Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

Downtown for Everyone, Part 2: What Downtown Neighborhoods Want

Inviting entrance to restored downtown adobe home. (Photo Credit: Pamela Powers Hannley)

Inviting entrance to restored downtown adobe home. (Photo Credit: Pamela Powers Hannley)

Since the local media has pretty much ignored the recent struggle over the Ronstadt Transit Center (RTC), I am publishing a series of posts with position statements by the different players in the battle. Here are links to the other positions: businessbus riders, and the public.

Here is the official unedited early February statement by the Downtown Neighborhoods and Residents Council their vision for the RTC. It was written in response to the Downtown Tucson Partnership statement (here). This is what residents want…

Downtown Neighborhoods and Residents Council

Position Statement on Ronstadt Transit Center

The Ronstadt Transit Center (RTC) is a unique and valuable resource for downtown, downtown neighborhoods, and the entire region.

The assumption, held by some interests, that the RTC should (or needs to) move is incorrect.  In fact, for best of use of current bus and future bus, streetcar, and intercity train riders, the RTC’s use as a transit center needs to be upgraded and expanded.

It is premature for the Mayor and Council to issue a request for qualifications. Additional steps need to be taken prior to issuing the RFQ, with priority given to a larger, more inclusive public process.

In the near term, it is difficult to predict the future of downtown and transit needs; downtown links, the street car, and other transportation projects will change the traffic and transit patterns.  Moving forward quickly with changes to the RTC may lead to unforeseen consequences; mistakes are likely to be cast in concrete, which will be difficult—if not impossible–to change.

Accurate and complete data are necessary to support any decision, and need to be gathered before any RFQ is issued. A survey of current and potential transit users is key, along with the collection of new data on current bus usage (and limitations).  Based on those facts and data, any resulting plan needs to present a long-term vision for an integrated multi-modal transportation center/system.

Any decision about future uses of the RTC needs to be preceded by an open, inclusive process that includes the expertise of bus riders, neighborhood residents, and downtown neighborhood associations as well as downtown business owners, civic leaders, and urban planners.  The process needs to be more than a public hearing; it needs to be an inclusive design process in which these key stakeholders participate in shaping the future of a viable transit center.

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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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