Tap to View Main Menu
Sep 08
Sep 08

Talking Points for the FMPO Winter Traffic Study on US 180

Print Email

1. Community Impacts

  • The impacts to our community from "snowplay" traffic are quite difficult. Most hard hit are residents along 180 who are unable to get to and from their house if Wing Mountain and Arizona Snowbowl are busy.
  • These impacts will become much more difficult to manage if Arizona Snowbowl is allowed to move forward with their project to add an entirely new Snowplay area at their Ski area. According to the USFS EIS for the project it would contain a 400 car parking lot and space for 600 people tubing. This would replace the family hiking area known as Aspen Alley, which connects to the Arizona Trail. Aspen Alley is the most accessible trail for family day use since it is just below the lower Snowbowl parking lot (Lot 9). In addition, Snowbowl regulary has over 4000 visitors and that is almost double the "comfprtable carrying capacity" of the ski area as determined by the USFS.
  • Additional impacts on our community from this project is the use of reclaimed water to make snow at the Snowbowl. It has created a decade of increased tension between the City and out neighboring indigenous communities on the reservation. And additional government to government problems between the city and the tribes has resulted from the reclaimed water sale as well.
  • Worst of all will be the health impacts of reclaimed water snow on our community. The amount of pollution from the delivery process, the car exhaust, and the possibility of transmitting viral infection are not worth the return. If the city chooses to also add to this a Snowplay area on McMillan Mesa it will further divide the community and create more tension between residents and also more anger towards the customers from Phoenix that all of the Snowplay areas service (96%, according to your own studies).
  • We feel that the best impact on our community would be to enact the following solutions:
    • Overturn the Snowbowl Record of Decision of 2005 to Option 3 - No Snowmaking and Snowplay
    • Do not develop a Snowplay area on McMillan Mesa at all
    • Never use reclaimed water for snowplay, not on the Peaks and not anywhere.
    • Insist the USFS enforce the Comfortable Carrying Capacity of Arizona Snowbowl
    • Any new Snowplay area should be done with natural snow at Ft. Tuthill.
    • Encourage private "shuttle and bus" solutions from town to Snowbowl.

 

2. Traffic Solutions

  • In order to cut a large amount of traffic to US 180 Create a snowplay area at Fort Tuthill where the current infrastructure is nearly complete (parking lots, off-ramps, etc.)
    • This area was determined by the "Winter Recreation Task Force" as a preferred area for snowplay.
    • It would clear a large amount of traffic from Milton, Humphrey's and Fort Valley Rd.
    • A snowplay area on McMillan Mesa would only add to the US 180 traffic problem
    • The Forest/Cedar overpass is currently one of the best "local" routes to get across town and avoid traffic. A snowplay area on the Mesa would only clog the road system for the entire east side who use that route in their daily commutes.
  • A bypass road is not a good solution to this issue, the Ski area is already over capacity, making it easier to get there would only exacerbate the problem. If a bypass is considered, I would rather see solutions designed to allow residents of the area be able to bypass the snowplay traffic.
  • Please keep the situation from getting worse:
    • Overturn the Snowbowl Record of Decision of 2005 to Option 3 - No Snowmaking and Snowplay
    • Do not develop a Snowplay area on McMillan Mesa at all
    • Never use reclaimed water for snowplay, not on the Peaks and not anywhere.
    • Insist the USFS enforce the Comfortable Carrying Capacity of Arizona Snowbowl
    • Any new Snowplay area should be done with natural snow at Ft. Tuthill.
    • Encourage private "shuttle and bus" solutions from town to Snowbowl.

 

3. Economic Development

  • If this traffic nightmare is only bringing $16 Million a year to Flagstaff, then the amount of money the city is collecting in taxes is not at all a winning situation. This is a very small amount of money in today's world and we should seek to find better, sustainable, cost-effective ways of growing our economy. One that does not require us to depend on snowfall. Last year was the "best year ever" for Snowbowl so I do not think we can expect much more from this "snowplay economy."
  • I feel like the best thing we can do is create more snowplay south of Flagstaff without the use of reclaimed water because we know people from Phoenix will come to the snow when it snows and focus the efforts of the "winter recreation task force" into a new task force designed to look for a sustainable economy for Flagstaff and the surrounding communities.
  • BTW, in a "traffic study" this whole topic is a red herring and looks largely like the same swill that Eric Borowsky and JR Murray have been using for years to deflect from the real issues surrounding their ski area.

 

4. Winter Recreation Experience

  • The winter recreation experience is about to get a whole lot worse if you add 400 cars at Snowbowl and 600 cars on the Mesa. More traffic than ever before.
  • Our Winter Recreation Experience is also about to get grosser than ever before. The use of reclaimed water to make snow is a disgusting and illegal idea. Please do not make children play in this water it is poisonous. Signs clearly state the water cannot be consumed and that should be enough. But additionally, the State of Arizona has laws designating how reclaimed water can be used, and while snowMAKING is legal, there are general provisions that also require the following standards be met, which are impossible to meet if you are sledding on it. There are additional issues if you should then enter a lodge that contains food or water fountains. Here are some excerpts of the law:
    • (R18-9-704-F-3) Prevent reclaimed water from coming into contact with drinking fountains, water coolers, or eating areas;
    • (R18-9-704-G-2b) Direct reuse for swimming, wind surfing, water skiing, or other full-immersion water activity with a potential of ingestion;
  • Please keep our winter recreation experinece real and enact the following decisions:
    • Overturn the Snowbowl Record of Decision of 2005 to Option 3 - No Snowmaking and Snowplay
    • Do not develop a Snowplay area on McMillan Mesa at all
    • Never use reclaimed water for snowplay, not on the Peaks and not on the Mesa.
    • Insist the USFS enforce the Comfortable Carrying Capacity of Arizona Snowbowl
    • Any new Snowplay area should be done with natural snow at Ft. Tuthill.
    • Encourage private "shuttle and bus" solutions from town to Snowbowl and Wing Mountain.
Written by zen pathfinder