ACTION PLAN 2019-2024
Mission The City of Tucson is a diverse and livable community for people of all ages and backgrounds. Vision The City of Tucson is an age-friendly community, meaning a community that is diverse and livable for people of all ages and backgrounds. It is a community where daily life is safe, engaging, and comfortable, where residents have transportation and housing options at their disposal, where information is conveyed through a wide range of media, and where people can enjoy activities that are inclusive, varied, and rich.
Table of Contents Acknowledgments ......................................................................................................................................... 2 Letter from the Mayor................................................................................................................................. 3 Executive Summary ...................................................................................................................................... 5 Introduction to Tucson................................................................................................................................. 7 Tucson Demographics.................................................................................................................................. 9 Age-Friendly Features ................................................................................................................................11 Plan Development.......................................................................................................................................13 Synopsis of Survey Findings .................................................................................................................17 Domains of Livability ..................................................................................................................................20 Outdoor Spaces & Buildings.....................................................................................................................21 Transportation .............................................................................................................................................24 Housing .........................................................................................................................................................28 Social Participation .....................................................................................................................................31 Respect & Social Inclusion ........................................................................................................................34 Civic Participation & Employment ..........................................................................................................38 Communication & Information ................................................................................................................41 Community & Health Services.................................................................................................................43
Thanks to all who contributed to the drafting of the Age-Friendly Tucson plan.
Working Group: Jim Murphy Co-Chair of the Age-Friendly Action Team of the ELDER Alliance Maria Ramirez-Trillo Associate State Director of Community Outreach for AARP Arizona and Co-Chair of the Age-Friendly Action Team of the ELDER Alliance Debbie Adams Senior VP & COO for Pima Council on Aging Maddy Bynes Public Policy & Advocacy Coordinator for Pima Council on Aging Jaimie Galayda Planning,Transportation, and Sustainability Policy Advisor for Mayor Jonathan Rothschild Alison Miller Lead Planner for City of Tucson Housing and Community Development Juan Francisco Padres Economic Development Specialist for City Manager Michael Ortega
Special thanks to Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, City Council Member Steve Kozachik, and City Manager Michael Ortega for donating staff time and resources to this project.
Special thanks to Lori Lieber Graphic Design, Inc., for graphic design of this report.
Community partners involved in planning:
Our community is becoming much older faster than it is expanding.
In essence, the way our community treats older adults and children reflects on how we treat our constituency as a whole.This philosophy of urban design encourages cities to create more options for mobility and revitalize public spaces accordingly. The working group that developed this report used Mr. Penalosa’s ideals to shape Tucson’s approach to improving the City’s age-friendly features. Although Tucson has not yet fully recovered from the Great Recession, older adults continue to retire here because of our hospitable climate and affordability, presenting an urgent need to think critically about our resources and invest wisely in a more livable community for all. The Age-Friendly Tucson report is divided into eight domains, as established by AARP and theWorld Health Organization. These include: Outdoor Spaces & Buildings,Transportation, Housing, Social Participation, Respect & Social Inclusion, Civic Participation & Employment, Communication & Information, and Community & Health Services.
Age-Friendly Tucson began in September 2016 when Mayor and Council resolved to participate in AARP's and theWorld Health Organization’s Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. The City formed a working group with Pima Council on Aging, the ELDER Alliance, and AARP Arizona to research and compile this report. Nationwide, 20% of all people are 60 years of age or older. In Pima County, just under 25% of our population is 60 years or older, slightly higher than the national average. Our county is becoming older faster than it is expanding. In fact, between 2010 and 2015, the overall population grew by 3% but the population of people aged 60 and over grew by 17.5%. Gil Penalosa, the founder of 8 80 Cities, spoke in Tucson in 2017 about his vision for a more livable and age-friendly society. He believes that if public spaces are designed to be accessible and friendly for an 8-year-old and an 80-year-old, they will be accessible and friendly for all ages in between.
Tucson is considered by many one of the best kept secrets in the Southwest.
