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Sedona Traffic Problems Caused by Chamber and City Council

Sedona AZ (June 26, 2018) – The following is a letter to the SedonaEye.com editor:

The 7/20/18 Red Rock News editorial by Christopher Fox Graham is headlined by “Council, don’t listen to squeaky wheel NIMBYs.” Sounds good doesn’t it? And it strikes home into the willing skeptics among us. But, as a good solution to our traffic problems, it is just about a zero.

Graham has little education in highway/road/street design as far as I know, so as an expert in the field that’s a gigantic and questionable assumption. As editor of one of our news media, he does have license to voice his opinion – just as does my Aunt Tilly. My judgement as a past registered professional engineer in three (3) states, including Arizona, is that they (Graham and Aunt Tilly) are close to being equals.

As the anointed funnel for the Chamber of Commerce for all chamber propaganda about tourism, this news outlet (RRN) is not unbiased and has never to my knowledge or recollection offered anything of technical value or related to engineering practices to expose the cause for our traffic problems. That includes the mostly unrelated nonsense in the editorial by Christopher Graham referenced above.

Too bad their (RRN) prejudice has been thrust upon a public audience which exists without much knowledge in the realm of the highway engineering profession: No, Christopher Graham and Kyle Larson, the only cause for our traffic situation is the tourists coming in hordes to drive through or stay in Sedona.

The Chamber of Commerce (good customers as they are for RRN paper) is on a tear to get more of them to visit and bring their cars, trucks, and vans to take up the road space we have available (and shove us guys aside in so doing). The terrain is not flat, so normal traffic designs are not readily available for us like they are elsewhere in this nation.

This Sedona Arizona City Council has raised taxes every year and approved new annual rate increases through 2020.

But to have spent hundreds of thousands of tax dollars for engineer consultations (reports) over the years and come up empty of engineering fixes, as the past councils have, must tell us the solution is not an engineering one. Which, even though you don’t like it RRNEWS and Chamber, leaves only the obvious. Too many tourists.

So then, intelligent hard nosed thinking has to lead us only in this direction which is to control the volume of tourist traffic and save us from becoming another tourist trap like Branson, Missouri or Ruidoso, New Mexico.

The solution is not the almost entirely useless and wasteful Sedona in Motion concept being promoted by our city council and city staff. The only real solution will require much more than prejudiced decisions, but rather a big bunch of compromising among all of us residents on how much tourism we will tolerate.

We must have a new city council to reach this decision and the goal for containing traffic snarls.

John Roberts
Sedona AZ

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  1. Chamber Folly says:

    The chamber spends part of the $2.5 million they are given from the City on billboards and other advertising in Phoenix and Tucson. Those same advertising dollars bring in day trippers that according to the City, 50% do not even stop in Sedona.

    No on Home rule will cut the chamber off. It will also reduce the hugely over staffed city.

  2. Hal says:

    Without a doubt the Chamber and City advertising for daytrippers caused our roads to exceed capacity. Oak Creek Canyon is being ruined by them. Slide Rock is e coli heaven. Air quality is poorer than ever and getting worse. Acid rain. Stop it. Now.

  3. NJKeller says:

    As a Sedona guest from Santa Fe I’d like to point out we are a western designation city and we prevented much of your tourist issues. Contact planning departments in other cities like ours and please ask for their help.

  4. Lorena willmon says:

    So well said. This is exactly what’s wrong and this City Council is hell bent on making it worse at every, if you will, turn. The most depressing aspect of this situation is that no matter how reasonable, logical and true it is to point out the obvious, it does no good in Sedona. IMO Christopher Graham and our mayor are the king and queen of denial and outright dishonesty. We are so disappointed and discouraged by what continues to happen in Sedona that we are selling our home and moving.

  5. steve Segner says:

    Just when did you move to Sedona 1954? it has all ways been a tourist town get over it .
    Chamber Folly says: The chamber spends part of the $2.5 million they are given from the City on billboards and other advertising, sorry just not true…. but then you never show us the proof….. just hating visitors and the city people from Phoenix have every right to come to Sedona …..

  6. Joan says:

    The consequences of funding a private membership taxpayers money is clear. The results have had a negative impact and there is nothing you can say to change that. NO CITY gifts aways taxpayers money. Please STATE of ARIZONA stop this insane city.

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