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Motorists driving in Uptown this weekend should be prepared to see a few changes.

The city announced this week that the Public Works and Sedona Police departments are coordinating to ensure business access and traffic safety on State Route 89A through the Uptown area for Presidents Day. This is part of the ongoing transportation master plan to find ways to help traffic flows, especially during busy weekends or periods of the year.


“We have actually employed this type of operation before the transportation master plan was underway,” Engineering Supervisor Stephen Craver said. “It has been continually evolving and expanding as we have learned how to be most efficient.  

“While the master plan provides permanent alternatives to alleviate congestion on southbound SR 89A, this operation is the city’s proactive approach to managing congestion until permanent improvements can be made as a result of the master plan.”

Craver said they will also be monitoring the crosswalk between Tlaquepaque and Tlaquepaque North, to determine if pedestrian control will be required throughout the peak tourist season to reduce congestion on SR 179.

On Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 18 and 19, left turns onto and from Jordan Road will be restricted between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., or until traffic congestion subsides. An additional southbound lane on SR 89A between Forest Road and Amara Lane will allow visitors to access Uptown shops and keep traffic moving from the canyon. Northbound motorists needing access to Jordan Road will be directed along a detour route through Forest Road.

An electronic message board will be placed on SR 89A just north of the SR 179 roundabout to inform northbound motorists of the Jordan Road detour. The Arizona Department of Transportation will update message boards on SR 89A just south of Flagstaff to keep drivers apprised of potential delays.

“We appreciate the patience and understanding of our residents and business owners, as always,” Police Chief David McGill said in a city release. “We’ve planned for managing congestion, and will be very visible over the holiday weekend.”

As part of the traffic study, Craver said the city has been collecting travel time data from Google, and they will also be conducting travel time runs on busy weekends through the end of March.

“Analyzing travel times for days when the operation is in effect, as opposed to days when it is not, will allow us to quantify the benefit that the operation has on overall delays,” he said.

Development of this year’s traffic management plan involved a diverse team of city experts, and will include measurement and testing of the success of various strategies. Staff will document what works well this weekend and use the data to shape traffic management plans for future needs.

“It is more about determining what level of presence and traffic control has the greatest impact,” Craver said. “We know conceptually that any level of pedestrian control will improve the travel times.  Having the ability to quantify the travel time reduction for various strategies will clearly show us what is most successful.”

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