On reading Christopher Fox Graham’s Red Rock News 5/18/18 editorial headlined by “Stay the course and build our promised roads”, I asked myself; “and then what?”
The next thought I had was that our populace is split into three large and broad based line ups. One is comprised of residents who moved here to mostly enjoy the climate and landscape. A second group came to support this first batch with the services they needed. The third contingent are those who saw opportunities in this attractive location to open and operate other businesses.
Back to the editorial and the “and then what?. Graham described the traffic solutions well but ignored the basic cause for adjusting traffic patterns. Maybe because we’re all talking about it so he assumed the given was well understood. That leaves the embarrassing question; “What if the current bunch of solutions do not work at all ?”.
So, what would we gain by implementing them?
Nothing I believe because we are not taking a real hard look at what root cause is in play. Realism may well not be at stake.
The root cause for our traffic congestion starts with the Chamber of Commerce program attracting new or extra tourists plus events bringing people and their cars to overload our road system. The chamber sales effort adds an extra stimulant to those travel agents who extol Sedona as the PLACE to visit. This well executed promotion gets an extra boost from city hall with a yearly $2,500,000 funding of the chamber programs.
The bad news doesn’t end there because now we find some of the first group of settlers renting out their spare rooms to tourists. So in effect they join the hospitality oriented residents in making it easier to visit Sedona as tourists. So it’s not just 3 groups but 4 and add a 5th for those realtors helping to rent private home rooms to the tourist.
With 5 active groups each with an agenda of their own liking things would seem they cannot get worse.
Wrong!! City hall and their traffic consultant are wading in by asking for public input on what designs should be implemented into the traffic pattern. The record isn’t good for this policy when the fiascos of the 179 rebuild and accommodations to uptown traffic controls suggested by the public are evaluated – – as bombs.
So, if the above account is reality we maybe better call a halt to what is pending for the traffic constructions being planned. Can we save tax dollars and time if we stop now? You bet we can.
I can see one solution not now being on the docket. That’s to cage intelligent and open minded representative from each population group from above in a room until they all agree with one plan to solve our traffic knots. Of course this’ll not have a high percentage chance of success. But one other remedy does exist and it’s the pending August election of our mayor and council members. This could thrash out the foundation for solving the traffic and other problems the city faces.
What ever we do lets keep firmly in mind all of our residents have legitimate reasons for being here in Sedona. Not one of them have superior rights. So compromise and cooperating are excellent guidelines for reaching the solutions.
I would suggest increasing the bed tax to a level more in line with other major tourist areas. The moneys could be direct to the traffic issues the city faces and replace the year money the Chamber receives from the City.