Today: Jul 13 , 2020

The Inevitable Roads To Growth

11 February 2008  

If there is one thing that almost everybody can agree on, it's that Prescott and the entire quad-city area are going to keep on growing. A lot.

This map was just one shown by Jodi Rooney. The entire PowerPoint presentation is available here .

If there is one thing that almost everybody can agree on, it's that Prescott and the entire quad-city area are going to keep on growing. A lot.

Is it possible to have 'smart growth'? Can the growth be managed, and if so, how? And how will it affect infrastructure like roads and water? 

At the end of last week, Steve Norwood, Prescott's City Manager, announced a reorganizational plan. Craig McConnell was appointed as Deputy City Manager - with a focus on "...furthering the City's mission of smart growth as well as coordinating and implementing large-scale annexations." (See further details of the reorganization here .)

If each community tries to handle the growth alone, the growth will be that much harder to grapple with. And that is especially true when it comes to roads.

Enter CYMPO - Central Yavapai Metropolitan Planning Organization . CYMPO is an organization comprised of local governmental member agencies: Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), Yavapai County, the City of Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley and the Transportation Board. The Executive Board meets on the third Wednesday of each month in the Supervisor's Boardroom at the Yavapai County Administration Building, and is made up of elected officials from the member agencies.

  • Chair - Carol Springer, Board of Supervisors, Yavapai County
  • Vice-Chair, Mike Flannery, Councilmember, Prescott Valley
  • Secretary-Treasurer - Bob Luzius, Councilmember, City of Prescott
  • Chair Emeritus - Karen Fann, Mayor, Chino Valley
  • Member - Bill Feldmeier, Transportation Board Representative

The purpose of CYMPO, a federally-funded organization,is to try to anticipate the transportation needs to meet the expected growth both near-term and long-term. {sidebar id=14}

Jodi Rooney is the CYMPO Administrator, and she recently appeared before the Prescott City Council offering the 'big picture' of the status of transportation projects. (Click on this link to view Rooney's PowerPoint Presentation.)Rooney explained that in December, 2006, CYMPO finished their first long-range plan, which brought forth several recommendations; one of which was to consider potential roadways.

One of the proposed new roads in the long-range plan is being called the Chino Valley Bypass (or the Chino Valley Extension, they're the same thing) and another is a connector from 169 to Fain Road. CYMPO plans to study these concurrently.

Rooney explained some of the reasoning behind the roadways being considered, "Because we know that here at Chino Valley - anyone that comes in from Chino Valley in the morniing, commutes to Prescott to work, there is as much traffic on that road as there is on I-17 way out at Cordes Junction. So we need to be able to look into the future to determine what we're going to do to provide for our citizens and for freight and commerce."

Rooney continued, "It's important that we look at our needs now, our choke points, but we also have to look way out in the future and what not only do we need, but the state as well. So these framework studies here will beginning very quickly, I look at around a little over a year for them to finish, but what's important is the governor will need to have some information to start a conversation with the legislature on what we need for transportation funding."

Rooney showed a map that she called the "Red Dot Map," which clearly showed the projected amount of growth in the State of Arizona as a whole. "This is the year 2000. We're looking at population. Now, if we go to the year 2050, watch the difference," Rooney stated as she advanced the slides, "...this is what they're forecasting. Do I need to say more?"

A sound between a gasp and a groan was heard in the Prescott Council Chambers, and it was evident that the audience was beginning to realize the immensity of the need.

At the end of her presentation, Councilman Jim Lamerson asked, "I'm looking at these projections, I've seen similar projections from APS and different people like that, and I just want to hear it from somebody else, besides myself. Does the City of Prescott's Council have anything to do with all those red dots?"

Rooney seemed a bit confused by the question, and responded, "I don't think the City of Prescott's Council has anything to do with the dots here or even on this map."

Lamerson replied, "So the dots are coming, regardless of what we do? I just want people out there to hear it. It's not this Council that makes that decision."

Rooney nodded and gave a small laugh, "I think you're absolutely right about that, Councilman."


  Editor's note: Thank you to Jodi Rooney for sharing her PowerPoint presentation.

Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Founder of the eNewsAZ Network of websites. She will be leaving for new adventures on May 15, 2020.