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Transportation Planning

  1. Transportation Plans
  2. Transit Plans
  3. Bicycle Plans
  4. Pedestrian Plans
  5. Studies
  6. Congestion Management Process
  7. Regional Safety and Operations
  8. Transportation Funding Sources
  9. Transportation Art by Youth Program
  10. Travel Data and Forecasting

Pima Association of Governments' Transportation Planning Division develops many plans and programs, including the federally mandated long-range Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and short-range Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).

The TIP is reviewed and updated annually by a TIP Subcommittee, which includes representatives from PAG-member jurisdictions.

The public may provide feedback for consideration by the TIP Subcommittee. Public involvement is also a component of the RTP update, which occurs approximately every four years in order to maintain a minimum 20-year outlook of the region’s transportation needs.

Both the TIP and the RTP include projects in the Regional Transportation Authority’s (RTA) 20-year plan, which was approved by Pima County voters on May 16, 2006. The projects in the $2.1 billion RTA plan are funded with a ½-cent excise tax and other regional funds.

While a number of local, state and federal agencies are responsible for planning, building and operating the transportation system in the Pima County region, PAG is responsible for determining the allocation of federal transportation dollars to its local member jurisdictions. The responsibility for building and operating the transportation infrastructure lies with PAG’s member jurisdictions. Each jurisdiction has its own transportation department and/or staff associated with planning, building and operating the transportation system.

Transportation Plans

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Transit Plans

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Bicycle Plans

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Pedestrian Plans

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Studies

For more information regarding the following studies, please contact ADOT:

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Congestion Management Process

Pima Association of Governments' federally mandated Congestion Management Process, or CMP, enables PAG and its partners to define, identify and measure congestion, and develop and select appropriate strategies to effectively reduce congestion across the region. CMP helps identify system deficiencies, and analyzes and selects alternative congestion reduction strategies for consideration and inclusion in PAG's long-range transportation plan (RTP) and the short-range transportation improvement program (TIP). The process includes regular performance reporting. The PAG CMP has developed regional congestion management and operations objectives that are directly linked to the 2040 RTP vision and goals and to specific CMP performance measures. The 2045 RTP, currently under development, includes goals and performance measures explicit to the CMP in addition to other performance areas. Ultimately, the objectives-driven, performance-based process will lead to more efficient use of transportation dollars and result in a reduction of roadway and transportation network congestion.

System Performance Assessment Reports

Pima Association of Governments (PAG) periodically updates the Transportation System Performance Assessment report to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the regional transportation system in the Tucson metropolitan area and eastern Pima County through. The report reviews the growth trends, travel conditions and transportation system improvements.

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Regional Safety and Operations

PAG supports regional transportation operations by leading local jurisdictions in planning for and implementing coordinated operations programs and projects. For the PAG region, this means developing and realizing opportunities for improved traffic signal coordination, traveler information consolidation and delivery, work zone coordination, traffic incident management and pavement rehabilitation throughout the region.

PAG coordinates a Regional Pavement Management System and has recently developed "action plans" for specific transportation operations areas as part of a Regional Concept for Transportation Operations. Local agencies have embraced the concept of regional transportation operations and have gained from programs that enable more frequent traffic signal timing review and adjustment, improvements to construction and traffic incident data for the public, training and exercises to coordinate multi-agency traffic incident response, and pavement inventory collection and rehabilitation.

Transportation Safety and Security Program

The Transportation Safety and Security Program was launched through PAG’s inaugural Regional Transportation Safety Forum held in May 2003. The forum served as a venue for the exchange of transportation safety information with updates on federal transportation legislation and safety activities, lessons learned from other regional programs, and a wide array of information from regional stakeholders on the various transportation safety activities going on throughout the region. The forum also identified some of the key issues and needs related to transportation safety in the region.

Transportation safety was identified as the No. 1 concern by the public as part of the 2030 Regional Transportation Plan outreach efforts in the Tucson metropolitan area. This clear indication demands better planning and coordination of transportation safety activities for the region.

