Mobility & Urban Villages – The new Face of Tucson
Actions on Transportation
The Grant Road Improvement Plan process is developing a vision and plan for major changes to Grant Road. This project is part of the recently adopted Regional Transportation Authority plan (RTA), funded by a 1/2¢ Sales Tax. Voters have already approved $160 million for the project, so it is likely that something will be done.
The RTA includes a substantial increase in funding for transit, road repair, and support for pedestrians. It also plans to accommodate a doubling in car and truck traffic in the next 22 years that will result from an expected 30% increase in driving per person and a 50% increase in population.
If this increase happens, it will mean that Tucsonans will:
- Drive the equivalent of two round-trips to Pluto every year by 2030 (up from 7.5 billion miles / one round-trip in 2007),
- Spend $5.5 Billion per year on driving at 40¢ per mile (up from $3 Billion per year today), and
- Will produce an extra 39 million tons of CO2 over the next 22 years, because of all that extra driving.
- Experience “severe congestion” that worsens from 6% of all trips (today) to nearly 30% of all trips by 2030.
It is important that you participate and have your say, since this will affect your life in many ways. And there are some important ways you can participate. These include:
Write Nina Trasoff, Karin Uhlich, and Rodney Glassman, the councilmembers along Grant. Let them know you want a different vision for Grant Road than the “same-old, same-old” that the current plan is developing. You can write each councilmember at the City mailing addressed, PO Box 27210 (85726) Tell them:
- The final Grant Road plan should reduce car traffic, not increase it by 15,000 cars per day (an increase of roughly 20 million miles per year and 20 million pounds of CO2).
- The Grant Road plan should specifically state its impacts on Tucson’s efforts to minimize Global Climate Change
- The “alignment plan” being prepared now should explicitly allow several Urban Village Centers along Grant.
- The “alignment plan” should be consistent with using the added two lanes of Grant as an alternate-modes corridor, rather than two more lanes of car traffic.
- The City should increase investment in making our neighborhoods beautiful places to walk and bike.
- The City should commit to funding better bus service along Grant Rd.
Attend the Grant Road Segment planning meetings from 6-8:30 at the TAR offices, 2445 N Tucson Blvd. They cover different stretches of Grant and are on January 14 (Oracle to 1st Ave), January 16 (1st Ave to Tucson Blvd.) and January 17th (Tucson Blvd. to Swan). Tell your neighbors and the consultants you:
- Do want more local businesses and less driving, not more traffic and big box stores along Grant.
- Do want a plan that prepares us for much higher gas prices and doesn’t worsen Global Climate Change.
- Do want Grant to become the first of a network of Urban Villages throughout Tucson.
- Do want to be part of a design competition to create an urban village near you.
- Do want Urban Villages to be added to the options studied by the Grant Road Task Force.
- Do want to use the extra two lanes to make Grant an alternate modes corridor that accommodates bus rapid transit, bikes, wheelchairs, and pedestrians.
Record your position on Grant Road Vision Statement and Guiding Principals at the Grant Road Improvement Plan website http://www.grantroad.info/public_comment.php. Let them know you:
- Believe the goals of increasing Grant Road traffic by 15,000 cars per day and improving mobility for thru-traffic conflict with the goals of improving Grant Road for use by local people and businesses.
- Believe that, as we move half the businesses to widen Grant, we should encourage them to move to places (Urban Village Centers) where they are closest to their customers and where their customers can easily get to them by bus, bike, walking and neighborhood shuttle bus.
- Believe we should give highest priority to pedestrians and bicyclists who want to cross Grant at an Urban Village Center.
- Believe widening Grant Road to 6 lanes of car traffic cannot be achieved within the budget, because cost projections do not include reasonable construction inflation.