Sun, Sept. 15

Letter: Count on it: One day there will be enough demand for alternate route between VOC and West Sedona


We came through Sedona for the first time in late August 1969. It looked like a gorgeous place that was almost empty. We have come back to Sedona ever since and finally moved to VOC in 2012.

It was interesting to read the commentaries of Dr. Mialocq and Mr. Mandeville, who apparently settled in VOC a long time ago. It was also interesting for us to see the movie The Rounders, apparently filmed in what is now VOC in around 1964. It shows the VOC area devoid of any settlements.

Ms. Benore’s history lesson at the back of The Villager confirms this view. Now we have old-timers who have been here a long time arguing for absolutely no change. Close the border so to say because they don’t want more people to move here.

It might be debated if the old route across the creek can be reestablished but if at one time the route was available to the public, it can be reopened. While the County does not have an obligation to do so, they can do it if they so desire. There will be a lot of opposition to any reopening, but eventually some alternate route has to be made available for people who go from VOC to West Sedona.

We frequently use Page Springs Road to get around the mess on Hwy 179, when we realize that the 179 route would add an extra 45+ minutes of slow or no go traffic. Or we go to Cottonwood to do our shopping if that is an option.

Mr. Mandeville correctly points out that the bottleneck is Sedona itself because people cannot find parking in the downtown area or are unable to quickly bypass the city if they want to go up the Canyon.

The last traffic study that Sedona paid for showed that by making some modest changes to the 89A/179 intersection, people can get from Cottonwood a few minutes faster to be stuck in downtown. That is not a solution but just changes the problem location.

It was just waste of money to fund that study, which came after other studies showing that downtown is the problem. The route using Back O’ Beyond is not a solution because traffic backs up all the way on 179 into VOC.

In spite of the NIMBY crowd, one of these days there will be enough demand for an alternate route between VOC and West Sedona. Contrary to Mr. Mandeville’s opinion, it will alleviate some of the 179 traffic. If there are no street lights on 179 or the road over Mingus Mountain, why would they be needed on a new route over the creek unless the road is built by the ADOT and the code requires lights.

That the road might be difficult to straighten out and there might be easement issues etc. is true but these are not insurmountable issues. While I don’t like to see more traffic on Verde Valley School Road it is probably the only viable route.

There would be environmental benefits from having an alternate route because cars spew out a lot of fumes when sitting idling in traffic. Furthermore, if anyone has looked at the video clips from the Paradise fire in California, it should be obvious that there is a need for more than one escape route from VOC in case of a fire.

The people living along Verde Valley School road should recognize that they will benefit from having a westward escape route if needed instead of having to go eastward through VOC.

To me the comment made about greed etc. in the commentaries is not appropriate. It might today be one of the least offensive attributes assigned to people with whom we disagree, but what is greed? Is it greed if someone wants to have a house for his or her family, have good medical care, access to good schools, save for retirement, have a fun vacation etc.?

Who will decide what is too much for someone to earn or not enough? Do we establish a new court for that? I am sure that greed is a driving motive for many but wanting a secure financial position for the future is probably what all would want and we should, in my opinion all refrain from making personal attacks on people.

We have enough of that when or if we turn on the TV and watch the so-called news broadcasts.

Stig Nilsson

Village of Oak Creek

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