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ADOT Moves Forward With Lights for 89A

Sedona AZ (February 23, 2010)The Sedona Times newspaper editor, Tommy Acosta, wrote a front page article in its January 2010 print edition about the following. Acosta’s article is readable in full on this website’s Sedona Eye eMag LIVE! newspaper/Home Page (Web Archives):

City Council candidate Mike Ward’s comments are below and, in the interest of full public access, information and disclosure, and, as a background resource, the Sedona Eye and Sedona Times Publishing provide this information for its readers. Public comments addressed to Editor@SedonaEye.com are welcome and will be posted.

This article submitted by Mike Ward, candidate for Sedona City Council

At their Board meeting on February 19, 2010 the State Transportation Board approved funding authorization for the installation of 76 thirty-five foot, twenty foot length mast arms with “cobra head” 250 watt high sodium lights on SR 89A in West Sedona.

In his testimony, Ron Volkman, a Sedona realtor, characterized West Sedona as an urban roadway. Volkmann’s testimony was supported by Councilors Pud Colquitt and Marc DiNunzio.

Following the STB vote, STB member Felipe Zubia representing Maricopa County, stated that West Sedona is an urban roadway and Sedona must realize that urban roadways require urban solutions.

 Sedona’s vision as a town having a small town character and manmade structures in harmony with nature is in serious jeopardy.

The Sedona City Council is holding a special meeting on Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 5:30 PM to discuss the continuous lighting issue.  Anyone interested in this issue should be in attendance.

The following is the background on attempts by Sedona citizen’s attempt to have the STB question ADOT staff on their insistence that lighting is the only safety solution for West Sedona. Following the Background is a Brief prepared for the STB of the material facts of the issue. I hope you will take the time to become informed.

Mike Ward

 BACKGROUND

Over the course of the last four years, ADOT and the City Council have flipped-flopped on their decisions regarding pedestrian safety along SR 89A in West Sedona. It has been difficult for the average person to sort real information and facts from the many rumors and misrepresented facts circulated by both Council Members and citizens trying to support their personal point of view.

At the heart of the issue is the Highway 89A Safety Panel Report commissioned by the Sedona City Council and the statistical data collected by ADOT staff. Although roadway lighting is demonstrated by these reports to be statistically less effective than many other safety measures, ADOT apparently has only secured federal funds for roadway lighting and a traffic light at Andante Drive.

A citizens’ committee was formed to persuade the State Transportation Board (STB) that governs ADOT, to reconsider ADOT’s planned roadway lighting project on SR 89A in West Sedona.

The committee is comprised of Barbara Litrell, Bob Carabell, Rod Veach, Juliette Colangelo, Steve DeVol, Marlene Rayner, Cliff Ochser, Doug Blackwell and Mike Ward. Both Blackwell and Ochser were members of the Highway 89A safety Panel as were six ADOT traffic engineers.

The citizens committee has testified before the SBT three separate times.

The West Sedona project was one of 12 items listed in a project consent item in the SBT January 15, 2010 Board Agenda. The STB receives only a general overview of projects usually related to financing. At that meeting, we testified before the STB informing the Board of the data collected and supposedly analyzed by the ADOT staff.

As a result of our presentation, the SBT voted to remove the West Sedona Project for separate discussion. After discussion of the issue, the Board rejected a motion to proceed with the project and the project approval was delayed until after a study session on February 3, 2010.

In preparation for the February 3rd Study Session, the committee prepared a notebook for each Board member containing the data, reports and recommendations not considered by the ADOT staff in recommending roadway lighting to the STB as the solution to safety on SR 89A.

After our presentation, ADOT staff mislead the STB with incomplete responses to their questions.

The Data:

The following is the Citizen’s Safety Brief prepared for the committee’s testimony at the  February 19, 2010 STB Board Meeting summarizing the committee’s  previous testimony and submitted material that should be considered before approving the roadway lighting project. The committee plans on reading the report into the record of the Special Sedona City Council meeting on February 24, 2010.

If you are interested in factual information supported by official documentation, please read, or at least scan the attached safety brief.

STATE TRANSPORTATION BOARD  ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

In the matter of:  SR 89A Continuous Roadway Lighting Project Brief in support of Sedona Citizens Opposing Continuous Roadway Lighting on SR 89A

BACKGROUND

This matter came before the State Transportation Board work session on February 3, 2010 pursuant to an ADOT request for funding approval regarding a project in Sedona, Arizona known as the SR 89A Continuous Roadway Lighting Project. Seven concerned citizens appeared and spoke during the Call to the Public, expressing serious concerns about the project, including ADOT procedures leading to its conclusion about the roadway lighting.  ADOT representatives made a formal presentation to the Board and answered questions concerning the project.

