City News

Over the last several months, the city of Sedona has been experimenting in various ways to help reduce traffic around town.

Some of these experiments are included in the ongoing transportation master plan, which is coming to a close. The most recent test took place on Saturday, Sept. 9, at Tlaquepaque during its annual celebration.

With thousands of visitors and residents flocking to the annual fiesta, the city felt it was a good opportunity to try something to reduce congestion at the Schnebly Hill roundabout. According to engineering supervisor Stephen Craver, the city used the event to evaluate one of the recommendations of the study — connect the Tlaquepaque parking lot to Ranger and Brewer roads to create an exit somewhere other than State Route 179.

On a busy Saturday afternoon, approximately 100 vehicles per hour use the Schnebly Hill Road roundabout to make a U-turn from southbound to northbound SR 179, he said. This causes a considerable slowdown in traffic with a large percentage of the vehicles originating from Tlaquepaque.

Prior to this past weekend, Craver and other city staff members sat down with Wendy Lippman, Tlaquepaque’s general manager and resident partner, and representatives from Los Abrigados Resort to go over their strategy.

“Overall, things went really well,” he said. “I went down there a couple times and things were going smoothly. We had everyone exiting the same way. We knew this event draws a lot of people so we felt it was good to try it and see how it works.”

From 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Portal Lane was used as an entrance only. All exiting traffic was directed through the city’s lift station parcel on the north side of Tlaquepaque to exit onto Ranger Road and then to Brewer Road to head to points north.

Guests and staff of Los Abrigados exited the property’s back gate to Prochnow Road, then to Brewer. This traffic mitigation option was discussed at a previous Sedona City Council meeting. If this is chosen, it would make Portal Lane one-way into Tlaquepaque/Los Abrigados area at least on weekends, busier times of the year and during large events.

It would connect the Tlaquepaque parking lot to Ranger and Brewer roads for exiting vehicles. And, it would extend the west end of Forest Road to connect to southbound State Route 89A.

The estimated cost of this is $500,000, which would include the roadwork and land acquisition. “Brewer/Ranger connection creates a more convenient route for northbound and westbound SR 179 travelers, with minimal impact to southbound SR 179 travelers,” a city report states. “Forest Road connection allows Uptown residents and emergency responders to avoid congestion in Uptown and at the ‘Y.’”


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