The City of Tucson is considered by many to be one of the best-kept secrets in the southwestern United States. A community of more than 530,000 residents in a metropolitan area of more than a million, Tucson is known for its mountainous desert, its natural beauty, and its 350 days of sunshine per year, attracting visitors from all over the world. One of only two UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Cities of Gastronomy in the United States,Tucson offers a wide variety of flavors more than 4,000 years in the making. A true blend of cultures, including Native American, Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo,Tucson is a unique and culturally rich destination for visitors and residents alike. Outdoor LivingYear-Round Nestled between four majestic mountain ranges, Tucson is a place to experience year-round hiking, biking, camping, horseback riding, golf, tennis, and
many other outdoor activities.Tucson is a world- class city for cyclists, as it offers hundreds of miles of dedicated bicycle lanes.With more than 120 parks across the City, there is no shortage of recreational activities for all to enjoy. Even bird watchers migrate to Tucson to experience the diversity of the colorful, different species that reside in the area.The world-renowned Arizona- Sonora Desert Museum is home to unique flora and fauna that can only be seen in this part of the world. It is a habitat for one of the world’s most lush deserts. Downtown Renaissance Tucson’s once dormant downtown has experienced a true renaissance in recent years and has been transformed into a vibrant culinary and entertain- ment destination for people of all walks of life. Both the Rialto and Fox theaters provide exclusive and diverse performance venues that one would
TUCSON IS: COMMUNITY SUNSHINE DIVERSE CULTURES & FOODS WILDLIFE HABITAT ARTS & SPORTS BIRDING BICYCLING HIKING CAMPING GOLF & TENNIS MUSIC & THEATER YEAR-ROUND OUTDOOR LIVING AFFORDABLE INNOVATIVE
only expect to see in a major metropolis.There are plenty of entertainment options, with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, the Arizona Opera, multiple theater companies, and a jam-packed calendar of live music and performing arts choices throughout the fall and winter months. With Tucson’s streetcar providing service until late at night, transportation is not an issue, whether exploring Tucson’s core or enjoying a live basketball game at the University of Arizona. Go Cats! Affordable Quality of Life Those who live in Tucson can immerse themselves in the rich cultural diversity of the community. At the same time,Tucson offers a wide variety of amenities and activities that add to the quality of life for its residents.Tucson continues to be one of the most affordable cities in which to live in the United States, offering entertainment, recreation, and culture that are not commonly found in a city of its size.
The City of Tucson is located within Pima County, Arizona. It is the county’s only major city and is a metropolitan hub for southern Arizona. According to the American Community Survey, a product of the United States Census Bureau, the 2017 estimated population of the City of Tucson is 535,676, 20% (107,147) of whom are aged 60 and older. Tucson, like many cities, is surrounded by suburban towns and unincorporated county, collectively referred to as the Tucson Metro Area. An estimated 1,022,769 people live in the Tucson Metro Area, utilizing city services and contributing to the greater economy. There are an estimated 259,862 people aged 60 and older in the Tucson MetroArea, equating to 25% of the area’s population. By the Numbers... Of those 60 and older in the City of Tucson, there are: • Female –56.2% • Male – 43.8% • White – 83.9% • African American – 4% • American Indians and Alaskan Natives – 2% • Asian Americans – 2.5% • Other race, or two or more races – 7.6% Hispanic/Latino Population The Hispanic or Latino share of those 60 and older is 27.2%.While the white population is more dispersed along the central, north, and east sides of the City, the Latino or Hispanic population is concentrated on the south and west side of the City. The Hispanic or Latino population largely
lives along the La Doce corridor and in historic barrios like Barrio Hollywood, BarrioViejo, and Barrio Kroger Lane. Tucson’s diverse population has led to a multicultural city that celebrates people from all different walks of life.
Living Arrangements for 60+ Almost half of those 60 and older live alone in non-family households; 45.4% are unmarried with no partner. Just over 10% of female householders have no husband present in the house but live with other family members. For women of older generations – such as the greatest generation, silent generation, or baby boomers – not having a husband in the home could mean fewer assets and less accumulated wealth, due to social and economic factors during their working years. Thirty-six percent of households have a married couple residing in them. People who live alone tend to experience disadvantages as they age. Not only are they at risk for being socially isolated,
Tucson Is Growing Older FasterThan It’s Expanding
Between 2010 and 2015 the general population of the City of Tucson grew by 1.59%, while the population of those 60 and older grew by 12.43%. This means the City is becoming older faster than it is expanding. With more and more Baby Boomers turning 65 every day – an estimated 10,000 turn 65 every day in the United States – the number of older adults living in the City of Tucson is expected to grow.
but there is less income to maintain a standard of living they are accustomed to, fewer people who share household responsibilities, and greater risk for poverty. A Diverse Community A little over 19% of the population of older adults in Tucson are veterans, compared to 9.2% of the overall population of Tucson. Just shy of 38% of older adults live with a disability compared to the general population of 15.4%. Native-born U.S. citizens account for 81.7% of the population of those 60 and older. Seventy percent of the foreign- born population of older adults are naturalized U.S. citizens, compared to the total population of naturalized U.S. citizens of 48.2%. Seventy-one percent of older households speak English only and 13.6% of households speak English less than very well.
