Make it inconvenient to drive a car
When it becomes less convenient to drive a personal vehicle, people will begin to make other decisions. They will live closer to work. They will commute by bus. They may decide to get health benefits by commuting by bike or foot. They will save major portions of their pay by realizing they need to own only one car per family.
Improve traffic engineering so that traffic flows more efficiently, but do not accommodate further increases in private vehicular use. People will adjust, and their adjustments will benefit their health, their wallets, their city and their environment.
Keep Broadway at four lanes - add sidewalks, bike lanes and landscaping. Plan the improvements so that the streetcar will extend east eventually. Make Broadway a beautiful gateway to downtown and slow traffic so that people are aware of, and can easily access, the businesses along it.
Adjunct instructor, Tucson
Benefit change should be equitable
Re: the March 1 article "Retirement change OK'd by AZ House."
The Arizona House of Representatives has voted to change its retirement program from a "defined-benefit" plan to a "defined-contribution" plan. However, the members made sure to make this change for new members, while incumbents remain in the more lucrative defined-benefit plan.
A more equitable way, which was done when one of my employers made this change, was to hire a national CPA firm to determine how much money each of the 3,000 employees would get from the defined-benefit plan at a particular date. That money then went into a new defined-contribution plan for each employee, thus completely eliminating the defined-benefit plan.
But why should our elected representatives do something logical that would be fair to future representatives and level the playing field - possibly because it would mean less money in their pockets ?
The bill now goes to the Senate, where it will undoubtedly be pushed right through.
Retired executive, Tucson
Gun availability can have deadly results
Re: The March 2 "Law & Order Brief" item "Murder charge faces man in OV drive-by."
We have all heard the claim: Guns don't kill; people do. It is certainly true, but it is also true that people carrying guns are more likely to kill.
The perfect example of this occurred a few nights ago in Oro Valley. Two young men got into a dispute while driving along Oracle Road. The incident ended with one driver pulling out a gun and killing the other driver.
Would this tragedy have occurred if no one had a gun? No way!
I hate to imagine the future that awaits us if the Second Amendment advocates realize their dream: an America where everyone is packing a pistol on their hip or in their pocket. Can anyone seriously maintain that this will not result in more shooting deaths when every minor dispute is settled with a gun?
Retired curator, Tucson
Kudos to attempts to reduce roadkill
Re: the Feb. 11 article "Roadkill numbers huge at Saguaro Park, officials say."
The data from Saguaro National Park's roadkill study can be applied to many other roads in our area.
Hundreds of thousands of animals are killed on Pima County roads every year. This speaks to the importance of taking actions to reduce the toll.
Agreements to build wildlife passageways over and under an expanded Oracle Road are in the works. Arizona Game and Fish is providing for safe wildlife passage on many road improvement projects all over the state.
When roads are being improved or rebuilt, it makes sense to provide enhancements that allow wildlife to move safely between preserves. These structures also reduce costly and sometimes deadly wildlife collisions.
The animals were here first, and they enrich our lives. We are living in their habitat, and we need to provide for their safety.
Visitor from Finland blasts Sabino trams
Re: the March 1 column "Send in quieter, less-polluting trams."
Thank you so much for your article in the Arizona Daily Star.
I come from Finland. The first time I visited Sabino Canyon in 1973, I remember it as a paradise in a desert. When we retired in Finland, we started to spend our winters here in Tucson. In 2008, I was very disappointed when I went to hike Sabino Canyon trails and noticed those noisy and polluting trams.
I wrote a very kind email to the Sabino Canyon Tours company and told it how devoted and thrilled I am about that wonderful and clean nature. Also I told it that I am very disappointed about those noisy and polluting vehicles.
I wrote that Finland would never accept those kind of polluting shuttles in nature. I got an answer: "Go back to Finland!"
I went back to Finland and came back again to Tucson. Now when reading the article about Sabino Canyon and those trams, you can understand my feelings. I am happy that someone else has started to save this wonderful nature. That is something special that needs to be saved!
"Snowbird" from Finland, Tucson