The Tucson Metro Chamber is a membership-based business advocacy and networking organization that represents more than 1,480 businesses, employing more than 160,000 employees in Tucson and Pima County. Small business makes up approximately 60 percent of Chamber membership.
The following letter from the Tucson Metro Chamber was delivered prior to Tuesday’s public hearing as part of the comments on the 30% Broadway Corridor improvement project.
Dear Mayor Rothschild and City Council Members,
As you recall, the RTA Board voted in December of 2014 to reduce the Broadway plan to a six-lane arterial plan with the use of bus pullouts to the “maximum” extent possible. At that time, the Chamber expressed concern about changing the voter approved RTA project, but understood the final decision. The Citizen’s Task Force (CTF), established by the City of Tucson to provide input, recommended a “Starting Small Approach” focused on saving the maximum number of buildings. The CTF’s recommendation was adopted as the baseline for the design.
At that point, city engineers and planners began working towards final design of the future Broadway Boulevard. The city’s planning team has completed the 30% design plan. It is a significant improvement on the CTF plan and includes numerous important changes. The plan now will directly impact 27 buildings, compared to the original +/- 150, with a maximum 50 buildings having a full or partial “take.” Those supporting the CTF plan support less demolition, but that plan would impact a maximum of 87 buildings for partial or full “take” – at significant cost and significant impact to the business sector adjacent to Broadway.
To kick back the design of the Broadway widening to the CTF would have a disastrous effect on the sensible completion of this important project in a timely manner and without any further downsizing. It would cause additional unnecessary delays to the project. The City staff in the Department of Transportation is the best trained and equipped to complete this project.
Although not perfect, this design is a good compromise. It is time for this project to get moving. Decades of indecision have led this stretch of Broadway to becoming an eyesore and a postcard for urban decay; it is time to end that impression. It also does not fairly reflect the revitalization occurring downtown and serves as the gateway into the central business district. This vote will appear on our report card.
On behalf of the Tucson Metro Chamber Board of Directors and membership, I ask that you SUPPORT the 30% design plan and move the project forward.
Robert Medler, IOM, VP Government Affairs
This project is a Regional Transportation Authority Plan roadway improvement managed by the City of Tucson that will widen Broadway: Euclid to Country Club to a 6-lane arterial, with bike lanes, sidewalks, and landscape. The project is currently in the design phase. Acquisition is to begin in 2016. Construction is not anticipated until late 2017-2018.
Visit the project’s Design and Construction web site at www.broadwayboulevard.info for the most current information, to find contact emails and phone numbers, and to provide comments. Details about the RTA plan are available at www.RTAmobility.com.
It’s not too late to be heard, questions and comments can be submitted to the Tucson Department of Transportation before April 15th. Take 1-2 minutes now and submit a quick “I support the Broadway 30% plan” by clicking on the following link: https://www.broadwayboulevard.info/comments.php