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Bike lanes will extend from Sedona south of the Village of Oak Creek after Hwy. 179 construction if Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition has its way. By Trista Steers
Larson Newspapers

Bike lanes will extend from Sedona south of the Village of Oak Creek after Hwy. 179 construction if Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition has its way.

VVCC is raising money to pay to have bike lanes from the city limits beyond VOC swept four times a year.

If VVCC is unsuccessful, bike lanes won’t be striped.

“More people would use those shoulders if they were swept, and that’s ultimately the goal,” VVCC President Daniel Paduchowski said.

Shoulders have to be swept in order for Arizona Department of Transportation to stripe them as bike lanes and put up bike lane signs, according to Carl Burkhalter, ADOT Hwy. 179 Improvement Project manager.

“The biggest cost is sweeping it, and ADOT doesn’t have the resources,” Burkhalter said. ADOT lacks funding and the physical ability to complete the task.

Construction of the new

highway includes 8-foot shoulders on each side, Burkhalter said, regardless of whether they are designated bike lanes. Designated bike lanes would be 5 feet wide, reducing the size of the shoulder to 3 feet.

The city of Sedona agreed to maintain bike lanes on Hwy. 179 within the city limits. The city contracted Able Maintenance of Cottonwood to sweep the lanes.

VVCC hopes to also contract Able Maintenance, which will cost the nonprofit $10,000 per year, Paduchowski said.

Sweeping costs $156 per lane per mile, according to Paduchowski. VVCC wants to pay for 7 miles on each side of the highway to be swept.

Burkhalter said ADOT hopes to have a plan worked out with VVCC by August.

“They’re doing a great job,” Burkhalter said.

Sweeping is a safety issue, Paduchowski said. Cars push debris off the highway and onto the shoulder. If shoulders aren’t swept, debris builds up and creates hazards for bikers.

Paduchowski said bike lanes could also have an economic impact on Greater Sedona.

“It says something about our community,” Paduchowski said. “We want people to bring their bicycles.”

Paduchowski pointed out that most cyclists have disposable income that could be spent in the area if cyclists were encouraged to visit.

According to Paduchowski, VVCC plans to fund sweeping through a combination of membership dues, donations and grant money.

Currently, Paul Domingue, of Verde Valley School, and Sedona Bike & Bean have donated $1,000 each.

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