The lights are on in West Sedona — well, most of them anyway.
Construction crews hired by the Arizona Department of Transportation continue to work on some of the lights but the majority now glow when the sun goes down.
On Friday night, Oct. 12, I ate dinner at one of West Sedona’s fine dining establishments and looked forward to seeing what a difference the lights made.
Granted, I wasn’t the driver, but the next day I thought, “Darn it, I didn’t even notice the lights!”
As a journalist, I like to think of myself as more observant than the average person.
We’re trained to look for changes, things out of the ordinary and small details someone else might fail to notice.
Well, the lights slipped right by me, and it wasn’t because I’m not conditioned to notice.
It’s because they aren’t a big deal, and they don’t make Sedona look like Las Vegas or even Flagstaff for that matter.
Yes, the roadway is lit up, but the ease with which motorists can safely drive down State Route 89A in West Sedona actually makes the lights less noticeable. Drivers aren’t straining their eyes to see just ahead of their vehicles.
The low lighting instead creates the ideal environment for interfacing highway travel and a busy community.
Pedestrians also can now walk down the sidewalk without worrying about hurting themselves on uneven curbs or not being seen by a motorist turning in or out of the many driveways along the route.
During the day, the lights create a sense of uniformity and enhance Sedona’s character and charm.
People no longer feel as if they are driving down a highway with shops on the side. Instead, they feel as if they are driving down a town’s main street.
The poles are tall, there’s no doubt about it. ADOT gave us the option of shorter versions, but there would have been more of them.
While the bitter battle over the project seemed as if it would never end, once the majority of residents made it clear they supported the project through a vote, the opposition stood aside. The debate ended and nobody chained him or herself to a piece of heavy machinery.
Hopefully, construction crews soon leave us to enjoy the completed project, which makes Sedona safe and quaint.
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