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Posted on: March 20, 2017

County Supervisor hosts “Grappling with Gridlock” Community Forum

“Grappling with Gridlock," from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Thursday, March 30, 2017 at the Museum of Northern Arizona’s Branigar-Chase Auditorium.

Participation is limited to the first 100 people who register online at https://gridlock.eventbrite.com. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the forum begins promptly at 6 p.m. 

For those unable to attend the March 30 event, Babbott has scheduled a follow-up discussion from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.,  April 6 in the Board of Supervisors Chambers at 219 E. Cherry Ave. Flagstaff. The public is invited to attend and no registration is required for this event.

Tens of thousands of visitors come to northern Arizona on weekends for recreation. Traffic congestion and gridlock on the Highway 180 scenic corridor north and west of Flagstaff sometimes reach extreme levels, creating negative impacts on emergency services, traffic enforcement, and quality of life for both residents and visitors.

Babbott considers traffic gridlock on the 180 corridor a public safety crisis and is determined to find relief for residents. “When it takes two hours to go eight miles, there is no way first responders -- including police and ambulance service providers -- can serve our neighborhoods and communities effectively," said Babbott.

Several participants in the forum will give short presentations on the impacts of 180 gridlock, including local resident Adam Diebel, Coconino County Sheriff Jim Driscoll, Arizona Department of Transportation Engineer Audra Merrick, Coconino National Forest Supervisor Laura Jo West, and Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans.

Babbott will be seeking ideas and perspectives from all participants, especially those directly affected by the traffic congestion. He will also be seeking input on three proposals for relief that fit within current funding and political realities. Two of the proposals would create local funding sources for alternative means of transport to and from recreational hotspots. The third would enable a temporary alternative route to Interstate 40 when needed.

Babbott’s proposals will depend on public-private partnerships to be successful. “The gridlock, congestion, quality of life and public safety issues surrounding peak demand weekends on the Highway 180 corridor can only be addressed by bold and innovative actions,” said Babbott. “I’m counting on everyone to roll up their sleeves to help make gridlock a thing of the past.”

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