Ward 6 Councilmember Steve Kozachik called a press conference yesterday in front of the 1st Assembly of God Church, 1749 E. Broadway, which may be demolished should the north section of Broadway be widened into 8 lanes per the May,2006 Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) voter-approved plan. The church was built in 1950 according to Councilmember Kozachiak also known as “Steve K”.
Blogger Pam Powers (“Tucson Progressive”) announced this event (with an online poll): http://tucsoncitizen.com/tucson-progressive/2012/04/30/public-forum-today-should-rta-knock-down-100-buildings-to-make-broadway-look-like-a-freeway-poll/
The $71 M plan would call for widening of Broadway from Euclid to Country Club, affecting about 115 businesses on the north side, and historic buildings, neighborhoods such as Rincon Heights and Sam Hughes (on the National Historic Registry). Both Presidents of those neighborhoods spoke against the plan.
Speakers last evening at the press conference:
1) Ward 6 Councilmember Steve Kozachik
2) Mark Kerr, aide to Ward 5 Councilmember Richard Fimbres
3) Colby Henley, President of Rincon Hts. Neighborhood
4) Jessica Shuman, business owner of Kismet, 2627 E Broadway
5) John O’Dowd, President of Sam Hughes Neighborhood Assn.
6) Sid Hirsch, business owner of Hirsch’s Shoes, 2934 E. Broadway
7) Rev. Stuart Taylor, Tucson Bus Riders’ Union,
Eight) Demion Clinco, Pres. of Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation
9) District 5 Pima County Supervisor Richard Elias
Video below of the press conference courtesy of John Brakey, Co-founder of AUDIT-AZ:
Also present were: Ward 2 Councilmember Paul Cunningham, former State House Rep. Ted Downing, former Sahuarita Councilmember Rosanna Gabaldon, former Mayoral candidate Rick Grinnell, District 3 Supervisor candidate Tanner Bell, former State Senator John Kromko, attorney Bill Risner, former TUSD Superintendent Roger Pfeuffer, Brian Flagg from Casa Maria Kitchen, Donovan Durband Administrator from Parkwise, former Green Party candidates Dave Croteau (Mayor), Beryl Baker (Ward 1 Council), Kent Solberg (LD 27 House). I estimated the crowd at about 200 people, many of whom arrived by bicycle.
Steve K said that 15-20 neighborhoods were represented at the press conference, and I recognized neighborhood leaders from: Rincon Hts, Sam Hughes, Colonia Solana, El Encanto Estates, Arroyo Chico, Broadway-Broadmoor, Campbell-Grant, Catalina Vista, even Udall Park Neighborhood out east. Aides from the Council offices of Ward 1, 2, 5 and 6 were present as well.
If you feel strongly about this issue, contact the Mayor/City Councilmembers or your Supervisor at Pima County. Supervisor Richard Elias said yesterday that the citizens had to “force change to happen”, if they felt this 25 year old plan to widen Broadway was not necessary. Many of the speakers requested that the historic buildings be preserved, that small businesses on Broadway not be affected by any widening.
Steve K also noted during this one hour (6 to 7 p.m. on a Monday) that there was no traffic congestion on Broadway next to the church. My husband also told me that he was down there on Broadway (between Highland & Park) that same afternoon between 3:30 and 4 p.m. and there was no traffic jam.