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Time to rid Verde Valley of bottlenecks

Editor:

I am particularly interested in the transportation planning for the Cottonwood area, as it is clear that the "bottlenecks" of Arizona 260 and Arizona 89A and the "bypass" intersection of Arizona 89A are the chief problems for everyone living, commuting, or traveling in the area.

After attending an informational meeting on the Cottonwood General Plan, I wondered if the following facts are as evident to other residents as they are to me:

• An alternate arterial route to the 260-89A SE to NW corridor is desperately needed to relieve traffic congestion, and to keep traffic off of narrow residential streets.

• Locating such a route to the east of the highways is impractical because the population and business base of the city is west of the highways, and because of the expense of bridging the Verde River.

• Only by creating another SE to NW major road will the congestion of the "bottleneck" intersections be relieved.

Placing a western artery as close as possible to the west boundaries of the Verde Villages, on National Forest/State Trust land with access points of Ogden Ranch Rd, Western Drive and/or Del Rio Drive, old Hwy 279, Fir Street, Willard Street extension, Mingus Ave, and Black Hills Drive, would give commuters and tourists a usable alternative with close access to most city businesses and services.

A "couple of studies" were mentioned in the meeting I attended, which indicated that such a western route would not be used. I'm sure those authoring those studies do not live in the Verde Valley, nor do they contend with the "bottlenecks" on a daily basis. Such a route would give a true "bypass" highway, which would not be cluttered with commercial development (being on Forest Land) nor result in more "urban sprawl."

ADOT should be happy with the possibility of removing a major highway/urban interface, Cottonwood residents would be happy with the relieving of congestion, and the impact of such a major roadway on the open spaces we all desire to keep would be minimized.

The western side of such a roadway could be made "controlled access" to preserve the integrity of the forest land.

Barry Jones

Cottonwood

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