City of Tucson working to connect the north and southside

The city of Tucson is asking for public input on its Norte-Sur Project.
Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 8:37 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - The city of Tucson is hoping to connect parts of the Old Pueblo by making it more transit and pedestrian friendly.

The Tucson Norte-Sur project focuses on a 15-mile corridor from the north Tucson, south to the Tucson International Airport.

Before any plans can be finalized the city needs the public’s help and input. The city said this project is all about connecting communities, which is why public input on shaping the corridor is important.

Geoffrey Fitzgibbon rides his bike to work in downtown Tucson every day and has lived in southern Arizona his whole life.

“Having less traffic and cars coming through with more public transportation would definitely help,” Fitzgibbon said.

He and other public transportation riders tell 13 News it is time for the city to be connected by making it easier for people to get from one part of town to another.

“A lot of people work right by the airport and don’t have transportation there or they get to work late because of how far it is,” said Christopher Stewart, a public transit user.

The project starts near the Tucson Mall and goes through downtown to the Ronstadt Center all the way down to the south side of the airport.

“It will reduce the number of buses I have to get on,” Stewart said.

The goal during this planning phase is to make sure the corridor is more pedestrian friendly by making places easier to get to without a car.

According to Ian Sansom, the eTOD Project Manager for the city of Tucson, bringing high-speed transit that offers limited stops all while making sure housing along the 15-mile route stays affordable and true to the history and culture of Tucson.

Sansom said the city has already received feedback, which helped narrow the three top areas they are focusing on.

“A demand for rapid reliable transit throughout the corridor, a need to multimodal connectivity, not just look at the transit corridor itself but how do people walk and bike to the corridor that way it’s safe, accessible and welcoming,” Samson said. “Affordable housing is a huge priority for a lot of communities.”

Although the project is still in the early stages, officials hope to get started with Phase II by the spring.

The city is seeking feedback on the Phase 1 Summary of Public Input and Data Collected. You can find that link HERE and it will be up until Wednesday, Feb. 15. This includes a survey tool for providing your feedback.