City gives the go ahead to events on streetcar tracks
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - El Tour de Tucson, the All Souls Procession, and of course, the Fourth Avenue Street Fair; they're all huge events that bring in lots of money.
"It brings down different people and they get to see the area, so it's very good for Fourth Avenue," Kate Randall told Nine On Your Side.
Kate is the co-owner of Antigone books, and said without these celebrations, her business would not be the same.
But, until recently, Ward 6 Council Member Steve Kozachik said many events and festivals were not going to happen.
"Originally, the only answer was: the only civic event that we're going to allow happen is the Fourth Avenue Street Fair. All the rest of you need to find alternate routes," Kzachik said.
It was all to make way for the streetcar that will run right down the middle of where many events take place.
"I had confidence that they were going to figure out how to continue doing them one way or another," Randall told us.
But just down the street from her shop, Delectables Manager Christopher Baldwin was not so sure.
"The Fourth Avenue Merchant's Association does a great job, and they go to bat for us a lot, but I wasn't confident," Baldwin said.
He believes the modernization of Downtown Tucson has trumped the health of his and other local businesses in the area.
"For a while, I thought they forgot about us here on Fourth Avenue."
But Kozachik said, not the case: " The city has relented, finally, and said we're not going to drop-kick these civic events. We're going to work with you because we realize their value to the community."
Kozachik said the rules of the road will vary, but generally, there's a height limit on things like tents to that nothing gets caught in the streetcar's electrical system, and if there's alcohol, there has to be fencing around the tracks.