By John Roberts, Sedona Resident
(June 21, 2018)
The 7/20 Red Rock News editorial by Christopher Fox Graham is headlined by ” Council, don’t listen to squeaky wheel NIMBYs “. Sounds good doesn’t it and it strikes home into the willing skeptics among us. But as a good solution to our traffic problems it is just about a zero. Graham has little education in highway/road/street design as far as I know so as an expert in the field that’s a gigantic and questionable assumption. As editor of one of our news media he does have license to voice his opinion just as does my aunt Tilly. My judgement as a past registered professional engineer in 3 states including Arizona is that they are close to being equals.
As the anointed funnel for the Chamber of Commerce for all chamber propaganda about tourism this news outlet is not unbiased and has never to my knowledge or recollection offered anything of technical value or related to engineering practices to expose the cause for our traffic problems. That includes the mostly unrelated nonsense in this editorial referenced above. Too bad their prejudice has been thrust upon a public audience which exists without much knowledge in the realm of the highway engineering profession.
No, Christopher Graham and Kyle Larson the only cause for our traffic situation is the tourist coming in hordes to drive through or stay in Sedona. The Chamber of Commerce ( good customers as they are for your paper ) is on a tear to get more of them to visit and bring their cars , trucks and vans to take up the road space we have available ( and shove us guys aside in so doing ). The terrain is not flat so normal traffic designs are not readily available for us like they are elsewhere in this nation. But to have spent hundreds of thousands of tax dollars for engineer consultations ( reports ) over the years and come up empty of engineering fixes, as the past councils have, must tell us the solution is not an engineering one. Which even though you don’t like it ( NEWS and Chamber ) leaves only the obvious. Too many tourists. So then intelligent hard nosed thinking has to lead us only in this direction which is to control the volume of tourist traffic and save us from becoming another tourist trap like Branson, MO. or Ruidoso, N.M..
The solution is not the almost entirely useless and wasteful Sedona in Motion concept being promoted by our city council and city staff. The only real solution will require much more than prejudiced decisions but rather a big bunch of compromising among all of us residents on how much tourism we will tolerate. We must have a new city council to reach this decision and the goal for containing traffic snarls.