This page is devoted to information about transportation projects that affect the Williamson Valley community.
UPDATING THE CYMPO 2030 PLAN
By Ken Mino
CYMPO hosted a public meeting at the Prescott City Council chambers on September 29; the first session began at 1:00 P.M. and was to be repeated by a second session at 5:30 P.M. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce to, and to take comments from, the general public to the proposed updates to the formally-adopted CYMPO 2030 Plan. There were several charts and graphs presented to show the various growth projections and roadway proposals under different sets of circumstances. While the graphics were similar in form to that found in previous reports and presentations, the data was substantially different and now reflects a more realistic assessment of projected growth. These charts will be available on the CYMPO website (www.cympo.org) for public view and comment but were not yet available for inclusion here.
CYMPO Study Area
A brief summary will give the reader some idea of the magnitude of the reductions in growth projections. The information below comes from the 2030 Plan (prepared in 2005), the 2011 Regional Transportation Plan Update, and the current Plan Update. The 2011 Update used actual census numbers from 2000 and 2010; the Plan Update extends the timeline to 2040, with population projections further adjusted to reflect current expectations. Data for Dewey-Humboldt is not included in the table below nor is data for the portion of Yavapai County outside the planning area. 2040 data supplied by CYMPO.
|2030 Plan||2011 CYMPO Update||Current Update|
|Local Estimate 2030||2000||2010||2030||2040|
|Williamson CDP||8734||3776||5438||8734||Included in Co.|
|Yavapai County||179678||Not Found||22969||44749||34000|
Of particular interest to those of us in Williamson Valley, it is indeed a pleasure to report two significant proposals. The first is that no increase in the number of lanes on Williamson Valley Road appears planned or necessary through at least 2040. Second, but of significant importance, is the inclusion of a new two-lane road extending on a nearly straight line from Center Street in Chino Valley connecting to Williamson Valley Road.
Draft CYMPO Network Plan
Before closing, a word or two about water needs to be added. Despite a dramatic reduction in population projections, the growth is still expected to approximately double by 2040, thereby placing additional strain on limited water availability. It is the responsibility of the plan participants to determine the adequacy of water (or the lack thereof) when arriving at population growth projections to be used in Plan Updates. Citizens with concerns in this area can find additional information on this website and should address any additional questions to their local supervisor or city councilman.
It is well to remember that while CYMPO coordinates the development of these transportation plans and recommendations, it is not responsible for the funding; that is a matter for the state and/or locality to determine; federal funds can be used if available. Once the Plan Update has been completed and approved, it will be up to the plan participants to make decisions about which proposal gets built and when. Given the current condition of the various treasuries and the ongoing expense of maintaining existing infrastructure, it is apparent that the money necessary to complete all of the proposals is simply not even close to being available, thus difficult funding decisions lie ahead. As more information is disseminated, WVCO will continue to keep you informed. We would recommend the CYMPO website (www.cympo.org) for additional information and for submission of your comments. The Regional Transportation Plan is scheduled to be updated again in 5 years.
Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) Tentative 5-yr Plan
By Ken Mino
The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT’s) has published its latest proposed Tentative 5-year Plan. The document contains 178 pages of information on Highways, Regional Transportation Plans, and Airport Improvements. It is currently in the Public Comment Period which will end in May of this year. My review shows there is little of interest to Williamson Valley Community Area (WVCO) in this Plan. Projects in Yavapai County as a whole deal with highways 89 and 89A. Proposals originating from the Central Yavapai Metropolitan Planning Organization (CYMPO) do not come near Williamson Valley.
There are many improvements, expansions, and modernizations scheduled for the airport (Love Field), but whether these would impact this area can’t be determined from the report. The only impact observable from enlarging the airport would be increased automobile traffic to and from the facility. For now it is reasonable to assume such traffic is too far from the Williamson Valley community to have any impact on Williamson Valley Road or other roads in the area.
As to Williamson Valley Road itself, it seems clear that the widening that has already taken place from Pioneer Parkway to Iron Springs Road is significantly more than adequate to accommodate any near and mid-term needs. Growth projections in the CYMPO update of the 2030 Plan (currently underway) are dramatically scaled back from the earlier study and tend to coincide with the Department of Economic Security’s estimates of population growth. Further, it appears that the local political subdivisions have recognized that the impact of limited water availability will play an important role in limiting future growth. Given the County’s tight budget restrictions and lack of excess funds, together with a responsible population growth projection, it is reasonable to conclude that there is no need or available funds to undertake any significant widening of Williamson Valley Road now or for quite a few years to come.
In summary, budget restraints and demonstrated needs appear to have the most significant impact on ADOT and local expenditures at this time. The good news for residents of the Williamson Valley community is that there is simply no justification for widening Williamson Valley Road to any significant degree at this time or in the near future. WVCO will continue to monitor the situation and report back to the membership as situations arise.
County Plans Northern Connector Road
Yavapai County Public Works evaluated several possible routes for a northern connecting road between the Williamson Valley area and the Town of Chino Valley. As seen in the map below, the recommended route runs from the intersection of Inscription Canyon Road and Williamson Valley road (Point 2) to the northeast for approximately one half mile and then continues due east on the Center Street alignment to the intersection of Center Street and Highway 89 in Chino Valley (Point B). The estimated cost including right of way acquisition, design, permitting and construction is $13.3 million.
The Corridor report was accepted by the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors on August 5, 2013. The Corridor study was presented to the Central Yavapai Metropolitan Planning Organization (CYMPO) on September 18, 2013. This recommended Northern Connector has been included in CYMPO’s Long Range Regional Transportation Plan Update, although construction is many years off.