Public Involvement Process
 

Public Participation
The Houghton Road Corridor team recognized the importance of public involvement in this study. A public participation plan was developed, and the public was encouraged to interact with the Arizona Department of Transportation, the study team and the Technical Advisory Committee. The following vehicles for public information, input and comments were implemented:

• Formal Public Meetings
• Informal Group Meetings
• Web site
• Newsletters
• Comment Forms

Public Meetings
Three sets of formal public meetings were held to gather public input and to inform the public of the study's progress. The first set of public meetings was held in November 2002. The second set was September 29 and October 1, 2003, and the final set was July 19 and 21, 2004.

Project Information
The public can access detailed project information, including traffic data and preliminary alternatives for 2030 and build out, at two local libraries:

Kirk-Bear Canyon: 791-5021
8959 E. Tanque Verde, 85749
Mon. & Tues. 11-8, Wed. & Thurs. 10-6, Fri. & Sat. 10-5, Sun. Closed

Miller-Golf Links
: 791-5524
9640 E. Golf Links Road, 85730
Mon. 9-6, Tues. & Wed. 11-8, Thurs. 9-6, Fri. 10-5, Sat. 9-5, Sun. Closed

Summary of Public Meetings

Fall 2003
The second set of three public meetings regarding the Houghton Road Corridor Study took place on September 29 and October 1, 2003. Property owners adjacent to the roadways were contacted by mail. A notice was published on September 14, 2003, in the Arizona Daily Star and the Tucson Citizen to invite interested parties.

The purpose of the public meetings was to inform the public about the preliminary findings of the Houghton Road Corridor Study. Arizona Department of Transportation gave a brief presentation about the status of the study. The City of Tucson presented preliminary concepts and a timeline for the Houghton Area Master Plan. Pima Association of Governments presented the scope and schedule for the Southeast Area Arterial Study. A question-and-answer session and open house followed presentations.

What follows is a summary incorporating the 47 comments received from the public meetings, a list of questions asked at each meeting, and 14 comments received from www.houghtonroad.com.

Comment Forms
Summary of comments addressing “Which segment of the area are you most affected by?”
The majority of the respondents from the public meetings were affected by Segment 2, Houghton Road from Golf Links to Interstate 10, with Segment 1, Houghton Road from Tanque Verde to Golf Links, as a close second. There were few people who were affected by Segments 3 or 4.


Summary of comments addressing “What do you like most about the Houghton Road Corridor study team’s roadway recommendations?”
Nine respondents liked the parkway alternative. Of the other respondents, many only listed small details (landscaping or bike paths) as study preferences. Many respondents mentioned that they were at least happy to see a roadway planning study taking place, even if they disagreed with some of the results.


Summary of comments addressing “What do you like least about the Houghton Road Corridor study team’s roadway recommendations?”
The majority of respondents disliked the freeway alternative. Many were worried about their property values and specific right of way. Almost half of the respondents mentioned the timeline as the most significant problem; they believe that the roadway needs to be attended to much sooner than this study suggests. Many respondents referred to specific needs, such as paving and sidewalks.


Summary of additional comments:
The additional comments were quite diverse. Several commented on noise mitigation. Four people noted they desired light rail. Three respondents from Civano are worried about the survival of their community because of the proximity of the proposed freeway to their community. One person hoped that the roadway wouldn’t include lights every 100 feet. Another suggested putting a highway from Valencia to Golf Links along the edge of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.


Summary of Comments from HoughtonRoad.com:
Fourteen comments were received by e-mail or online at www.houghtonroad.com from February to October 2003. These comments are fairly diverse and represent a smaller cross section of the comments received at the public meeting. In general, these Web-site visitors like that Houghton Road has few stop lights and minimal light pollution and allows motorists to move quickly to and from the northeast and southeast sides of town. As one woman put it, “It is one of the few country-type roads left in Tucson.” One correspondent vehemently opposed the freeway; another was thankful for the study; and a third worried about safety to pedestrians and motorists. These three comments represent the three typical comments received to date.

Fall 2002
The first set of three public meetings regarding the Houghton Road Corridor Study was held on November 12, 13 and 18, 2002. Residents and property owners adjacent to the roadways included in the study were contacted by mail. An ad was published on October 29, 2002 in the Arizona Daily Star and the Tucson Citizen to invite interested parties.

The purpose of the public meetings was to familiarize the public with the study and seek their input. The three public meetings began with a brief presentation, followed by a question and answer period. An open house format followed the question and answer session. Attendees were given a comment form to provide input about the study.

Below is a summary of the 149 comments received from the public at the November 12, 13 and 18, 2002 meetings and from the Web site.

Summary of comments addressing
“What do you like about Houghton Road?”

The majority of the respondents indicated that Houghton Road is rural in nature and should maintain its scenic view. The mountain views and the pleasant country drive are aspects that should be maintained. Some of the respondents suggested that Houghton Road needs improvement and widening, but is a good eastside access point onto Interstate 10 without a lot of traffic lights. There were respondents who supported widening Houghton Road to six lanes and respondents who suggested that the existing capacity should be maintained.

Summary of comments addressing
“What do you not like about Houghton Road?”

The majority of respondents indicated Houghton Road needs to be paved immediately. Several respondents sited instances of flooding along Houghton Road Corridor during the rainy season. Some respondents indicated that the current speed limit is dangerous for bicyclist and pedestrians. The current transit system does not accommodate the area. Schools should not be on major arterials. Because development is increasing on Houghton Road major traffic delays occur.

Summary of comments addressing
“If you could change one thing about Houghton Road what would it be?”

The majority of the respondents would like Houghton Road widened to six lanes. Many respondents stated that the roadway alignment should take into consideration existing wildlife, include bicycle lanes and sidewalks, and provide abatement for increased noise levels.

Summary of additional comments
Roadway design consideration should take into consideration future development adjacent to Houghton Road, wildlife crossings under the road, decreased property values that could result from roadway widening, safety of entering and exiting subdivisions located on Houghton Road and bicycle use.