Eagle-eyed pedestrians walking over Broadway and Congress Street on the footbridge in front of the county buildings can see the problem when they look down at the parking spaces below.

Fenders, tires and bumpers often hang over the designated white lines after drivers have parallel parked.

The biggest offenders are those trying to squeeze their full-size trucks or SUVs into the 18.5-foot-long parking space.

Technically, someone could legally park a brand-new 2014 Chevy Suburban in one of these spots in front of the Pima County Administration Building, but there is no room for error.

Off by even an inch, and you are open to a parking ticket.

There is a small, open area between the spaces, but that is room for maneuvering, not parking.

Sure, officers with the city’s parking enforcement division, Parkwise, have a bit of latitude when issuing tickets, but the exact size of these spaces can be frustrating to those with midsize sedans.

The decision behind the size?

City officials say the city engineer made the call, looking at the available spaces in downtown Tucson — an interesting choice in a town where trucks are still very popular, with some extended-cab, long-bed models easily exceeding the 18.5-foot mark.

But available parking spaces are precious, and it is easier to get revenue from two shorter parking spaces than one longer one.

The best advice is still to come downtown to see bands play, shop at various businesses and get tastes of local cuisine.

But if you can, bring the sedan, not the SUV.

If you have only one car, there are a number of parking lots and garages that can accommodate larger vehicles with ease.

It isn’t worth the headache or the fine to try to get a truck (or boat of a car) into these spaces.


Down the Road

— Cyclists and drivers should prepare for intermittent lane closures along Mount Lemmon Highway for the next few weeks as Pima County Department of Transportation crews install a waterproofing liner on existing drainage pipes.

Work, scheduled to start today, will occur daily between 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is expected to continue until at least January.

— The county will also get started on an overlay project on Freeman Road between Aurora Street and Broadway on Tuesday.

Crews will be working between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. for several days, with construction expected to be complete by Nov. 14.

— Contractors with the Arizona Department of Transportation will close the left lane of both eastbound and westbound I-10 today in order to realign a segment of the interstate near Marsh Station Road.

Both lanes will beclosed to traffic a half-mile west of the Marsh Station traffic interchange (Exit 291) between 6:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. every day until Thursday night.

— ADOT will close the right lane on northbound Interstate 19, north of Nogales, from Palo Parado Road (milepost 15.5) to Tubac Road (milepost 21.7) beginning today.

Construction is expected to last for two weeks as crews seal cracks along I-19. The work will occur daily from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

— Planned improvements to the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales will lead to closures along northbound Arizona 189 starting today, with traffic reduced to one lane

until work is complete by the end of the year. Southbound Arizona 189 lanes will be unaffected .

— Crews with the Tucson Department of Transportation have adjusted their hours for fog sealing jobs as temperatures begin to plummet.

Drivers should expect minor delays as city crews work from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Golf Links Road between Aviation Parkway and Craycroft Road, Mary Ann Cleveland Way between Houghton Road and the city limits, Houghton Road between Rita Road and Old Vail Road as well as Old Vail Road between Rita Road and Houghton Road.

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


Reporter with the Arizona Daily Star. I cover politics as well as the city of Tucson and other municipalities in Southern Arizona.