Food Fest could bring attention to streetcar-outfitted Forth Ave - Tucson News Now

Food Fest could bring new attention to streetcar-outfitted Fourth Avenue

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The tents that lined the east side of Fourth Avenue stayed inside the white line that shows where cars must park to avoid conflict with the streetcar, or be towed. (Source: Tucson News Now) The tents that lined the east side of Fourth Avenue stayed inside the white line that shows where cars must park to avoid conflict with the streetcar, or be towed. (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Local music and local food are a few reasons to visit Food Fest on Fridays.

"I actually wanted to try out the CakeLab, so, we're doing a gluten-free lifestyle," Alysia Thayer said as she took some samples.

"You don't have to sacrifice quality just because you don't want to have gluten," said Ryan FitzPatrick, who works for CakeLab.

Friday was a soft start for Food Fest.  The grand opening is in two weeks.  Set between University Boulevard and Fifth Street, the weekly market also aims to attract more visitors to the northern end of Fourth Avenue from 4 to 8 p.m.

"They're all extremely happy that we're here and we think we're going to be able to bring some business to this end of Fourth Avenue a little bit later in the day," said Jared Keen, with Food In Root, which is organizing Food Fest.

"We live on the other side of town," Thayer said as she agreed that Food Fest could attract new business to Fourth Avenue.  "Yeah, and with the streetcar starting too, so, that might help."

The tents that lined the east side of Fourth Avenue stayed inside the white line that shows where cars must park to avoid conflict with the streetcar, or be towed.  The city is addressing streetcar safety concerns by showing cyclists how and where to cross the tracks to avoid getting their tires stuck between the rails and pavement.  The city said that it will continue to educate the public and make necessary changes.

"Possibly even new fixes, if it's not even old fixes that have been identified.  So, we want to make sure we're really addressing everything before we actually go into service July 25th for the public and that we're not creating new problems," said Tucson Modern Streetcar project manager Shellie Ginn.

How new events will interact with a new mode of transportation will have some visitors watching.

"It will be interesting, I don't know," Thayer said.

In two weeks the streetcars will run as if people will be on them.  Six streetcars will run at a time to see what problems pop up.  A month later, passengers will ride the rails.

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