|Night work, better funneling could help flow of traffic|
|Written by Trista Steers MacVittie|
|Wednesday, 06 June 2012 00:00|
When it takes 30 minutes to drive from Uptown to Sedona Red Rock High School, it can be a bit unnerving.
The construction headache lingers in Sedona with much more pounding to come.
The Arizona Department of Transportation hired contractors work to install lighting from Airport Road to Dry Creek Road and a traffic light at Andante Drive, and eventually resurface State Route 89A.
While we wait, it’s not too fun.
Since I moved to Arizona six years ago it seems I’ve been plagued by construction — Uptown, State Route 179, State Route 89A in Clarkdale and now State Route 89A in Sedona.
Each project brought different challenges, and construction crews adapted to problems or unforeseen issues as they arose.
While workers appear to be doing their best to keep traffic flowing, a few questions arise with regard to how business is conducted.
The State Route 179 project took place over a number of years, which means busy season came while crews worked. To combat the effect on daytime traffic, crews switched their schedules to work at night.
There are far fewer vehicles traveling Sedona streets after the sun goes down.
Switching to a nighttime work schedule on the current project would alleviate some of the pressure on morning and afternoon traffic, not to mention be much more comfortable for workers.
It’s getting hot, and mid- to high-90s is becoming the norm. I wouldn’t want to stand on pavement with the sun beating down on me in those temperatures.
The second puzzling strategy concerns how traffic is funneled into a single lane.
Since last week, as traffic comes up Cook’s Hill to West Sedona from Uptown it is pushed into a single lane just after Soldier Pass Road. That’s fine and seems to work OK.
The problem occurs when a few blocks down traffic goes back to two lanes for a short distance and then is again funneled back into one.
Whenever you force cars to merge it’s a hassle.
You have those who wait their turn because they can see the flashing orange light ahead, and you have those who speed to the front and then cut off other motorists to squeeze in line.
By switching from two lanes to one lane, back to two lanes and then again to one lane, you have this push-and-shove playground line-cutting scenario twice rather than once, and it’s worse the second time around.
Put motorists in a single lane the entire length of the work zone, and don’t let them out until they’re through.