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Census questions generate useful statistics to benefit everyone

Census 2020 is right around the corner, with Census Day occurring on April 1, 2020. Most Americans know the census is important to determine the distribution of federal funds and representation in the U.S. House of Representatives. People will be able to complete the census online for the first time, but not everyone knows what questions are asked on the census forms.

The questions are simple to answer, but the data accumulated through the 2020 Census has a wide-reaching impact in the community. The information gathered is kept confidential. The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by federal law to protect your information, and your data is used only for statistical purposes.

The 2020 Census will ask how many people are living or staying at your home on April 1, 2020. In addition to asking how many people live in a residence, they also want to know if the home is owned or rented. Home ownership rates are an indicator of the nation's economy. The census will ask several questions about each person living in the home including sex, race and age. These statistics can help in the planning and funding of government programs as well as the creation and monitoring of policies against discrimination.

Specifically, Census 2020 will ask whether a person in your home is of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin. These responses help create statistics about this ethnic group that can help with anti-discrimination provisions, such as those in the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act.

Finally, the census will ask about the relationship of each person in your home. This allows the census bureau to create estimates about families, households and other groups. Relationship data is used in planning and funding government programs that support families, including people raising children alone.

The census bureau will never ask you questions about your Social Security number, anything related to political party affiliation, bank account or credit card numbers, money or donations. If someone claiming to be from the census bureau asks you for one of these things, it's a scam, and you should not cooperate.

Take the following link to view a sample of the paper questionnaire that will be used during the 2020 Census. This version excludes some features that will be made available to households starting in March 2020, such as the URL for online response and the contact information for phone response.

Pima Association of Governments is conducting a regional awareness campaign for the 2020 Census. Census Day is April 1, 2020. For more information about the census, please visit

Citizen-focused transportation planning efforts continue

Planning efforts are underway for the development of a new 20-year regional transportation plan with a 35-member citizens advisory committee at the helm.

The Regional Transportation Authority board established the citizens committee to give regional voice to plan development. The citizen-driven approach is mirrored after the process established for the development of the 2006 Regional Transportation Authority plan.

"The charge was to think regionally, not parochially," Si Schorr told the committee at its Sept. 9 meeting. Schorr served as the first RTA board chair in 2004 and continued as chair during plan development in 2005.

The original committee was established after the region experienced four failed transportation initiatives at the ballot and worked in tandem with the RTA's technical management committee to develop a draft of the 2006 plan for RTA board approval.

The new citizens committee will also receive technical support from the RTA's technical committee.

The citizens committee, which was established in May 2018, has drafted guiding principles that will be shared in a public survey in mid-November. The committee will consider the final guiding principles as they develop the draft plan.

Meetings of the citizens advisory committee are open to the public. The next meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12. For more information about the citizen-driven plan development process, visit

5-year transportation program online

The adopted version of Pima Association of Governments' 5-year transportation improvement program is now available online. The document, which is updated biannually, details transportation projects scheduled in FY 2020-2024.

The value of programmed improvements identified within the TIP is approximately $1.2 billion.

Projects in the TIP are part of PAG's federally mandated capital improvement program. A committee made up of PAG's jurisdictional members recommends updates to the TIP biannually. The TIP identifies priorities for federal, state and local roadways, transit or bus services, aviation projects, and programs such as ride sharing, vanpooling, or bicycle and pedestrian safety programs and projects.

Major projects in the FY 2020-24 TIP, including new and continuing projects, are:

  • Construction of a new traffic interchange at I-10 and Ruthrauff and widening of I-10 between Ina and Ruthrauff
  • Construction of the Downtown Links project
  • Widening of Grant Road, from Oracle to Swan

The TIP includes projects funded through the Regional Transportation Authority plan, which Pima County voters approved on May 16, 2006. The 20-year RTA plan will be implemented through fiscal year 2026.

What is the Regional Transportation Authority?

Please select which of the following apply. You may select more than one.

