Who is LSA?
Living Streets Alliance (LSA) is a Tucson-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to make the region’s streets safer and accessible for people of all ages and abilities, no matter what transportation mode they use. We do this by providing inclusive and fun events and programs to encourage more people to walk and bike as well as by advocating for safer and equitable conditions for all modes of transportation.
What is the vision of the proposal?
To create a walkable region where people of all ages and abilities can walk in an environment that is safe, accessible, comfortable, and well-connected.
What’s the scope?
The proposal is two-pronged; it includes a combination of “signature projects” throughout Pima County as well as “categorical funding” to make specific types of infrastructure improvements in the region. Categorical funding will be awarded through PAG via their Bicycle & Pedestrian Subcommittee using a transparent and unbiased process. Here’s a diagram that explains it all:
(For a more detailed explanation of the proposal, you can also download our 12 page Pedestrian Safety & Walkability Improvements Proposal.)
There are 16 “Signature Project” corridors being proposed. Here’s a general map of where they are located in the greater Tucson region:
Click on each project below to view details about what is being proposed, the context of each project, the amount of money being leveraged, etc..
City of Tucson
Town of Oro Valley
City of South Tucson
Tohono O’odham Nation
Pascua Yaqui Tribe
What types of improvements are being proposed?
LSA has identified a major gap in the region’s pedestrian network. For the most part, funding typically covers neighborhood-scale improvements or improvements along major arterials (via the RTA), however the “pedestrian collector” scale of roadway that falls in between neighborhoods and major roadways is sorely lacking facilities and funding resources. This proposal focuses on the “connective tissue” of the pedestrian network, though we recognize that each jurisdiction is different and will have fine-tuned needs that may fall outside of this category. Regardless, all projects should demonstrate:
• The ability to connect people to destinations and trip generators, transit, neighborhoods, etc.
• They should include as many of the following elements as possible, as applicable:
- Connections, especially around common destinations like schools, community centers, business, parks, libraries and transit stops.
- Continuous, accessible, well-maintained sidewalks or pedestrian paths of adequate width
- Streetscape improvements
- Traffic calming
- Green infrastructure
How do we know there’s a need in our region?
The Metropolitan Planning Association in our region, Pima Association of Governments, (PAG) is wrapping up its Regional Pedestrian Plan Update, which will be adopted by regional council in early 2015. The Plan sets a precedent for this proposal and has established goals, objectives and indicators to measure progress toward desired outcomes in pedestrian infrastructure and safety in the region. It includes extensive data to support where the greatest demand/need for pedestrian improvements exists in the region – this includes locations in all PAG member jurisdictions. Also, it’s important to note that the Plan will be adopted by REGIONAL council, making it an unbiased, transparent, and regionally significant document. Below are two maps from the Plan that clearly demonstrate the need for a walkable environment in our region:
How much money are you proposing?
The total amount of the proposal is for $25 million to improve pedestrian safety and walkability within Pima County. Roughly $21 million of that will be for specific “Signature Projects” along designated corridors, while the remaining $4 million will be awarded to specific pedestrian improvement projects through categorical funding. Projects eligible for this second type of funding will fit into at least one of three categories: 1) Safe Crossing, 2) Enhancements, or 3) Safe Routes to School Infrastructure Projects.
When will the Bond election be?
The Pima County Bond election will be held on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015.
How did this proposal come about?
It’s been a long process. Here’s a brief overview of how LSA formed and revised the proposal over time:
2011: LSA conceived of a 2012-2013 Pedestrian Safety & Comfort Campaign, with a goal: “to make the simple act of walking safe, comfortable, and convenient in the greater Tucson region”
- The campaigns included a variety of initiatives aimed at improving walkability in the region: Neighborhood Walkability Assessments, the development of a Tucson Pedestrian Advisory Committee, creation of innovation walking encouragement events and activities, etc.
December 2011: LSA met with Pima County Administrator, Chuck Huckelberry, to discuss issues facing pedestrians in the region. At the meeting, he recommended creating a $25 million bond proposal to provide funding for much-needed pedestrian infrastructure improvements in Pima County.
March 2013: LSA submitted its first bond proposal for $50 million for a pedestrian improvement “program” modeled after the County’s model Neighborhood Reinvestment Program.
Summer 2013: Pima County conducted a regional Bond Survey to get a sense of which proposals voters would be most likely to support. The outcome:
- Pedestrian Safety & Comfort received the second highest ranking (40.1% of votes) in its category (Public Health, Flood Control, Neighborhood Reinvestment and Government Facilities)
- It was the first highest ranking in its category within central Tucson (54.8% of votes)
April 2014: After continued community outreach and input, LSA submitted a refined proposal for the reduced amount of $25 million, proposing that the program focus on the pedestrian “collector system” that is the connective tissue between neighborhoods and destinations along major arterial roadways.