The City of Tucson has many age-friendly features, as demonstrated by a variety of top rankings and designations from numerous outlets. UNESCO recognized Tucson for its unique food culture, naming it aWorld City of Gastronomy – the first in the United States; People For Bikes recognized the City for its bike-friendliness with a Big Jump grant in 2017; and the City received a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign in recog- nition of being an LGBTQ-friendly City. In addition to its well-earned track record of accolades for inclusion and diversity, the City has also been recognized for it's appeal for older adults and people of all ages, including: • 6th best jurisdiction as rated by SeniorScore (at 75%, with the highest rating given being 78%) • AARP ranked Tucson one of the “10 Best Places to Retire if You Love the Outdoors” • Kiplinger ranked Tucson one of the “10 Great Retirement Cities in the U.S.” • Livibility.com ranked Tucson 9th in “Top 10 Cities for Veterans” • Forbes ranked Tucson 19th in “America’s Most Innovative Cities”
• The International Festivals & Events Association named Tucson aWorld Festival & Event City One of the areas that makes Tucson unique is its focus on including older adults in community activities.There are a variety of programs that work to create a healthy aging environment. Throughout this Action Plan, many of these programs and services are highlighted, but some of the most unique are: • Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance – Creative Aging Program • Pima Council on Aging’s Aging Mastery Program, licensed with the National Council on Aging • Evidence-based classes for older adults, such as EnhanceFitness or A Matter of Balance • Project Visibility, offered by Pima Council on Aging and Southern Arizona Senior Pride, to provide cultural competency to service providers for LGBTQ older adults • Pima Community College’s and AARP Foundation’s Back toWork 50+ Program In addition to the community partnerships that help advance the quality of life for older adults in the community, the City of Tucson has also taken
steps to include people of all backgrounds and abilities. • Sun Tran buses include wheel chair lifts and Sun Tran offers Accessible Rider Training Sessions for older adults. • TheTucson Police Department created Divisional Advisory Committees that encourage stake- holders in the community, including older residents, to share their concerns and feedback regarding public safety. • The Tucson Fire Department conducted Community Driven Strategic Planning, with community stakeholders of all ages, to gather and utilize the needs and expectations of the community in the development and improvement of services provided. • The City’s Parks and Recreation Department offers three dedicated senior centers and provides Senior Club activity programming in eight City Recreation Centers – including social service agency-hosted nutrition programs, card and board games, special events/field trips, educational and volunteer opportunities, and access to exercise equipment and other wellness/physical activities. • Tucson hosts many diverse cultural festivals, including Dia de San Juan, Juneteenth, All Souls Procession,Tucson Meet Yourself, and the Tucson Rodeo. • Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild formed the Talent Development Committee of the Greater
Tucson Healthcare Sector Partnership, a group focused on increasing the training, compensation, and professional development of direct care workers. • The Tucson Fire Department developed the Community Risk Reduction process to identify and prioritize risks within our community and come up with solutions and education to mitigate those risks. • TheTucson Fire Department created a program called Tucson Collaborative Community Care (TC-3) that unites the health care and social service communities to help those who call 9-1-1 frequently for help with things like diabetes medication, controlling anxiety, seeing a doctor, and the basic life necessities of our most vulnerable citizens. T3C-3 holds quarterly meetings with over 100 community agencies offering services. • The Tucson Fire Department adopted RememberingWhen, a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) fire and fall prevention program for older adults.
The Plan DevelopmentTeam The main contributors to the needs assessment, planning process, and plan development phases were the ELDER Alliance, AARP Arizona, and Pima Council on Aging. These organizations worked to gather data, recommend action steps, and refine goals. Additionally, AARP Arizona provided funding for the project and Pima Council on Aging provided staff support to the working group. Mayor’sTaskforce and a Blueprint for Action The City of Tucson played an integral role in advancing aging as a critical issue. Long before beginning the plan development in 2012, Mayor Rothschild created a Senior Task Force to address issues impacting the growing number of older adults in our community. The Mayor’s Senior Task Force realized, after careful analysis, that much of the work needed to
make Tucson a more livable community had to be addressed on a regional basis. They also found that the wants and needs older adults had were often features that made a community more livable and accessible for younger people too. The Task Force developed the Blueprint for Action: Cultivating a Livable Community for Our Region Summit with the goals of identifying specific innovations that would contribute to the quality of life of older adults and people of all ages and lay the ground work and process to build a regional blueprint for action. What began as the Mayor’s Senior Task Force became the Livable Communities for All Ages Task Force, which became one of many organizations that contributed to the formation of the ELDER Alliance, a very active partner in the Age-Friendly Tucson planning process. The ELDERAlliance The ELDER Alliance was formed in 2015 through a merger of the ELDER Initiative funded by the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, the UnitedWay of Tucson and Southern Arizona’s Senior Impact Coalition, the End of Life Coalition, and the Livable Communities for All Ages Task Force. Since 2015, the ELDER Alliance has seen its membership grow to over 75 individuals and 50 organizations serving older adults, as well as active community volunteers. It is co-chaired by
