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Apologies for the extremely late notice on this streetcar “design charrette” happening all this week.

Like me, you may be asking yourself what the heck is a design charrette?

According to Wikipedia:

“The word charrette may refer to any collaborative session in which a group of designers drafts a solution to a design problem.

While the structure of a charrette varies, depending on the design problem and the individuals in the group, charrettes often take place in multiple sessions in which the group divides into sub-groups. Each sub-group then presents its work to the full group as material for future dialogue. Such charrettes serve as a way of quickly generating a design solution while integrating the aptitudes and interests of a diverse group of people.”

Emily Yetman, the president of Living Street Alliance said the week-long workshop is being hosted by a different group than the people who worked on the actual streetcar plans.

Yetman said the streetcar team only considered the design “curb to curb” while the design team hosting this event are looking at the environment along the streetcar line and how it can be more livable.

Here is what the design group has to say about it:

During the charrette, the consultant team first solicits the values, vision, and needs of the stakeholders. The Tucson Modern Streetcar Design Charrette presents a variety of opportunities for public input:

  • Initial Visioning Session public meeting 
  • Strategy Meetings for identified character areas within the Quarter Mile Focus Area of the Tucson Modern Streetcar Line 
  • One-on-one meetings for individuals or groups that prefer privacy 
  • A Public Open House 
  • A Final Presentation 

The team then breaks off to distill the overall and area specific vision and guiding principles and creates concepts based on input received.

The charrette is organized as a series of feedback loops through which different stakeholder groups, interest groups, neighborhood groups, and community members are engaged at critical decision-making points. These decision-making points occur during initial visioning session, stakeholder meetings focus groups, one-on-one meetings, and open house throughout the course of the charrette.

Solution-oriented strategy meetings engage the major stakeholders in solution-oriented dialogue:

  • What needs to be protected? 
  • What makes the project unique? 
  • What do you like about the project? 
  • What could be enhanced or improved? 
  • What do you wish the project achieve? 
  • What is important to understand about where you live? 
  • What are the major opportunities? 

This approach funnels all these various perspectives and input to create a mosaic or collage of community needs and ideas. Then, the Consultant team transforms these needs and ideas into an overall vision, guiding principles, and/or conceptual graphics that illustrate how the resulting recommendations will address community concerns and needs.

The Tucson Modern Streetcar Design Charrette will be a six-day planning process. This intense six-day transparent community involvement process allows the fast transfer of community ideas into conceptual graphics, illustrations, guiding principles, and recommendations.

The Design Charrette’s Final Presentation on Saturday will reflect the overall vision, illustrations and conceptual diagrams, and guiding principles based on input received during that week.

Check out the schedule of events below to find a time to offer your input:

Strategy Meetings A, B, C, D, E and F

Strategy Meetings will take place at The Historic Depot, January 15 and 16, 2013.

Meeting Location: The Historic Depot Building, 400 N. Toole, Suite 280, Tucson, AZ 85701 (Second Floor- Follow the Signs)

These Strategy Meetings will address the specific needs of the very distinct character areas identified along the Tucson Modern Streetcar Corridor. Select the location of your home, business, or land on the Character Areas Map and participate on the Strategy Meeting corresponding to your area:

  • Strategy Meeting A: Eastern Terminus/Main Gate Character Area (Tuesday, January 15 at 1:00 PM – The Historic Depot)
  • Strategy Meeting B: Western Terminus Character Area (Tuesday, January 15 at 5:30 PM – The Historic Depot)
  • Strategy Meeting C: Central Segment (University Boulevard) Character Area (Tuesday, January 15 at 7:30 PM – The Historic Depot)
  • Strategy Meeting D: Pima College and UA Students Wednesday (January 16 at 1:00 PM – The Historic Depot)
  • Strategy Meeting E: Central Segment (4th Avenue Business District) and Downtown Entertainment District (Congress and 4th Avenue Activity Center) Character Areas (Wednesday, January 16 at 5:30 PM – The Historic Depot)
  • Strategy Meeting F: Downtown Entertainment District (Downtown Central Business District) and Downtown Cultural/Convention District Character Areas (Wednesday, January 16 at 7:30 PM – The Historic Depot)

Strategy Meeting Topics:

(1) Historic Preservation, Neighborhood Preservation/Compatibility and Housing Affordability (2) Parking, Connectivity, Traffic and Multimodal Transportation (3) Streetscapes, Walkability, Character and Sense of Place (4) Economic Development/Implementation.

On-on-one Meetings:

One-on-one meetings will take place at The Historic Depot on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at those times provided on the Schedule. These meetings welcome individuals and/or small groups that may desire to meet one-on-one with team members. Walk in during these allotted times and we will be glad to have a one-on-one talk with you or your group.

Meeting Location: The Historic Depot Building, 400 N. Toole, Suite 280, Tucson, AZ 85701 (Second Floor- Follow the Signs)

Open House:

The Open House will take place at The Historic Depot on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 6:00 PM. Check the progress of your team as we integrate the input into vision, concepts, and guiding principles for each character area.

Meeting Location: The Historic Depot Building, 400 N. Toole, Suite 280, Tucson, AZ 85701 (Second Floor- Follow the Signs)

Final Presentation:

The Final Presentation will take place at The Historic Rialto Theater on Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10 am.

Meeting Location: The Historic Rialto Theater, 318 E. Congress, Tucson, AZ 85701

4 thoughts on “Streetcar planners looking for design input this week”
  1. Now that one of Tucson’s best bicycling routes has been destroyed by a questionable public transit project, isn’t this charrette a LITTLE late?

    BTW, I rode 4th Avenue into Downtown last night. A truly frightening experience. Not enough room for cars and bikes now. I dread what will happen once the streetcar starts running.

  2. Well, and for people actually trying to get from point A to point B, the “curb to curb” part (which the charrette does not address, right?) is what counts. Martha, which meeting do you want to occupy?

  3. I’d think these would be worth something IF they hadn’t striped the finished roadways already. With the stripes already down on 4th ave, I feel like there’s not a lot of room (heh) for changes to the way traffic moves, parks, etc…

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