Fri, Jan. 24

Sedona should follow Cottonwood’s example on Mingus extension

The new Mingus Avenue extension, slated to open Jan. 8, will provide the Valley with a much-needed second bridge crossing over the Verde River. Those long waits and traffic congestion at the intersection of 89A and 260 will be greatly relieved.

But beyond what this means to transportation flow in the Upper Verde, the Mingus Avenue extension project should serve as the blueprint for other communities over how various jurisdictions should work together.

In particular, there is an important lesson here for Sedona. There still are those in Sedona who believe it is Yavapai County’s responsibility to pursue the Red Rock Crossing project.

It is not.

Using the Mingus Avenue extension example, this was a county road project that benefited the City of Cottonwood. It lessens the load at the intersection of 89A and 260. The project was initiated by the City of Cottonwood. Cottonwood fought the political battles. Cottonwood negotiated the intergovernmental agreements. Cottonwood did the legwork. It wasn’t until the "brush was cleared" that Yavapai County stepped in — in a big way, let’s be clear on that — and made this project become reality.

In Sedona’s case, the city needs an alternative traffic route to lessen the load on its infamous "Y." Sedona’s problems are compounded by the fact that its interior traffic circulation system is non-existent. To solve this problem, Sedona needs to take the lead role in establishing an alternative route into its community just as Cottonwood did. Sedona needs to do the legwork. Sedona needs to do the IGAs with both Yavapai and Coconino counties. Sedona needs to fight the political and environmental battles. If Sedona "clears the brush" on this project, then the much-needed help to get the job done will be there.

Cottonwood has the blueprint on how it’s done.

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