El Tour De Tucson traffic control

Providing Comprehensive Safety Solutions for El Tour de Tucson

Traffic Control Projects, November 2, 2023
AWP Safety keeps cyclists, volunteers and locals safe at one of American’s largest cycling events

El Tour De Tucson has been a mainstay in the Tucson, Arizona community for 40 years and is one of the largest road cycling events in the U.S., raising funds for nonprofits in the community health and wellness space. Since 1983, the event has raised $100 million for more than 100 local, national and international charities. AWP Safety has been the event’s trusted safety partner since 2014, providing unparalleled safety expertise, planning and customer collaboration to ensure a successful event year after year.



This large, multi-day event has grown in size and complexity over four decades. The race itself hosts about 8,000 cyclists annually. Multiple routes accommodate varying fitness levels and distances ranging from one to 109 miles. Today’s Tour features four different sections to accommodate different Century rides, Family Fun rides and a 5K run/walk. Race routes run throughout the city and occasionally cross near busy interstates like I-10 and I-19. Multiple road closures are required, including several main streets in the city and a portion of State Route 210’s eastbound lanes.

A five-day prologue camp with professional cyclists and a pre-race Expo attracts large crowds. Parking is spread out across approximately 10 locations and is prohibited on neighborhood streets, adding to the race day’s challenging logistics.



AWP Safety starts event management planning in March for this November race. The team collaborates with race organizers to plan routes and potential road closures. Once routes are locked in, an AWP Safety traffic plan designer creates detailed plans for assigned race sections. The plans include equipment lists, staffing requirements, permitting and communication requirements with local and state government agencies, and a detailed schedule for event set up and tear down.

AWP Safety routinely checks in with race organizers prior to the event to accommodate route changes and unexpected obstacles. Pre-setting of all traffic control equipment begins in October. Equipment installation is completed over a three-week period leading up to the race, and is conducted in accordance with all county, city and state traffic safety regulations.

On race day, more than 50 AWP Safety team members begin setting up at 2 a.m. to secure the entire race course by 6 a.m. More than 3,500 traffic cones and 45 vehicles are used to aid with traffic control, and crews work closely with law enforcement to protect everyone from start to finish.


  • Enhanced safety. Well-orchestrated traffic control protects approximately 200,000 participants, volunteers and spectators annually.
  • Efficiency. Event staff and volunteers along the route can focus on their assigned tasks while AWP Safety Protectors manage all traffic control and safety activities.
  • Reduced risk and liability for race organizers and the city of Tucson. Since AWP Safety started supporting the event in 2014, it has helped prevent any major accident from occurring during the Tour.
  • Trusted relationships. AWP Safety has supported the Tour for nine years, annually invited back due to the team’s proactive planning, strong communication and excellent safety record.


“It’s great to be involved in the planning phase from beginning to end,” said Robert Sanchez, area manager for Southern Arizona. “Our dedication and close involvement give Tour organizers confidence that they will have a safe and successful event every year. “

Click here to view a PDF of this case study.


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