Those driving to and from Uptown this past week may have noticed something new.
City crews were busy painting route guidance pavement markings in an attempt to help with traffic flow. Northbound lanes have Forest Road and State Route 89A painted on them while southbound have State Routes 179 and 89A.
“By providing guidance, it is hoped that it will reduce congestion, as well as improve traffic flow efficiency and safety,” Engineering Supervisor Stephen Craver said. “In particular, for vehicles traveling from southbound State Route 89A to southbound State Route 179, there is an issue with vehicles in the outside lane trying to make that movement, which conflicts with vehicles in the inside lane that are attempting to continue on southbound 89A.”
Craver said it is hoped that these markings will reduce this conflict if vehicles that are bound for SR 179 are in the proper [inside] lane before they enter the roundabout. These improvements are part of the Sedona in Motion projects recommended in the Transportation Master Plan Update.
“There is signage already in place that indicates the proper lane usage,” Craver said. “However, these pavement markings do not require diversion of the driver’s attention from the roadway surface, so we hope they will be safer and more effective than additional signage.”
The concept originated in metro areas, however, it is a standard traffic control device that can also be used in rural areas where additional guidance is needed, Craver said.
“It is a significant safety issue particularly at the Y roundabout,” he said. “In addition, if vehicles are in the proper lane as soon as possible there will be less merging and diverging vehicles, which we hope will improve efficiency and reduce overall congestion.”
Being that this work was just completed, Craver said the city has not received any feedback since the installation. But they informed the Uptown Parking Work Group late last week that they would be performing the work. He said they were excited and receptive about it.
Craver added that they will consider additional streets in the Uptown area, however, they do not have any specific ones planned at this time.
“Any other applications on the state routes outside of Uptown would be at the discretion of Arizona Department of Transportation,” he said. “We were able to proceed with this initial application because it is within the city’s right-of-way.”