Bicycling getting better around Tempe campus

Students biking to and from campus will be getting a little help from the city of Tempe in the near future.

Tempe City Council is looking to make the roads safer for bicyclists, meaning safer roads for students as well. Tempe City Councilmember Kolby Granville said Tempe is the 17th most bicycle-friendly city in America.

ASU has many students that bike to and from class, and Rural Road is a popular street with which many of are familiar. Rural Road is not only one of the most biked roads on campus but in Tempe as well.

“Rural Road does not have bike lanes but is a heavily biked road,” Granville said. “It makes that stretch of Rural, from Broadway to ASU, the most dangerous mile to bike.”

There are no specific plans yet for Rural Road, but the council has other plans finished around Tempe to make biking safer.

“We just put a protected bike lane on Priest (Drive)," Granville said. "It’s a physical vertical divider for a 1-mile stretch."

Granville said there is also a project on University Drive, west of Mill Avenue. The equivalent of a rumble strip is put between the car and bike lanes. Cars will feel the wheel going over something if they swerve in the bike lane.

Granville also said light reflectors separating bike lanes from car lanes and a bicycle boulevard are other considerations to make the city more bike friendly than it already is.

Students who bike to class appreciate what the city is doing by making the roads safer for them to ride. Art sophomore Celeste Trevino has never had an accident while riding her bike to class.

Trevino said she stays off campus down Apache Boulevard and has to bike through Rural Road to get to class. She said she enjoys her ride on her baby-blue beach cruiser to class but is always thinking safety first.

“It’s definitely the part of my bike ride where I start to focus so I don’t crash or get hit,” Trevino said.

Digital culture sophomore Peter Fernando bikes on Rural Road often, but he said luckily it isn’t when there is much traffic.

“I've seen how easily accidents can happen, and it's scary," Fernando said. "People driving sometimes just don't pay attention like they should and s--- happens, you know?”

Fernando likes the steps the city is taking to become more bike friendly and even believes it will encourage more people to bicycle around.

“I think that it’s cool. It's good to make biking easier and safer, so more people will want to do it. It's better for the environment,” Fernando said.

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