The City of Tucson is supporting the health, safety, and well-being of families and residents with a new initiative: Tucson Slow Streets / Calles Lentas.
What are Slow Streets?
What makes a successful Slow Street?
We want to hear from YOU!
Slow Streets FAQs
What are Slow Streets?
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Department of Transportation and Mobility (DTM) piloted Tucson Slow Streets, an initiative to reconfigure streets to support social distancing and encourage physical activity. The Slow Streets program temporarily closes certain streets to all but local traffic, giving Tucsonans more space to safely walk, bike, and run.
Slow Streets are neighborhood streets, temporarily limited to local traffic only through barricades, cones, and signs that:
Provide space for safe physical activity, transportation, and recreation (walking, wheelchair rolling, jogging, biking, and playing) in the street.
Encourage people driving to use alternate routes, only using Slow Streets when necessary to reach a final destination.
Urge people driving to drive slowly and safely, and look out for people sharing the street.
Do not impact emergency vehicle access in any way.
Especially now, Slow Streets help meet the needs of Tucsonans to keep recreating and moving in a safe manner during the COVID-19 pandemic, while staying at least 6-feet apart.
Slow Streets are NOT:
Closed streets - local residents, emergency vehicles, environmental services, and delivery vehicles can use them to get in and out of neighborhoods. Cut-through traffic is discouraged from using these streets.
Gathering places – At this time, due to public health precautions associated with COVID-19, Slow Streets are not meant to be places for gathering in large groups or socializing. While using Slow Streets, people should follow current public health guidance (Pima County Health Department)
What makes a successful Slow Street?
In general, Slow Streets:
Are neighborhood streets
Are not streets also used by transit
Are not located in commercial areas
Have safe crossings (e.g. HAWK, crosswalks, traffic signals where crossing major streets)
Prioritize underserved communities
Consider connecting to existing bicycle boulevard routes identified in the City of Tucson Bicycle Boulevard Master Plan
Phase 1: Pilot (May 2020 - June 2020)
Number of Slow Streets = 3
From May-June, 2020, Tucson's program was piloted in three neighborhoods: Feldman’s, Barrio Sin Nombre, and Fairgrounds. Segments were implemented on a rotating basis, with each installation in place 10-14 days.
Staff and volunteers evaluated the success of the program, made adjustments as necessary, and explored opportunities to expand the reach of Slow Streets in Tucson.
Tucson Slow Streets are being deployed with existing available resources and will not detract from the delivery of other essential City services.
This map shows streets that were completed in the initial Pilot Phase (in blue), and Slow Streets under consideration for Phase 2 (in red). We need your help to choose the next round of Slow Streets for Phase 2.
Click on map to view current/proposed Slow Street locations.
Phase 2: Current (August 2020- December 2020)
Current phase of the program.
The Slow Street request form closed on August 7, at 5 p.m. We are reviewing and evaluating the requested locations now.
Thanks to a grant from PeopleForBikes, DTM will implement a neighborhood Block Leader model as part of the community engagement for the Slow Streets program. This approach creates ongoing opportunities for Tucsonans to provide input on how city streets can best serve them - both during and after this public health crisis.
Stipends will be provided to residents chosen to be Block Leaders, who will assist with the planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the Slow Streets project in their neighborhood. “Block Leaders” will teach their neighbors about Slow Streets, get feedback on the program, and help inform future street improvements. Materials will be supplied by DTM to help these efforts.
If your neighborhood is selected to participate in the program, the Slow Street will be in place for about one month, followed by low-cost traffic calming improvements.
We Want to Hear from You! Please fill out this quick survey and share your thoughts about Slow Streets (available in English and Spanish)
Share your photos on social media using the #TucsonSlowStreets and/or #CallesLentas hashtag in your post
Report Slow Streets maintenance needs by calling or emailing us at: 520-791-3154 or TDOTConcerns@tucsonaz.gov
Click above image to see neighborhood Slow Street Photos!
Tucson Slow Streets FAQ
Will this impact garbage pickup, deliveries or emergency vehicle access?
On the streets where this is implemented, local traffic will be allowed. This includes service, emergency, delivery vehicles, etc.
What is the criteria for selecting routes and streets?
Existing and planned bicycle boulevards with traffic signals at major intersections, streets not also used by transit, density, and equity are all factors in determining the candidates for Slow Streets. Want to propose a route? Complete the survey and let us know where you’d like to see Slow Streets.
Why wasn’t my street a candidate?
Multiple factors were considered when creating the initial map of potential streets. These factors include limited resources, hospital/emergency routes, transit routes and traffic patterns (See "What Makes a Successful Slow Street?” section above).
Will this be implemented City-wide?
The goal is to implement this in as many areas of the City as possible. The responses from the survey will help inform the details of the implementation.
How long will this go for?
This is a temporary measure that will be in place 24/7 only on a select few, clearly marked streets and only during the time period that the Stay Safe, Stay Home directive is active.
Would normal traffic and safety laws apply?
Yes – local vehicle traffic would still be permitted, and normal bicycle, scooter and pedestrian laws would still be in place (i.e. stop at stop signs, don’t park scooters in the middle of the street, etc.)
On impacted streets, how would people safely recreate?
Continue to follow CDC guidance: do not gather in groups, wear a mask or cloth face cover, wash your hands before and after going outside, and stay at least 6 feet away from others.
Once a decision is made, how would the public be notified what streets are impacted?
This page would be updated with a list and map of all the confirmed streets and there would be on-street signage.