Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik is well-known for his hyperbolic blather, but on Monday, he jumped the shark when he compared Tucson’s small business owners along the Broadway corridor to Donald Trump. Those business owners, who are struggling to stay afloat while City leaders and anti-car activists continue the decades old fight over the width of the corridor, are far from the mega-billionaire.
Kozachik, who approaches nearly every issue with the same zeal as any religious convert, wrote of the small business owners and anti-car activists in his April 11 newsletter: “While some of the supporters of the 30% alignment have nuanced arguments, as I was sitting through the Broadway public hearing last week, it struck me that what we were hearing was a point-counterpoint of developers, and the people.”
While the widening of the roadway was voted on by “the people” years ago, a small group of activists, with the support of Kozachik and others have blocked the project leaving small business owners in limbo.
As Kozachik correctly notes in his newsletter, “Broadway was one of 35 roadway projects included in the $2.1 billion RTA voter-approved package. It’s $74M of over 2 billion dollars of projects. On the ballot, it was identified as an eight lane, 150’ wide roadway….” However, Kozachik claims that the voters – the people – were misinformed. He claims that the “RTA agreed that building what was on the ballot made no sense from the standpoint of need or cost.” So, the “argument can no longer be made that we’re doing this because it’s what the voters asked for.”
Sadly, not only does Kozachik compare the struggling small business owners to the brash Trump, he also implies that they are waiting for the City to bail them out by approving funding for city real estate to begin the property acquisition process. “Many business operators from along the corridor have been waiting for the taxpayers to come in and buy them out due to the impact of the project,” writes Kozachik. “Investments have largely been avoided as a result. It has become a self-fulfilling cause and effect; that is, you know you’re a short-timer on the corridor, so why invest in the upkeep of your building when you know you’ll be relocated at taxpayer expense anyway?”
Once again, contrary to Kozachik’s bizarre claims, no one is awaiting relocation.
We have six lanes east of Country Club and six lanes west of Euclid. Why allow a four lane bottleneck to exist in-between? What Kozachik doesn’t mention to his constituents is that if the road improvement doesn’t happen, the RTA money won’t stay in Tucson. He also fails to account for the Tucson’s City Council’s role in promising business owners for the past 20 years that the road would be widened and that their buildings would need to be demolished.It’s the City that destroyed traffic along this stretch of Broadway, the business owners are victims.
If this decision is too stressful for Kozachik, then perhaps he should recommend that the City relinquish control of the project back to the RTA.
Visit the project’s Design and Construction web site at www.broadwayboulevard.info for the most current information, to find contact emails and phone numbers, and to provide comments. Details about the RTA plan are available at www.RTAmobility.com.
It’s not too late to be heard, questions and comments can be submitted to the Tucson Department of Transportation before April 15th. Take 1-2 minutes now and submit a quick “I support the Broadway 30% plan” or “I do not support the Broadway 30% plan” by clicking on the following link: http://www.broadwayboulevard.info/comments.php