Senior Pride were involved to ensure the plan’s success. In addition to specific organizations and key stakeholders, the working group also sought input from the ELDER Alliance Action Teams, namely the Housing and Transportation Action Teams. During the planning process the entire ELDER Alliance had the opportunity to weigh in on specific recommendations or draft their own. Some groups involved in this process were: • The University of Arizona’s Center on Aging • YWCA of Southern Arizona • Southern Arizona Senior Pride • The Center for Community Dialogue • The Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging • Old Pascua Adelante Connector • Tucson Urban League An estimated 60% of the ELDER Alliance's membership is age 50 and older, allowing for a representation of older adults. Collaboration with Community Groups In addition to working with Action Teams comprised of service providers and subject matter experts, the working group also consulted directly with groups in the community that are comprised of an older constituency, including
the UnitedWay of Tucson and Southern Arizona and Pima Council on Aging. The ELDER Alliance operates through Action Teams to carry out their collective vision that older adults thrive, enjoy quality of life, and play an active role in shaping livable communities for all ages in Pima County. These teams are: • Age-Friendly/Livable Community • Behavioral Health and Aging Council (BHAC) • Direct CareWorkforce • End of Life Care Partnership • Housing • Marketing
• MatureWorkforce • Social Engagement • Transportation • Voices
Each Action Team of the ELDER Alliance was asked to provide input into the needs assessment and plan development. Multiple organizations and partners within the ELDER Alliance, including Catholic Community Services, Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest, and Southern Arizona
Voices, the Neighbors Care Alliance affiliate programs, Pima Council on Aging, and AARP Arizona. TheWorking Group After compiling all recommendations, the working group consulted with City of Tucson department heads, Mayor and Council Members, and the City Manager to ensure feasibility of the plan. Both Pima Council on Aging and AARP Arizona conducted needs assessments that helped develop the priorities of this plan. In addition, several community providers offered input to the planning process. A working group was formed between the City of Tucson, the ELDER Alliance, AARP Arizona, and Pima Council on Aging to vet ideas and formulate the action plan. The working group was composed of the following: • Chair of the ELDER Alliance Age-Friendly/Livable Community Acton Team • Senior Vice President & Chief Operations Officer of Pima Council on Aging • Public Policy & Advocacy Coordinator of Pima Council on Aging • Associate State Director of AARP Arizona • Lead Planner for Housing and Community Development for the City of Tucson, formerly
Council Aide toWard 6 Council Member Steve Kozachik • Planning,Transportation, & Sustainability Policy Advisor for Mayor Jonathan Rothschild • Economic Development Specialist for Tucson City Manager’s Office The group met regularly for a little more than a year, bringing together input from the ELDER Alliance Action Teams, the needs assessment surveys, community organizations, older adults, and City Departments, to craft an action plan that was submitted to the City Manager, Mayor, and Council. The group gathered a tremendous amount of data, information, and recommendations that were condensed into this plan. To organize the planning process, the group used a spreadsheet that laid out the age-friendly network benchmarks, current City plans and priorities, the findings of the AARP Arizona and Pima Council on Aging surveys, current programs and activities that the City is doing, recommendations, and community partners by domain. Tucson is unique in that it already has many age-friendly features worked into current City plans and policies.
MostTucsonans age 50 and over want to live inTucson independently for as long as possible.
of survey ndings
Both AARP Arizona and Pima Council on Aging conducted surveys to assess the needs of the community. AARP Arizona’s survey was conducted within the City of Tucson, while Pima Council on Aging’s assessment was conducted throughout Pima County as per their requirements as an Area Agency on Aging. AARPArizona’s Survey Findings For the purposes of the Age-Friendly Tucson Plan, AARP Arizona conducted a telephone survey to assess public opinion among Tucson residents age 50 and older about age-friendly and livable community topics in Tucson. Telephone interviewing was conducted by Alan Newman Research in 2017. A total of 518 interviews were conducted with a margin of error of 4.3%. This survey asked questions developed specifically around the eight domains of an age-friendly community: Outdoor Spaces & Buildings,Transportation, Housing, Social Participation, Respect & Social Inclusion, Civic Participation & Employment, Communication & Information, and Community & Health Services. Community and Health Care Ranked Highest Features related to community and health care ranked highest (both excellent and very good). These included clinics and hospitals having respectful and helpful staffs, a variety of health care professionals and specialists available, well- maintained hospitals and health care facilities, and conveniently located emergency care centers. Additionally, the survey also had one of the top
community features under transportation, with a finding that traffic signs were easy to read. Transportation, Civic Participation, and Employment Ranked Lowest The community features that ranked lowest (both fair and poor) involved transportation, civic participation, and employment. The most concerning aspect of the community for older adults was road maintenance, with 52% saying they believed roads were not well-maintained. Additionally, 38% of older adults expressed concern that transportation in Tucson is not well-lit and accessible, and streets and intersections are not safe for all users. Workforce Factors Additionally, the survey found concerns among older adults who may still be in the workforce or may want to reenter the workforce.These concerns were the lack of flexible job opportunities for older adults, job training for older adults, and anti-discrimination policies. Aging in Place Overall, a majority of Tucsonans age 50 and over believed the community is a good place to age and want to live in Tucson independently for as long as possible. However, they also identified key barriers to living independently. According to the survey, 78% of older adults own their own home, but 22% of those respondents say they are in current need of major home repairs or modifications to their home. Sixty-three percent of respondents believe they will stay in
