There's been a lot of grumbling over the last few months over a new project in Tucson called the Modern Streetcar. Most people call it a waste of money while others are pretty thrilled with the possibilities once the tracks are laid and the cars start running.
As a brief background - the streetcar route will link the western side of Tucson to the University of Arizona and medical centers, as well as everything in between. (Click here for a map of the route.) Personally, I love the idea and the project.
Starting April 9th, the project is going to cause some disruption to downtown Tucson, particularly Congress Street which is one of the main routes into the area for work, shopping and more. Despite what you might read online, while inconvenient, access to downtown is still easy. You just need to be aware of the closures, detours and, most importantly, the new 2 way streets.
There is PLENTY of parking downtown - the subject of a soon to be published blog post. As someone who works and plays downtown, the closures really don't affect how long it takes you to walk from one place to another. If you've always parked at the Pennington Garage to have dinner at The Hub, it's still the same.
Everything is still open. The monthly Second Saturdays celebration is still on, the Fox Theater and Rialto Theater will continue on with their concerts and shows, too. Exhibits in the Rialto Block space are still on as is Meet Me At Maynard's on Mondays.
For additional information about the closures, detours and more, visit the Tucson Streetcar Website. Make sure you join their mailing list for updates and check them out on Facebook as well.
It's an exciting time for Tucson. I can't wait to see the finished project in a couple of years.