is not swayed by
recent Voice of Choice report
A monthly column by former Sedona Mayor Ivan Finley
Voice of Choice engineering report is out!
In my review of this 35 page document, I find nothing
new that would make me change my mind on how SR 179 should
In fact the opposite is true, I find in their report
many items that solidify my opinions.
A quick review of the facts:
Highway 179 from Interstate I-17 to the Wye at Sedona
is 14.49 miles. The ADOT plan starts the improvements 5.58
miles from I-17. That 5.58 remains a two-lane, unimproved
Of the 8.9 miles to be improved, there are 3.47 miles
in Yavapai County and 1.5 miles in Coconino County up to the
City Limits of Sedona.
There will be improvements to 3.94 miles of SR 179 within
the city limits of Sedona. That 3.94 miles is the only section
of SR 179 that the City of Sedona has any say so in.
It appears that the Voice of Choice is trying to redesign
the whole 8.91 miles, denying the fact that Yavapai County,
Coconino County and The Village of Oak Creek have already
endorsed the ADOT plan.
The Voice of Choice report says, “ADOT’s Plan C, favors
rural sprawl over compact development.” Every piece of private
property is already known along SR 179, and two, three, four
or five lanes does not affect how that private property is
The VOC report says, “ADOT’s plan encouraged strip zoning
and commercial development.” The zoning on every piece of
private property is already in place. Two, three, four or
five lanes make no difference in zoning.
Any property owner can ask for a zone change, even if
the property is served by only a cow path. Lanes do not make
The report states, “Voice of Choice should reduce its
efforts to challenge traffic data because: the most recent
ADOT update is a good-faith upgrading of information.”
The Voice of Choice report also says, “Another major
element, only now beginning to surface, is the possibility
of a parallel scenic, low-speed road in the National Forest.”
WHERE DID THIS ONE COME FROM? Another two-lane road
in the national forest. How can the Voice of Choice, with
all their arguments against removal of trees and destroying
the beauty, support this concept.
The report also shows no bicycle paths along any of
the road. ADOT plans have sidewalks and shoulders wide enough
for bicycle traffic.
The Voice of Choice report speaks in several places
to a high speed 4 to 5 lane highway. The ADOT plan is not
for a high-speed highway, but is designed for a 37 mile per
hour speed. The speed limit within Sedona will probably be
30 mph. The 37 mph design speed means fewer cuts and allows
curves. It can in no way be compared to Highway 89A between
Sedona and Cottonwood where the design speed is 65 mph.
The lower-speed design does affect the need for sound
walls. The number of lanes does not reflect the need for sound
walls, but the sound coming from traffic is the criteria that
determines the need for sound walls. If Federal dollars are
used to develop this road, then sound walls have to be considered
whether it is two, three, four, or five lanes. If an area
is determined to qualify for sound walls, the homeowners have
the choice of turning them down.
The Voice of Choice report states that the ADOT plan
did not consider a two-lane improved road. ADOT, in 1992-1993,
did consider the two-lane concept but dropped it because the
road had already exceeded the traffic that a two-lane road
could handle. So with the update in 1995 they had already
eliminated the possibility of an improved two-lane road.
Their report states: “Numerous arguments can be made
for making the SR 179 corridor into one of the premier examples
of context-sensitive design in the United States.” ADOT has
already promised that in the final design (a phase which has
yet to begin), that this will be done. The number of lanes
does not affect the ability to design with pavement material,
colors, aggregate, landscaping, or any other esthetic enhancements.
Forget the emotional involvement and concentrate on
the fact that this roadway has been neglected for more than
40 years and must meet the needs of the community, today and
20 years in the future.
THERE WILL BE AN ELECTION ON MARCH 12, 2002:
Be sure that you are registered to vote. If you have
moved to a new house, new address or had a name change, you
need to re-register.
THIS ELECTION WILL BE OUR FIRST TO BE CONDUCTED TOTALLY
BY MAIL. It is extremely important for you to look for a card
sent out by the City of Sedona to check the validity of your
registration. Failure to return this VERY IMPORTANT CARD,
could result in you not receiving a mail-in ballot.
This election is really important, we will be electing
three Sedona City Council persons. At this time, seven people
have picked up packets.
Also on the ballot will be the opportunity to support
the completion of the “Recreational Activity Center” at the
Posse Grounds. This has been in the planning stages for more
than 10 years. A “yes” vote on this funding issue will move
Sedona years ahead into the future.
“TIS” THE SEASON TO BE JOLLY,
CONSIDERATE, PLEASE SEND WHAT YOU CAN TO THOSE IN NEED:
The Sedona Humane Society
The Boys and Girls Club
The Salivation Army
The Food Bank
The Verde Valley Sanctuary
The United Way
The Adult Community Center
Or Any One Else Whom You Know Is In Need
Thelma and I want to take this
opportunity to wish everyone,
visitors and residents alike, a very Happy and Joyous Holiday.