.
Bicycling is highest among whites and Hispanics (0.9% of all trips are taken by bike). For whites, bicycles are mostly used for recreation, while for Hispanics, they are typically used to reach the workplace.
Pucher, J., and J. Renne, 2003 – Socioeconomics of Urban Travel: Evidence from the 2001 NHTS, Transportation Quarterly, 57, 49-77
See all the photos from that event, here.
Third event, the year it rained, March 18, 2012
Everyone remembers the year it rained on Cyclovia. A rare, late winter storm blew in early the morning of March 18th, but that didn’t stop about 400 brave souls from venturing out into the streets to see if Cyclovia would still happen. At about noon, the event was called off for the sake of the freezing volunteers who bravely stood by their posts. The sun came out just a few hours later. It is rumored that many Tucsonans purchased rain gear after that event, and many are still waiting to use it.
Understandably, there aren’t many photos from that event, but you can watch a video here, from the blog Bicycle Tucson.
Fourth event, April 7th, 2013
In part to make up for the rained out event of 2012 and in part to bring the opportunity for exploration on car-free streets to thousands of residents and a whole host of new neighborhoods, Cyclovia organizers held two events in one month, book-ending the popular Bike Fest Tucson program.
Fifth event, April 28th, 2013
Cyclovia Tucson’s largest event to date took place on Sunday, April 28th along a 5 mile stretch of mostly neighborhood streets that connected over 9 different neighborhoods. Tucson’s first “mid-town” route was hugely popular due to the high density of the centrally located neighborhoods and because of the already high number of people using active transportation for daily mobility.
Sixth event, April 6th, 2014
Seventh event, November 2nd, 2014 — the first event in fall!
Eighth event, April 19th, 2015
Ninth event, November 1st, 2015
Tenth event, April 10th, 2016
Eleventh event, October 30th, 2016
Download a copy of this route’s map.
Twelfth Event, April 2nd, 2017