The city of Kingman has faced significant growth in the past few, short years. Some of the growth is more apparent to us, individually, than the whole picture.
The growth has affected the way we travel across town. Some of us have started using alternate routes to navigate ourselves through what is commonly referred to as the "overflow traffic" of Stockton Hill Road. We would rather "juggle here" and "jag there" than fight the traffic nightmare, creating new traffic in neighborhoods that were not really designed to hold us.
The completion of Airway and the opening of the underpass have helped. Not only do we have another route that saves some of the "jiggling," but new strip malls and professional buildings are opening up, bringing more reasons to use the artery off of Stockton Hill that connects to Andy Devine.
Once Bank Street is completed, those of us who use those alternate routes will be "overflowing" with even more ease! The underpass connections are not perfect yet. How could they be? We outgrew the plan before it was completed! There are now people living there when just last year it was vacant land.
It is sympathetic to lament over the plight of the residents of that particular block of Diamond over the past few months. It seems it is easy to be "popular" by reminding our city officials of how poorly we think they are doing their jobs.
But consider the plight of those who lived on Louise over the past few years. They suffered our traffic abuse, with most of us not thinking that our continual transit was disturbing their neighborhood.
Not to burst anyone's bubble, but when BNSF Railroad says they are closing a crossing due to liability reasons, whether you agree or not, believe it or not, the issue is moot. You can stall the matter since they will work with you on it, but they are going to do what they told you they were going to do. Anytime they allow you to come up with a solution to the problem the closing may cause, it is considered a courtesy on their part, not negotiations.
We all see the impact we have had on Diamond, but none of us realized the impact we were having on the mile-plus stretch of residents on Louise (except maybe the railroad, which realized our traffic impact had become a liability). The city is addressing the concerns of Diamond with renewed urgency. Opening the underpass was not a mistake. Hopefully, the residents of Diamond will have some relief soon.
Like the unanticipated issues of Diamond and Louise, many of us cannot "see" the immediate need that is pushing the development of Kingman Crossing. Some want to say it is just about traffic. Some think it is about our desire to have a mall. Some actually think it is all about money and greed and who is going to get what.
Then there are those who think it is just some big plot to inflate the value of the city's property in the area so that we can "score the big bucks."
Truth is, it is all about growth! It is about our current need! We are bursting at the seams and only getting bigger. Airway connecting Stockton Hill Road to Andy Devine was supposed to be the solution, a "circle" transit around Kingman. By completion of the project, we had outgrown our circle!
Sure, it means money, not just for the investors and developers, but for the city as well. Sure, it means improved property values, not just for the city but for those who currently own property in the area as well. Sure, it means we may not get it exactly right from the get-go and have to make improvements after it is completed. We won't know until it is completed, and by that time, people will probably be living out there, too. It means changes. Change is the unknown, and that shakes us up a little bit.
We owe it to ourselves and our future to keep moving forward. No one has a crystal ball that will predict the traffic on Kingman Crossing or who will actually shop there when we do get a mall. Prediction is what zoning is all about. You can re-route heavy truck traffic to a more accommodating exchange. You can have a mall that fits our themes. If you want opportunity, take it!
The conflict between the city officials and RAID should be a joint effort to get this done, not debate over whether to do it or not.
Stopping growth is like trying to stop the railroad - a moot point. We need to move on and get this done before we outgrow our next "circle."