March 16, 2016

Bike lane project now more than 60 percent complete

The construction of the bike lanes in Carefree along Tom Darlington Drive, Cave Creek Road and Pima Road is well along the road to completion. The construction of this project is now more than 60 percent completed, and the contractor has communicated that they are on schedule to complete this project in June as called for in their contract with the Arizona Department of Transportation. For a description of this project and the construction schedule, please click on the following link: go to and click the “About” tab, and then click the heading “Bike lane Project Info.”

The final component of this project includes re-surfacing the roads affected and striping all of the travel lanes, including the new bike lanes.

The addition of bike lanes to these major traffic arteries in Carefree helps to achieve greater safety for bicyclists. According to a major academic study of protected bike lanes by three major universities, designated bicycle lanes “greatly improve bike safety with 28 percent fewer injuries per mile compared to comparable streets with no bike infrastructure.”

Constructing designated bicycle lanes is a growing trend among many cities and towns in the country, and competition for available federal funds is intense. According to the Regional Council Activity Report just published by the Maricopa County Association of Governments, many cities and towns from throughout Maricopa County are seeking grants similar to the one received by Carefree and Cave Creek to complete a bicycle lane project in their town. As quoted in the Report recapping this past year’s activities:

“Thirty-seven applications were received for the funded bicycle-pedestrian program. An evaluation process was conducted. Nineteen projects were recommended for federal funding, for a combined total of $36.5 million.”

In addition to increased safety and available funding, this project also enabled Carefree to incorporate the construction of right-turn lanes at the major routes into downtown Carefree and the roadways around the Gateways to be constructed at substantially reduced costs.

Carefree and Cave Creek applied for the federal grant to pay for the bike lane project currently underway three years ago. Out of the total project cost of approximately $4,221,087 for both towns, the federal government is funding approximately $3,997,370, 94.7 percent of the total cost.

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