their current residence and never move. Housing concerns for older adults range from being able to live independently in their own home to the affordability of living in their own home and community. Public Area Safety and Accessibility Other major concerns were the safety and accessibility of public areas. Many older residents found that their neighborhood lacked a neighbor- hood watch. About half of survey respondents rated the City unfavorably for safe and accessible sidewalks and benches in public areas. Though there are many inclusive programs for older adults in the City, and the City ranked high in activities for older adults and variety of cultural activities, many residents also found that activities could be too expensive and that there were not enough intergenerational activities. Pima Council on Aging’s Survey Findings Every three to four years since 1975, Pima Council on Aging has conducted a countywide Community Needs Assessment that affords the community a look at the current state of older adult residents, highlighting what the community collectively is doing well and where improvements are needed. Data was collected over a three-month period, obtaining input through four focus groups of professional service providers who work with older adults, 2,269 written survey responses from individuals 60 years of age and older, and twelve public comment meetings held throughout the county, with Spanish language interpreters available, in Tucson, GreenValley, Sahuarita, Marana,Tucson Estates, Catalina, Amado, and Ajo. Fear of FallingTops Concerns Fear of falling ranked as the top concern among
older adults, with 68% citing falls as a concern. Frequency in the ranking increased with age. Forty- six percent of respondents reported falling at least once in the last year. Living Independently The ability to live independently and aging in place ranked second and was expressed as a concern by 65% of the survey respondents. Concerns about memory loss, affordable dental care, and access to information about changes in Medicare were all among the top five concerns of survey respondents. Other significant concerns included maintaining and repairing their homes, access to transportation, sufficient income to meet their basic needs, utility costs, the cost of assistive devices (hearing aids, glasses), loneliness and isolation, and affordable housing. Emerging as a more prevalent concern was “getting information about senior services.” Both professionals and older residents noted that people are not aware of benefits and services and how to access them. Concerns About Resources andWorkforce Professional service providers voiced concerns with the growing population of those needing assistance and the lack of resources to serve them. The number of individuals with Alzheimer’s has continued to increase, as well as older adults needing assistance with behavioral health conditions. People are presenting with numerous chronic conditions and fewer families are able to afford home care or placement of family members in appropriate settings. The workforce required to meet the needs of this growing population was another concern:
Key Survey FindingsThat Impact the Plan
direct care workers; the lack of funding to increase wages; the difficulty finding direct care workers and health care professionals interested in serving rural communities; and the need for a diverse group of direct care workers to meet the gender, cultural, and language preferences of the people being served. The findings of the Community Needs Assessment are published in Pima Council on Aging’s Report to the Community and can be found on pcoa.org. Both surveys also identified the need for affordable, safe, and accessible activities. Many older adults identified that sidewalks were difficult to traverse and not maintained while falls and the fear of falling were of major concern to them. Both surveys received strong responses regarding the affordability and feasibility of factors that contribute to aging in place. Both surveys identified housing and transportation to be critical issues and barriers to people’s ability to age well in place. The condition of roads, ease of access to public transit, and availability of shaded access can make it difficult for an older adult to get around, leading to social isolation. Though most older adults own their homes, being able to make the necessary repairs and modifications to their homes in an affordable manner is difficult. Additionally, the cost of living, especially for those who rent, was recognized as a significant challenge.
Social isolation was also noted as a major concern for older adults. Poorly maintained infrastructure leads to higher risk of falling and increased social isolation. Older adults found that, though many have quality primary care or acute hospital care, it is difficult to access preventative services and non-Medicare-covered health services.The affordability of dental care and assistive devices were of concern to older adults.Though Medicare provides health coverage, it does not cover dental, vision, or behavioral health costs. Poor dental health and inadequate vision care can lead to social isolation, poor nutrition, and rapid physical deterioration.
Domains of Livability
The City’s ambition to be an Age-Friendly City is clearly reflected in the goals for each of the eight domains of livability:
Respect & Social Inclusion
Outdoor Spaces & Buildings
• Improve the quality, quantity, and accessibility of Parks and Recreation facilities.
• Reduce ageism and increase respect for older adults and people of all ages in the community. • Decrease social isolation among older adults and people of all ages in the community. • Improve outreach and increase culturally appropriate services throughout the City of Tucson.
• Incorporate a Complete Streets policy in transportation planning to include safe multi- modal transportation options throughout the City for residents of all ages. • Improve transit and ride sharing services for older adults.
