The Community Decides What Highway Improvements Are Appropriate
Editorial by Angela Le Fevre
Sedona, AZ (September 15, 2011) – Imagine west Sedona in ten years. Do you see something MORE than a five lane commercial highway cutting through our town, with dozens of 35-foot tall lights, a suicide lane, strip malls, no greenery, and no new pedestrian crossings? If you do envision and want more, then you should vote YES for this ballot measure.
Now picture our main street’s possibilities: lit pedestrian crossings, landscaped medians to replace the suicide lane, trees, benches, walkways along the side of the road leading to pleasant squares, with stores, coffee shops, offering community gathering places for all. Friendly signs point to farmers markets, special events and other areas of interest. If you subscribe to this model for our future, then vote YES to support the Council’s decision to approve a route transfer agreement with ADOT.
Local ownership and control of our highway 89A will finally allow Sedona to decide what WE want, not what ADOT wants. ADOT specializes in super highways. They do NOT want to deal with roads that go through towns. A perfect example is 89A in West Sedona. Over 7000 people live here. Most of the traffic here IS local. If we do not gain control of 89a, we will be subjected to the will of those who think they know better – who will allow ADOT to tear up our sidewalks, our trees and install 108 35-ft tall street lights which the majority of people in Sedona do NOT want. Continuous streetlights are not the best solution to pedestrian safety….pedestrian crossways and appropriately placed medians are more effective. We should not let ADOT decide for us on this issue. Local control IS the only answer. Vote YES on the ballot issue.
The above represents my personal opinion, not that of any organization or commission I serve.
Angela … no offense, and all your points certainly have merit. But the problem from ‘day one’ is that the claimants on both sides of the aisle don’t put actual data on the table for consideration. Recently someone claimed there’d be no impact on the city budget for road maintenance. Huh? Here, your images of the future are missing ‘the cost’ and ‘who pays?’. Early on, people said the present city bonds would eventually be paid off, allowing more financing (as if there’d not be any requirements in the meantime for drainage, etc?). The city itself complains of ‘false information’ but (to my knowledge) puts no long-term finance plans on the table. And so the arguments go back and forth … back and forth. And this is a city where many (most?) people automatically demand data for their own personal budgeting decisions.
I recall (this is a while back) that it will cost about $500k for annual road maintenance but ADOT’s $10million contribution will get the road in shape for 10 years so we’d have time to set aside funds for this. I think the city could afford this. Converting the road to Angela’s vision would require a bond issue, I would suspect, but perhaps grants are available etc. I, for one, would like to see Angela’s vision become a reality.
Your questions and concerns are well founded. As no one can give a guarantee of the future, We can only look at what is presented now. Please look at the “Voice of Choice for 89A” web site, then click on ‘Facts’, and scroll down to Finances. -I hope this will help.