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Pima County Road Conditions Info Line

For the latest in Mt. Lemmon Road Conditions and Road Closures in Pima County call (520) 547-7510

City of Tucson

Tucson to Install New 'Smart' Parking Meters, Double Rate

• New smart phone apps to be unveiled
• Parking time limits to change, coverage to be expanded
• 'ParkWise' is now called 'Park Tucson'

The City of Tucson Department of Transportation’s Park Tucson Division, (formerly named 'ParkWise') is modernizing its on-street parking program with the installation of new, solar-powered “smart” meters that accept credit, debit or smart (stored value) cards. The new smart meters, which also accept coins, will be wirelessly connected to a new smart-phone app-branded specifically for Tucson.

On Monday, December 22, 2014, Park Tucson will begin installing 500 smart meters in Downtown and at Main Gate Square near the University of Arizona campus. An additional 500 meters are scheduled to be installed later this month or in early January. Park Tucson installed 21 smart meters on November 26, 2014 on Sixth Avenue and on Pennington Street.

On Monday, January 5, 2015, the Downtown meter rate will increase to $1 per hour, up from the current 50 cents per hour, which is one of the lowest hourly rates in the country.

“The new smart meters will improve customer service for the parking public, better serve the needs of businesses and their customers, and contribute to the smart development of Tucson’s rapidly developing urban center by making its parking system more efficient and generating additional revenue that can be reinvested in future mixed-use parking facilities,” said Donovan Durband, Park Tucson Administrator.

Activating immediately upon installation, the smart meters feature a solar panel on the street side that recharges the meter’s battery, and a large screen facing the sidewalk, which informs the parking customer the hours of operation, the time limit that applies to that parking space, the rate, the remaining time before expiration, and potentially information about local events-all of which can be programmed remotely from the Park Tucson office and applied to all the meters, or a subset of them, or even just one.

The meters, manufactured by IPS Group, replace meters that accept only coins and use up conventional batteries.

The Fourth Avenue Business District will be metered for the first time starting in mid-January 2015, with the installation and activation of the same smart meters that will be used in the other business districts along the Sun Link Streetcar line. Cross-streets off of Fourth Avenue that have public parking spaces that are not restricted to residential parking will be metered as well, between Third Avenue and Sixth Avenue, with meters extending a little further east on Ninth Street and a further west on Seventh Street. Time limits will vary, with most of the metered spaces limited to two-hour visits and others to three hours. Several areas within the Fourth Avenue Business District will be designated for general permit parking rather than meters or residential permits, to allow opportunities for employees to find reliable parking.

The Fourth Avenue-area meters will only be enforced on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Downtown and Main Gate meters will be enforced Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Main Gate area will move to seven-day meter enforcement in February 2015, specific date to be determined.

Park Tucson expects that its new smart-phone app will be operational by the end of 2014. The app will allow users to not only pay for street parking, but also purchase transit fares-for Sun Link, Sun Van, and Sun Tran. It will be the first such app of its kind, offering customers the ability to pay for both parking and transit. The app will also make it easy for merchants to offer validated street parking.

New Park Tucson-branded smart cards will be available in early 2015 that will replace the meter cash keys that allow regular parkers to pay at the meters without needing change. Customers can obtain their own smart card at the Park Tucson office and purchase value to store on the card, drawing down the value when they park at the new meters. Customers with cash keys may bring them in and Park Tucson will transfer any remaining stored value to a new smart card.

For more information about the City of Tucson’s new parking meters, visit www.ParkTucson.com.

Sahuarita Road Construction Update

Delgado Road traffic has been shifted to temporary lanes

Crews are removing the old Sahuarita Road asphalt and installing the remaining underground utilities/drainage structures in advance of new curb/asphalt. Between the Pecan Factory and Delgado Road, all Sahuarita Road traffic has been shifted to the new/permanent travel lanes, separated by a new raised median. New sidewalks, curb access ramps, as well as new landscaping and irrigation system are being constructed. Near Delgado Road, all traffic has been shifted to temporary lanes so that a new pipe culvert (west of Delgado) and new concrete box culvert (east of Delgado) can be installed.

