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Rally against Broadway Improvement Project ahead of Mayor and Council vote

Published: Apr. 17, 2016 at 6:55 PM MST|Updated: Apr. 18, 2016 at 4:35 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - About 200 people gathered along East Broadway Boulevard late Sunday afternoon, April 17, to protest the controversial Broadway Improvement Project.

They gathered at 2419 E. Broadway and walked east to Treat Ave, while holding signs.

Mark Homan, one of the attendees said they do not think the project should move forward as is.

"We think that there is a good design that will accommodate cars because people will be driving and riding their cars, accommodate cars, make it much better for bus riders and preserve this environment," Homan said.

This project will widen a two-mile stretch of East Broadway from Euclid and County Club from four lanes to six. According to the plans, about 50 properties will be affected.

Homan adds, the project will take away from a walkable, bikeable environment and do little to help anyone

"Even car riders barely perceive any benefit according to their own data. 6 seconds in one direction, a minute in the other. We have no evidence that this benefits businesses at all," Homan said.

More than a dozen businesses in the area have shown their support for the project. They say it's much needed revitalization.

Some residents showed up to the rally to show their support for the project.

Greg Clark, resident, said this project is needed to fix up the rundown portion of Broadway Blvd.

"It's a junky, dangerous, mess. It's congested, it's overcrowded. It doesn't have proper bike facilities, sidewalks. Just look across the street, it's a parking lot," Clark said.

Clark said there has been plenty of time given to planning and compromise and it's time to move forward with the project.

"The citizens task force just spent the past four years studying it and it came up with the recommendation. Six lanes. So sidewalks, landscaping, bike lanes. Let's do it. This neighborhood, our neighborhood, this city, needs a better Broadway in this section," Clark said.

This protest comes two days before Tucson Mayor and Council will vote on the project. Sunday is also the last day to submit comments on the project.

Voters approved the project and it's half-cent sales-tax funding back in May 2006. This is a $71 million Regional Transportation Authority project.
The actual construction on the project isn't scheduled to start until 2018.

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