A. It is a political subdivision established by the state Legislature.
B. Its boundaries are the same as Pima County boundaries.
C. Its members include cities and towns, tribal governments and the county.
D. It is an independent taxing district that collects a sales tax.
E. All of the above.
F. None of the above.



PAG earns international safety award

Pima Association of Governments recently received the Institute of Transportation Engineers Safety Council 2019 Edmund R. Ricker Award. PAG was recognized for providing "exemplary support for traffic safety."

The region's metropolitan planning organization was nominated for its work to improve traffic safety data analysis through its customized Safety Explorer Program. "This tool allows PAG to address the needs of the community and implement effective safety solutions," said PAG Executive Director Farhad Moghimi.

The analysis and planning tool let's practitioners identify crash patterns based on factors such as collision manner, time of day and driver impairment. As a result, the tool helps PAG determine where safety treatments, such as signalized pedestrian crossings, bike lanes, street lighting or access management measures, can be incorporated into regional transportation projects, including in the voter-approved Regional Transportation Authority plan.

The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) is an international membership association of transportation professionals who work to improve mobility and safety for all transportation system users and help build smart and livable communities.

RTA corridors help drivers, cyclists, walkers

The goal of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) plan is to enhance mobility options of the region. While large roadway projects get a lot of attention, the RTA strives to make improvements that will aid everyone in the region, from drivers to pedestrians to cyclists.

Roadway improvements are a vital piece of the RTA, but so are transit, safety and environmental and economic vitality. Since its inception in 2006, the RTA has funded intersection safety improvements, elderly and pedestrian safety improvements, the construction of new sidewalks and bikeways, wildlife linkages, and a whole lot more.

Bikeway, greenway, pathway and sidewalk improvements are funded under the Environmental and Economic Vitality Element of the RTA plan. The plan is to construct approximately 250 miles of sidewalks and 550 miles of bikeways over the life of the RTA plan. To date, the RTA has delivered 300 miles of bike lanes and over 160 miles of sidewalks. In addition to expanded evening and weekend transit services, express transit and dial-a-ride services, the RTA also has completed 130 bus pullouts to keep traffic moving through busy intersections.

"We are making great progress on project delivery as promised by the RTA board," said Jim DeGrood, deputy director for Pima Association of Governments. "We appreciate the work of RTA member jurisdictions and other partners to help us meet our obligation to the voters." The FY 2007-2026 RTA plan is now in its 14th year of project delivery.

Making the region's roadways safer for pedestrians and cyclists is a very important component of the RTA. The RTA plan funds a variety of pedestrian safety improvements that allow pedestrians to easily access and safely cross busy arterial roadways. Many of these pedestrian improvements have targeted making things safer for the elderly and disabled. Funds have also been used by the RTA to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and have been used to install handicap ramps at intersections or improving corridor access for the elderly and people with disabilities. Other improvements have filled in sidewalk gaps, installed crosswalks in areas with high pedestrian volumes and developed safe routes to schools.

The RTA has completed over 90 percent of the promised intersection improvements and pedestrian crossings.


RTA Project Status     RTA Financial Status  
Through August 2019     Through August 2019  
Projects in Design 59   Collections $949.1M
Under Construction/Implementation 56   Funds Committed $1.36B
Total Number Completed 855   Funds Expended $1.23B
      Fund Balance $86.2M

Stay informed!

The Regional Transportation Authority's Citizens Advisory Committee is in the process of developing a new 20-year RTA plan. To keep informed of plan development updates, please click here or sign up for email notices by texting us: Type 22828 in the Recipient field and rtanews in the Enter Message field.

The next RTA Citizens Advisory Committee meeting will be at 11 a.m., Nov. 12, 2019, at Pima Association of Governments, 1 E. Broadway Blvd., Suite 401, Tucson.

To view the current RTA Our Mobility brochure, please click here and to view updates on RTA projects, please click here.


©Pima Association of Governments | 1 E Broadway Blvd, Suite 401, Tucson, AZ 85701 | Telephone (520) 792-1093, FAX (520) 620-6981