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Congress Street Master Plan

When Tucson voters approved the Rio Nuevo plan for revitalizing downtown in 1999, city officials designated Congress Street as a primary area of focus. Formerly the heart of the city, Congress Street had fallen out of fashion. More and more, the street had become solely a thoroughfare for car traffic, leaving businesses increasingly unable to attract customers.

To attract pedestrians and commerce back to Congress Street, the city contracted Project for Public Spaces as well as a landscape architect and other private firms to come up with a plan. The result was vision for Congress Street as a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly urban destination. The plan calls for removing two lanes of through traffic to add on-street parking, decreasing lane width, and improving sidewalks and crosswalks in terms of both safety and aesthetics.

The city also hopes to create unique attractions on Congress Street, such as a newly opened farmers market. As the broader Rio Nuevo plan kicks into high gear, improving Congress Street will be an integral part of making downtown Tucson a more attractive place to live, work and shop. Some improvements, such as removing lanes and adding on-street parking, have taken place already, while major construction will occur in 2007.


Revitalizing a Downtown Street to Make it Pedestrian-Friendly