Anyone who has spent any time navigating the streets in Tucson has probably realized that the dominant form of transportation is the car.
One recent survey said 93 percent of residents own a car and would rather drive even if public transportation were equally convenient and took the same amount of time.
Bill Mackey, an architect who teaches at the University of Arizona College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, conducted the survey as part of his latest project, titled Worker Transit Authority.
“[People} use the car for everything,” says Mackey. He hopes his exhibit will get people to think about how they choose to move through the city and perhaps look critically at how pervasive car-culture has become.
Mackey’s exhibit began with a survey in which he asked people what they valued in the community. Abundant trees, clean water and air and local foods scored high.
However, he says, when it came time to choose possible modes of transportation, few people surveyed were willing to give up the perceived convenience of using the car.
Roberto Bedoya, executive director of the Tucson Pima Arts Council, says his agency provided partial funding for the exhibit through a $9,600 grant. Bedoya says the project is a component of the P.L.A.C.E. Initiative.
“It stands for People, Land, Art, Culture and Engagement – and the initiative seeks to fund creative civic engagement projects,” says Bedoya. “It’s a wonderful idea and a wonderful project that really has us look at place and how we live.”
Mackey says he hopes people will laugh at some of the concepts in the exhibit and perhaps think critically about how they choose to move in the urban landscape.
Details of the exhibit's dates and times are available on the website, www.workertransitauthority.com.
WEB EXTRA: Architect Bill Mackey describes how Tucson's modern street car might look like if it incorporated the shopping mall paradigm along the route.