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  #5161  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2014, 5:09 PM
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  #5162  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2014, 5:12 PM
Qwijib0 Qwijib0 is offline
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Broadway Widening Gets Preliminary Approval

Story by Andrea Kelly
October 9, 2014

The Tucson City Council is planning to ask the Regional Transportation Authority for money to continue the planning process on a project to widen Broadway Boulevard.

The two-mile widening project is slated for Broadway east of downtown, from Euclid Avenue to Country Club Road. A citizen’s task force has agreed Broadway should be widened to six lanes. The plan is a reduction from the voter-approved Regional Transportation Plan, which called for doubling Broadway from four lanes, to eight.

The six-lane road will be two lanes in each direction for regular traffic, plus one in each direction for transit.

Other details, such as exactly how wide the lanes should be, and which sides of the street are affected by the widening, will be decided next.


-----------------------------------

Glad they were able to keep it from being 8 lanes, also the dedicated transit lane means there'll be continuous ROW from downtown to Wilmot for future improvements be it BRT or rail.
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  #5163  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2014, 5:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ComplotDesigner View Post
This is worst than the Grand Canyon University fiasco. It's worst because voters ask to widen this strip from 4 to 8 lanes. Since when did the City Council and the small loud nimby's have the right to override a voter approved plan? If this is a standard, the city might as well build a crosstown freeway at Grant Rd. (voters rejected that).

"The Tucson City Council is planning to ask the Regional Transportation Authority for money to continue the planning process on a project to widen Broadway Boulevard." - I'd like to see the RTA sue the city and the nimby's that supported this. COT's response : RTA isn't recognized even if it's approved by the voters.

"Kozachik represents the area being discussed, and has said he wants businesses and residents to make the final design decisions, and wants that decision to be made before Thanksgiving." - Steve K. wants his way , not the voters way. He wants business and residents make the final design decision not the engineers or architects. And he wants it before Thanksgiving. He's the boss. Let's see, I'd like to have an underpass and a cafe on top of it besides my neighborhood. And the neighborhood across me wants an overpass with a disco ball hanging under it.

Tucson is a lawyer's paradise.

How about shutting down Rio 'good ol boy' Nuevo.
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  #5164  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2014, 7:25 PM
kaneui kaneui is offline
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I think this is great news! Does anyone know what the occupancy level would have to be downtown before someone would consider another office high-rise? I think 70% is a good number but still low as far as the possibility of a new building going up.
Generally, there isn't much demand for new office construction until the vacancy rate gets down below 12-15%, or less than half of downtown Tucson's current 30% vacancy. And since the Great Recession, financing isn't usually available for larger projects until a majority of the space is preleased. Thus, Tucson's best hope for another downtown tower would be to land a major tenant who wants to occupy a good chunk of the new building.

With local commercial Class A space averaging around $20/s.f. and all the new amenities downtown, Tucson might be getting a second look from firms paying anywhere from $30-45/s.f. in the LA and SF markets, for example.
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  #5165  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2014, 9:33 AM
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Generally, there isn't much demand for new office construction until the vacancy rate gets down below 12-15%, or less than half of downtown Tucson's current 30% vacancy. And since the Great Recession, financing isn't usually available for larger projects until a majority of the space is preleased. Thus, Tucson's best hope for another downtown tower would be to land a major tenant who wants to occupy a good chunk of the new building.

With local commercial Class A space averaging around $20/s.f. and all the new amenities downtown, Tucson might be getting a second look from firms paying anywhere from $30-45/s.f. in the LA and SF markets, for example.
Thanks for the info. I was also thinking that the best outlook for another tower would maybe be a mixed used hotel/retail/office and residential. Good to see you again on here btw...
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  #5166  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2014, 3:21 PM
hthomas hthomas is offline
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Not Rio Nuevo

Quote:
Originally Posted by farmerk View Post
This is worst than the Grand Canyon University fiasco. It's worst because voters ask to widen this strip from 4 to 8 lanes. Since when did the City Council and the small loud nimby's have the right to override a voter approved plan? If this is a standard, the city might as well build a crosstown freeway at Grant Rd. (voters rejected that).

