Broadway Coalition Meeting: 4 Lanes or 6?

When:
June 13, 2014 @ 12:00 am – 3:00 am
2014-06-13T00:00:00+00:00
2014-06-13T03:00:00+00:00
Where:
Sabbar Shrine Hall
450 South Tucson Boulevard
Tucson, AZ 85716
USA
There is a controversy over how wide Broadway Blvd. should be. If Broadway Blvd. is widened to 6 lanes (based upon an old RTA plan), many businesses will be destroyed to make way.

There is a controversy over how wide Broadway Blvd. should be. If Broadway Blvd. is widened to 6 lanes (based upon an old RTA plan), many businesses will be destroyed to make way for more traffic.

We urge you to set aside time on the evening of June 12th to attend what may be the most important public meeting in this project.  At this meeting the Citizen’s Task Force (CTF0 will be asking for public comment on the two or three draft designs for the Broadway Boulevard roadway project between Euclid and Country Club.   It is essential that you come and join us in expressing your views about these plans.

Below are the criteria that we have stated, from the beginning, that will produce a roadway that Tucson can be proud of:

1.     Advance the notion of place (quite different from the notion of corridor), including affording residents in the area a range of services and amenities, establish a unique  identity, etc.

2.      Preserve the structures that exist along Broadway and provide safe, easy access to them;

3.       Enhance the business climate/viability;

4.       Promote use of alternative modes of transportation and give particular attention to pedestrian and bicycle activity and safety;

5.      Be visually appealing;

6.      Aid the movement of a people using a variety of forms of           vehicular traffic;

7.      Contribute to environmental sustainability, and

8.      Be a fiscally sound, affordable approach.

 

PLEASE ATTEND THE RTA CTF OPEN HOUSE ON: 

JUNE 12TH, 5-8 PM

SABBAR SHRINE HALL

450 S. TUCSON BOULEVARD

 Consider this to be your investment in improving the city you call home.  See the link below for more details.

      http://www.tucsonaz.gov/broadway

 

Here, below, FYI, is a letter we sent to the Broadway Project Citizens’ Task Force.

May 29, 2014

Dear Broadway Project Citizens’ Task Force,

Thank you for your many hours of work on our behalf.   In the final 4-5 months of the planning for the RTA’s Broadway Corridor Project, it appears that you are very close to coming to what everybody could consider as a win-win situation.    We see that as follows: a design that has been tailored to significantly improve the way in which people are able to move to the Broadway corridor as a destination, as well as move through it as a corridor, but a corridor in the heart of a thriving metropolitan area.

The block-by-block analysis of the layout will give you an opportunity to explore in detail the implications of the proposed changes.  You have already expressed a strong desire to do as little damage to existing business and historical structures as possible, while remaking the roadway to be more efficient in moving people by as many means as possible.

Broadway Project staff and Transportation Director Cole have mentioned that a 6 lane, 96 foot right-of-way is possible.  Actually, it is not hard at all to conceive of a proper 6 lane road in a right-of-way as narrow as 88 feet (the minimum right-of-way within the project currently is ~84 feet): 4 car lanes at ten feet, plus 2 twelve foot transit lanes, plus 2 five foot bicycle lanes, plus 2 four foot sidewalks plus 2 three foot separators. Of course, the roadway is already wider than that in most parts of the study area. As you can see, the above estimate was obtained without any attempt at using all the tools available for designing smart roadways.  A creative design team can use its expertise to find ways to make the throughput per minute larger without destroying the sense of place in the process.   This is such a wonderful opportunity for the city of Tucson to shine.

We believe you share our goal of a thriving, livable Tucson.  We have a vision of how the Broadway Project will contribute to that goal.   We envision an attractive two mile stretch of road that has been tailored to be a mix of flourishing businesses, from the Sunshine Mile to Broadway Village, and historic properties that have been enhanced through reinvestment because the situation has been stabilized, supported by city-owned parks, parking structures or parking lots (utilizing in part vacant City-owned property).  We see a road that periodically has wider right-of-way to accommodate turn lanes, and synchronized traffic control lights helping to make automobile throughput more efficient for those wishing they could stay but needing to move on.  We see pedestrians being able to get across the street in well-marked, well-lit attractive cross walks.  And we see the large copper plaque on an elegant pedestal honoring the City of Tucson for best design and creative enhancement of an existing destination while improving the functionality of the major arterial at its midst.

We ask you to challenge the Design team to give you plans that push the limits of minimizing the right-of-way footprint of the roadway and to incorporate elements that to reinforce a sense of a living community, while improving throughput for those who need to move through.  We believe this can be done if we are clever and determined.  Be not deterred by the easiest layouts; insist on creating a roadway we can all be proud of.  Focusing only on moving automobiles rapidly at the cost of creating a bleak landscape should not, in our view, be an option, in part because the traffic data do not support that, but mostly because it makes Tucson a much less desirable place to live.
We applaud your efforts to date, and urge you to insist on a creative solution that is truly a win for Tucson.

JD Garcia

For the Broadway Coalition

More Background:

The Citizen Task Force (CTF) for the Broadway improvement project (from Euclid to Country Club) met Thursday evening, May 22. Thank you to all the people who came to listen to Daryl Cole, COT Department of Transportation Director.  He talked at length about the problem of selling a narrower roadway to the funding agencies, meaning Pima County and the RTA Board and worked hard to convince the CTF that  6 lanes was the only viable option. His vision for the roadway is one that meets functionality for the 95% of the traffic, meaning motor vehicles, and said that improving pedestrian and bicycle safety was a given. He repeatedly stated his professional judgment that the road has to be six lanes wide, and suggested that a hybrid of the 6 lane and 4 lane +2T would be two lanes that cars would use during the commute peak of the morning and evening, and the rest of the day, when transit use is heavy, would be exclusive for transit. What kind of transit is up in the air. People are dreaming about light rail or a modern streetcar, but realistically, it will probably start with buses.

Follow up Meeting on June 12

A public meeting was set for Thursday, June 12 from 5 to 8 at the Sabbar Shrine Hall at 450 S. Tucson Blvd. The format will be an open house with people able to move among the 6 stations. Station number 5 will be the critical one with maps with the different alignments so which buildings will be impacted by which widths will be visible. The design team was encouraged to have many sets of maps so people could crowd around them and really see the details.

We will be sending out more information about the public meeting as we get closer. We need everyone to come, once again, and express your opinion about how the roadway should be designed and the consequential impact on our neighborhoods and the city at large.

If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about what is happening, don’t hesitate to email us at mgarcia@vcu.edu. We have written materials we can send, or answer individual questions.

Margot Garcia for The Broadway Coalition

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