Working as a Team, Sedona is tackling Tourism Issues & Traffic Backups on SR 179, Oak Creek Canyon, Uptown, & Cooks Hill, etc
All of the following projects assumes the city of Sedona is able to continue to use the funds it raises through sales and bed taxes, especially the new 1/2% sales tax levied specifically to help pay for this $35 Million Dollar Sedona in Motion plan. (And tourists pay 60-70% of the sales tax and 100% of the bed tax)
If, for some reason, Home Rule, which is on the ballot on August 28, 2018 for approval by Sedona voters were to fail, then most of, if not all of the following improvements would not be possible.
Learn more about Home Rule HERE
Most of the information on this website comes from the cities, Sedona in Motion webpages: http://www.sedonaaz.gov/sim
Assistant City Manager Karen Osburn said Sedona in Motion is the moniker for everything that the city will be doing under the umbrella of the Transportation Master Plan or the new half-cent transportation sales tax.
“In the coming years there will be many projects, programs and services associated with achieving the goals of the plan,” she said. “We want to be able to tie all of these efforts together under one brand so whenever our community hears ‘Sedona in Motion’ or sees the SIM logo, they will know we are talking about all things transportation.”
An additional half-cent Transportation Privilege Tax was approved by council last year and will be dedicated to funding roadway and other transportation projects designed to improve traffic flow for our residents and visitors. This temporary tax increase went into effect March 1 and will expire as soon as improvements are completed, or in 10 years, whichever comes first. This fund is expected to cover a large percentage of the proposed $30-35 million-plus cost of the transportation improvements.
How transportation projects get done
Extensive planning is required. All transportation projects must comply with state and federal guidelines and regulations designed to protect public and environmental safety, and must follow established engineering practices. There are required specialized environmental studies and coordination with regulatory agencies; specialists in such fields as noise and air quality, archaeology, architectural history, biology, and land-use planning may be needed. Design and traffic engineering studies are conducted to identify the safest and lowest-cost alternatives.
Public input continues. Changes in traffic and pedestrian infrastructure can impact private and public property, and business revenues. We will continue to actively seek out and engage property and business owners to ensure that proposed changes will generate a net gain for the community while minimizing impacts. Here is what's involved in the planning process for each project: citizen input; data collection; engineering studies and drawings; reviewing qualifications of potential contractors; working with other government agencies and property owners to secure permissions; and, finally, to coordinate work schedules among various contractors, utilities and government entities.
Shovels in the dirt - January 2019. Construction is expected to start as early as January 2019 for the Uptown median project and possibly the Forest Road / 89A connector.
Funding. All of the projects will be funded by a temporary half-cent Transportation Privilege Tax, a sales tax, that took effect March 1, 2018. Tax revenues, 60 percent of which will be paid by visitors, will be spent solely on transportation projects. The tax will expire as soon as improvements are completed or in 10 years, whichever comes first.
This project seeks to improve the appearance and community feeling of Sedona's Uptown area through a combination of street, hardscape and landscape improvements designed to control traffic flow and remove a variety of causes of slow-downs. Facets of this project include:
With no traffic, it takes seven minutes to travel from the Trout Farm to the Y. In severe congestion it takes 42 minutes. With this strategy, a severely congested trip would be reduced from 42 minutes to 15 minutes. The raised median reduces turning movement conflicts and uncontrolled pedestrian crossings. Roundabouts facilitate U-turns and serve to keep vehicles consistently moving at safe speeds.
SR 89A & 179 bypass lanes to be built. This project is in the Planning Stage.
This project improves traffic movement by allowing a portion of traffic to bypass fully entering the Y roundabout by adding curb-separated right-turn lanes for vehicles headed to southbound 179 and northbound 89A.
With no traffic it takes 12 minutes to travel from Bell Rock Blvd to the Y. In severe congestion it takes 36 minutes. This level of severe congestion occurred on six days between February 1 and June 4, 2017. With this strategy, a severely congested trip would be reduced from 36 minutes to 24 minutes.
Since this intersection is part of the Arizona State highway system and managed by the Arizona Department of Transportation, this project must be coordinated with and authorized by ADOT. Expected cost of this project to be paid by/reimbursed by the City of Sedona using it's own resources.