"The Tucson City Council is planning to ask the Regional Transportation Authority for money to continue the planning process on a project to widen Broadway Boulevard." - I'd like to see the RTA sue the city and the nimby's that supported this. COT's response : RTA isn't recognized even if it's approved by the voters.

"Kozachik represents the area being discussed, and has said he wants businesses and residents to make the final design decisions, and wants that decision to be made before Thanksgiving." - Steve K. wants his way , not the voters way. He wants business and residents make the final design decision not the engineers or architects. And he wants it before Thanksgiving. He's the boss. Let's see, I'd like to have an underpass and a cafe on top of it besides my neighborhood. And the neighborhood across me wants an overpass with a disco ball hanging under it.

Tucson is a lawyer's paradise.

How about shutting down Rio 'good ol boy' Nuevo.

The Broadway Widening project has nothing to do with Rio Nuevo. It is outside the Rio Nuevo overlay and they make no decisions for that area. This decision was made by the City of Tucson, a separate legal body in terms of the government and the law. In terms of the 4 to 8 lanes, the voters did make that decision and the City of Tucson should comply or put it back to the voters if the community feels that desire for the project has changed.
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  #5167  
Old Posted Oct 13, 2014, 5:24 PM
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The Broadway Widening project has nothing to do with Rio Nuevo. It is outside the Rio Nuevo overlay and they make no decisions for that area. This decision was made by the City of Tucson, a separate legal body in terms of the government and the law. In terms of the 4 to 8 lanes, the voters did make that decision and the City of Tucson should comply or put it back to the voters if the community feels that desire for the project has changed.
I agree, though I believe the entire Broadway corridor to Wilmot is in the Rio Nuevo TIF, (so they connect on a revenue front) but I don't believe RN has any direct control over the fate of any projects.
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  #5168  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2014, 10:41 PM
hthomas hthomas is offline
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I agree, though I believe the entire Broadway corridor to Wilmot is in the Rio Nuevo TIF, (so they connect on a revenue front) but I don't believe RN has any direct control over the fate of any projects.
You are correct, I looked. Didn't realize it went that Far East, thx.
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  #5169  
Old Posted Oct 15, 2014, 8:04 AM
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Very cool!

Screening Room’s Daily Movies Bring Downtown Back into the Movie Game

...As of last month, the Screening Room, which has long served as a centerpiece of Arizona International Film Festival, is now a full-time movie house.

“They weren’t really a full-time theater. They were more for special events,” said Pattie Thomas, who manages the theater for Grand. “We weren’t able to do first-run, but we’re doing mid-run films, ones that would normally be in a discount theater.”
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  #5170  
Old Posted Oct 15, 2014, 11:08 PM
Qwijib0 Qwijib0 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farmerk View Post
This is worst than the Grand Canyon University fiasco. It's worst because voters ask to widen this strip from 4 to 8 lanes. Since when did the City Council and the small loud nimby's have the right to override a voter approved plan? If this is a standard, the city might as well build a crosstown freeway at Grant Rd. (voters rejected that).

"The Tucson City Council is planning to ask the Regional Transportation Authority for money to continue the planning process on a project to widen Broadway Boulevard." - I'd like to see the RTA sue the city and the nimby's that supported this. COT's response : RTA isn't recognized even if it's approved by the voters.

"Kozachik represents the area being discussed, and has said he wants businesses and residents to make the final design decisions, and wants that decision to be made before Thanksgiving." - Steve K. wants his way , not the voters way. He wants business and residents make the final design decision not the engineers or architects. And he wants it before Thanksgiving. He's the boss. Let's see, I'd like to have an underpass and a cafe on top of it besides my neighborhood. And the neighborhood across me wants an overpass with a disco ball hanging under it.

Tucson is a lawyer's paradise.