A summary of the anticipated short-term (2-3 week) construction activities can be seen in the December 16, 2014 Look Ahead Schedule.

For other project information and maps, check the Sahuarita Road Project webpage.

Pima County

Construction on Valencia Road from Mark Road to Wade Road

The Pima County Department of Transportation, the Regional Transportation Authority, and their contractor, Achen Gardner, will begin the roadway improvement construction project on Valencia Road from Mark Road to Wade Road.
Project Activity
Starting Monday, December 15, 2014, the contractor will be clearing and grubbing vegetation, potholing and placing caution fencing in preparation for upcoming traffic activities. Beginning the first part of January, 2015, the contractor will be mobilizing their equipment and begin to reduce lanes and speed limit through the project area as the project gets active.
Project Scope
The project improvements will include the widening of Valencia Road from two to four lanes, includes bike lanes and multi-use path and sidewalk throughout the corridor. The project also includes drainage improvements through the corridor, landscaping and public art. The project is expected to be completed by Fall of 2016.

City of Tucson

End of the Downtown Loop Shuttle?

Public meetinngs will be held to determine the future of the downtown Tucson Loop service. The free shuttle service has experienced a 40% drop in ridership over the last three years and the Loop shuttle routes are largely duplicated now by the Sun LInk streetcar.

The open houses will be held:

  • Tuesday, Dec. 16, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Woods Memorial Library, 3455 N. First Ave.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 16, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at El Pueblo Activity Center, 101 W. Irvington Road.
  • Thursday, Dec. 18, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave.
  • Thursday, Dec. 18, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Ward 2 Council Office, 7575 E. Speedway.

Public comments will be collected and forwarded to the mayor and council before a public hearing scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Jan. 6 at City Hall, 255 W. Alameda. If the closure is approved, the Downtown Loop series would stop in mid-February. People can also submit comments by phone at 792-9222 or by sending an email to suntraninfo@tucsonaz.gov.

City of Tucson

Street Bonds Road Recovery Sealcoating Program

Southern Arizona Paving and Construction Co, under contract with the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), will be sealcoating several Tucson roadways over the next two months as part of the voter-approved $100 million, five-year street bond program - Road Recovery.

The Road Recovery Program is funded by voter-approved bonds. All proceeds from the bonds will be used to restore and resurface City streets through Fiscal Year 2018. A Bond Oversight Commission composed of citizen volunteers is working to ensure that all bond funds are expended solely for the purpose of repairing city streets. For more information on the Road Recovery Program can be found at www.tucsonaz.gov/streetbonds or by calling (520) 837-6686.

Pima County

Valencia Road: Alvernon to Wilmot

On Monday, June 2, 2014, the Pima County Department of Transportation, the Regional Transportation Authority, and their contractor, KE&G Construction Inc., will be switching traffic on Valencia Road from Swan Road to just east of Interstate 10.

Crews will begin working on the eastbound lanes of Valencia Road from Swan Road to Craycroft Road. One lane of travel will remain in place for east- and westbound travel from Swan Road to Wilmot Road. Speed limit through the construction zone is 25 mph.

Project improvements include the widening of Valencia road to six travel lanes, widening the bridge structure over the Union Pacific Railroad, paved shoulders for bicycles, a multi-use path at Julian Wash, curbs and storm drains, landscaped median and public art. The project is expected to be completed by summer of 2015.

In the event of mechanical failure or inclement weather, the construction schedule is subject to change. For more information about the RTA plan, visit www.RTAmobility.com

City of Tucson

Houghton Road: Broadway to 22nd St.

The Houghton Road - Broadway to 22nd Street widening project is being
designed and will be constructed as work on the Houghton Road and
Broadway intersection is concluding. The intersection improvement
project began in November 2013 and is scheduled to be complete in May
2014. The Houghton Road - Broadway to 22nd Street widening project is
scheduled to begin in spring 2014 and is anticipated to take 18 months
to complete.