The purpose of this Brief is to summarize the statements of the concerned citizens, and rebut some of the statements that ADOT representatives made which the concerned citizens believe are serious misrepresentations about the true nature of the safety problem on SR 89A, as well as comment on the underlying documentation and history.

Most of the documents and materials referred to have already been submitted to the Board; others will be submitted upon request for verification purposes.

The question of whether or not ADOT should install 76 continuous roadway lights on SR 89A in West Sedona has had a long and tortuous history between the City of Sedona, ADOT, citizens who oppose the lights, and citizens in favor of the lights. Indeed, the matter has become so contentious that it is a major issue in the upcoming municipal elections and will likely change the makeup of Council.

The matter arose as a result of a May 2006  ADOT Pedestrian Crossing Study on SR 89A, MP 371 to 372.99, in West Sedona that was triggered by the deaths of four pedestrians who were struck by cars between December 2000 and April 2006 (three were struck in the study area).  Although the practice of the Northern Traffic Engineering Region is only to utilize a three year period when performing traffic studies, it was expanded to six years, contrary to the normal practice.   The fourth pedestrian was struck west of the Dry Creek Road intersection, outside the study area and under different circumstances.

THE MAY 2006 PEDESTRIAN CROSSING STUDY

The Board has access to this study from ADOT.

It is important to note a comment from that study, “…rather than focus on the fatal pedestrian locations, it was decided to expand the area of study…between the intersections of Dry Creek Road and Soldiers Pass Road.”  Thus, from an initial request by the City of Sedona in early 2006 to study safety issues on SR 89A as a result of the nighttime accidents, the project became a continuous roadway lighting project recommendation by June 17, 2007.

Sedona City Council approved an ADOT proposal to install 76 Continuous roadway lights on June 12, 2007.  However, there was no discussion of the Andante intersection area where all three of the pedestrian deaths occurred under strikingly similar circumstances, i.e. pedestrians crossing into the leftmost westbound lane and drivers proceeding from Rodeo Drive westward in the leftmost westbound lane; where the road rises uphill and crests at Andante.  This obvious omission and the magnitude of the project, 76 each 250 watt cobra head lights on 35 foot high poles with 20 foot mast arms in only a two mile section of SR 89A, together with the environmental issues of sky glow, light trespass into neighborhoods and visual clutter, were the catalyst for increasing organized community opposition.

Contrary to the assertion by ADOT at the February 3, 2010 Board meeting, this section is not just a business corridor. Immediately behind the business establishments, the terrain rises, on both sides, and there are residential neighborhoods where residents who look down onto the road feared the potential light pollution. This fear is not misplaced as the proposed 76 G Pole 30 or 35 foot high lights, high pressure sodium, 20 foot mast arms, cobra head fixture, will produce 2.28 million lumens, with a resultant 860,000 lumens of light spill into the surrounding environment.

ADOT Final Report 522 (referred to hereafter as the Paul Box report); ADOT Report, Sedona Roadway Lighting project No. 21278, Explanation of Alternatives Spreadsheet, September 30, 2009.  

89A PEDESTRIAN SAFETY ADVISORY PANEL

In the face of overwhelming controversy and protest over the proposed lighting, on September 11, 2007, the Mayor and City Council of Sedona established an 89A Pedestrian Safety Advisory Panel, directing them to study the alternatives and produce recommendations. While the then City Manager characterized this as a “lighting” Committee, the Committee quickly realized that the real issue was “safety” on 89A and it became the Pedestrian Safety Advisory Panel. After at least four sessions, a report was presented in February, 2008.

The Panel met for the first time on November 7, 2007.  The meeting was used to agree on its mission, clarify the problem and generate pedestrian/bicycle safety alternatives. The Mission Statement was:

The SR 89A Safety Advisory Panel will evaluate potential solutions for improving pedestrian safety between Airport Road, MP 373, and Dry Creek Road, MP 371, in West Sedona.  The panel will proceed in a context sensitive manner, taking into account solution effectiveness, feasibility, the environment and the limitations of the stakeholder agencies involved.

At the February 3, 2010 Transportation Board Meeting, ADOT, in its presentation, when asked by a Board member if there were experts on this panel twice replied “NO”.  That is far from the truth.

