TUCSON – Tucson City Council members have approved three changes that could impact how you get around Tucson.
The changes include widening Houghton Road, upgrading traffic lights and bringing in dockless electric scooters.
Council members unanimously approved more money for widening Houghton Road in between Valencia Road and Mary Ann Cleveland Way.
Officials also unanimously approved nearly $1 million worth of traffic light upgrades designed to ease the flow of traffic. The upgrades include controllers and vehicle detectors.
A pilot program to bring dockless electric scooters to Tucson was the only transportation measure that received significant debate.
“The pilot program is a farce. I just don’t understand why this group feels like this is a really good idea,” said council member Steve Kozachik.
“This is also an opportunity for people to drive less. This is also an opportunity to move into a new branch of transportation,” said council member Paul Cunningham.
Under the six-month program, more than 1,000 electric scooters would be allowed to go nearly anywhere bikes can go.
Opponents of the program say it’s unsafe and could add clutter to certain areas.
“We don’t have any other city embraced program that requires all these protective measures that we are talking about,” said Kozachik.
Supports of the program say it could bring in a cheaper and easier form of transportation.
“E-scooters have the potential to address the first-mile last mile issue of transit use. They have the potential to serve low-income neighborhoods,” said council member Paul Durham.
The pilot program passed 6 – 1. Officials say scooters may be available as early as this summer.