This project helps residents of Uptown Sedona bypass the two roundabouts at Brewer/Ranger roads and the Y, and also improves the residential area with new hardscaping and landscaping design. This local, residential road project will extend the west end of Forest Road to connect to southbound SR 89A west of the U.S. Post Office location.
Resident access to homes in the canyon can be improved and overall canyon and Uptown traffic congestion reduced by providing and/or requiring transit use for state park and possibly canyon trailhead access. It is envisioned that the greater Sedona lodging industry would actively participate in the development and use of a visitor-oriented transit system.
The city and its regional partners have issued an RFP to develop the system with a $160,000 federal transit planning grant and $10,000 in funding from Coconino County.
This project would improve traffic flow on SR179 from the Schnebly Hill roundabout and through the two roundabouts at the Y by altering traffic patterns, improving roadway design and addressing capacity issues.
The Brewer/Ranger connection would help divert vehicles that would be making a U-turn movement at the Schnebly Hill roundabout, reducing SR 179 congestion. With no traffic, it takes 12 minutes to travel from Bell Rock Blvd to the Y. In severe congestion it takes 36 minutes. This level of severe congestion occurred on 6 days between February 1 and June 4, 2017.
The Brewer/Ranger connection is a relatively low-cost improvement and creates a more convenient route for northbound and westbound SR179 travelers with minimal impact to southbound SR179 travelers.
Multimodal transportation encourages alternate means of travel that improve residents' access to services, increase recreational access and provide new amenities to residents and visitors, and reduce traffic congestion. The strategies include:
The City of Sedona is town that has a dual personality -- caring for the everyday needs of its citizens for a high quality of life and at the same time providing an infrastructure which can manage the thousands of visitors who come to Sedona daily.
The city does NOT have a property tax to fund it's operation, but relies on sales tax, bed tax and basic fees for funding. The health of the business community directly correlates to the heath of Sedona as a city since Sedona's visitors bring in 60 to 70% of all the revenue the city receives.
The recession of the 2009-12 period demonstrated how dependent Sedona is on a healthy visitor environment. But it is also challenged with the reality that too many visitors at any one point in time reduces the quality of life for residents and reduces the quality of the visitor's experience at the same time.
Finding the right "management balance" is the long term goal of the city and a challenge for all city officials to address everyday.
Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau (SCC&TB) is a complex DMO, Destination Management Organization with access to talent and resources to assist the city in addressing tourism challenges. One of it highest priorities is the development of a Tourism Sustainability Plan which identifies the right path to take to balance the need for a high quality residential and visitor experience. Read more about this concept HERE.
Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau embarked on the development of this action plan in 2017. Learn about their plan HERE. The plan is being developed with the assistance of ASU and will be completed in 2018. The cost of creating this plan is being paid for by the chamber using some of the bed tax funding it receives from the city.
This effort demonstrates the shift in the relationship of the city to the chamber -- "The goal of the sustainable tourism effort is to shift the focus of the city’s contract with the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau (SCC&TB) from strictly marketing, sales and communications to a comprehensive approach of destination marketing and management with a greater emphasis on quality of life and managing impacts."
If you do not vote in the primary, you will not be able to vote for Home Rule or the candidates running for Sedona City Council or Mayor of Sedona. Some or all Sedona Council seats may also be decided at the Primary, depending on how many votes are received by each of the candidates running. Those council seats not decided at the primary will go on to the General Election in November.
If you are on the Permanent Early Voter List you should receive a postcard or letter that you must return to get a ballot for the Aug. 28 election. If not, and you want to vote by mail, you only have until August 17 to request a mail ballot.
Independent voters must request an early ballot even if you are on the PEVL. You will not receive a primary ballot unless you let the county know which party ballot you want or request a city ballot only.
You can also call Coconino County at 800-793-6181 or Yavapai County at 800-771-2797 to request a mail ballot.
If you do not get a ballot by mail, you can still vote on the day of the election, Tuesday, August 28, at the appropriate polling place for your county. For Yavapai County, your polling place is the Elks Lodge. For Coconino County, vote at the Wayside Chapel in Uptown for Sedona North Precinct and Christ Lutheran Church in the Chapel area for Sedona South Precinct.
Please be sure to vote in the Primary!
If you do not vote in the Primary, you will not be able to vote for Home Rule or the Mayor of Sedona. Some or all Sedona Council seats may also be decided at the Primary, depending on how many votes are received by each of the candidates running. Those not decided at the Primary will go on to the General Election on November 6.