The Main Stream

Aug 17, 2012 1:59 AM by Sam Salzwedel

Rio Verde annexation may cause traffic problems

TUCSON - City and county Leaders met on Thursday to discuss traffic problems near River and Craycroft Roads.

The Tucson City Council voted to annex the southeast corner of the intersection.

It is the 13th most congested intersection in the county, according to the Pima Association of Governments. Many fear that number will get worse.

Leaders with the city, county, and Regional Transportation Authority met at Councilman Steve Kozachik's office to figure out the issue.

"When you see a problem and you turn a blind eye to it," Kozachik said, "you're not doing your job."

A new charter school has already made traffic worse. A QuikTrip will open soon, and a developer is going to construct a major project in the area.

Dick Grisham lives nearby and said traffic has gotten considerably worse in the past 2 weeks.

"Lots of people are going to be going in and out of there," Grisham said, "and the developer, so far, until tonight, has expressed no concern about this."

The Tucson City Council voted to annex the area. Kozachik cast a dissenting vote.

Tucson leaders are happy to have the taxes and jobs in city limits.

G.T. Alley III is the Senior Vice President of Broadway Realty and Trust Inc. He said he wanted the city to annex his property because of the services they provide.

"When it's all said and done, we could have done this in Pima County or we could do it in the City of Tucson," Alley said, "and we elected to go in the City of Tucson."

Kozachik said he had a different motive.

"He had been working with the county. He wanted to go commercial. He wanted to do some mixed use and he couldn't get the county to approve it," Kozachik said, "so he turned to the city and we did."

All the leaders, including Tucson City Manager Richard Miranda said they will work on a long term solution.

A crew adjusted the timing of the traffic signal Thursday morning, and that helped ease the congestion, according to Priscilla Cornelio, the Pima County Director of Transportation.

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