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Council hears from public on Broadway widening

Posted at 10:38 PM, Apr 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-06 01:43:26-04

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It was a packed house while Tucson mayor and council heard public comment about the 30 percent design plans to widen Broadway Blvd between Euclid and Campbell.

Tuesday's meeting was moved from the normal council chambers into the public meeting room for the Pima County Board of Supervisors to accommodate a larger crowd.

Before hearing from the public, councilman Steve Kozachik gave a good idea of how the public currently stands on widening Broadway.

"What we going to hear tonight is a sharply divided community," he said.

Under the current design, Broadway would be widened from two to three lanes in each direction, include bike lanes, bus pullouts, and sidewalks. 

Under the original plan, 87 properties would have been acquired by the city to make room for the road. Engineering Project Manager, Beth Abramovitz says they have reduced that number to 50 acquisitions.

Those in favor of widening Broadway say the idea has been in limbo for too long, which as made the area stagnant.

"We've had 25 years of deadlock, and it's time to move forward," said Dale Culvert.

He added, the project will not only widen the road, but make room for sidewalks, bike lanes, and future transportation projects.

A large portion of the crowd was against the current design. Many of them against widening Broadway in general.

"It's a bad plan," said Robin Steinberg, a member of the Broadway Coalition.

She says instead of widening the road, the city should keep it as is and focus on improving the are in general with better sidewalks and room for cyclists.

"There is money that should got into improving the streetscape, but widening doesn't do that. widening generally destroys areas," said Steinberg.

Mayor and council were just listening to the public tonight, they made no decision. They will vote on whether or not to approve the 30 percent design plans on April 19th.