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If you live anywhere in the Verde Valley, you’ve experienced the frustration of a two-lane State Route 260.

What should be quick access to Interstate 17 or the Yavapai County complex in Camp Verde can become a nerve-racking crawl when stuck behind slow traffic.

Sedona Red Rock News Managing Editor Trista Steers MacVittieThe expansion of portions of the highway incorporated a section of bifurcated roadway at the east edge of Cottonwood and a few passing lanes between Camp Verde and Cottonwood in both directions.

However, a funny phenomenon develops when people see a limited window of three- or four-lane highway.

Those who were traveling below the speed limit suddenly accelerate by anywhere from 5 to 15 mph when entering passing zones.

Once they return to the two-lane zone, their speed drops right back to 40 to 49 mph.

These people make themselves impossible to pass at a reasonable and lawful speed.

They are also extremely irritating to those behind them who simply want to drive the speed limit.

Road rage aside, safety is another major concern.

Divided highways produce fewer accidents by drastically reducing the likelihood of a head-on collision, something State Route 260 has seen its fair share of.

The Sedona City Council unanimously approved a resolution to join other Verde Valley communities in support of widening the entire roadway, which is up to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

ADOT already attempted this project — which is when the other expansions went in — but faced resistance from Camp Verde property owners regarding ingress, egress and curb cuts. The result brought about the scaled back version of the project we see today.

Now the Town of Camp Verde, with other communities behind it, is asking ADOT to come back and finish the project.

I’m sure that the question on the mind of ADOT officials, however, is whether or not the private property opposition still exists regardless of municipality support, and if the time and energy of fighting the battle is worth the hassle.

State Route 260 doesn’t offer the quickest route to the interstate from Sedona, but other points of interest along the corridor do require residents to use it.

A safer, more convenient roadway is in all Verde Valley residents’ and visitors’ best interest.

Let’s just hope ADOT is willing to try again.

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