Thanks for sharing this tribute to your mother. I love the picture of her and having spent a lot of my childhood at the beach, know just how soothing listing to those waves can be.
Good story, though I think there were many more people who turned in speaker cards to speak against the project than for it. I personally know five people who had in cards and were not chosen. The mayor had already selected the 10 from each side when he held the cards up.
I am sorry you missed the part about context and historic buildings. They are more than 50 years old and that defines a historic building. There were experts in the field of historic buildings and members of the historic commission that were not called on to speak so the "tear down the old buildings" folks could just assert they were not historic and no one with credentials was called on to contradict them. That is a flaw in this type of hearing and approach to holding it.
You have also missed what is going to happen to the people - homeowners - living behind what will be the new boundary of the road. You missed mentioning all the businesses that are being destroyed and how the land will sit vacant for 10-15 years. Just look at Speedway near 6th and also by Stone to see vacant lots waiting for redevelopment. You missed talking about the lost property tax revenue and sales tax revenue, crucial to this city budget in HOPES of greater revenue in the future. Or the roadway may look like Broadway between Alvernon and Columbus - a wall backing up to residential property. That is not a vibrant commercial area!
This is an important exhibit and should be a lesson for us all. Unfortunately, the loss of our architectural and cultural history is about to happen again if the City of Tucson gets its way and bulldozes all of the mid-century modern commercial buildings along Broadway from Euclid to Country Club in the name of progress. That progress is building a wider street that is not needed. Traffic volume has DECLINED over the last few years and stands today at 1989 levels. It is not even close to what it was projected to be in 2015 by the 1987 planning study and that put it on the RTA ballot. Save our history!
Jim Nitzel is usually on point. This time he completely blew it. The issue is historic preservation of small local businesses. Let the cars who want to go to the freeway use 22nd St, Speedway or Grant (after it is is rebuilt). These streets don't have the mid-century modern architecture in intact blocks that is rare throughout the country. It is part of what makes Tucson unique and why people come to visit. It is part of our charm. Why is the city pushing to destroy a 100 buildings and businesses to honor the car. Also, we know that vehicle miles traveled per person has peaked and all the actual counts show a down turn. The traffic volumes on Broadway, by actual count, are at 1989 levels. There is not going to be the increase these commenters are describing. Also the transit lanes would speed transit up, make it more attractive to riders and therefore cut down on the number of vehicles traveling. Sorry, Jim. You are trapped in old thinking. Read the literature and stories. Transportation is changing and we want Tucson to be out in front, not pushing old ideas.
Thank your for a well written article that captures our frustration as we try to bring some common sense and new progressive thinking to Tucson's transportation plans. With the millenials driving less and the boomers aging out of driving, and our projected population increase not happening, widening these main roads in an urban business district only destroy family homes and businesses, decreasing the city, county and state sales tax collections, not to mention property taxes. Who is pushing this project? The consultants who are collecting millions in fees? It can't be any thinking Tucsonan who loves our city with its rich history and culture.
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