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Old 12-18-2009, 12:03 PM
 
2,997 posts, read 2,683,038 times
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Default How has Tucson changed since I came very close to moving there in 1980 ?

I loved Tucson so much that I vacationed there 8 times and made a couple of friends . Got to know the area pretty well and came real close to moving there in 1980 . Ive always wondered if i did the best thing by not moving there ; anyway, I ended up in the Florida Panhandle where im pretty content... but am wondering in what positive and negative ways Tucson has changed since 1980 ? I would like to go back for a visit someday soon. Thanks.
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Old 12-19-2009, 01:54 AM
 
Location: 602/520
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Tucson proper has added almost 215,000 people since 1980. Pima County has more than doubled in population to about 1.1 million.

Downtown has added a high rise back in the 80s, and is still the focus of redevelopment efforts. That area has very recently added quite a few restaurants and nightclubs. Also, downtown will have a modern streetcar running through it in less than 2 years if the city council has its way. The streetcar is planned to travel from UMC, near the U of A, around downtown. There are also preliminary talks of taking the streetcar from downtown, down 6th Avenue, all the way out to the airport. However, that is probably a couple decades off.

The suburban communities Marana and Sahuarita are now incorporated towns that are, for the most part, no longer rural areas. A Ritz-Carlton just opened in Marana yesterday. Sahuarita is home to a very large master-planned community. Oro Valley has grown exponentially. Areas southeast and southwest of Tucson have grown substantially, as well. In Tucson, the area east of Kolb Road has seen considerable development. While all of the changes have taken place, a lot of in-town neighborhoods have retained their character.

The roads in Tucson are quite a bit more congested, but city leaders have been widening roads around town steadily. Grant, Country Club, Craycroft, Mountain, 22nd, Houghton, Tanque Verde, and 36th are all roads that have recently been widened or are slated to be widened in the forseeable future. I-10 and I-19 are still the only freeways in the Tucson area, and that is likely to stay the case for several more decades.

Tucson's crime rate has stayed pretty steady, except for declines in burglary, which has gone down, and car theft, which has risen significantly.

Overall, Tucson has changed quite a bit in the 30 years since 1980. I am pretty sure that other posters will say the same.
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:36 AM
 
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Those changes are very interesting. Sounds like progress has been made., much to the chagrin of native Tucsonians who grew up in a smaller Tucson. What about that stretch from Tucson to Nogales, MX.... has that been developed anymore or is it still barren and vast ? I had my honeymoon on the top of SummerHaven in 1986 but I hear that suffered great fire damage . Im sure you still cant beat the view from A-Mountain with Tucson lighting up at dusk can you .. I really enjoyed that beautiful sight.
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Old 12-19-2009, 05:11 PM
 
Location: 602/520
2,441 posts, read 3,773,011 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 007.5 View Post
Those changes are very interesting. Sounds like progress has been made., much to the chagrin of native Tucsonians who grew up in a smaller Tucson. What about that stretch from Tucson to Nogales, MX.... has that been developed anymore or is it still barren and vast ? I had my honeymoon on the top of SummerHaven in 1986 but I hear that suffered great fire damage . Im sure you still cant beat the view from A-Mountain with Tucson lighting up at dusk can you .. I really enjoyed that beautiful sight.
Tucson is in that transition zone between being a small city and being a large city, so that makes things quite interesting. It's interesting to talk to native Tucsonans about their memories of Tucsonans. Many tell about the city limits ended at Kolb Road, how Alvernon used to turn into a river during monsoon storms due to lack of flood control, how drivers were friendlier, and how downtown used to be the place to go. Many natives and long-term residents alike are still trying to do what they can to ensure that Tucson's character is maintained and that it doesn't explode into what Phoenix has become.

I-19, for the most part, is still pretty rural. Sahuarita and Green Valley, which were small towns fairly recently, have grown substantially. Sahuarita, which maybe had 1,000 people in 1980 now has about 20,000. Green Valley has about 25,000 people. There is a Native American reservation in between Tucson and Sahuarita that has prohibited a continuous line of development from Tucson through Sahuarita and Green Valley. Once you venture south of Green Valley, into Santa Cruz County, the environment turns rural with just a smattering a on the western foothills of the Santa Ritas. Santa Cruz County residents have fought tooth and nail to make sure that developers avoid transforming that area along I-19 into a suburban outpost of Tucson. With the downturn in real estate any proposals for development in SC County are definitely on hold.

Nogales, AZ actually has quite a bit of new development on its northern edges, but the town itself has largely stayed the same.

Summerhaven was badly damaged during the Aspen Fire back in 2003. You can still see acres upon acres of bare trees, including most of the trees on the slopes surrounding Summerhaven. A number of the town's original structrues were destroyed during the fire, but rebuilding efforts have been underway ever since. Many locals complain about the somewhat ostentatious alpine style homes that have been constructed since the fire, replacing the modest homes that once dotted the slopes.

The general store in Summerhaven closed this summer because of the economy. However, Ski Valley, the small ski area on the top of the mountain remains open. There are also still numerous places to camp or hang out for the day on the mountain.

Unfortunately, the City recently decided to close the road up A Mountain from dusk until dawn. But it is still a very nice place to go up during the day or when a monsoon storm is sweeping through the city. If you come back someday it might be an interesting spot to see how the area has grown since you were last here, as you can still see a good amount of the metro area for that spot.
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:10 AM
 
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Thanks for the great info. Now i have an RV, I shall pass thru Tucson again and take it all in.
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