PAG's transportation safety planning work extends  statewide through membership on the Governor's Traffic Safety Advisory Council and development of a statewide plan for transportation safety and related programs. This work has enabled PAG to have more impact and input into the development of statewide funding strategies, legislation development and program activities to address issues like safety education, enforcement, data needs, and safety analysis among others.

PAG is also actively involved in regional transportation security activities. This includes PAG's partnership with the Pima County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security in holding Regional Incident and Emergency Management Forums in 2003 and 2006, a tabletop exercise for interstate traffic incident management in 2007, coordination of planning activities for hazard mitigation and emergency transportation, and participation in the development of a new evacuation plan for the PAG region.

Regional Pavement Management System

Pima Association of Governments, which owns no roadway infrastructure, coordinates a Regional Pavement Management System to ensure compatibility of pavement management databases and information collection techniques among PAG's member agencies. The system provides member agencies with the appropriate tools and data to assess the deterioration of publicly owned roadways and other roadway infrastructure. Accurate management of our region's infrastructure assets is essential for allocating and optimizing available maintenance funding.

PAG coordinates regional pavement data collection through the use of a shared resource, the Automatic Road Analyzer (ARAN) pavement management van. The ARAN van is operated by the City of Tucson and collects consistent and accurate roadway data, such as pavement condition, roadway ride quality and precise location information of specific features on or near the roadway. The ARAN van uses a variety of sensors, a sub-meter global positioning system, video and machine vision systems, and computers. More information about the ARAN van housed and maintained by the City of Tucson is available at Transview.org.

Intelligent Transportation Systems - Technology and Operations

Intelligent Transportation Systems, or ITS, is the application of technology-based solutions such as advanced sensors, computers, electronics and communication technologies, to improve the overall safety and efficiency of the regional multimodal transportation system. ITS is rooted deeply in transportation operations using technology application to ensure safe and efficient operation of the transportation network.

PAG's ITS program helps coordinate regional activities, meet federal requirements and recommend ITS infrastructure investments in the region. To assure continuing focus and advancement of the ITS program, PAG has created the Transportation Systems Subcommittee (previously known as the Tucson Area ITS Working Group). This committee consists of representatives from the Federal Highway Administration, Arizona Department of Transportation, Arizona Department of Public Safety, Sun Tran, University of Arizona, and the eight PAG member agencies. The committee served to guide the development of the ITS Strategic Plan and a regional ITS architecture in 2004 to serve as the roadmap for ITS infrastructure investments and coordination of technology-based solutions in the regional multimodal transportation system. The regional ITS plan and ITS architecture build upon the work that has been done in conformance with the original ITS plan developed for the region in 1996.

PAG is taking a more proactive role in regional transportation operations through coordinated efforts with its member agencies to develop a Regional Concept for Transportation Operations, or RCTO. Essentially, an RCTO is a plan for coordinated transportation operations – that is, mapping out specific strategies of how transportation agencies, public safety, emergency services, transit and others can work better together, to get the most benefit out of the region’s existing systems and transportation resources.

For the PAG region, the development of an RCTO means developing and realizing opportunities for better traffic signal coordination, traveler information and work zone coordination throughout the region.

Local jurisdictions will gain opportunities for group purchase of equipment and services for transportation operations, improved personnel resources and expertise, and improved information and data exchange to help improve transportation operations regionwide.  PAG coordinates the regional operators to provide a neutral table for cooperation and to link operations and planning, resulting in more opportunities for funding. 

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Transportation Funding Sources

Funding is an integral part of transportation programming. On average, Pima Association of Governments receives about $20 million per year from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and $22 million from the state Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF). Most of the funds received are from federal and state motor fuel taxes.

