Sedona’s Transportation Master Plan is coming to a close but not before the public will have a pair of opportunities to weigh in before its completion.
The city of Sedona will host two open houses to share information and get feedback on strategies detailed in the plan, which began more than a year ago. The open houses will be held Wednesday, June 21, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and Saturday, June 24, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in City Council Chambers at 102 Roadrunner Drive.
Citizen Engagement Coordinator Lauren Browne said the plan is to print out each of the 14 story boards from the survey, while staff mans those boards to help explain each strategy and answer questions. The story board will list the project description, the costs, the benefits and the trade-offs.
Those in attendance will then be asked if they support the strategies they like and don’t like.
“We look forward to hearing what the public has to say on the strategies that have been developed over the last nine months,” Browne said.
While just strategies at this point, Browne said receiving public input at these open house events will help staff gauge which strategies have community support and how the community envisions the supported strategies being funded.
Input from these public meetings along with data from an upcoming online survey will be used to draft the plan that will be presented to City Council later this summer, concluding the planning process.
“We will utilize another community survey and the open house meetings as our primary way of seeking input on the proposed improvements in the master plan,” City Manager Justin Clifton said. “What is unique about the open meetings is that they provide an opportunity to ask questions about our methodology, challenge our assumptions or just to dig in deeper with each proposed improvement.”
He added that the survey will be ready for launch by the time they host the open house meetings. Public input will be presented to City Council as part of the final considerations and plan of action on these improvements.
“In other words, council will still need to decide what exactly to do and when,” Clifton said. “The input from the public on what if any of these improvements should be the highest priorities.”
The open houses and online survey are part of the public outreach portion of the project study, tagged “Sedona In Motion.” The goal of the study is to develop the city’s long-range blueprint for travel and mobility that addresses the transportation needs of residents, visitors and commuters.
The $250,000 Transportation Master Plan covers all forms of personal travel including foot, bike, automobile and bus. To date, council has already received many options from staff as to potential solutions to the traffic issues. These have included improvements to the Uptown area and Red Rock Crossing as well as State Route 179 as it enters Sedona.
There has been discussion on transit through town and into Oak Creek Canyon as well as vehicular and pedestrian connectivity in West Sedona. The city launched a similar survey in October of last year. It had nearly 3,000 responses, far exceeding staff expectations.
Prior to that survey, Assistant City Manager Karen Osburn explained the reasoning behind it.
“The purpose of the survey is to determine what it is about the current traffic conditions that concern people the most,” she said. “The information will identify what the community views as the highest priority traffic problems, which will help the consultants put together a plan for ameliorating those issues, including how best to spend any taxpayer dollars.”