NewsNet 07-24-14

TUCSON STREETCAR SERVICE BEGINS TOMORROW, FREE RIDES FOR ALL THROUGH SUNDAY - The much-anticipated launch of passenger service on the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar begins at approximately 10 a.m. tomorrow. Opening celebrations will take place along many of the stops on the 3.9 mile route from west of I-10, through 4th Avenue, to the University of Arizona. Rides will be free Friday through Sunday. Starting Monday, payment for rides will be required. Riding a streetcar is different than riding a bus. Cash is not accepted on the car (but you can use it at machines at the stops to buy a $4 one-day pass), and you can bring your bike on the streetcar. The City of Tucson has a video that tells you everything you need to know about how to ride the streetcar. Please take a look at it before your first ride.
Cómo viajar video
Opening morning riding tips and more
Opening weekend events
TRAFFIC ALERT: STREETCAR CELEBRATIONS TO CLOSE SOME ROADS BRIEFLY - Beginning tonight at approximately 6:30, the right lane of Congress Street, between Fourth Avenue and Fifth Avenue, will be closed, leaving one travel lane open on Congress. Also, at approximately 6:30 tonight, Fifth Avenue will be closed between Toole Avenue and Broadway. In order to facilitate downtown business traffic, the left lane of Congress will remain open until approximately 5 a.m. tomorrow. At 5 a.m., Congress Street will be closed completely, from Toole Avenue to Sixth Avenue. Toole will be converted to one-way westbound travel between Fourth Avenue and Pennington Street (similar to the traffic pattern that was utilized for the streetcar construction). All streets should reopen to traffic by noon on Friday. Read the news release.
- While the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar will no doubt increase public transportation use in Tucson, the pattern already has emerged. A study of statewide transportation trends found Tucson and Phoenix residents are driving less and seeking alternative modes of transportation. In the Tucson area, the number of public transit trips increased by nearly 25 percent between 2005 and 2010, according to the report by the Arizona Public Interest Research Group (ArizonaPIRG), with funding from the St. Luke's Health Initiative. In addition, annual driving miles per capita in Arizona decreased by 10.5 percent between 2005 and 2012, according to federal highway usage statistics and census data cited by researchers. Much of the shift is being led by people between the ages of 18 to 34. Read more from
DESIGN CONCEPTS BEING SOUGHT FOR TUCSON’S JANUARY 8TH MEMORIAL - The January 8th Memorial Foundation and the Tucson Pima Arts Council invite designers to submit their qualifications and design interests to create a Master Plan Concept for El Presidio Park downtown and a schematic design for a January 8th Memorial. The memorial will commemorate both the tragic events of January 8, 2011 and the ways in which the Tucson community proved that "Together We Thrive." The application deadline to submit a design is Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014 at 11 p.m. The budget for the scope of work is $90,000, and each finalists will receive a $5,000 stipend. Read more from the Tucson Pima Arts Council.
CATCH UP ON CITY NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED - Mayor Jonathan Rothschild works to strengthen ties with Mexico; it’s time to get streetcar street smart; and a dream comes true for Menlo Park residents. Those stories are featured in this month's edition of Tucson City News in Review, produced by Tucson 12.