Road runner: City, PAG both deploy shuttles for gem show

2013-02-04T00:00:00Z 2014-07-08T11:19:39Z Road runner: City, PAG both deploy shuttles for gem showBecky Pallack Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 04, 2013 12:00 am  • 

City-sponsored gem show shuttles are back. The Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase brings thousands of visitors to Tucson - and thousands of extra cars, too.

But Tucson is paying for three large vans to move people around 25 shows and various parking locations, which should ease some congestion.

The free service, called GemRide, will run through Feb. 17. It's about a 15-minute wait between pickups.

For some easy show hopping, we suggest parking and catching GemRide at the temporary West Congress Parking Hub, where it costs $5 to park all day. The temporary parking lots are on Linda Avenue, just south of Congress Street and west of the Santa Cruz River.

On the east side of downtown, try parking and catching GemRide at the Pennington Street Garage, 110 E. Pennington St. Parking costs $3 a day on weekends.

You could also take a Sun Tran bus to the Ronstadt Transit Center and catch GemRide from there.

Visit GemRide.com for more options and a map.

Additionally, the Pima Association of Governments has two natural-gas vans running a short line with four stops along Cushing Street, mainly as a shuttle from the Tucson Convention Center to the West Congress Parking Hub.

This service, called Green Line, runs about every 10 minutes.

Road Q

Q: Gunnar Ludwig and Kurt Schmidt each wrote to ask about the city's plans for Wetmore Road.

The city recently fixed up Wetmore between Fairview Avenue and Oracle Road as part of its pavement preservation program.

But the stretch of road just east of there, Wetmore between Oracle and First Avenue, is in "horrible condition," Ludwig writes.

"It drives like it's been bombarded with mortar shells," Schmidt writes. "When is the city going to repair this important stretch of Wetmore?"

A: The city's one-year, $20 million pavement preservation program is kind of like triage.

They aren't fixing the hopelessly bad roads. Instead, they're fixing about 9 percent of roads whose lives can be saved by a seal, microsurface or mill-and-overlay treatment.

Although the program is scheduled to be complete in April, city Transportation Director Daryl Cole is hoping to have another $20 million next fiscal year, beginning July 1. Work under the new road bonds program should begin in July, too.

So while the section of Wetmore near the Tucson Mall didn't make the list this year, there's hope for next year.

Meanwhile, you can call 791-3154 to report potholes on Wetmore or elsewhere within the city limits.

In the next two weeks, the city's pavement preservation program will fix up Campbell Avenue between River and Prince roads, Pima Street between Columbus Boulevard and Swan Road, Rosemont Boulevard between Grant Road and Speedway, and Speedway between Kolb and Pantano roads.

Watch for daytime lane closures.

Send your Road Q questions by email to roadrunner@azstarnet.com or to 4850 S. Park Ave., Tucson, AZ 85714. Please include first and last names.

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