CategoryArizona

Tucson’s neighborhood friendly ordinances

I’m moving to Tucson so I can bike on Dutch-style separated bike paths.*

My Grid Chicago writing partner John Greenfield visited Tucson, Arizona, earlier this month. His post about their bicycle facilities is on our site today. I published two posts about my visit in 2010, first Tucson has every kind of bikeway and Rialto theater in downtown Tucson.

In John’s post, he describes that the proliferation of bikeways (of all kinds!) are in part due to a city ordinance that requires they be installed in all road projects. Think Complete Streets but where you actually have to make one instead of just “considering” making one, which is what happens here.

I started digging into the city code to find the ordinance and its exact language. I haven’t found it yet, but I did find this:

Chapter 15, Section 13 is about going to the voters to approve or reject the city’s involvement in any project to construct “freeway, parkway or other controlled-access highway” or “grade-separated interchange”. So, in a regular or special election, the city must ask voters whether or not the city should be involved in building big roads, on a project by project basis.

Imagine that. What if the voters of Chicago could reject the destruction of their neighborhoods because of expressway construction for the Dan Ryan, Eisenhower, and Kennedy? Well, first of all, would people approve or reject those projects?

“(e) If the voters reject the proposed project, the mayor and council shall request that the state department of transportation not include the proposed project in the state highway system.”

An approval for a project is valid for five years. If no construction happens in that time, then the project approval has lapsed and the voters must be asked again. I’m sure many people (especially the people proposing the project) would find this law an enormous barrier to “progress”, but it ensures some level of public participation.

* Just kidding.

Olgivanna Lloyd Wright had the right idea

According to my tour guide at Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona, it was Frank Lloyd Wright’s third wife, Olgivanna, who suggested that he open a studio in a warmer state as a place to spend winter. (His winter studio is in Spring Green, Wisconsin.)

Looking north at the studio (left) and dorms (above).

Our wonderful tour guide. She graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

See more photos of my Thanksgiving trip to Arizona, including to the Grand Canyon National Park.

The grandest canyon

One of the informational boards at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona say that while the Grand Canyon may not be the deepest, widest, or longest canyon in the world, many people consider it the grandest.

In this photo of my dad and sister, it’s almost 20 miles from here, at the south rim west of Yavapai Point, to the north rim (in the direction I shot the photo, slightly northwest).

This is Grand. And America’s Best Idea.

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