Frequently Asked Questions
 

We hope that the specific sections of this website will answer most of the questions the public has about the study. Below is a list of some frequently asked questions.

Q: Why was money spent for a study rather than just starting Houghton Road improvements immediately?
A. The Houghton Road Corridor Study was undertaken to determine the most appropriate use of limited construction funding. Actual roadway improvements to ease traffic congestion along the 30 miles of roadway included in this study are estimated to cost approximately $189,000,000 at today's prices. This study, for less than 1% of that cost, helps assure that construction dollars are expended wisely. If at some point Houghton Road does become a State Highway, this study is the first step in ensuring a place in Arizona Department of Transportation's Capitol Improvement Program.

Q: Is Houghton Road a State Highway?
A. In 1986, the State Transportation Board passed a resolution adopting Houghton Road as State Route 983 and approving the expansion of Pima Association of Governments' Regional Freeway/Expressway Plan to include the corridor for the future Houghton Road Highway. The resolution did not make Houghton Road a State Highway, but it did allow the Arizona Department of Transportation to study the corridor for possible inclusion in the State Highway System. State Transportation Board Member Si Schorr has asked the Board to consider making Houghton Road a State Highway.

Q. What types of information are included in the Houghton Road Corridor Study?
A. This study identifies right-of-way requirements, describes roadway improvement and access management recommendations and provides implementation priorities for the Houghton Road Corridor. These recommendations are based on the analyses of existing conditions, projected populations, projected traffic, current and future traffic operations, drainage, structures and environmental impacts.

Q: Why did the study area include the Golf Links/Alvernon loop?
A. The study includes this loop to evaluate Golf Links/Alvernon's relationship to traffic and access issues on Houghton Road.

Q. What measures have been taken to involve the public in this study?
A. The project began with a 10,000-piece questionnaire developed with Council Member Shirley Scott's office. There have been three sets of formal public meetings throughout the study period, in which public input has been sought. The first set of meetings held in November of 2002 introduced the public to the project. The second set of meetings in September and October of 2003 presented numerous roadway alternative configurations and incorporated public feedback into the decision-making process. The third set of meetings was held in July of 2004 to present the study team's recommendations and to obtain community feedback. In addition to formal public meetings, there have been informal group meetings with homeowners and neighborhood associations, businesses, schools, organizations and other concerned parties. Newsletters were mailed to residents and businesses, comment forms were handed out at public meetings and made available on the project Web site at www.houghtonroad.com and the public involvement team responded to phone calls, letters and e-mails throughout the project.

Q. How were the various jurisdictions and their planning experts involved in this study?
A. A Technical Advisory Committee was formed at the beginning of the study, and met at each phase of the project to review all study work and guide the process. Representatives on the committee included appropriate technical staff from the transportation and planning departments from the City of Tucson and Pima County, Arizona State Land, Pima Association of Governments, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Pima County Fair and the Southeast Planning and Coordinating Committee.

Q: What is HAMP?
A. The Houghton Area Master Plan (HAMP) includes 7,700 acres of state trust land on the City of Tucson's eastern edge, along Houghton Road, between Irvington Road and Old Vail Road. The City of Tucson is leading this master-planning project. To learn more about this master plan or the City's Land Use Code, visit www.cityoftucson.org/planning or call 791-4505.

Q. What is the Southeast Area Arterial Study?
A. Pima Association of Governments' Southeast Area Arterial Study is defining a future roadway network for southeast Tucson. The limits of the project are Interstate 19 (west), Valencia and Interstate 10 (north), State Route 83 (east) and Sahuarita Road (south). For more information, visit www.searea.com.

Q. How can the study team determine corridor needs so far into the future, say 2030 or beyond?
A. A land-use analysis, which included a study of the Pima County Comprehensive Plan, the City of Tucson General Plan, the HAMP, property ownership, jurisdictional boundaries, annexation patterns, proposed connecting roadway networks, area development potential and an extensive public involvement process, yielded a fairly comprehensive picture of the area in years to come. This information was used to forecast future traffic.

Q: What is build out?
A. Build out simply refers to the roadway when development in the area reaches full capacity.

Q. What is access-control management?
A. The purpose of managing access is to control where cars can enter a roadway. In general, travel efficiency and safety are best with few access points to the roadway.

Q. Will the roadway be redesigned for 2030 and beyond conditions all at once or will it be improved in stages?
A. The recommendation for roadway improvements and access-control strategies includes a phasing plan for implementation, which recommends improvement priorities.

Q. Have amenities like recreation trails and parks been part of the study?
A. The primary focus of this study was to determine the appropriate roadway configuration. However, existing and planned parks, trails and other amenities, which impact traffic patterns on Houghton Road, have been accommodated in the interim and long-term roadway configuration. A portion of the Houghton Road Greenway that was approved by the voters in Pima County's recent Bond Election will fit within the existing road right of way.

Q. Have transit or light rail been considered as part of this study?
A. Determination of the interim and long-term configuration of Houghton Road is the focus of this study. Pima Association of Governments' model for future traffic does include public transit.

Q. What happens after the study is finished?
A. The identified future needs of the corridor, recommendations for roadway configuration and an implementation plan will be distributed to appropriate jurisdictions for planning, funding allocation, design and construction. You can find this plan by clicking on this link for project information.

Q. Who can I contact if I have a question on a specific City street or County road?
A. For information regarding City of Tucson transportation issues, please call 791-4372.
For information regarding Pima County transportation issues, please call 740-6410.

 

 

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