The panel consisted of 18 members plus a neutral Facilitator from Trans Tech Consulting. It is important to note who these members were; it was a notable group of three citizens, ADOT employees (including John Harper) and ADOT consultants, City of Sedona Staff including its City Manager, City Engineer, the Police and Fire Chiefs, and experts from the International Dark Sky Association (IDA), including Christian Luginbuhl, an internationally renowned lighting expert on the staff of the U.S. Naval Observatory, Flagstaff Station.

Indeed, three ADOT Panel members, lighting experts, Kohinoor Kar, Terry Smiley and Seth Chalmers, attended the recent February 3, 2010 Board meeting. The full list of panel members is attached.  It was not a casual citizens committee as ADOT implied before the Board. It was a Blue Ribbon Panel that fully understood its charge to explore all potential data-driven safety solutions on 89A. They did their work well.

The ADOT PowerPoint for its February 3, 2010 presentation to this Board contained two glaring omissions. ADOT representatives failed to point out that the Panel did NOT recommend continuous roadway lighting. Even worse, ADOT stated that “Panel did not reach consensus but agreed to forward ideas to Council”.

Both members of that Panel who spoke at that February 3, 2010 meeting, Doug Blackwell and Cliff Ochser, stated that Facilitator Hanson polled all the members at the last meeting twice and all agreed that the group had reached consensus. From the moment that Panel recommendation was issued in February 2008, it was ignored, denigrated, and made to appear irrelevant in spite of its heavily data-driven conclusions.

On June 21, 2008, Eric J. Levitt, Sedona City Manager and member of the Safety Panel, wrote a memo to Mayor Adams and the Council in which he discussed the committee(sic) recommendations and his own recommendations, one of which was “Go back to the 2-mile lighting solution”.

Levitt’s response is astounding, given the current position of both ADOT and the City: “I do not specifically recommend that solution, and currently do not believe it provides a level of safety that outweighs the balancing of community values.”

It should be noted that the ADOT 2006 Pedestrian Crossing Study was a daytime study that resulted in a night time continuous roadway lighting recommendation. On the other hand, the 89A Pedestrian Safety Advisory Panel approved Action #7, short term, page 4 of its Recommendation Report, that a night time pedestrian study be conducted by an independent contractor.

To date, no night time studies have been conducted by ADOT or its independent contractors.

ADOT’s SUBSEQUENT REVERSAL AND RE-REVERSAL

On August  13, 2008, John Harper (ADOT) presented City Council with a compromise position: signalize Andante, implement the Safety Panel recommendations with a few “point of conflict lights” in the Andante area, and no continuous roadway lighting. In an August 12 letter to Mayor Rob Adams prior to the meeting, Harper clearly detailed ADOT’s new position:  “We believe that the recommendations submitted by the Advisory Committee(sic) provide a comparable safety solution to the original continuous lighting proposal. ADOT’s position is to utilize all of the recommendations as a complete package to address the demonstrated safety issues.”

ADOT was finally willing to accept the Panel recommendations that did not include continuous roadway lighting, an admission which shows ADOT realized that the major safety issues could not be addressed by continuous roadway lighting.

Harper presented the compromise to the City of Sedona City Council on August 13 after which the Council went into Executive Session, returned, and made a motion that essentially accepted most of the compromise items, with one exception; Councilor Scagnelli added one phrase to the motion, “and in addition, direct ADOT to move forward with Dark-Sky compliant, continuous roadway lighting from Airport Road to Dry Creek Road”. 

Those present in the audience at the meeting were shocked since there had been no discussion that evening about continuous roadway lighting. The motion passed 4-2. From that moment to the present, ADOT has insisted that continuous roadway lighting must be a part of any safety solution on SR 89A and public opposition has grown steadily.

When a group of citizens met with the FHWA to enlist their assistance in stopping the funding for the continuous roadway lighting portion of the project on February 24, 2009, they were amazed to discover that neither Ken Davis nor Director Bob Hollis knew of the Safety Panel recommendations. They were apparently operating on the assumptions that the citizenry of Sedona wanted these lights and that continuous roadway lighting was the preferred solution to the safety problem!

They were given a copy of the Safety Panel report by the group.

An integral part of the Final Report of the Safety Panel was national data that was discussed for nearly three months and that resulted in a dozen recommendations from the best to the least significant. Activated crosswalks and medians had a 40% to 90% safety improvement factor while continuous roadway lights were only 5.6% reduction in injuries, not just deaths.

