UPDATED: Broadway Widening Redux: March 26 Meeting on ‘Community Alignment’

The First Assembly of God Church, erected in 1950, is on Broadway Blvd.
The First Assembly of God Church, erected in 1950, is on Broadway Blvd., within the boundaries of the widening project.

The beleaguered Citizens Task Force (CTF) of the Broadway Widening Project revolted at last week’s meeting and didn’t approve the city staff plan for widening Broadway Blvd. because it didn’t match the CTF’s recommendation from December 2014.

Consequently, the CTF will meet again tonight, March 26 at 5:30 at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church Activity Building, 1200 N. Campbell. Here is the background from Sustainable Tucson. Read about last week’s meeting here and here.


Alternative ‘community alignment’ tonight!

After a revolt by the Broadway Citizens Task Force at their meeting March 19th, an alternative “community-supported” version by respected transportation engineer and transit historian, Gene Caywood will be presented tonight so the City of Tucson can decide the best solution for improving Historic Broadway and the Sunshine Mile.

Come tonight to support the Citizens Task Force complete their three years of work. More background after the jump.

From last weeks Sustainable Tucson Newsletter:

“Broadway Corridor Plan Aims to Demolish 37 Tucson Buildings” reads the Arizona Daily Star lead headline from Feb.24th. City of Tucson staff and consultants are proposing an alignment of the 2-mile project that contains unjustified widths and unnecessarily destroys historic buildings and businesses.

Also troubling, this staff plan varies from what elected city leaders have voiced is their preference — the most narrow solution for six lanes which meets the safety concerns for all modes of mobility. This alignment is an insult to the Citizens Task Force, who put in many grueling hours in good faith, and consistently directed the Design Team to:

1 narrow the roadway to minimize impacts to the historic streetscape, parking and neighborhoods;

2 preserve the Sunshine Mile’s sense of place;

3 ensure safety for all transportation modes;

4 encourage business and “economic attractors”;

5 use innovative design, not the suburban development model.

Many people in Greater Tucson are asking, “Why are we widening roads that don’t need it, especially when our existing roads are in such a state of disrepair? ” “Why not eliminate potholes, rather than small businesses!”

The sustainability community is asking, “Why is the City promoting a wide, car-oriented design when future trends indicate accommodation to more “people and place”centered mobility and low carbon living?” If Tucson is going to actually respond to the challenges of global warming and climate change, don’t we also have to build a “climate-friendly” transportation system?

Clearly, an irreversible Tucson Tragedy is in the making if we don’t act soon.

The Coalition has already convinced the City, County, and RTA that 8 lanes is excessive. Now we just need to show that the narrowest width alignment is best for all.

To read the City Staff report and alignment maps, go to: http://www.tucsonaz.gov/broadway

Send your comments to:  broadway@tucsonaz.gov,Jonathan.Rothschild@tucsonaz.govmayor1@tucsonaz.gov,ward1@tucsonaz.govward2@tucsonaz.govWard3@tucsonaz.gov,ward4@tucsonaz.gov,ward5@tucsonaz.gov,Regina.Romero@tucsonaz.gov,Karin.Uhlich@tucsonaz.govPaul.Cunningham@tucsonaz.gov,Shirley.Scott@tucsonaz.govRichard.Fimbres@tucsonaz.gov,Steve.Kozachik@tucsonaz.govcitymanager@tucsonaz.gov.

Thank You, Thank You for all your support for a sustainable vision for Tucson..

March 27 Update: Official Press release from the Broadway Citizens Task Force.


The Broadway Citizens Task Force (CTF), after 35 public meetings that began in June 2012, made a unanimous decision Thursday night to recommend a 6-Lane Including Transit alignment to the Mayor and Council for adoption in May. The recommended alignment is a hybrid between a design submitted by community member Gene Caywood and the Starting Small approach provided by the Broadway project team, both available athttp://www.tucsonaz.gov/broadway. The alignment prioritizes preservation of historic buildings and adds lanes for vehicles and bicycles, and sidewalks for pedestrians. The CTF also supports enhancing transit service on the corridor, and unanimously supports dedicating lanes to transit should the Tucson Mayor and Council choose to do so.

The members of the Citizens Task Force have volunteered many hours and provided much thought to this very difficult and lengthy project, said Interim City Manager Martha Durkin, who spoke to the task force at its meeting Thursday night. The Citizens Task Force had the challenge of representing constituencies with different priorities, while factoring in a great deal of technical data. The task force members are to be commended for their perseverance in reaching a unanimous decision on the recommended alignment.

The CTF-recommended 6-Lane Including Transit alignment will be presented at an evening open house on April 23, 2015 at Sabbar Shrine Hall (time to be determined) and is expected to go before the Mayor and Council for adoption in May. The task force is made up of 13 people representing nearby residents and businesses, including members of the Bicycle Advisory Committee, the Citizens Transportation Advisory Committee, the Tucson Planning Commission, and the Commission on Disability Issues.

The road widening will address regional mobility needs by improving infrastructure for motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and transit riders, while enhancing the look, feel, community character and economic vitality of the area. The task force will continue to work with the project team during the technical design process. The $71.3 million project is one of 35 major regional corridor projects that are part of the 2006 voter-approved, $2.1 billion Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) Plan. The project is funded by the City of Tucson, Pima County, and the RTA.

Utility relocations are estimated to begin in late 2016, with roadway construction beginning in 2017. For more project information, visit http://www.tucsonaz.gov/broadway, call (520) 622-0815 or email broadway@tucsonaz.gov. Details about the RTA plan are available at http://www.RTAmobility.com.

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