|There is no doubt the rest of SR 260 needs to be split|
|Written by Trista Steers MacVittie|
|Wednesday, 05 September 2012 00:00|
Vehicle collisions, like the head-on accident Aug. 29, constantly remind us why State Route 260 should be bifurcated, or split, all the way from Cottonwood to Camp Verde.
Sadly, the highway would be split today, and last week’s accident possibly avoided, if the Arizona Department of Transportation didn’t run into roadblock after roadblock while trying to complete that project.
ADOT bifurcated the highway from Prairie Lane in Cottonwood nearly to Thousand Trails Road, but then stopped because consensus couldn’t be reached in Camp Verde on how to go about construction from that point toward Interstate 17.
There is no question whether a split, four-lane highway is safer than a two-lane roadway packed with traffic traveling 55 to 65 miles per hour.
While the completed project included the addition of passing lanes in sections through Camp Verde, impatient drivers still pass when they shouldn’t and distracted drivers still cross the yellow line.
Since construction crews completed splitting a portion of State Route 260, far fewer accidents have happened on the bifurcated section.
There are two lanes in both directions allowing for easy passing and no threat of oncoming traffic traveling in the wrong lane.
State Route 260 services a high volume of traffic from residents and visitors.
Many people in the Verde Valley commute daily to neighboring communities for work and when attending events, shopping in stores, and visiting friends and family.
To travel to or from Cottonwood, the Verde Villages and Camp Verde, residents must drive down State Route 260 or go out of their way to take Cornville Road.
The highway also sees a high volume of visitor traffic.
The first Interstate 17 exit at Camp Verde is the gateway to the Verde Valley and Sedona.
Many travelers visiting any of these communities exit at the first sign of their destination.
Visitors to Camp Verde loop through the rural town, those headed to Cottonwood, Clarkdale or Jerome head northwest and tourists bound for Sedona often take the detour into Cottonwood via State Route 260 and then head northeast on State Route 89A.
Thankfully, the Camp Verde Town Council is on board to push for cooperation between all parties so eventually a proposal can be presented to ADOT asking it to come back and do something it already tried to do.