On SR 89A nearly all injuries, indeed 86% of all accidents, are in the daylight hours! Continuous roadway lighting ranked as the lowest safety improvement factor.

The information in this and the prior section literally cries out for answers.

Why has ADOT minimized, denigrated and even hidden the Panel’s data-driven report, particularly when their own representatives, several of whom were before you on February 3, helped to shape the Panel’s recommendations, played an active role in its deliberations, and accepted its recommendations when polled twice  by the neutral facilitator?

Why has ADOT insisted on continuous roadway lighting, the least effective solution for 89A?

Did Councilor (Nancy) Scagnelli add that final phrase because she believed, as evidenced in emails provided to the Board, that the City could get other infrastructure improvements during trenching for the Lights?

This information alone should give this Board reason enough to deny funding for continuous roadway lighting and fund only the signalized intersection at Andante, the proven safety solution.

THE PAUL BOX REPORT 

Often referred to as the “Paul Box Report”, it is actually a May 2003 study prepared in cooperation with USDOT and FHWA for ADOT, entitled “Roadway Lighting; An Investigation and Evaluation, Final Report 522”, which has three authors; Ian Lewin, Lighting Services, Inc.; Paul Box, Paul Box Associates; and Richard Stark, ERS Engineering. It is a comprehensive report and analysis of types, placement, design, and effectiveness of roadway lighting.

It is far too large to include herewith but can be easily found on ADOT’s website.

ADOT used selective portions of this report to convince the Sedona City Council to support continuous roadway lighting in June 2007 and ADOT continues to use the report to justify continuous roadway lighting.

However, there was much data from that report that was not shared. For example, on page 82, it notes that high pressure sodium lights as proposed will spill light off the roadway and up into the sky – and surrounding neighborhoods- at 430,000 lumens per mile, or 860,000 lumens for the full two miles of the 89A project. That is significant light pollution in a dark sky community.

ADOT staff made significant errors or misrepresentations in the use of the report.

When Council was told the study area would receive a 40% improvement from continuous roadway lights, ADOT did not cite the complete sentence on page 87 which said that figure had to be adjusted down to 18% as lights only improve safety at night. This is known as comparative analysis. Using the correct 18% figure yields a potential improvement of 1.2 injuries in all of 2009 and 0.8 in all of 2008. 

It should also be noted again that 86% of all accidents in the study area on SR 89A occur during daylight.

The Summary on page 96 of the Box report was never pointed out to the City; “While it is seldom possible to warrant continuous rural highway lighting on a benefit-cost basis, a moderate expenditure of intersection lighting may be warranted, based on these studies.”

The General Summary of Accidents Study on page 100 does not include continuous lighting on highways. The Highway Summary on page 96 does suggest intersection lighting may be warranted.

The Paul Box Report, Final Report 522, makes the following statement on page one:  “The deployment of roadway lighting systems that meet the safety needs of the motoring public in as cost-efficient manner, without adversely impacting the surrounding environment, is a basic goal of the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT)”.

Installation of continuous roadway lighting does not meet any of these goals. Having already adopted several Safety Panel recommendations including reducing and enforcing the speed limit and jaywalking ordinances has already reduced accidents by 20%, injuries by 40% and fatalities by 100%. An additional 3-5% improvement at a cost of 1.3 to 1.7 million dollars, together with the resultant light pollution, does not meet the safety needs of the public.

The information from the Paul Box Report surfaced as a result of the work of Doug Blackwell, a retired engineer Safety Panel member who took the time to actually read it. 

Why did ADOT not present the “cons” when it made the decision to install continuous roadway lighting? The signalized intersection at Andante, where all three deaths in the study area occurred, is by far a more effective, cost of benefit and context-sensitive solution.

NOVEMBER 6, 2007 DRAFT-WEST SEDONA ROADWAY LIGHTING

In 2008, Keep Sedona Beautiful, an organization that has championed safety and opposes the lights, realized that ADOT was either withholding information or not using information that could reveal the real safety issue on SR 89A. It filed Information requests under the Arizona Public Records Law with both the City of Sedona and ADOT in order to obtain all internal records involving the 89A lighting issue. Many of the documents mentioned herein were obtained by these requests.

One report, the 2007 Draft West Sedona Lighting Report, was stunning. It is unsigned but obviously prepared by a knowledgeable lighting engineer. The Board was presented with a copy of this report by a citizen speaker who addressed it on February 3. Several quotes are important:

Its (the report’s) purpose was to “…enable a better understanding of the problems and a starting point to re-visit the current proposed solutions….”

