When I was growing up in Tucson, the major transportation discussion was “If we widen our roads, more people will move here, which would not be a good thing.”
Well, we haven’t widened our roads and more people are moving here.
I have never seen the traffic in Tucson as out of control as it is now.
Red-light running, speeding and tailgating are common occurrences. Jaywalking is prevalent, a lot of our roads are in poor condition and weeds are everywhere.
In some areas of East Broadway, the road as been patched in so many places that it’s hard to see the lane lines. East Fifth Street between Craycroft and Wilmot is a mess.
Because our roads have not been widened, more drivers are using feeder streets like Pima, Rosemont, Tucson Boulevard and Columbus Boulevard to get around town.
These feeder streets were not built to handle all of the increased traffic and most do not have left turn signals at the major intersections.
This makes it more dangerous for drivers making left turns in the busy traffic hours — especially with drivers running red lights. And it is not good for the neighborhoods as more and more drivers cut through them to avoid the traffic.
Tucson drivers have adjusted to the red-light runners as now when the light turns green there is a pause to let the red-light runners go through. Now the pause is getting longer.Homeless people seem to be at every signalized intersection and it’s sad to see more and more homeless people walking down the street carrying all of their possessions.Over the past couple of years Tucson has been named the most dangerous city and poorest city in Arizona. With that in mind, the Tucson Police Department is now understaffed and until recently our police officers hadn’t had a raise in over seven years. A lot of our officers are leaving Tucson to take higher paying jobs in other Arizona cities.
I leave you with this: I was recently talking to a friend of mine about the Broadway Widening Project that is to widen a 2-mile stretch on East Broadway between Euclid and Country Club.
This widening project was approved by voters in 2007 but due to neighborhood opposition the widening itself has just now started.
Also, due the this opposition, two lanes on East Broadway were removed from the plan.
My friend mentioned that back in 2007 the country of Panama, due to the growing size of cargo ships, decided that to stay competitive it needed to widen the 50-mile Panama Canal. This 50-mile project was completed in 2016.
Tucson can’t even do a 2- mile widening project in that time frame.
There is a baseball saying that “if you keep doing the same ole thing, you will get the same ole results.”
We need to make some changes in our local leadership