I would like to change this oversight. Chuck Huckelberry and all those involved in the RTA, I am personally inviting you to visit my house on Grant Road and spend a few minutes in one of these beautiful old homes that you may demolish for the Grant Road expansion if the sales-tax increase passes.
Come by and visit my home, and then you will understand why I am going to fight you tooth and nail to save it. This is not a mark on a map; this is my home. I bought this property with the intention of living here a very long time. I take pride in how my yard looks to the thousands passing on Grant every day, and put blood, sweat and tears into turning this land from an empty lot full of trash into a beautiful garden.
I am not willing to give it up for a plan that is not feasible. The proposed expansion won't even be completed for 20 years. By that time, those changes will not be sufficient. It seems like a waste of time and money. I would be willing to give up part of my land for a plan that made more sense and cost the taxpayers less money. Installing bus pullouts and right-turn-only lanes at intersections would go a long way to alleviate the traffic problems. Besides, this would not take 20 years and would cost a fraction.
I understand the good of the public over the good of the private, but come on. If you want to bulldoze my home, at least have the decency to see what you will be destroying, and then decide if your plan is really worth permanently wiping out a charming stretch of road in Tucson.
I encourage everyone to vote NO on Questions 1 and 2.
Looking from the perspective of a small-business owner, you will find that those most adversely affected by 1 and 2 are small businesses and residents. The RTA had a series of community-outreach meetings before their presentation to the mayor and council, but nothing was mailed or delivered to the businesses that would be removed for the mandatory expansion of roads. That's no accident.
If there had been a genuine effort to address the predicament of the small businesses and homes, the issues would have been addressed and communicated before the questions were placed on a ballot. They snuck it past us and assumed those affected would not have enough time to educate the public. They can be confident with the growth lobby's formidable television/media blitz. The RTA has even hired a PR firm.
What's worse than the standard advertising are the misleading statements I received when I spoke at the downtown RTA meeting last March. Concerning Broadway, they refer to a pre-existing Broadway Corridor project passed in 1985, which was essentially the same road-widening plan they are discussing in 1 and 2. Should they attempt to resurrect something like this, it would need to be reassessed and reintroduced to the public. That's essentially the task Question 1 and 2 is attempting, but to say "the plan was already passed through mayor and council in 1985" is misleading. Otherwise, they wouldn't need to put in 1 and 2.
They are also telling the public that the communities affected will be able to "shape the progress of the plan" once it passes. To do this, they will set up a citizens' committee, which would be great if there were actually some wiggle room for those businesses being displaced--but there isn't. You can't ask them to "drop a lane."
On May 16, we're supposed to be part of a silent sacrifice that will ensure more public transit, bike paths and environmental protection. Even if this promise is delivered, it is worth gutting at least three major streets of small businesses for eight-lane roads and a nice cement bike path to Wal-Mart? Unfortunately, it's too late for them to earn our trust, so they will not earn our silence.
Jack T. Waldron
I would also add that perhaps there is something about a scrawny delinquent being a match for older, stronger men that appeals to something that most of us have felt at one time or the other.
The Wild West was the last stage for our collective adolescence. The legend of Billy the Kid, like a dark Jack and the Beanstalk, appeals to the part of us that wants to remain the unencumbered yet potent child.
I was at the federal building, having walked to join high school students with a group of students from the UA. First, yes, some of the students did not know the details of what they were protesting. However, if Danehy had chosen to talk to them about their experiences, he would have found these students have a deep sense of injustice brought on by what they and their families are subject to via the pernicious racism that pervades Arizona surrounding the immigration issue.
Second, most students were there not protesting for or against a specific provision of a specific bill, but rather the prejudice and racism that frames this debate. Most of all, they were advocating for human rights, and of this, Cesar Chavez would have been very supportive.
Danehy, instead of lecturing the students to learn their history (so very arrogant of him!), should have listened and engaged in real conversation.
Tom should research the roots of the Chicano movement, and he would find a movement supported and run in part by students who were extrapolating their personal experience to their historical oppression, and then advocating for their human rights.
Shame on the Tucson Weekly for printing such a vapid piece of "journalism." Instead of engaging in "journalism," maybe Danehy could have helped pass out water bottles to thirsty marchers. I suggest Tom work on his own apathy and lack of solution instead of interrupting those working for theirs.
I have decided to tighten my belt and have moved my property search to San Diego.
Thank you for your candor and a wake-up call to an outsider.