Early May 2014: LSA presents its refined proposal to the County’s Bond Advisory Committee (BAC) – a committee that is tasked with making the final recommendation to the Pima County Board of Supervisors of what should be included in the bond ballot measure. Over 50 supporters of the Pedestrian Proposal turned out, while over a dozen people spoke in support, numerous letters of support were sent in before and after the meeting, and dozens of comments in support were submitted via County’s online comment form. The outcome:
- The BAC was generally supportive of the concept and requested that more information be gathered. Their motion was:
“to move the concept forward without a specific amount tied to it, with a request to the other jurisdictions regarding whether or how they would support the concept, and specifically ask the City of Tucson Bond Committee for its recommendation”
May-December 2014: After the May meeting, LSA met with each of the PAG member jurisdictions to find out if they would like to include signature pedestrian projects in our proposal. The City of Tucson, City of South Tucson, Town of Oro Valley, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and both the Tohono O’odham Sells and San Xavier Districts submitted signature projects to include. During this time, the approach of our proposal also changed pretty significantly; it was initially a proposal for a “program”, and became a proposal for specific capital improvement projects. (Note: the diagram at the top of this page is the result of the new proposal format)
January 9, 2015: This was the BAC meeting where our revised proposal (specific projects + categorical funding) was reviewed. 250+ supporters of a walkable region attended the meeting and “stood up” for walkability and pedestrian safety. After hearing from many of them, the committee deliberated and ultimately ended up postponing their decision to the next meeting in order to have a few questions answered and to inquire about the possibility of other sources of funding for pedestrian improvements.
January 23, 2015: On Friday, January 23rd, the Pima County Bond Advisory Committee moved to include our Pedestrian Safety & Walkability Proposal in the next Pima County Bond election. Over 250 supports of the proposal came to the Bond Advisory Committee meeting and over 25 spoke at the call-to-audience, sharing their stories, convictions, and vision for a walkable region with the committee. After extensive discussion, the BAC voted almost unanimously to move the $25 million proposal forward with the current proposed project list, while also requesting that non-participating jurisdictions (Marana, unincorporated Pima County, and Sahuarita) be approached about including signature projects. (Read the full story here.)
Who else supports this proposal?
The following organizations, which serve our local community and engage a range of populations including youth, elderly, and persons with disabilities, are expressing their support for the Pedestrian Safety and Comfort Bond Proposal. These partners recognize the need for pedestrian connectivity, accessibility, traffic calming, green infrastructure and other features of comfort and safety, which are not addressed in other funding sources. Bringing concerns of public safety, public health, economic development, and environmental sustainability, these entities support improvements outlined in the bond proposal.
AAA (American Automobile Association)
Arizona Alliance for Livable Communities
APA (American Planning Association) -Southern Arizona Chapter
Arizona School for the Deaf & Blind
ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) -Southern Arizona Chapter
City of Tucson Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital
Direct Center for Independence
El Rio Community Health Center
International Rescue Committee: Center for Well Being
Local First Arizona
National Federation for the Blind-Tucson Chapter
PCOA (Pima Council on Aging)
SAAVI (Southern Arizona Association for the Visually Impaired)
SATA (Southern Arizona Transit Advocates)
South Tucson Healthy Habits Coalition
Technicians for Sustainability
Tucson Bus Riders Union
Tucson Clean and Beautiful
Tucson’s REACH Coalition
United Way – Senior Impact Coalition
Watershed Management Group
Barrio Hollywood Neighborhood Association
Barrio Kroeger Lane Neighborhood Association
Duffy Neighborhood Association
Dunbar/Spring Neighborhood Association
Feldman’s Neighborhood Association
Garden District Neighborhood Association
Menlo Park Neighborhood Association
Miramonte Neighborhood Association
Palo Verde Neighborhood Association
Rincon Heights Neighborhood Association
Sunnyside Neighborhood Association
West University Neighborhood Association
How can I support this initiative?
There are a variety of ways to help this initiative move forward:
1) Submit a comment form to the County in support of our proposal.
2) Write a letter of support on behalf of your neighborhoods, business, or community organization. Letters can be emailed to Nicole.Fyffe@pima.gov or mailed to:
Pima County Bond Advisory Committee
c/o Pima County Administrator’s Office
130 W. Congress St.
Tucson, AZ 85701
3) Get involved. We have a task force working on this proposal and they can use your help! If interested, contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org