Thornydale widening put on hold for now

Published: Jan. 23, 2020 at 10:52 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - In 1997, voters passed a bond package which included the widening of a section of North Thornydale from two to four lanes.

It was a controversial vote because Pima County was in a battle over the pygmy owl and North Thornydale was part of the bird’s habitat.

Voters passed the bond because the county was having serious traffic issues -- too many cars and not enough roads.

That’s why the decision to widen the road was reaffirmed by voters in 2006 with the passage of the Regional Transportation Authority.

Building new roads while widening others was a priority for county transportation dollars.

That changed nearly a decade ago when voters decided fixing potholes and paving roads were more important that building new ones.

Thornydale became a victim of changing attitudes. The county outlines that change here.

Lesa Stewart bought a new build in the 22-home Hardydale cul de sac ten years ago because “I felt it was almost rural, open space, with cactus and trees.”

She was also told Thornydale would be widened to four lanes.

“It never happened,” she said.

Instead, rapid development with new housing developments, strip malls and other construction has brought more cars, trucks and congestion.

“My original subdivision, quiet peaceful, had very little road noise,” she said. “All of a sudden I feel like its the interstate out there.”

She won’t say the county lied to the residents. She feels the county had the best of intentions but she feels its “typical government bureaucracy.”

And her feelings towards the neighborhood have fallen victim to that.

We’ve talked about leaving," she said. “It’s something we think about.”

The move their for the quiet and open spaces “but we don’t have that anymore on Thornydale.”

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