“…it is reasonably probable that light from opposing traffic’s headlights is the major cause in limiting driver’s ability to see under certain circumstances….the driver’s view would have been dominated by the opposing vehicles headlights.”

The author is speaking of the Andante intersection and the fact that all three death accidents within the study area and the time frame studied, December 2000-April 2006, occurred under precisely the same circumstances; drivers traveling westbound in the leftmost lane and the pedestrians struck in the leftmost westbound lane. The ultimate conclusion is that because of the topography, i.e., the road rising up from Rodeo Drive to crest at the Andante intersection, and the glare at the top, combined with headlight configuration, glare was the reason the drivers could not see the pedestrians who stepped out in front of them. Several pages in the report are devoted to this problem. While the author does discuss continuous roadway lighting, the statement, “If at all possible to develop a consensus on what the problem really is and what the priority should be to try and solve it” clearly indicates that he/she was not comfortable with the continuous roadway lighting solution to the safety problem on SR 89A.

The conclusion is obvious – the three deaths, all in the Andante area, were caused by glare, not lack of continuous roadway lighting.

This raises several disturbing questions.

The Safety Panel, on which six ADOT Engineers and consultants, including John Harper, served, never brought this November 6, 2007 report to the Panel’s attention.

Why?

Because ADOT never wanted to deviate from its continuous roadway solution and this would be an inconvenient piece of information? Because it didn’t want this information public? It has been public since early 2009 when it was legally “discovered”.

The Andante intersection is a natural pedestrian crossing point, day or night, half-way between Rodeo Drive and Dry Creek Road. The rest of 89A has lighted signalized intersections approximately ¼ to ½ mile apart. Signalizing Andante, with a  traffic light and the usual intersection lights, would solve this site-specific problem.

It is submitted that the Andante intersection and its lack of a safe crossing is the real safety problem, not continuous roadway lighting. ADOT faces a major liability issue every day and night this intersection remains with no stop light, no intersection lighting and no crosswalk. An intersection could be installed quickly, far more quickly than making it a part of the extensive trenching, pole installation, and electrification of two miles of roadway that will be a part of continuous roadway lighting.

ADOT OUTREACH

ADOT committed in the Fall of 2009 to do extensive community outreach. It outlined those efforts in its presentation before this Board on February 3, 2010.  Outreach took the form of letters to stakeholders (mainly businesses in the vicinity of the road), public interest groups such as Keep Sedona Beautiful and The Sierra Club, public meetings including a Community Open House at the Sedona Public Library on November 5, 2009, and information packets of 68 alternatives inviting community commentary. On the February 3 PowerPoint it looked impressive, but upon investigation, it was sadly lacking.

Community participation was all one-way until the Library event. It was ADOT presenting to City Council with no opportunity for the public to probe and question. ADOT staff participated in the Advisory Panel but has denied that the Panel reached a consensus. There was a packet with 68 lighting alternatives, expertly done and understandable only by a lighting expert! The ordinary citizen could not understand the complexity of 68 very different lighting choices especially when “no lights” was not a choice.

ADOT representatives were present at the Library Open House and tried to be helpful, but the choices, again, were an engineering nightmare for the average citizen. A court reporter was present to record public comment; ADOT also passed out public comment forms which could be handed in there or returned by mail. A November 11, 2009 Sedona Red Rock News article on that meeting began with the statement “The vast majority of Sedona residents attending a Thursday Arizona Department of Transportation workshop on streetlights were not impressed.”

When ADOT was asked for Staff analysis of the public comment data, the answer was that it was unavailable. However, under the pressure of an Information Act Request, the raw data ADOT did provide showed that 60 people told the court reporter they were against lights and 2 were in favor; of those who responded on the public comment forms, 167 said they were against continuous roadway lights, and 30 were in favor.

In short, ADOT’s outreach efforts have revealed that the citizens of Sedona do not want continuous roadway lighting, nor do they believe that it is a needed safety remedy. A signalized Andante intersection, however, is enthusiastically supported.

Why were the conclusions of the outreach not included in the February 3 PowerPoint presentation to the Board?

THE ADOT FEBRUARY 3 REPORT TO THIS BOARD

ADOT made its presentation to the Board using a PowerPoint presentation and answered questions from Board members to ADOT staff. Many of the points have been responded to in earlier sections. However, it is important to respond in detail to one major misrepresentation: the comparison of the proposed SR 89A continuous roadway lights and those on SR 179.

