'A Mountain' park proposal has some opposition

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'A' mountain is probably among the most recognizable landmarks in Tucson, but when you get there it's hot, there's no shade, and no water.

The city is working on a redesign effort to fix some of those things, but one aspect of the re-design has some major opposition.

The view from atop 'A' mountain provides spectacular landscapes of Tucson and gives a history lesson on Tucson's birth.

"It's important that we give 'A' mountain and Sentinel Peak some TLC," Council Member Regina Romero has been involved in an effort to re-invest in the infrastructure at 'A' mountain.

Which would include buffelgrass removal, installing historic markers, building ramadas and benches, and new landscaping.

"A lot of people don't feel as though it's family-friendly. Or even pedestrian or bicycle friendly. We want to make it a little bit more than that," says Romero.

The long term vision of 'A' mountain calls for about $2.5-million in improvements, but there are some members of the Green Party who are not in favor of all the proposed changes.

"We actually are in favor of most of the things that they want to do. But we're opposed to the proposed closing of the east overlook, and the eventual closing of the loop road," Green Party Co-chair Kent Solbert is referring to an idea in the Sentinel Peak Park Master Plan that would only allow bicyclists and pedestrians on the road in front of the 'A.'

"By closing access to those vehicles, you're closing access to the majority of the people that use the mountain," says Solberg.

He's speaking out about that possibility now, so it won't be included in the final concept.

Regina Romero says his concerns are premature, "We need to get that money. That's the first and most important aspect."

Pima County voters would have to approve $2.5M in bonds to make the long-term vision become a reality.

She says the community will ultimately have the say in the final design.

Romero says she's not sure when the bond election would happen, but the latest would be November 2012.

Meantime, any major changes atop 'A' mountain are still 5 to 10 years away.