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Anyone who has driven through Uptown during or around the weekend knows there is a parking problem.

Cars normally fill all the spaces in front of shops along State Route 89A by early afternoon, and from then on it’s a game of luck when it comes to finding a space on the main corridor.

Sedona Red Rock News Managing Editor Trista Steers MacVittieOften, motorists give up and make their way onto the side streets.

Some of them find the Uptown Municipal Parking Lot, which is also now completely packed at times.

Others fill parking lots located behind businesses, or they make their way into the residential areas of Uptown parking along the narrow streets.

Regardless of where a person ends up, there are issues to contend with.

Along State Route 89A, cars pull to the side of the traffic lanes behind parked cars and wait, thus blocking in parked vehicles.

If a blocked-in motorist decides to leave, you now have the waiting vehicle driving backward on the side of the road. I’m pretty sure that’s not safe or legal.

A similar scenario plays out in the municipal and business lots; however, at least the waiting vehicles aren’t anywhere near flowing traffic. Here, pedestrian safety and the risk of fender-benders is much more of a concern.

When a motorist sees a spot open up, that is sometimes literally all they see — not somebody walking by or another car on the same mission.

On the side streets, vehicles squeeze into spaces too small for safe parking or park in areas clearly marked “No Parking,” making it difficult to turn out of driveways.

Visitors aren’t the only people fighting for a spot. The employees who service those visitors at the shops and restaurants and people who live in Uptown need a place to park too.

Fortunately, the Sedona Red Rock News office has two parking lots for employees and our customers. Otherwise, I too would be involved in the search for a space.

The city of Sedona knows something needs to be done and is not ignoring the issue.

A major problem is figuring out what to do to please the most Uptown business owners and residents. Is the answer to construct a parking lot to offer more spaces? Should we charge for parking? Would a time limit on certain spaces make a difference? Will the stronger police presence in Uptown have any effect?

The city has started the conversation and is currently gathering input from stakeholders.

For more information about the city’s plan, see Patrick Whitehurst’s story on Page 1A of the Wednesday, June 13, edition of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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