For 20 years now, living and operating a business here in Sedona, I have envisioned a beautiful West Sedona. If ADOT goes ahead with their Phoenix-look lighting plan, we will endure disruptive, messy construction before we have a plan for pedestrian safety or the needed redesign.
I want to see contemporary Southwest beauty elements such as those seen at Sedona Rouge, Barking Frog extended into a distinctive unifying look for West Sedona. Safety islands, lighted crosswalks, appropriate scale and location lighting, can invite people to shop on both sides of the road. Benches, attractive stucco very-selectively-placed medians with tile and/or art glass, along with sculptures and landscaping can create a walkable, inviting, uniquely Sedona look. The beauty of Sedona does not have to end at the double-0. This is where most of us live!
Further, as “Sedona Avenue”, instead of Highway 89A, we can allow event signage such for the Farmer’s Market and other community events held on top of Airport Mesa. We can have a sign directing people to the Humane Society. We can install a safety crossing for the kids at Posse Grounds Road.
I commend the work that has been done by city staff, mayor and council on this and feel they have a solid plan for financing once the 15-year period that ADOT will cover ends. Well researched data was presented at the Feb. 9 City Council work session that supports this. Further, locals will have strong input in the community plan for West Sedona. The City will not dictate to us as ADOT does–in a redesign that benefits and enhances the businesses so many locals and visitors use. We can create our own future.
ADOT is likely to give it back to us anyway. Their 2003 Route Transfer Level Study said the pace of turning back state highway segments that are really city streets is going too slow. They might make an example of Sedona if we do not accept their financing package now: turn around and give it back to us anyway in 4 years after they do the lights and Andante stoplight.
If the City Council votes YES to taking back Highway 89A as we did with Uptown, Sedona residents will have a chance to work with city planners and engineers to extend the beauty of the gallery and uptown districts into West Sedona ending at our distinctive high school and what I still hope will be a community cultural park–Forest Service vista and access point.
This is a turning point: it is vital for us to take control of our own future.