Second streetcar rolls in to Tucson - Tucson News Now

Second streetcar rolls in to Tucson

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The second modern streetcar in Tucson's new Sun Link system was set for testing after arriving in Tucson early Wednesday morning.

"Tucson 102" came in around 4 a.m.

What 102 will do is help test the electrical and other systems along the route as it runs with "Tucson 101."

That's after it's thoroughly checked out.

The second car of an eight-car system arrived from Oregon where it was made. One of the streetcar's first stops was the car wash at the streetcar barn.

Next there will be safety checks on the car itself.

The first car has been going through testing on the road. It has been loaded with 100-pound sandbags to simulate passengers.

The car has been going through high-speed tests. It can hit up to 45 miles per hour. Those tests happen at night on a closed course.

We're told so far so good.

After all eight streetcars arrive by the end of March, another test period will have six of them on the street at the same time.

"So that'll be happening in the spring. That will test the system, make sure that we're able to maintain the schedules that we think we're setting and also make sure that we're able to function safely in traffic," Tucson Streetcar Project Manager Shellie Ginn said.

The plan is to have the cars ready for passengers next summer.

As the cars are being tested, final paving striping and signs is underway on the streetcar route.

Whether you drive a car or a bicycle, you'll want to know what they are mean for you.

On the pavement there are images of a bicyclist with arrows above his head.

That's called a sharrow.

Share the road. Follow the arrows.

There also are green bike boxes at intersections.

Those are some of the safety features the city hopes will help everyone live in peace, including the streetcar, bicyclists and drivers.

"Yeah. I think they're safer because the cars seem to respect them. I don't know what the green things are, when you get to a stop light, but the cars really respect those also," says bicyclist Alice Lockhart of the sharrows.

The other thing bicyclists have to watch out for is those streetcar tracks.

Lockhart's friend has some tales to tell about that.

"I've fallen several times on the trolley tracks actually because if you go parallel to them then you end up falling over. So you have to be really careful like going perpendicular to the trolley track," says Angela Haddon.

The sharrows, along with green bike boxes and green bike dots are meant to help with all of that.

"So, the green bike box is positioned at an intersection so that a bicyclist can actually ride up in the bike lane and then position themselves ahead of the cars in the bike box. That allows them to be able to maneuver through the intersection safely when the light turns green. The bike dots are helping the bikes know how to position their bicycles in the right way, the right angle to cross the tracks. You don't want to cross the tracks at a shallow angle that might catch your bike tire," says Tucson Streetcar Project Manager Ginn.

To see the safety video, click here.

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