Civic Participation & Employment
• Support age-friendly business practices. • Support and promote volunteer engagement opportunities for older adults.
Communication & Information
• Provide a range of housing options available to older adults of all income levels and abilities. • Support older adults and people with disabilities aging in place.
• Develop culturally informed, responsive, and accessible information and communications for older adults.
Community & Health Services
• Increase access and affordability for older adults to cultural activities that reect the diversity of the City of Tucson. • Increase information and access to activities that provide opportunities for older adults to socialize with peers and others in the community.
• Increase services and supports that promote aging in place. • Increase access to community-based health and social supports.
Through community action and partnerships, this report will be used as a roadmap towards a more age-friendly future.
Outdoor Spaces & Buildings
Community Challenges • As a result of the recession funding shortfalls left limited resources for renovations to parks facilities that had fallen into disrepair. The City’s 2016 Parks and Recreation System Master Plan identified addressing deferred maintenance and aging infrastructure systems that are beyond their useful lifecycle as a key objective. • As Tucson’s population ages, recreational facilities must be built and upgraded in ways that meet the City’s multi-generational needs. There is growing demand from the community for more health and fitness facilities and programs, as well as for walking and biking trails. • Connections to recreational opportunities must be safe and accessible for users of all ages. However, gaps in Tucson’s sidewalk network and other barriers to pedestrians are often located in areas of the City that were developed prior to the 1980s. Despite efforts to catalog existing conditions, prioritize pedestrian infrastructure improvements, and increase ADA compliance, funding to significantly address the issue remains limited.
DOMAIN DESCRIPTION Availability of safe and accessible recreational facilities.
Brief Statement of Survey Responses Pima Council on Aging’s Needs Assessment responses: • Personal safety ranked 10th among the top 20 concerns for older adults, specifying items such as lighting, pedestrian safety, and vehicle speeds in their comments. AARP Arizona’s survey responses: • Thirty-five percent rate Tucson unfavorably for having enough benches for resting in public places such as parks. • Sixty-five percent said the City should focus funding on “improvements to existing Parks and Recreation facilities.”
WhatTucson Has Done • The City of Tucson placed Proposition 407: Parks + Connections Bond on the November 2018 ballot, identifying key investments in parks infrastructure and connections, many of which will improve the comfort and accessibility of facilities with amenities such as benches and shade. • City voters approved Proposition 407, which includes over 50 projects that build new walking paths or renovate existing walking paths. The bond project also calls for improved lighting and park amenities. • The City of Tucson implemented a maintenance fund to provide critical funding for parks and connectivity in the future to meet the projected modest increase in maintenance requirements that will result from completion of Proposition 407: Parks + Connections Bond projects. • There have been several parks projects outside the scope of Proposition 407, including renovations of Jessie Owens and Himmel Parks. These projects have been funded through impact
fees, Service LineWarranty fees, andWard office budgets. All new projects included ADA compliance. • Tucson Clean and Beautiful continues to provide shade trees through their Trees for Tucson program and has become a close partner with the Parks and Recreation Department to increase tree shade in City parks. • Mayor and Council adopted a pilot Park Ranger program under the Tucson Police Department which employs Community Service Officers to address public safety concerns in City parks. While the primary responsibility of Park Ranger teams is ambassadorship, Rangers also have the authority to issue civil citations for violations of park codes, rules, and regulations. In addition to their duties within the parks, they serve as liaisons to adjacent neighborhoods to help create ParkWatch programs. These programs build community ownership of parks, reduce crime, and lessen maintenance and repair expenses due to graffiti, vandalism, and other negative behaviors.
FiveYear Plan for Outdoor Spaces & Buildings
Responsible Parties for Implementation
• City of Tucson Parks and Recreation Department • City of Tucson Transportation Department
Suggested Partners for Implementation
Goal Improve the quality, quantity, and accessibility of Parks and Recreation spaces. Recommendation 1 Implement the voter-approved Proposition 407: Parks + Connections Bond with a focus on multi-generational and accessible facilities. • Seek input from older residents through neighborhood associations, AARP Arizona, Pima Council on Aging, the Bond Oversight Commission, and other community partners. • Appoint members to the Parks + Connections Bond Oversight Commission with interests and expertise in mobility, safety, and older adults. Recommendation 2 Prioritize accessibility improvements and multi-modal transportation projects in future infrastructure planning efforts. • Make improvements on completion to the ADATransition Plan and seek funding as available. Prioritize future road projects that align with high ADA compliance needs. • Include ADA improvements, sidewalks, walkability elements, and Bicycle Boulevard Master Plan build-out into the City’s Mobility
• Pima Council on Aging • ELDER Alliance
• Pima Association of Governments • Regional Transportation Authority • Living Streets Alliance • Neighborhood Associations
Master Plan and recommendations for the Regional Transportation Authority Continuation Plan.
DOMAIN DESCRIPTION Safe and affordable modes of public and private transportation.
