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Re: “Sacrifice Zone

To Answer:
"What have these historic neighborhoods contributed to Tucson? Answer: Ghettos."

Correct Answer:
WRONG! Money & Tourism, whether you believe it or not, is a major contribution to Tucson.

And Ghettos? I doubt it. Many downtown-area homes are valued higher per square foot than their "outside-downtown-equivalents" meaning higher property taxes. Most homes are owned by people of reasonable means because they have to be... without the money continually invested to help keep these homes safely livable while still appearing to be in their original historic conditions, most would have fallen into unlivable ruins by now. Many larger properties are being renovated inside and restored outside to provide historic-looking exteriors with rather high-priced, modern living apartments or condos. Small to medium-sized homes homes get renovated up to modern codes yet remain as historic-looking modern single-family homes on the inside.

And Finally, to Address This:
"Unless you are expecting to do crime in these slums, I don't see anyone visiting these run down trash bins for tourism."

Maybe you don't see it because either you don't look or you don't want to see it.

Check the crime rates in these 'hoods. For many downtown neighborhoods with well-functioning neighborhood associations (FAR different than HOAs) the crime rates per capita are typically much lower than most of the rest of Tucson!! Go ahead, check the police dept.'s website. Sure there are some homeless people at parks during the days, petty things every now and again, but considering the number of people living in all those places you seem to think are nothing but "old decrepit slums," I'd have to ask YOU to look in a mirror regarding both crime and property values.

Even through the hardest times of the recession many home values downtown increased... slower, but still increased... while outer areas decreased and fewer homes were foreclosed. And while crime elsewhere in Tucson was on the rise, many downtown neighborhoods still faced primarily little more than minor "nuisance crimes" or crimes of opportunity (where something left out was stolen) at the same rates as always (i.e. lower-than-Tucson's-average) and several areas even saw overall decreases in criminal behavior due to long-active programs similar to a "Neighborhood Watch."

"And owners brag about them." You bet they do! There's a lot to brag about. People actually pay to come and take guided tours, to walk the safe sidewalks, to visit family-owned homes and properties and to observe works in-progress to see what's involved with renovating old homes.

"Fix your crap then we'll talk!" Ok, let's talk... How many people travel and PAY to come and look at YOUR neighborhood? YOUR house? Your neighbor's house?

When people are out of their cars, looking at homes and properties instead of being forced to watch the road, streetlights, and bumpers in front of them, those older, close-knit areas suddenly ARE more interesting and people notice the cool things they won't see when they're just driving through from Points-A-to-B.

And that is one reason a Modern Streetcar loop of downtown can be a benefit. If your car is already parked when you're at a location at one end of downtown and you don't know if you'll be able to find parking at another downtown location... especially if you have more than one stop to make... then jumping on a streetcar that goes within a block of each of your destinations makes a lot of sense! Fewer cars fighting for space, (streetcar riders not fighting for space at all), less time drivers who are "just driving through" need to wait, and on and on.

It's pretty much like an above-ground subway. What's the problem? It isn't much different than light rail in many other cities... except smaller (for now). The only reason it wouldn't work is if the whiners and bitchers simply refuse to even TRY IT.

0 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by EJ on 02/15/2012 at 12:29 PM

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