NewsNet 04-01-15

OPEN HOUSE SCHEDULED AS BROADWAY CORRIDOR EXPANSION PLANNING MOVES FORWARD - After 35 public meetings that began in June 2012, the Broadway Citizens Task Force (CTF) voted last week to recommend a 6-Lane Including Transit alignment on Broadway, from Euclid Avenue to Country Club Road. That recommendation goes to the Mayor and Tucson City Council for adoption next month. The recommended alignment is a hybrid between a design submitted by community member Gene Caywood and the “Starting Small” approach provided by the Broadway project team. Both designs are available online. The alignment prioritizes preservation of historic buildings and adds lanes for vehicles and bicycles, and sidewalks for pedestrians. The CTF also supports enhancing transit service on the corridor, dedicating lanes to transit should the Mayor and Council choose to do so. The recommendation will be presented at an evening open house on April 23 at Sabbar Shrine Hall, 450 S. Tucson Blvd. (time to be announced). The $71.3 million project is one of 35 major regional corridor projects that are part of the 2006 voter-approved, $2.1 billion Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) Plan. The project is funded by the City of Tucson, Pima County, and the RTA. Read the news release.

GRANT ROAD PAVING TO BEGIN TOMORROW - Granite Construction, under contract with the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), tomorrow will begin repaving Grant Road, from Santa Rita Avenue to Columbus Boulevard. Weekday eastbound work hours will be 6 a.m.-4 p.m. and westbound work hours will be 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Granite will use a "hot-in-place" method for resurfacing the road, which minimizes lane closures and saves on costs. The process includes a 150-foot-long train of equipment that removes existing asphalt, mixes it with new materials, and immediately lays the new roadway. At least one lane will be open in each direction during the milling and paving operation. The work is scheduled to be finished on April 23. Crews will return later to raise manhole and water main covers flush with the new asphalt. Read the news release.

ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL SPOTLIGHTS TUCSON'S MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT - Earlier this year, the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce organized a visit to Tucson by a group of business, health, judicial, political, and law enforcement leaders to study Tucson's innovative approach to dealing with mental illness and police response to it. The Albuquerque Journal highlights Tucson's Mental Health Investigative Support Team, a specially-trained unit that responds to police calls involving people with mental health issues. "The Tucson Police Department is known for successfully and nonviolently defusing crises brought on by mental illness. Tucson and Pima County have what appears to be one of the better mental health treatment systems in the nation," the newspaper reported. The Journal concluded that, unlike Tucson, Albuquerque does not have a coordinated system to deal with mental health patients. The newspaper will publish two more stories about Tucson's mental programs.

CITY SOLICITING PUBLIC COMMENTS ON THREE PLANNING DOCUMENTS - The City of Tucson is asking for public comments on the draft update to the City of Tucson/Pima County Five-Year Consolidated Plan, the draft update to the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Plan (AI), and the City’s Annual Action Plan for Fiscal Year 2016 (July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016). Tucson's Housing and Community Development Department is accepting public comments for a 30-day period, ending April 23 at 5 p.m. Read the news release and the draft plans.

IT'S 'APRIL POOL'S DAY' - With the weather warming up and pool season approaching, the Tucson Fire Department is calling today "April Pool's Day" to highlight water safety. The best way to prevent drowning is to create multiple layers of protection around your pool and rely on the ABCs of drowning prevention. Those layers include (A) active adult supervision, (B) barriers, (C) CPR classes, and swim lessons.