NEIGHBORHOOD GROUPS CLAIM VICTORY ON DOWNTOWN LINKS (FOR NOW)Arizona 13 May 2008 18:07 GMT
During an open house public meeting on the proposed Tucson Downtown Links Roadway on Monday, May 12, the city's Department of Transportation voted to reconsider the path of a roadway connecting the Aviation Parkway to I-10. TDOT stated that a decision for the roadway will be postponed until August. The roadway, in it's currently proposed route, would level dozens of historic buildings, displace artists, community groups and businesses, and isolate downtown neighborhoods from one another.
Dozens of roadway opponents packed the meeting, many from the downtown warehouse artist's district and the Dunbar Springs and West University neighborhoods - constituencies who would be heavily impacted by the roadway's construction along it's current route. Many downtown residents, artists and community groups claim that the roadway would be a death sentence for these vital downtown areas.
With the threat of global warming and rising gas prices, still others questioned the wisdom of any new roadway construction while the city ignores alternative transportation options. The funding that allowed for the new road itself was approved in a November 2006 referendum; the Pima County's Democratic Party has filed suit against the referendum results and the County's elections department, claiming that the vote was fraudulently tampered with.
While, for now, all options remain on the table for Downtown Links, the three month delay for any decision will give neighborhood advocates some breathing room as opposition grows to this potential boondoggle. For more information on Downtonw Links and community opposition, visit: www.rethinkthelink.com and www.downtownlinks.info