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  #5341  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2015, 4:53 PM
soleri soleri is offline
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Somethingfast, I don't want to cause anyone who loves Tucson to give up. But if Phoenix is the bellwether, what will happen is that you'll simply be too emotionally depleted to care. I'm a Phoenix native and lived all my life there until 2013. What I noticed about myself was a flagging lack of interest in local affairs. I realized I didn't care because I didn't love Phoenix. After a lifetime there, I realized there wasn't a real city with wonderful buildings, amenities, and assets to love. There was just what it looks like to the naked eye - all the sprawl, the dreck, and absurdity of a city based not on love but on cheapness and warm weather. This is why people won't tax themselves to improve Arizona. Once it's all about you, your comfort, your house, your car, then you just check out all together. Phoenix shows in macrocosm the Tragedy of the Commons. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons

People who oppose freeways in Tucson are not reactionaries. They're visionaries in that they know what the outcomes are, the horror of a city not worth caring about since it's tailored to cars and not people. Jim Click is Tucson's Darth Vader (it's a cheap shot but our rhetoric needs to be sharp since there's not much time left).

We necessarily love the world the way it is, not the way we think it should be. If you're not loving Tucson for real reasons like its building stock and civic embellishments, you're not really loving the actual city. Most people who "love" Tucson don't really love it at all. They don't know its history, its literature, its tragedies and its triumphs. Most don't love its desert, its ghosts, its intimate niches or lovely decay. They're too self-involved to care and it shows. You're not going to improve Tucson by making it more like Phoenix. Just the opposite. You'll improve it by making it less like Phoenix.
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  #5342  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2015, 5:46 PM
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somethingfast somethingfast is offline
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Soleri, again, I don't think we disagree at all. I'm not suggesting that adding freeway miles is the only or best approach to dealing with Tucson's traffic problems. Perhaps the disagreement is that you don't feel there is a traffic issue at all. Perhaps you're right. I think most people would disagree. But I'm not sure there's a right answer short of data. If average commute times as computed against population were to reveal that Tucson's mean times are below average...then so be it. If otherwise, I'd suggest there's room for improvement. Anecdotally, I would think it's the latter situation for cities of comparable size.

But I digress. I have to say that your last couple of responses make me very sad. I agree 100% with what you're saying about the tragedy of the commons analogy and the reality about Phoenix and (possible) ambivalence in Tucson. I think the issue with Tucson really boils down to this: when you're having a tough time making a living, you don't think much about these issues. And I don't think Tucson is prosperous enough to where civic pride and related issues are driving the decisions so much as the desire to NOT be taxed further (NIMBY-ism, etc.). Phoenix, on the other hand, is, sadly, all appearance and no substance. It's LA without the water and the add'l legacy of 30 years of American prosperity behind it. They both resulted from the same driving forces of exploitation (TotCommons) in the grossest of ways and as soon as the hard times come, there's zero sense of community to get through the lean times. You simply leave. No investment in the land and buildings around you from the emotional stand-point.

I also agree that Phoenix is hopeless from this perspective. Time changes everything so who's to say what might happen in 20 or 50 or even 100 years' time? But there's certainly no short-term drivers to change the course of the metro right now. It's business as usual with the hope that housing will make a turnaround another boom cycle can commence. Doubtful. Wages are not rising and without rising wages or massive influx of free money (i.e., easy lending of the early 2000's) a true housing boom is never going to materialize and certainly not of the magnitude of the last few.

Here's what I do think Tucson AND Phoenix (more Tucson) could do to make some real impacts down the road to not only economic prosperity but to also preserve identity (more Tucson again):

1. Encourage development along the natural river beds and like Tempe Town Lake, trap/regulate the water that does flow naturally. More natural damning that is less damaging to the ecosystem (if necessary) is fine. The goal is simply to encourage a flowing river to a) re-create what the area looked like a hundred or more years ago for not only its aesthetic value but recreational as well, and b) re-charge groundwater.

