May 11, 2012 8:48 AM
UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA GRADUATION DOWNTOWN PARKING CONCERNS
The University of Arizona Graduation event will be held at the Tucson Convention Center on the afternoon of May 11, 2011 between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. The Tucson Police Department expects there to be an estimated 2500 to 3000 additional vehicles entering and leaving the downtown area in a short period of time as graduates along with their families and friends make their way to and from the Tucson Convention Center. An additional traffic concern for the Spring 2012 Graduation event is the Downtown road construction projects. As a reminder, westbound Congress is closed from Toole to Stone. This results in westbound traffic being detoured onto Toole, which is one-way when driving northbound between Congress and 5th Street. Sixth Avenue has been converted to accommodate two-way traffic between 6th Street and Broadway. Additional road closures are Scott Avenue at Congress and 4th Avenue from the underpass to University Boulevard.
The Tucson Police Department expects extreme traffic congestion and delays in the hours leading up to and immediately following the graduation. It is anticipated that the areas affected will likely include inbound Downtown traffic traveling eastbound on Congress from Interstate 10 and on Toole Avenue at Fourth Avenue. There is expected to be heightened congestion issues on Interstate 10 and Aviation Highway. The same is expected for Broadway when traffic is outbound, or leaving the Downtown area. The greatest amount of outbound traffic congestion is expected at Congress and Granada
for traffic headed to the Interstate.
In anticipation of the significant increased traffic congestion issues, the Tucson Police Department has established point control officers to help facilitate traffic flow. As vehicles begin to enter the downtown area, police personnel will be posted at the following intersections:
• Broadway / Aviation (2 officers)
• Broadway /4th Ave and Toole
• Toole / 6th Ave.
• Broadway / 6th Ave.
• Toole / Stone
• Pennington / Stone
• Congress / Stone
• Congress / Church
• Broadway / Church
• Congress / Granada (2 officers)
• TCC parking lot entrance on Church
• TCC parking lot entrance on Granada
In addition to the designated point control positions, Tucson Police Department Motor Officers will monitor the traffic flow. If there is any sign of traffic congestion or traffic backing up, all officers will take control of their assigned intersection. All intersections will be manually controlled to allow traffic to continually flow along Toole and Congress as well as along Church and Stone. Once the congestion is eased, the officers will be advised to momentarily stop traffic on Congress or Toole and allow for traffic to cross. The officer at Congress and Granada will ensure that eastbound traffic does not backup to Interstate 10 or that traffic on the east side of the intersection does not back up into the intersection of Stone and Congress.
Officers assigned to the outside of the Tucson Convention Center will provide point control for vehicles entering the Tucson Convention Center parking lot. Once the parking lots are full they will closed. Officers will prevent any additional vehicles from entering the parking lot by placing traffic cones across the entrances to each parking lot as well as any turn lanes leading to the parking lot entrances.
As traffic begins to leave the downtown area at the conclusion of the graduation event, police personnel will be posted at the following intersections and locations:
• TCC parking lot exit on Church
• TCC parking lot exit on Granada
• Granada / Congress (2 officers)
• Congress / Church
• Broadway / Church
• Broadway / Stone
• Broadway / 6th Ave
• Broadway / 5th Ave
Officers posted outside of the Tucson Convention Center will direct exiting traffic onto Church and Granada. Officers along Broadway will take control of the intersections to allow traffic to continually flow along eastbound Broadway. The officer at Congress and Church will ensure that northbound traffic does not back up onto Broadway. At least one motor officer will monitor the traffic in the area of Congress and Interstate 10. There are not expected to be additional street
closures or restrictions, and the traffic signals have been reset to accommodate the flow of traffic.
With limited parking at the TCC, those attending the graduation event are encouraged to find alternative locations to park. In the immediate vicinity of the TCC there are a variety of parking facilities, including: on Alameda west of Granada, Granada and Congress, Alameda west of Church, and on Jackson between Stone and Church.
A Downtown Parking Map can be found on the City of Tucson's web site, www.tucsonaz.gov.