How about shutting down Rio 'good ol boy' Nuevo.
Hmm, maybe a bit of overreaction? If you look at the _intent_ of the approved Broadway plan it was to increase capacity of the roadway and remove the last bottleneck on Broadway into downtown. The thing is, those traffic volume increases never happened. Why then, waste taxpayer money on acquiring the property and laying asphalt that isn't needed. This is a perfect example of a nimble city goverment using data to create a smarter proposal that solves the problem the voters told the city to solve. Additional transit lanes means nobody in a car gets stuck behind a bus, and buses gain reliability and as a result, ridership. In addition, the streetscape isn't an asphalt wasteland so it encourages walkable development in a section of the city that already has some walkable neighborhoods.
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  #5171  
Old Posted Oct 16, 2014, 3:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Qwijib0 View Post
Hmm, maybe a bit of overreaction? If you look at the _intent_ of the approved Broadway plan it was to increase capacity of the roadway and remove the last bottleneck on Broadway into downtown. The thing is, those traffic volume increases never happened. Why then, waste taxpayer money on acquiring the property and laying asphalt that isn't needed. This is a perfect example of a nimble city goverment using data to create a smarter proposal that solves the problem the voters told the city to solve. Additional transit lanes means nobody in a car gets stuck behind a bus, and buses gain reliability and as a result, ridership. In addition, the streetscape isn't an asphalt wasteland so it encourages walkable development in a section of the city that already has some walkable neighborhoods.
Agreed and thanks for pointing out the overshot traffic projections, I had forgotten about that. But Downtown Links could increase the traffic.

If it is a bottle neck, I'm not sure it's bad to discourage though traffic anyway. More pedestrians, greater incentive to take BRT (or LRT) downtown.
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  #5172  
Old Posted Oct 16, 2014, 4:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Qwijib0 View Post
Hmm, maybe a bit of overreaction? If you look at the _intent_ of the approved Broadway plan it was to increase capacity of the roadway and remove the last bottleneck on Broadway into downtown. The thing is, those traffic volume increases never happened. Why then, waste taxpayer money on acquiring the property and laying asphalt that isn't needed. This is a perfect example of a nimble city goverment using data to create a smarter proposal that solves the problem the voters told the city to solve. Additional transit lanes means nobody in a car gets stuck behind a bus, and buses gain reliability and as a result, ridership. In addition, the streetscape isn't an asphalt wasteland so it encourages walkable development in a section of the city that already has some walkable neighborhoods.
Definitely this. I live in the area and, 90% of the time, we don't need additional lanes. When traffic is at its worst, getting busses out of the two lanes will solve much of the problem. Repaving 6th and Speedway, widening Grant, and reducing the bottleneck at 22nd and Kino will also reduce congestion.
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  #5173  
Old Posted Oct 16, 2014, 3:43 PM
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I have to disagree with the general sentiment here. With no crosstown freeway running east/west through Tucson, the best that we can do is AT MINIMUM make our major arterials stemming off the I-10 freeway seamless as possible. That means 22nd St (NIMBY issues), Grant Rd (NIMBY issues), and Broadway (NIMBY issues). Yes, the economy took a downturn, therefore jobs, population, and yes, traffic projections took a hit. But does that mean we stop planning and building for the future? We'll have Downtown Links (classic NIMBY case) running through connecting to two lanes east out of the downtown area? Broadway between Euclid and up to Country Club is an eye sore...there's no point to that statement except its ripe for renewal and demolition. Twenty (20) years from now are our kids or next generation of Tucsonans are gonna look at us and say, "Why is this road this way? Why does Tucson's roadway and freeway system suck?"

