Those along the streetcar line can weigh in on design - Tucson News Now

Those along the streetcar line can weigh in on design

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Tucson Planning and Development Services is about to kicked off a week of strategic meetings over the streetcar at the Rialto tonight.

Each day will have meetings with businesses residents and other stakeholders at different points along the streetcar line.  The topics will focus on historic and neighborhood preservation; parking and traffic; streetscapes and walk ability; and economic development or implementation.

The streetcar route is divided into eight segments from the west end, west of I-10, to the downtown convention area, to the downtown central area, to the downtown Congress and Fourth Avenue areas, to the central segment along Fourth Avenue, to the Main Gate area near U of A, and to the east end at UAMC.

Consultants kicked off an intense week of meetings Monday night.  They have two Portland consultants here also who will be meeting with groups and individuals, from business and land owners to neighborhood associations and others.  The planners will take those concerns and thoughts on how to develop areas within a quarter mile of the streetcar rails.

"There's areas that are more prime for redevelopment and there's areas that, frankly, we just may want to say this is appropriate the way it is. so we're keeping an open mind, we're not presupposing anything, and we're just looking at it and taking that input to see what people really want," said Linda Morales, a principal with The Planning Center, which has been hired by the city.

"I definitely see it as a springboard for revitalizing the downtown area and reconnecting the university with downtown," said U of A graduate student Chris Blue.

"The streetcar as designed is really to promote economic development. The land along that route should be valued more highly. it should be open to density but what we want to do is do our density right," said Tucson mayor Jonathan Rothschild.

Those who are interested can check on the consultants' progress as soon as Thursday at the Historic Depot at 6 p.m.  But the finished plan that will give mayor and council a map to follow for zoning changes is due around October.

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