Said development would naturally be followed and along the Santa Cruz portions near downtown, significant urban renewal (organically so) would probably ensue.

2. Don't repeat past mistakes. Never, ever build a ballpark out in the middle of nowhere. In other words, political reform is needed. You get what you ask for and all Tucson has asked for over the last half-century or more is political corruption which always benefits the few at the expense of the many. ENCOURAGE (yes, in bold, all caps) all significant civic investment in the downtown/UofA area. DT is taking flight (on a Tucson scale) but much more needs to be done. And can be. I don't know exactly how Rio Nuevo got so f**ed up but obviously that can't happen again. And no more ballparks in places nobody wants to go. Could you imagine if they had built TEP downtown where things could be right now? May have saved spring training and planted seeds that would be full-bloom by now. Sadly, we'll never know. But we do know what transpired that led to the mistakes. Don't repeat.

3. Truly massive investment in solar farms. Arizona should be the solar capital of the world, from electricity generation to PV innovation (and beyond). Yes, one of the biggest solar companies is based in Tempe (First Solar)...so much more should be happening to encourage solar investment tech in Arizona. Tucson and Phoenix could reap tremendous rewards. Cheap oil isn't going to last and climate stability necessitates wind and solar investments. Start now. Not a day later.

Okay, that's all I got top of the head. Is there hope? I think so. I hope so. I wish I could stay in Arizona and make a good living and count on monsoon thunderstorms and snowpacks in the winter in the mountains. Everything seems uncertain now. Much of what made Arizona Arizona seems to be gone or dying. I'm still rooting for my home state and home city. I still see me dying there one day. It's still home in my mind in so many ways. But all I see is the distant past now when I think of Arizona and Tucson and even Phoenix. It's nothing beyond 10 years ago at this point. And now I've officially bummed myself out and wasted a couple hours! Back to work...

Again, Soleri, always appreciate your thoughts and contributions! I don't add much to the forums but I always read. Excelsior...
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  #5343  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2015, 9:00 PM
Patrick S Patrick S is offline
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^^ I'm not going to argue the merits here but you are just patently wrong that it's "too late". Cost-prohibitive is a subject phrase. How do you think the Superstition Freeway and much of the Price Freeway and Squaw Peak in the Phoenix area were built? Eminent domain and displacement. "Tens of thousands" is also a very subjective and, I bet, highly inaccurate # as well. And there is a solution still staring the city square in the face: the Rillito. It was proposed and shot down back in the mid-80's. Again, look to Tempe for the solution. Portions of the Red Mountain are built on the Salt River. Now I'm not suggesting the this is the *right* answer but saying it's not possible is just untrue. Tucson doesn't want that particular solution.
I'm all for having a crosstown freeway or a loop in this city. I think the time has passed for a crosstown freeway though. I've seen estimates that it would cost at least $100 Million a mile. That's too much money in this day and age when everyone wants to slash spending, and there's not enough to even maintain the infrastructure we have now. I think a loop would be better. I was simply saying that the idea of just putting a freeway across the center of town is not the best of ideas.
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  #5344  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2015, 9:14 PM
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somethingfast somethingfast is offline
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^^ I have to admit it, I just can't resist these Tucson discussions. The argument for or against a cross-town freeway is moot. It's never going to happen. It could cost $5/mile and it wouldn't happen. $100 million per mile, just for the sake of argument is probably high but it's not prohibitively so if it came out that high. When LA was brainstorming a way to expand I-10 around downtown back in the mid-90's a figure of $1 billion/mile came out as they would likely have needed some double-decker sections. Needless to say, it didn't happen. And neither will a cross-town in Tucson although it really does make all the sense in the world. Why? for one, it likely would not take much more real estate if you depressed it. Building on or near the Rillito would probably net you more per mile in cost. I'm not an engineer though but putting huge amounts of concrete over sand is not cheap. Just my opinion here but two lanes depressed in both directions (Speedway, Grant or Broadway) and one lane each for surface entry/exit (six total, four unobstructed by lights) would be the best possible transit solution for Tucson...or at least "most practical" to bridge the gap between epochs. The time to have done this would have been 20 years ago or even 10 but time marches on and I don't think Tucson wants it or wants to pay for it (either, probably).
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  #5345  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2015, 10:15 PM
Azstar Azstar is offline
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The answer, IMO, is not to build more freeways or streets. One third of the City of Tucson is vacant land. The City and County own much of that property that has been sitting idle and empty for decades. Residential infill should be encouraged and incentivized. It is currently ignored.Young people want an urban environment where they can work, shop, play, take public transit and ride bicycles without the need for a car.
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  #5346  
Old Posted Mar 17, 2015, 2:49 AM
kmiller5 kmiller5 is offline
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Hi all,

