Finley, Sedona's Former Mayor: "Calls It As He Sees
A Monthly Feature of the Red Rock Review
NOT HIGHWAY 179 AGAIN...YES...YES
by Ivan Finley
In early 2000, the Sedona City Council amended resolution
99-12 to read in part.
"The City of Sedona through its Mayor and the City
Council, does hereby convey to the Arizona Department of
Transportation, its concerns regarding the roadway improvements
to State Route 179. It is imperative that improved safety
and traffic flow be attained while maintaining Sedona's
small town character and scenic beauty with a minimum of
impact on adjacent businesses and residences.The Arizona
Department of Transportation by working with the community
can help us with environmental sensitive solutions that
will allow us to continue with our quality of life and still
resolve transportation issues within the Sedona City Limits."
Every person at ADOT has indicated that they will continue
to do that. The roadway plan has yet to be let out for final
design, but the concessions that have bee made are all in
The design speed has been reduced,
eliminating over 1,300 feet of walls.
Remember there are two kind of walls - those necessary
to hold the roadway in and banks out, and sound walls. The
lower speed design results in less “cut and fill,” lowering
the heights of walls and the amount of vegetation to be
Sound walls are dictated by the Federal Highway Department
for the protection of Sedona Citizens against traffic noise.
ADOT has no choice in the matter. The only
choice is by the residents affected.
They can elect not to have sound walls.
The roadway width has been reduced. Inside the city
limits there will be curbs, which eliminates the need to
remove vegetation outside the defined roadway. Shoulders
will be wide enough for pedestrian traffic, and in the business
areas there will be sidewalks.
The City of Sedona has already started the process necessary
to include the Ranger Road by-pass, when ADOT gets to that
point. And they have promised that it will be considered.
That will eliminate the congestion at the Wye. Even ADOT's preliminary design at the Wye effectively would have
eliminated the congestion.
The City of Sedona has decided that the alternative
of a turn back of SR179 was not in the best interest of
the city. It would have created more problems that it solved.
The Voice of Choice has continued their opposition to
the design. They showed up in mass at a recent meeting of
the State Transportation Board, in Flagstaff. The same people
said the same things to Board members- in effect, “build
it our way or don't build it at all.”
This meeting was open to all areas of the Sate of Arizona,
and people came from all over praising ADOT for what they
have done in their areas and asking ADOT to come back and
do more. The Mayor of Camp Verde, Barbara Miller asked ADOT: if Sedona doesn't
want the money for SR179, why don't they spend it widening
SR260? Every area of the state wants it if Sedona
Long-time Sedona citizen Joe Tabback has formed a loose-knit
coalition of support for the City of Sedona and ADOT to
get on with the final design and build it.
He has the support of the medical community, the
fire department, both county sheriff deputies, the school
bus company and the drivers, Village of Oak Creek Council,
the Realtor's association, members of the Board of Citizens
For an Alternate Route, the men’s Republican Club and many,
I am including with this article two pictures from a
book put out by the US Department of Transportation.
The color photo shows an urban street, with visual appeal
created by adding trees and flowers in the medians and roadway
edges. This could be the look inside the city limits.
The black and white picture is of US Route 101 in Oregon,
a divided roadway with vegetation left along the side and
planted in the median. This roadway is over 50 miles long
and elevates from near sea level to over 1,000 feet above
the ocean. It passes through a variety of urban, suburban
and rural landscapes. This route is considered to be one
of the most scenic highways in the United States. A similar
roadway would not hurt the Red Rocks, it would enhance them.
Please do not let scare tactics and rumors influence
your thinking. We need your help in getting a safely designed
roadway from I-17 to Sedona.
Let your voice be heard. Please attend the City Council
meeting on May 22nd at City Hall, where the consultants
hired by ADOT and the City will make a report to the City
Council regarding SR179.