Federal Funds

As the federal designated MPO, PAG receives Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funds that are made available to PAG member jurisdictions for transportation projects. On average, PAG receives approximately $17 million of Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds. The program is a flexible funding source that can be used on a variety of transportation projects. In addition to STP funds, PAG also receives approximately $1 million each for safety projects (Highway Safety Improvement Program), bike/ped programs and infrastructure projects (Transportation Alternatives), and FHWA and state planning funds. An additional $5 million of federal funds are indirectly distributed from the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) to PAG through ADOT subprograms, such as bridge inspection or safety programs. For the most part, federal funds must be used on federal designated roads. (A portion of the STP may be exchanged for transit funding).

State Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF)

State statute provides PAG with a share of the state Highway User Revenue Fund. On average, PAG receives approximately $22 million per year, from two different HURF funding sources: HURF 12.6% and HURF 2.6%. The HURF 2.6% account, which consists of roughly one-fifth of the HURF amount received, must be spent on state-owned facilities. The HURF consists of state-collected fuel taxes and other user fees, such as operator's licenses, vehicle registration and taxes assessed on commercial trucks. Highway User Revenue Funds are made available to PAG member jurisdictions for transportation projects and must be used for streets and roads within the region.

Transportation Revenue Forecasts

In 2002, PAG developed a model to assist in forecasting regional transportation funds. Because population is a key factor in transportation funding distribution, the model incorporates the latest U.S. census data and the Arizona Department of Economic Security's (DES) population forecasts for the state and region. The model also can estimate funding distributions based on legislative changes. As bills are introduced that may impact transportation funding, features of a bill or budget plan can be incorporated into the model forecasts.

Federal fund forecasts are based on multi-year transportation bills. Historical values from prior federal legislation are used to develop forecasting trends. The model also has the capability to run various federal scenarios and compare proposed changes on the federal level.

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Transportation Art by Youth Program

Marana Town Hall Youth Art

Marana Town Hall

Youth Art on a Pedustrian Bench in Oro Valley

Oro Valley Bench

Pima Association of Governments manages the Transportation Art by Youth Program, which incorporates art into regional transportation projects. The program allows youth to acquire both artistic experience and valuable work ethic. PAG member jurisdictions work with summer youth programs, local school art programs or Las Artes Art and Educational Center, and partner with professional artists to design and construct projects.

Each summer an average of 40 to 50 youth benefit from the program, which was established in 1995. The students' concepts and techniques are aimed at humanizing the roadway system, enhancing urban gateway features, and helping define the unique identify of their respective communities. The maximum amount of funding is typically $25,000 per year per PAG member jurisdiction.

Projects recently completed include:

  • A bicycle, pedestrian and equestrian refuge area and sculpture was recently constructed in Oro Valley on the southwest corner of Hardy and Northern Avenue.  Oro Valley high school students designed and constructed this impressive art piece with a theme that reflects the local neighborhood equestrian heritage. The seating and refuge was created using ceramic and metallic tiles of varying sizes, designs, shapes and textures.
  • A mosaic mural strip with tiles was installed in the pedestrian underpass/tunnel under West Sahuarita Road in the Town of Sahuarita. The mural is very colorful and includes Arizona themes in the tile work.
  • A sculpture was installed adjacent to the roadway near Michael Perry park in the City of Tucson.
  • Four gateway tile signs marking the South 4th Avenue entryways into the City of South Tucson were constructed and installed at 26th Street and 4th Avenue and at 40th Street and 4th Avenue.

Major benefits of the program include both the quick and effective implementation time frame as well as the high visibility of resulting artwork along major transportation corridors. There also is a strong sense of community pride in the work efforts undertaken, coupled with a sense of accomplishment for the youth involved since the result of their artistic efforts will be appreciated and endured for many years to come.

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Travel Data and Forecasting

Pima Association of Governments, along with some of its member jurisdictions, regularly collect traffic counts on major roads and intersections throughout the region. For more information see PAG's webpage, Travel Data and Forecasting.

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