As the Crow Flies

To the Editor,

I am a vegetarian and hate to have to eat crow, but Chris Limberis was correct in his article "Road Test" (January 24). He corrected me for giving out misinformation that I had received regarding the status of precincts in Ward 3 and how they voted regarding the continuous-flow intersection at Campbell/Grant in 1990. Not every precinct in Ward 3 voted yes, but some failed by only 2 votes and every precinct around the intersection voted yes except for precinct 261, which failed by 6 votes.

It is now 12 years later, the traffic problems are worse than ever and the City of Tucson still does not have an approved plan for dealing with the traffic. On May 21, the plan going before the voters includes improvements for the entire city, not just one geographical intersection, as was the vote in 1990.

The voters will have a clear choice on May 21. I believe Tucsonans will take action to approve and pay for a transportation plan that will fix our neighborhood streets and improve bus service. I believe we can build a better Tucson for the future including light rail and expanded mass transit and the Citizens' Transportation Plan is the necessary first step.

The Ward 3 Office is now home to the continuous flow intersection model which is proposed for Campbell /Grant. I'm extending an invitation to you and your readers to preview the model.

-- Kathleen Dunbar
City Council Member, Ward 3

Don't Make the Grade

To the Editor,

In May, Tucson voters will be asked to approve a half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements. The half-cent hike would raise approximately $40 million per year, of which only 18 percent, or $7.2 million, would be devoted to mass transit.

The proposal would allocate roughly $50 million, or more than 12 percent of the estimated $400 million raised over the next decade, to the construction of three grade-separated intersections, or overpasses, including one at the intersection of Grant and Campbell.

Grade-separated intersections don't solve transportation snarls -- they just relocate them. The proposed grade-separated intersection at Grant and Campbell will draw traffic to this road and increase congestion at nearby intersections. In the process, it will destroy the vibrant urban village between Grant and Fort Lowell.

To put things in perspective, each grade-separated intersection will cost Tucson taxpayers between $20 and $35 million, compared with less than $4 million to buy a new city bus and operate it for five years. So each grade-separated intersection is roughly equivalent to five new city bus routes.

While the city spends $50 million on these transportation boondoggles, it continues to cut funding for mass transit. The budget cut that spawned a transit strike last summer will be followed with another 10 percent reduction in SunTran's budget in August 2002. These cutbacks cancel out the $7-plus million in additional revenue that the city has promised for mass transit if voters approve the half-cent sales tax hike.

Have you had enough? Join us in a demonstration against the construction of costly grade-separated intersections at the expense of mass transit at 4 p.m. Thursday, February 28, on the northwest corner of Grant and Campbell.

--Marion MacDonald
Tucson Area Bus Riders Union

East of Eden

To The Editor,

I got a hoot out of Kristen Macellaro's letter confessing that she is Tom Danehy's fan (Mailbag, January 31-February 6). I especially liked her comment that he is just like people she knows Back East. As a recovering Easterner (36 forgettable years on the East Coast; 12 glorious years in Tucson), I can say with authority that calling someone "just like people from Back East" definitely is NOT considered a compliment here in our laid-back Old Pueblo.

-- Donna Moulton

Rock and a Hard Place

To the Editor,

Have you been under a rock? Save for Rand Carlson's cartoon, the Tucson Weekly has taken a pass on the Joseph Wood Krutch Cactus Garden controversy at the University of Arizona. Your non-coverage is ironic considering that in 1999 the Krutch Garden took first place in the "Best Public Landscaping" category of your Best of Tucson competition. And your January 16, 1985, cover story was "Joseph Wood Krutch: A small garden at the UA becomes a metaphor for the fate of the Earth."

--Debbie Collazo

Dick Cheney's Cloak

To the Editor:

Vice President Cheney has been resisting efforts of the General Accounting Office to get information about meetings held to create an energy policy. He claims providing information could hinder his obtaining anonymous and confidential advice in the future. I hope so.

Mr. Cheney apparently has forgotten that he works for me and that I have a right to know who gives him what advice and if, when, how and why use was made of it. In a free society policy should not be made in a secret cloak-and-dagger procedure.

Please ask Dick to open his cloak and let us see into whose back the dagger was plunged. As an energy consumer I think it was mine.

--Bob Samuels

Laizzez le Bon Temps Rouler

To the Editor,

As a Louisiana native and French Quarter regular, I am confused about something in the (January 31) issue. There was a pullout supplement called "Get up, get out, do it!" It was a wonderful article, mentioning all sorts of Tucson's hot spots, entertainment and upcoming events, which made great reading for the approaching tourist season. However, there is a whole section about Tucson's Mardi Gras celebration that completely failed to mention the best authentic Cajun New Orleans-style restaurant in the city: The French Quarter.

It was very interesting to me that the Mardi Gras extravaganza on Saturday, February 9, was in the article, but no mention that The French Quarter is catering the event. Also, on Tuesday, February 12 (Fat Tuesday), the biggest and the best New Orleans party is at The French Quarter. They fly in live crawfish from Louisiana, serve actual Pat O'Brien's Hurricanes and they have live music all day long.

The author of the article referenced Mardi Gras "located in the blessed Bayou Block of East Grant Road." The interesting point is that there was not even a bayou block of East Grant Road until The French Quarter moved in.

--Johnny Ourso

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