Improvements include: widening Houghton Road to a curbed six-lane
roadway; dual left-turn lanes; dedicated right-turn lanes; new and
upgraded traffic signals and lighting; bus pullouts; drainage
improvements; rubberized asphalt for noise mitigation; bicycle and
pedestrian facilities; native plant landscaping with water harvesting,
roadway lighting; and a Sun Tran Park & Ride lot on the northwest corner
of the Broadway Boulevard intersection.

During the widening, one lane of traffic will be maintained in each
direction, and access to all properties and businesses will remain open
throughout construction.

For more information about the meeting, please contact Lori Lantz,
Community Relations, at 520-327-6077 or lori@gordleygroup.com.

For more information about the project, please contact Tucson
Department of Transportation Project Manager M.J. Dillard at
mj.dillard@tucsonaz.gov, call 520-837-6616 or visit the project
website at www.houghtonroad.info.

"From One Second to the Next"

TXTNG & DRIVNG - The Aftermath

Four Real-life Stories of Preventable Texting Tradgedy



"I don't remember anything about the accident..."

"texting... was the text that important?"

"I can text and drive, it's no big deal, you know..."

Watch the full documentary here

Share these resources with those you love

Pull Aside • Stay Alive: Will you know what to do?

  • • Avoid driving into or through a dust storm. 
  • • If you encounter a dust storm, check traffic immediately around your vehicle (front, back and to the side) and begin slowing down.
  • • Do not wait until poor visibility makes it difficult to safely pull off the roadway — do it as soon as possible. Completely exit the highway if you can.
  • • Do not stop in a travel lane or in the emergency lane; look for a safe place to pull completely off the paved portion of the roadway.
  • • Stop the vehicle in a position ensuring it is a safe distance from the main roadway and away from where other vehicles may travel.
  • • Turn off all vehicle lights, including your emergency flashers.
  • • Set your emergency brake and take your foot off the brake.
  • • Stay in the vehicle with your seatbelts buckled and wait for the storm to pass.
  • • Drivers of high-profile vehicles should be especially aware of changing weather conditions and travel at reduced speeds.
  • • A driver’s alertness and safe driving ability are always the top factors in preventing crashes.

For even more on dust storm safety, please visit PullAsideStayAlive.org.

 

City of Tucson

City to double parking rate downtown to $1 per hour

Arizona Daily Star

If you drive downtown, you'll be paying double to park at a meter - once downtown streets are re-opened enough for anyone to drive there and reach a parking meter.

Rate increases downtown are slated to take effect next April, when most of the construction for the new streetcar should be complete.

In addition, Parkwise will replace existing meters downtown and at the University of Arizona with smart meters, which allow drivers to pay at a centralized location using a credit or debit card in addition to coins. Parkwise will also modernize the technology at its parking garages.

Read more at azstarnet.com

DOWNTOWN TUCSON

Horse Drawn Carriage Rides

Monday through Friday 9:30 am to 3:30 pm, and weekends from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (temperature and weather permitting) Sentinel Carriage Company is now offering tours of historic downtown Tucson.

The carriage stand is located at the corner of Telles and Meyer Streets. This is situated between the Tucson Museum of Art and Old Tucson Artisans.
 

For more information see Sentinel Carriage Company.

The Last Text

TXTNG & DRIVNG - IT CAN WAIT

This preview is a raw look at the reality and hazards of texting while driving


"Distracted driving is an epidemic, particularly among teens who are confident in their ability to text or talk while driving," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Of the 5,500 people killed last year due to distracted driving, the largest proportion of fatalities occurred among young people under the age of 20. I hope teens will take this powerful video to heart and realize that when you're behind the wheel, no text message or phone call is worth the risk."

View full 10 minute "The Last Text" documentary.         Get More Info...