Campus streets not addressed with Prop 409
University streets don’t fall under Proposition 409’s plans for reparations, but a 10-year plan from UA Facilities Management, along with streetcar work, will aim to address campus roads that some say are in need of repaving.
The proposition, which passed on election night with a 50.33 percent “yes” vote, granted a $100 million bond to the city of Tucson to “restore, repair and resurface” streets within the city limits across five years, according to the proposition’s page on the city’s website.
But repairs to come in result of the proposition’s passage won’t cover streets on the university campus, said Steve Kozachik, a city councilman for Tucson’s Ward 6, which includes the university. With a few exceptions, the UA’s streets remain separate from the city, leaving 409’s repairs to have “no bearing at all” over areas within the university’s square-mile campus.
But a 10-year plan for campus street reparations aims to address a number of issues on campus streets, and past repairs have already done so, said Chris Kopach, the assistant vice president for Facilities Management. Kopach added that the plan is still waiting for funding approval, and is calling for anywhere between $250,000 to $500,000.
The plan would also address more than just a few streets, Kopach said.
“We’ve gone through this entire campus — north campus and main campus,” he said. “We’ve looked at all our streets, all our sidewalks, all our handicap ramps, and we have all those prioritized, those that need repairs. And we’d go ahead and start addressing those.”
Kopach added that Park Avenue, including the section that runs through campus, belongs to the city, and is in need of repair. There are no plans to address this section of the street, according to the proposition’s website.
Regardless of the plans to repair campus streets, some said that the need for repaving city streets is far greater than on campus.
“Drive up and down Grant Road some time,” Kozachik said. “You’d be lucky to still have the teeth in your mouth.”
Pablo Rodriguez said he drives through campus nearly every day to pick up his wife, a graduate student. He said he agrees with Kozachik, admitting that campus streets aren’t quite as bad as others throughout Tucson.
“If you compare it with two blocks from here where the streets are really bad, the streets are fine,” Rodriguez said, pointing west from Main Gate Square. “They aren’t perfect, but I guess they’re fine.”
But some campus-goers, especially those who spend most of their time on bicycles, said that some areas need to be addressed.
“There’s a lot of cracks from the weather and stuff, so it makes a lot of the rides quite bumpy and unpleasant,” said Gilbert Rataezyk, a physics sophomore. “I’m not sure about … prioritizing where the money would go, but I would definitely like to see them in better condition.”
Valeria Armendariz, a psychology sophomore, said her main concern was navigating potholes on a bicycle when it gets dark, which she said is difficult to do even with lights.
Road construction for Proposition 409 repairs are expected to begin during the 2014 fiscal year. Street renovations will address at least portions of road on the university’s four bordering streets during the five-year period.