Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Tue, Oct. 22

Editorial: Roadwork, like burns, raises ire of public

Beyond the weather, if two seasons exist each year in the Prescott area they are prescribed burns and roadwork.

As we highlighted this past week in this space, prescribed burns have begun again this month — with firefighters working to get rid of piles of undergrowth they have accumulated while cleaning the forest. It is not the first period of burning this year; in fact, 2019 has seen much more of this work than previously.

Ultimately, that is good for the most part, as each burn brings us closer to safety in the forest and for those who live among the trees. It is the smoke that we must avoid.

However, roadwork continues to be a major annoyance for the driving public. Case in point is a comment that came into the Courier this past week:

“What mental genius decided to begin construction on Outer Loop Road simultaneously with construction on Williamson Valley Road? … taxpayers out Williamson Valley can no longer go to town without sitting in line for said zones!”

The Outer Loop roadwork (one of that area’s exits) was completed quickly, and the Williamson Valley Road project (the other way into town) continues at a snail’s pace. But we wonder too how much is too much when we read that beginning Oct. 8 traffic on Highway 89 between Deep Well Ranch and Highway 89A will be compromised by road and traffic signal work there.

The simple answer is that temperatures are right.

With no rain in the forecast, along with heat during the day and cool nights, fall is the time for roadwork — ahead of what comes with winter.

It is all inevitable and requires the driving public to do one of two things — or both:

• Regularly check the news for updates and warnings of delays and projects — has regular posts for these; and,

• Leave earlier than normal to allow time for delays, which feel like forever but generally span only 3 to 10 minutes.

Ours is not a perfect world, sometimes clouded by smoke and vehicles sitting in long lines. Yet, each is a necessary evil.

We wouldn’t want to risk a dangerous blaze because of neglect, and if we were involved in a crash — for lack of fixing potholes and pavement — then we would be even more upset.

Stay safe out there.

— The Daily Courier

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