I've been reading the forum for a little while to keep up to date with potential new development in Tucson and really appreciate all the effort is put into keeping us informed.

I apologize for changing the subject but I do have a question that I'd be grateful to have answered. What's going on with the AC Tucson hotel? I remember reading that construction would begin late 2014, and then that was pushed to 1st quarter of 2015 but still nothing has happened. There was a small fence set in one corner of that parking lot for a little while but even that is gone now. Have there been any updates on this project?

Also, thinking about the 20-story mixed use structure at Campbell and Speedway: what goes into changing the zoning to make this project possible? I'd be super excited if this project came to fruition. Thanks for any insight you can provide!
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  #5347  
Old Posted Mar 17, 2015, 6:22 AM
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andrewsaturn andrewsaturn is offline
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Originally Posted by kmiller5 View Post
Hi all,

I've been reading the forum for a little while to keep up to date with potential new development in Tucson and really appreciate all the effort is put into keeping us informed.

I apologize for changing the subject but I do have a question that I'd be grateful to have answered. What's going on with the AC Tucson hotel? I remember reading that construction would begin late 2014, and then that was pushed to 1st quarter of 2015 but still nothing has happened. There was a small fence set in one corner of that parking lot for a little while but even that is gone now. Have there been any updates on this project?

Also, thinking about the 20-story mixed use structure at Campbell and Speedway: what goes into changing the zoning to make this project possible? I'd be super excited if this project came to fruition. Thanks for any insight you can provide!
Hello! The a.c. hotel is suppose to start construction very soon like next month in April! As for the speedway and Campbell project, the last time I heard about it, there was still discussion about how tall the building can go. However, despite what happens with that situation, I think the project was given a green light.
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  #5348  
Old Posted Mar 17, 2015, 3:22 PM
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ProfessorMole ProfessorMole is offline
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Originally Posted by kmiller5 View Post
Also, thinking about the 20-story mixed use structure at Campbell and Speedway: what goes into changing the zoning to make this project possible? I'd be super excited if this project came to fruition. Thanks for any insight you can provide!
You can check out a majority of the stuff involved with that process at this link from the Tucson Planning website.

Current Plan Amendments
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  #5349  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2015, 6:27 PM
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ProfessorMole ProfessorMole is offline
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As a follow up to the above post, if anyone is ever curious about highway projects as well, this is the ADOT link to see all the nitty gritty on those.

ADOT South Central Projects
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  #5350  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2015, 2:20 PM
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farmerk farmerk is offline
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  #5351  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2015, 9:26 PM
Patrick S Patrick S is offline
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Census Department released 2014 estimates today for metro areas and Tucson is over one million, with an official estimate of 1,004,516.

http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/t...xhtml?src=bkmk

Last edited by Patrick S; Yesterday at 8:37 PM.
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  #5352  
Old Posted Today, 2:33 AM
Thirsty Thirsty is offline
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I-11 extention

Bills in the house and senate would extend I-11 beyond Phoenix. In other words a trucking bypass for Tucson once connected to I-10 somewhere east of town.

http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/2...arizona-nevada

Another source I can't find now specified the Avra Valley to Nogales route.
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