Streetcar area development meetings continue to gather public input

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A month of Monday meetings about development along the modern streetcar line continues tonight in the university area.  The first meeting focused on the West University and 4th Avenue business district.  This week, the meeting will focus on the eastern terminus and Main Gate areas.  The times and places of the remaining meetings are as follows:

Eastern Terminus & Main Gate
August 12 at 6 p.m.
University of Arizona Student Union, 1303 E University Blvd., 2nd Floor - Kiva Room

Downtown Entertainment Districts & Downtown Cultural/Convention District
August 19 at 6 p.m.
Public Works Building, 201 N Stone Ave., Basement Conf. Rm. C

Western Terminus -- Mercado District and Menlo Park

August 26 at 6 p.m.

Public Works Building, 201 N Stone Ave., Basement Conf. Rm. C

Each area is considered to have concerns that vary from the others.  The first meeting focused on development codes, appearance, use of space, and parking in the West University and 4th  Avenue areas.

This week, consultants met with those in the Main Gate, University and eastern terminus of the line.

A big part of the discussion is how businesses along the rails will use the space as well as what the store fronts and walking areas will look like once the street car is running. Part of the consultants' work is to come up with that strategic plan that gives guidelines for the city to use when new businesses and new residents move in.

Guidelines like this help make sure that the streetcar investment will benefit the community. But some neighbors worry about parking at the eastern terminus of the line.  They said that employees of University of Arizona Medical Center already park in their neighborhoods. But consultants say plenty of parking exists;  the university needs to coordinate the best way to use it.

"They were short on details. So I think we'll have to wait and see, but we also have to be ready to respond if things don't work out quite the way they are expected to," said Joan Hall, president of Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association.

"I heard them as neighbors and as community members concerned about the general area, but I don't think we are going to see people parking in Jefferson Park because the street car is simply too far away," said Corky Poster, with the consulting firm Poster Frost Mirto.

The council will hear the consultants' presentation in September.  It will likely vote in six or seven months.

Find out on Fox 11 Tucson Now at 9 and KOLD News 13 Live at 10 what those in the area of the eastern terminus of the line and the Main Gate area near the U of A  want to see along the rails.

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