One step closer to a walkable city
LSA succeeds in encouraging the City of Tucson to establish a Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Since our 2012-2013 Pedestrian Safety & Comfort Campaign launched last year, LSA has been working on six strategic initiatives to improve walkability and pedestrian safety in the region. Although not initially one of our objectives, we quickly realized that the absence of a formal Pedestrian Advisory Committee (PAC) was a major barrier to our efforts.
PACs provide a transparent and constructive way for neighborhoods and citizens to share their concerns and ideas around walkability. At its most fundamental level, this committee creates a focal point for community discussion of pedestrian issues and a way for walkability to be incorporated into all aspects of transportation and land-use planning. In other words, it gives us a chance to be proactive and get it right the first time, rather than having to go back and retrofit a roadway or an intersection after a tragedy occurs.
The urgency for this sort of oversight committee could not be greater, with a total of 4 pedestrian fatalities in Tucson already this year. You’ve heard us say it before, and we’ll say it again:
We are all pedestrians.
Those pedestrian fatalities could have been you, me, or our loved ones. They could have been our grandmother trying to make it across the street with too short of a pedestrian signal, or our child trying to cross the road to get to school. At some point, each one of us must get out of our car, off of our bike or step down from the bus and walk to our final destination. What that pedestrian environment looks like can make all the difference — whether it’s trying to cross 6 lanes of traffic with no crosswalk or signal, or, walking down a continuous, shaded sidewalk, complete with traffic-calming and way-finding.
Because the walking landscape affects us all, every citizen in Tucson stands to benefit from the improvements and strategies recommended by this committee. This is where the public comes in. The Pedestrian Advisory Committee needs dedicated neighborhood leaders and community members to serve on and guide it. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us.
LSA would like to offer our sincere thanks to Mayor Rothschild for his support and leadership in establishing the Committee. We went to him with our concern, and he worked with City Council and staff to make the PAC official. We commend Mayor Rothschild for making a walkable community one of his top priorities, as reflected in his Walk 100 Miles with the Mayor challenge, and look forward to continuing to work with him and the City Council to make Tucson a safe and convenient place to walk.
Here’s some footage of LSA in action at the Mayor & Council meeting on February 12th, 2013: