Winter Traffic Study Open House September 13th
You're invited to the U.S. 180 Winter Traffic Study Open House to learn more about the study and how to comment or submit ideas to help relieve traffic congestion on the corridor. Stop by on Tuesday, September 13th from 5:30 to 7:30pm at Sechrist Elementary School Gym on 2230 N. Fort Valley Rd.
It is really important that lots of us show up to this open house to let them know we don't want Snowbowl or McMillan mesa doused with reclaimed water. And certainly not if it will consistently jam up the roads to our town.
the U.S. 180 Winter Traffic Congestion Study open house is sponsored by the Flagstaff Metropolitan Planning Organization (FMPO). They have been framing the issue into four categories, though only one of them seems to have to do with traffic. This open house is a part of the online website forum where you can comment as well. Here are the categories and the FMPO descriptions:
Here is a link to some talking points about what could be said in response to the questions posed by the FMPO
1. Community Impacts
Flagstaff snow play visitors can cause extreme winter traffic congestion along the U.S. 180, the primary route to the ski and snow play areas. On the six to eight holiday weekend evenings each year, the ski areas and snow play areas result in queues of southbound traffic, leaving travel to a virtual standstill on numerous arterial roads. Residents in neighborhoods along U.S. 180 have stated they make plans to stay home during this peak period. Also, when talking with emergency responders, such as police, fire, and ambulance services, about winter traffic congestion they stated they are concerned about longer emergency response times in traffic.
2. Traffic Solutions
Over the years numerous solutions have been suggested by the community to ease winter traffic congestion. Possible solutions that have been mentioned are: providing transit and shuttle services, having two inbound lanes on U.S. 180 during the peak period using a managed lane or shoulder, or building an A-1 Mountain bypass.
3. Economic Development
Flagstaff has a tourism-dependent economy and the tourism industry is the largest private sector employer. Flagstaff has long been Arizona’s primary destination for winter recreation. In 2010, a study was completed which found that visitors coming to Flagstaff for snow play contributed a total annual economic impact to Flagstaff of $16 million. But many have suggested that these economic benefits must be balanced against the severe traffic congestion that can occur on Highway 180 on holidays and weekends from snow play visitors.
4. Winter Recreation Experience
Flagstaff snowfall attracts visitors eager to ski, sled, and play outdoors. A 2010 study found that Flagstaff snow play visitors are almost entirely from out-of-town (96%) and the majority (55%) stay overnight in Flagstaff. Though most visitors state they are highly satisfied with their snow play experience, business and resort operators worry that the delays from the extreme congestion will discourage repeat ski and snow play visitors and will have a long-term impact on the Flagstaff tourist economy.