Honestly, how is this different from the Streetcar? You have critics and naysayers saying there's not enough population to support it...not enough housing...not enough jobs...not enough events or destinations. Broadway has to be at minimum 3 traffic lanes...not 4 or 5 as we've seen in larger cities. Two lanes? Stamp "Vamos NIMBY Tucson" all over it.
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  #5174  
Old Posted Oct 16, 2014, 4:10 PM
Ted Lyons Ted Lyons is offline
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Originally Posted by southtucsonboy77 View Post
I have to disagree with the general sentiment here. With no crosstown freeway running east/west through Tucson, the best that we can do is AT MINIMUM make our major arterials stemming off the I-10 freeway seamless as possible. That means 22nd St (NIMBY issues), Grant Rd (NIMBY issues), and Broadway (NIMBY issues). Yes, the economy took a downturn, therefore jobs, population, and yes, traffic projections took a hit. But does that mean we stop planning and building for the future? We'll have Downtown Links (classic NIMBY case) running through connecting to two lanes east out of the downtown area? Broadway between Euclid and up to Country Club is an eye sore...there's no point to that statement except its ripe for renewal and demolition. Twenty (20) years from now are our kids or next generation of Tucsonans are gonna look at us and say, "Why is this road this way? Why does Tucson's roadway and freeway system suck?"

Honestly, how is this different from the Streetcar? You have critics and naysayers saying there's not enough population to support it...not enough housing...not enough jobs...not enough events or destinations. Broadway has to be at minimum 3 traffic lanes...not 4 or 5 as we've seen in larger cities. Two lanes? Stamp "Vamos NIMBY Tucson" all over it.
Why would we want to incentivize the ability to easily get to Houghton from I-10 and Congress? The point is to discourage people from making drives like that part of their daily lifestyle. Speculatively increasing lanes on the hope that they'll be beneficial for long-distance commuters 20 years from now is Phoenix-style suburbanism at its worst. Adding a dedicated public transit lane, on the other hand, achieves the goal of reducing sprawl as well as easing foreseeable traffic gridlock.
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  #5175  
Old Posted Oct 16, 2014, 4:53 PM
Qwijib0 Qwijib0 is offline
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Originally Posted by southtucsonboy77 View Post
I have to disagree with the general sentiment here. With no crosstown freeway running east/west through Tucson, the best that we can do is AT MINIMUM make our major arterials stemming off the I-10 freeway seamless as possible. That means 22nd St (NIMBY issues), Grant Rd (NIMBY issues), and Broadway (NIMBY issues). Yes, the economy took a downturn, therefore jobs, population, and yes, traffic projections took a hit. But does that mean we stop planning and building for the future? We'll have Downtown Links (classic NIMBY case) running through connecting to two lanes east out of the downtown area? Broadway between Euclid and up to Country Club is an eye sore...there's no point to that statement except its ripe for renewal and demolition. Twenty (20) years from now are our kids or next generation of Tucsonans are gonna look at us and say, "Why is this road this way? Why does Tucson's roadway and freeway system suck?"

Honestly, how is this different from the Streetcar? You have critics and naysayers saying there's not enough population to support it...not enough housing...not enough jobs...not enough events or destinations. Broadway has to be at minimum 3 traffic lanes...not 4 or 5 as we've seen in larger cities. Two lanes? Stamp "Vamos NIMBY Tucson" all over it.
More roads do not equal more mobility freedom, and freeways more often than not generate the traffic they were meant to alleviate. Of the arterials you are discussing, two are being improved-- Grant road being widened with indirect lefts will increase capacity (with the indirect lefts accounting for about 15% of that), and the bridge over 22nd at Kino will also reduce some of the worst congestion on that arterial.

You call out downtown links as a worthless solution, but it will be two new lanes to the 210 for all intents and purposes. And your condemnation of Broadway as an eyesore between Country Club and Euclid is spot on-- but the answer is not tens of feet of asphalt on both sides. If you look at the property acquisition map the city has done a pretty good job weaving a proposed 6-lane alignment saving what buildings have architectural merit, and as a result taking the worst properties down.



One proposed design has potential to look quite attractive even with some of the strip malls, which would hopefully attract more investment once the area around them is appealing to people using multiple modes of transportation rather than solely car.