When one Board member asked if these lights are the same as SR 179 and Uptown, John Harper and Seth Chalmers, a consultant, said “yes”.  That is far from the truth.

There are 98 lights in the Business District which includes Hillside and uptown. However, the lighting in both areas is very different. In Uptown, the lights are all pedestrian lights, in bell-shaped shielded fixtures, low wattage, about 15 feet high, and all spaced for pedestrian convenience.

The lighting on the new SR 179 is also low level pedestrian lighting, all Monterey fixtures, 15 feet high, 150 watts high pressure sodium. The roundabout lighting, all of them from the “Y” to Back O’Beyond, are 30 feet high, 2.5 foot mast arms, 250 watt high pressure sodium, with a flat lens and full cutoff.

The Monterey fixture is endorsed by the International Dark Sky AssociationSouth of the business district, there is no roadway lighting, except for roundabout lighting, as noted above, and those are specialized for roundabouts.

Photographs of much of the lighting in Uptown, on SR 179 and the roundabouts may be viewed at http://www.keepsedonabeautiful.org/LIGHTS/index.htm.

On the other hand, the only one lighting system proposed by ADOT and approved by City Council is 76 “standard” ADOT street lighting; G pole, Cobra head fixture, 35 feet high. 20 foot mast arm, 250 watt high pressure sodium. Compared to the Uptown lights and those on SR 179, which are a combination of pedestrian and roundabout lighting, ADOT is proposing industrial or freeway type lighting. It is claimed they are “dark sky compliant” but it is not known if they bear the seal of approval of the International Dark Sky Association. Pedestrian lighting is not part of the proposal.

When asked if Uptown and 179 lighting is the same as that proposed for 89A, Mr. Harper and Mr. Chalmers should have said “No” and explained the differences.

PENDING NEPA ANALYSIS

On September 28, 2008, a coalition consisting of Keep Sedona Beautiful, Sedona Verde Valley Sierra Club, and Sedona/Verde Valley Section International Dark Sky Association filed a NEPA study request for this project with the Department of Transportation. The ADOT Environmental Planning Group is responsible for conducting the environmental analysis and documentation for this project. It has determined that a Group 2 Categorical Exclusion is appropriate for this project.

However, while assurances have been made that the study is being done, it is apparently not completed as of this date. Therefore, ADOT is proceeding to seek funding approval for a lighting project for which it has not yet selected the actual lighting and has not yet determined that there are no significant environmental, social, or economic impacts.

It would also seem questionable to have ADOT conduct their own NEPA study. To ensure credibility, it would seem more appropriate to have a third party, without ties to ADOT, conduct the study.

CONCLUSION

 It is clear that since the beginning, in 2006, ADOT concluded that continuous roadway lighting was the only solution to the safety problem on SR 89A. Having done so, it has since continued to defend its position and dismissed other options in spite of contrary evidence.

The FHWA recommends that state agencies perform Road Safety Audits (RSA), a formal performance examination by 1. A team 2. Focus on Road Safety issues 3. Include all road users.

Furthermore the audits should look “at roads in-service from the perspectives of different road users and offer suggestions for improvement that do not rely on a crash history for validation”. safety.fhwa.dot.gov/rsa/guidelines

ADOT has engaged in a myopic approach contrary to these admonitions and designed to support their original flawed conclusions. On the other hand, the 89A Pedestrian Safety Panel whose process was precisely what the FHWA suggests, came to conclusions that differed from ADOT’s, and have been ignored. In reality, the Safety Panel did a Road Safety Audit by their careful analysis of all safety alternatives and its recommendations should be adopted.

There is a safety and liability problem on SR 89A but it is not the lack of continuous roadway lighting. It is the intersection at Andante that lacks a traffic signal, a pedestrian crossing and intersection lighting. It is a hazard because the topography of the road causes glare to interfere with drivers’ vision. The “solution” is the signalized intersection, not continuous roadway lighting.

We urge the Board to deny funding for continuous roadway lighting but approve funding for the Andante intersection signalization, a context sensitive solution that will resolve the safety and liability issue, not just at night, but in the day as well.

Signed by Barbara Litrell, Bob Carabell, Rod Veach, Juliette Colangelo, Steve DeVol, Marlene Rayner, Cliff Ochser, Doug Blackwell and Mike Ward.

 

Mark your calendars to vote in the City of Sedona Special election November 8, 2011

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