As I sat once again in the parking lot yesterday afternoon that is otherwise known as Butler Avenue, a recurring thought flashed through my mind. Wouldn't it be appropriate for the president of NAU, Rita Cheng, and the members of Flagstaff's City Council (along with all the city planners) to be sentenced to spend their late afternoon time sitting in the same traffic every day?
President Cheng receives bonuses for increasing student enrollment at NAU, while silently encouraging off-campus apartment behemoths to be built, along with their accompanying voluminous numbers of extra vehicles on city streets. Then, city council and city planners have developed the unfortunate habit of rubber-stamping just about every proposal brought before them for consideration to build out every conceivable space in the city with more of those same huge apartment complexes.
These actions might not lead to such oppressive congested driving conditions on city streets if there was an equal effort to alleviate the congestion by either building more streets or introducing better methods for control of traffic flow. However, building new streets isn't really feasible in Flagstaff, as all residents are aware. That pretty much leaves better control of traffic flow... which, at this point, could only happen by limiting any further addition of those apartment complexes and other residential developments, and the vehicles they bring with them.
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City officials and Cheng shouldn't be able to have it both ways. They are directly responsible for the extra traffic in our city and should also be held accountable for providing a logical solution for the traffic congestion on all of our major streets.