LTPV Statements Made with No Facts
Sedona, AZ (October 24, 2011 – I’m sure you’ve been seeing the ads in the RRN, indicating that those of us who support a “Yes” vote on Prop. 410 are lying, that we only want to stop lights because we’re irresponsible, that the lights are the same as the ones on the 179 roundabouts, so they’re fine, and won’t make a “river of light”, etc.
One of the most egregious misstatements made by these ads is that owning the road will cost the city $60 million. Nowhere, ever, have they said how they got that figure. When questioned, they say that a highway engineer said it would cost that much to repave the road at the time it needs to be taken down to dirt. Any engineer can say anything he or she wants to say. Any number can be pulled from any hat. In fact, CivTech, the engineering firm hired by the city as part of its due diligence in investigating the possibility of a route transfer, has stated, in its report (available at the city website, www.sedonaaz.gov) that the next TWO repavings, which will take us to 2042, will cost approximately $19 million. (This figure might turn out to be lower. The bids that ADOT is currently receiving for repaving W 89A are coming in at much lower rates, and would not add up to $19 million for two repaving. Bear in mind that these bids include installation of a traffic signal at Andante, not just repaving.).
In the terms of the route transfer agreement that the city and ADOT finalized, ADOT would pay completely for the next repaving, the one that will happen within the next year. Then, the City will not have to do any major work on the road for the following 15 years. When it is time for the next repaving, in approximately 2027, the City will be able to use the money ADOT would have given to the City as part of the route transfer agreement. The total cost of this repaving would be c. $7.5 million), leaving the City with only the cost of the repaving in 2042. As part of the negotiated agreement, ADOT was to have given the City $10 million upfront, which money the City would have invested. The same contract (Intergovernmental Agreement) drawn up by ADOT and the City, dictates that this money, and interest gained on this money, MUST be used for the road. This is as secure as is possible. The City would have to put aside approximately $100,000. per year in order to pay for the first repaving, in 2027, and $750,000 per year in preparation for repaving in 2042. This is such a small percentage of even today’s City budget, it certainly would be no hardship in the future.
How did Serge Wright and company come to $60 million? They won’t document this because it is not possible to do so. Saying it does not make it true. Check out the CivTech report on the City’s website. There are actual figures, by a neutral, professional agency, dealing with W 89A, not an engineer making a hypothetical statement.
The ad in the paper says that the lights will be dark sky compliant, so there is nothing to worry about, and that they make us safer. Let’s look at these statements. The only thing that is Dark Sky Compliant about the intended lights is the fixture itself. The lights are not the best, they are high pressure sodium, which is not the chosen type of lighting for true dark sky compliant lighting. Also the “bounce-back”, or uplighting that will result when the light that emanates from these lights hits the pavement and then bounces back to the sky, passing the compliant fixtures, is a major component of the “river of light”. Chris Lugenbuhl, of the Naval Observatory in Flagstaff, and an official of the International Dark Sky Association, has stated that the lights and light fixtures currently planned to be installed on W. 89A by ADOT, would produce lumens that would be the equivalent of a 30 acre industrial site. Think about it. 108 new lights on 2 miles of 89A, which would be additions to the existing lights on 89A, bringing the total in that stretch of W 89A to 136 lights! Now compare this to four lights at a roundabout. Even if the lights are exactly the same, how can 136 lights compare, honestly, to 4?
The picture in today’s ad (October 19, 2011) in the RRN shows W 89A in front of the Heartline Cafe with an enormous and ugly orange median. Indeed. Whose idea is this? No one on the side of a “Yes” vote has ever suggested a median like this. These type barriers are used to separate traffic lanes on major highways. They are also used in construction zones. No one in their right mind would propose the barriers depicted in their picture for applications in Sedona. Again, if you read the CivTech report, it suggests two small and strategically placed medians, one between Andante and Rodeo, one between Mountain Shadows and Soldier Pass Rd. NO WHERE is it suggested that these would be big and ugly. In fact, medians normally are 6″–8″ high. They would not be visually intrusive. They would simply serve as guides for traffic in places that have already been noticed as difficult and dangerous. These small, strategically-placed medians would not require roundabouts.
In fact, we already have medians, medians that we ignore, and drive over regularly. One of these is on 89A just outside the entrance to Harkins. It is illegal to enter the Harkins parking lot when driving West on 89A. To do that, the driver must drive over the median. What is the median? It is the two solid lines painted on the street. The only thing a raised median would do in this location is to enforce a median that is already there, but ignored by drivers. Anyone who lives here knows how dangerous and cumbersome that area of 89A is.
Now to the manipulation of the sympathies and sentiment of the public. The touching memorial with the teddy bear, and the copy saying that it is negligent to leave the commercial corridor unprotected, and suggesting that to do so is inviting the death of a senior, or child is really playing dirty pool. In fact, over 95% of our accidents happen in the daytime, and we have not had a nighttime fatality since 2006! Our nighttime accident rate is so low that installing lights would eliminate 0.55 nighttime injuries per year, and it would barely affect the number of nighttime accidents, according to a national database called Crash Reduction Factors. This database was put together by the Federal Highway and Works Administration (FHWA) and states’ DOTs. It is the database used by ADOT and other states in assessing danger and efficacy of solutions. Putting this touching picture in the ad is pure manipulation. This is what people resort to when they do not have facts on their side! WHAT WE NEED IS 24 HOUR SAFETY REMEDIES!!!! Both CivTech and the 89A Safety Panel came up with safety measures that are meaningful for our road, in our town. If we install lights, we get negligible change in safety, for $2.2 million, or we can spend less and eliminate 13 times as many accidents and 18 times as many injuries per year, according to CivTech and the Safety Panel. It is untrue and unfair to paint those who support a “Yes” vote as promoting negligence. In fact, the Let the People Vote folks are the ones who are promoting negligence. Lights? Please.
DON’T BE MANIPULATED!!!
Vote “Yes” on Proposition 410!!
Juliette Colangelo, Sedona