As for your assertion that broadway _needs_ 3-4 lanes, there's no data to support that. The weekday average traffic at peak between campbell and country club was ~1500 vehicles per hour in 2013. A surface street lane is designed to carry between 800 and 1000 vehicles per hour. That means worst-case Broadway can carry 1600 vehicles per hour, which is more than it is currently asked to do. Optimizing the current 2 lanes by removing transit is an extremely reasonable solution given that data.
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  #5176  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2014, 7:03 PM
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University of Arizona - Environment & Natural Resources Building - 101814





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  #5177  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2014, 5:44 PM
InTheBurbs InTheBurbs is offline
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From today's ADS What's Going Up column..


Photo: A E Araiza, Arizona Daily Star

Quote:
...that new cantilevered, glassy building that juts out and seems to float over the side of a massive foothill ledge on North Oracle Road is the “Parasol Building.”

The building at 5834 N. Oracle, south of Rudasill, was designed by Mark Harris Architects of Colorado for Dr. Sharad Pandhi’s Smile Perfection Dental Office, and includes additional office space leased to others.

The design, inspired by the shade canopy of the velvet mesquite tree, has a photovoltaic canopy as well as “bridge frames allowing the building to cantilever over the site on a series of pylons and minimal concrete foundations....
Not quite seeing the mesquite tree there, but have to give them credit for "going out on a limb" with the design.
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  #5178  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2014, 8:08 AM
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Appeal rejected, Rio Nuevo continues negotiating with Norville

Rio Nuevo has rejected a protest to the board’s decision to go ahead with negotiations with Nor-Generations to develop a “gateway” parcel adjacent to the Tucson Convention Center....

...“Board Member Moore’s truncated endorsement of the Nor-Gen’s proposal can hardly be said to have influenced the scoring of any of the other members,” she wrote. “The other members had just spent more than two hours hearing detailed and comprehensive presentations of both Peach and Nor-Gen and engaging each in question and answer periods. It is not reasonable to conclude that the scoring by any of these other Members was influenced by Board member Moore’s very brief and interrupted statement on the Nor-Gen Proposal.”...

Full article at link.
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  #5179  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2014, 3:06 PM
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Why would we want to incentivize the ability to easily get to Houghton from I-10 and Congress? The point is to discourage people from making drives like that part of their daily lifestyle. Speculatively increasing lanes on the hope that they'll be beneficial for long-distance commuters 20 years from now is Phoenix-style suburbanism at its worst. Adding a dedicated public transit lane, on the other hand, achieves the goal of reducing sprawl as well as easing foreseeable traffic gridlock.
Oh Lord...that is one of the funniest inadvertent comments I've read here in a while. Why would we want incentivize...??? Hmmm....well, how about for efficiency sake? People are going to travel from Houghton to I-10 and Congress because they NEED to do that (a job, appointment, you get the idea) not because of the scenic value of such a trip or the many, many entertainment options at that particular destination. So, yeah, I'm going to go with "for the sake of efficiency" which of course has secondary benefits like cleaner air (less waiting at the endless series of stoplights in Tucson). Your question is exactly what the NIMBY's ask in their eternal straw man arguments that protect the individual at the cost of the greater good.
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  #5180  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2014, 3:52 PM
Ted Lyons Ted Lyons is offline
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Hmmm....well, how about for efficiency sake? People are going to travel from Houghton to I-10 and Congress because they NEED to do that (a job, appointment, you get the idea) not because of the scenic value of such a trip or the many, many entertainment options at that particular destination. So, yeah, I'm going to go with "for the sake of efficiency" which of course has secondary benefits like cleaner air (less waiting at the endless series of stoplights in Tucson). Your question is exactly what the NIMBY's ask in their eternal straw man arguments that protect the individual at the cost of the greater good.
You realize this forum is pretty much dedicated to discussions of urbanism, right? Redevelopment projects meant to enhance the viability of daily commutes across an entire city are kind of antithetical to that concept.
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