Brief Statement of Survey Responses Pima Council on Aging’s Needs Assessment responses: • Sixty-two percent of respondents report the car as their main means of transportation. • Twenty-one percent of respondents rely on other people to drive them as their main means of transportation. • Respondents listed lack of bus shelters, long waiting times, and dispersed bus stops as concerns regarding the public transportation system. AARP Arizona’s survey responses: • Eighty-four percent of respondents report the car as their main means of transportation. • Thirty-eight percent of respondents rely on other people to drive them as their main means of transportation. • Twenty-four percent of respondents use public transportation to get around their community. • Forty-four percent of respondents walk around their community for activities such as errands, but 38% gave a fair or poor rating for well-lit, accessible, safe streets and intersections for all users. Respondents also gave poor ratings for street maintenance and sidewalks. Community Challenges • Older adults who wish to age in place must have access to a variety of affordable, comfortable, and convenient modes of transportation to get
to the doctor, go grocery shopping, or attend social events. • While a majority of older adults choose to drive in Tucson, those who can no longer drive or cannot afford a car must rely on alternative modes of transportation. However, much of Tucson has been built with the automobile in mind, and as a result, older Tucsonans may find it difficult to navigate the City by foot, bus, or bike safely and effectively. • Traffic safety has become an increasing concern as traffic fatalities nearly doubled in Tucson since 2012 (from 22 in 2012 to 43 in 2018 during the months of January through August of each year). • Tucson must make its streets and transit options more comfortable, convenient, and safe. WhatTucson Has Done The City of Tucson, through partnerships with the Pima Association of Governments and organizations such as Living Streets Alliance, and AARP Arizona, have supported efforts to ensure
that public streets are accessible and welcoming to all users. • The City sponsors and provides logistical support to Living Streets Alliance’s biannual Cyclovia festival. This event gives people of all ages the opportunity to enjoy great weather, interact with their neighbors, and exercise. Cyclovia takes place on City streets that are closed to car traffic and open to walkers, joggers, cyclists, skaters, and all other forms of people-powered movement. • Gil Penalosa, founder of the open streets movement that inspired Cyclovia, visited Tucson in 2017 to present his 8 80 philosophy of city planning and urban design that builds cities for those that are most vulnerable in order to ensure use by all. • With funding fromAARP Arizona, Living Streets Alliance spearheaded a Complete Streets pre-enactment at the intersection of 6th Avenue and 7th Street called the Corbett Porch.The project includes colorful painted crosswalks, vertical posts and painted curb bulb-outs to narrow the distance people have to traverse on foot, planters with native plants, and outdoor seating. • In 2018, the City developed a process to encourage neighborhood gatherings that foster a stronger community by reducing barriers and
costs for holding events like block parties. • The City Council approved a Complete Streets Policy to guide transportation choices. To improve transit services, the Pima Association of Governments and the City contracted with national transit expert JarrettWalker to engage in a regional transit visioning process. • As a result, Mayor and Council adopted a Frequent Transit Network policy to support the long-term goal of developing and maintaining a frequent service grid. Pima Association of Governments, the City, and Sun Tran continue to evaluate transit offerings and plan for expansion through a Long-Range Regional Transit Plan. • To accommodate older riders, Sun Tran offers reduced fares both for low-income residents and those 65 years of age and older, as well as a free program called Sun Tran Accessible Rider Training (START) designed to help individuals learn how to ride the bus safely. • SunVan paratransit service provides transpor- tation to those individuals unable to use Sun Tran’s fixed-route service due to disability. Tucson’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program works to create a complete transportation network where walking and biking are safe, convenient, and comfortable ways of moving around the City
for people of all ages and abilities. Recent key projects include: • Launching Tugo Bike Share in 2017, which provides 24/7, 365 days a year access to 330 bikes at 36 stations in 13 Tucson neighborhoods in close proximity to community resources, employment centers, and bike infrastructure. • Identifying 193 miles of future bicycle boulevards along 64 corridors that improve connectivity to schools, parks, libraries, stores, and other key destinations through its Bicycle Boulevard Master Plan. • Incorporating greenways and shared-use paths, pedestrian safety and walkability, and bicycle safety and mobility improvements into Tucson’s successful Proposition 407: Parks + Connections Bond in 2018. • Installing Tucson’s first Leading Pedestrian Interval Signal, that gives pedestrians a head start before cars venture into an intersection. • The Proposition 407: Parks + Connections Bond provides funding for build bikeways, shared use paths and pedestrian connections. Safety remains a major concern in Tucson, and the City has taken several steps to address and monitor progress toward reducing traffic collisions. • A multi-agency and multi-departmental Traffic SafetyWorking Group began to meet monthly in 2018 to collaborate on a comprehensive, data-driven effort to better understand the root cause of collisions and identify, prioritize,
and implement strategies to reduce injuries and fatalities. • Tucson’s Department of Transportation sends quarterly reports to Mayor and Council on topics including engineering, education and encouragement, enforcement, policy and planning, and evaluation and data analysis. • Tucson’s Department of Transportation has created a Safety Coordinator position to pinpoint best practices for safety within the right of way. Community and government partners throughout the region have also established programs to expand transportation options for older adults. • Pima Council on Aging’s Neighbors Care Alliance uses volunteers to provide older adults with rides to medical appointments, grocery shopping, and other errands. • Similarly, Pima Association of Government’s Find-A-Ride is a directory of transportation services for the general public, people with disabilities and older adults. • As ride-hailing mobile technology expands, the Regional Transportation Authority is piloting the AMORE program in parts of Tucson. The project integrates new mobility tools, such as a smart phone app, bike and car sharing, and bus and van services, for convenient transportation options. The program is intended to help address first-mile/last-mile service gaps in transit.
FiveYear Plan forTransportation
Goal A Incorporate a Complete Streets policy in transportation planning to enhance safe multi-modal transportation options throughout the City for residents of all ages.
Recommendation 1 Mayor and Council have adopted and staff will implement a Complete Streets policy. • Conduct workshops and outreach in drafting of policy (Completed 2019). • Adopt Complete Streets policy (Completed 2019).
Recommendation 1 Target older riders for outreach and education on SunTran services. • Partner with local agencies, such as Pima Council on Aging and Parks and Recreation, to publicize START (Sun Tran Accessible Rider Training) classes and offer them at locations that are convenient to attend (i.e. community lunch program locations). Recommendation 2 During the Regional Transportation Authority Continuation Plan planning process, seek funding to develop transit and ride hailing/ mobility-on-demand services through emerging technologies, such as the Amore pilot project in Southeast Tucson. Recommendation 3 Work with Pima Association of Governments and Pima Council on Aging’s Neighbors Care Alliance to explore options for expanding volunteer ride sharing/request programs. Recommendation 4 Work with City of Tucson's Public Safety Communications Department to develop an easy access phone number to connect easily to safe transport options.
• Draft and adopt Complete Streets Manual and Implementation Plan. • Conduct trainings for City staff and information sessions for community members. Recommendation 2 Complete a Pedestrian and Bike Safety Action Plan. • Analyze pedestrian and bike crash data and identify high priority corridors and intersections to include in final plan. • Present to Mayor and Council and implement/ test improvements. Recommendation 3 Prioritize accessibility improvements and multi-modal projects in future transportation infrastructure planning efforts. • Work toward completion of the ADATransition Plan and seek funding as available. Prioritize future road projects that align with urgent ADA improvement needs. • Include ADA improvements, sidewalks, walkability elements, and Bicycle Boulevard Master Plan build-out into the City’s Mobility Master Plan and recommendations for the Regional Transportation Authority Continuation Plan. Goal B Improve transit and ride sharing services for older adults.
Responsible Parties for Implementation
• City of Tucson Parks and Recreation and Department • City of Tucson Transportation Department
Suggested Partners for Implementation
• Pima Council on Aging • ELDER Alliance
• Pima Association of Governments • Regional Transportation Authority • Living Streets Alliance
DOMAIN DESCRIPTION Availability of home modification programs for aging in place as well as a range of age-friendly housing options. Brief Statement of Survey Responses Pima Council on Aging’s Needs Assessment responses: • Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they were concerned about the ability to live independently in their homes as they age. • The primary concern of Pima County residents was falling and the fear of falling. Home modifications and improvements can drastically reduce an older adult’s risk of falling and conversely impact their ability to live independently and with dignity at home as they age. AARP Arizona’s survey responses: • A majority of respondents expect to stay in their home or community as they get older. • Twenty-two percent of respondents indicated that their home needs major repairs or modifications to enable them to remain in the home as long as possible. Community Challenges Although the City and a number of nonprofit organizations provide older adults with housing assistance, the number of housing units, housing options, and available funding for home repairs and renovations falls short of the growing demand. • Of those who rent, 60% of those 60 and older pay more than 30% of their income in housing
and housing-related expenses; meaning that a majority of low- to moderate-income older adults are living beyond their means. One of the barriers older adults in Tucson face is economic access to housing. • The American Community Survey, a product of the U.S. Census, states that 25.2% of those 60 and older in our community live at or below 150% of the federal poverty level. • The City’s Housing and Community Development Department (HCD) has nearly 2,000 older adults on their Section 8 waiting list. WhatTucson Has Done • The City receives approximately $2.5 million annually in HOME block grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Housing and Community Development Department uses HOME funding to support housing development, repair, and homebuyer assistance; leverages public and private funds; and supports the efforts of non-profit and for- profit affordable housing developers. • The City of Tucson currently has 2,259 units of affordable housing designated for older adults or
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