Letter: It’s going to take everybody to find the best solutions for Kingman

Kingman Crossing, Prospector Street and Rattlesnake Wash, aka Rancho Sante Fe Parkway, are the proposed options for north and south travel through Interstate 40.

These three options are not perfect. Prospector would only be an underpass from south to north past I40 because there is no room to put an interchange there.

Rancho Sante Fe Parkway has ample room, but there is no sewage infrastructure or electricity for a police substation and fire department. In addition to the lack of infrastructure, a police substation or fire department along the parkway would be underutilized. To be cost effective, a station should be located at the center of a district rather than the edge, as we would have now at along the parkway.

Kingman Crossing has been hotly contented due to expansion of retail/commercial zoning being located so close to residences.

Regardless of what crossing or parkway you favor or don’t, we have to have one.

The fire department’s response time from call to arrival in that area is 8 to 10 minutes with the national average being closer to 3 minutes. The average time for the police department can be as much as 10 and even more depending on where their people are on calls. Law Enforcement Officers have had to park along I40 and hop fences to get on scene in time to stop crime. I would like to think there are safer courses of action than having to leap fences to save lives.

Our emergency personnel are at risk everyday. Must we add the stress of having to leap fences like steeple chasers? They have a hard enough job.

Rattlesnake Wash is being pursued, and I understand why private property owners would not want to spend the money to black top roads to the interstate through their properties. I can even understand why businesses at the airport don’t want to pay for a share of the road infrastructure. Not all of them will use or need it.

The Mayor would like the Arizona Department of Transportation to put it back on their five-year plan. We, unfortunately, can’t wait for a five-year plan.

Population growth has once again forced infrastructure to be built out of necessity rather than planning. The argument of where and how has been batted across lines of opposition so long that it must cease to be a debate and become an action. People are in potential hazard.

There are at least 500 new homes going into that part of our city, and we need to have adequate coverage for safety. If we don’t do the least problematic of the crossings now, it could come to the point where your address can cost you more money.

What I mean by that is, there are state and federal reports filed on response times. There are insurance investigations into any incident requiring the insurance to pay a claim. When the insurance companies see there are consistent call arrival times in excess of the national average, they start charging you more for your homeowners and renters insurance policies. Choosing to buy or rent in an at-risk, slow-response-time area makes it a financial risk to them. None of us want that to happen. When you give a reason for corporations to charge you more, the argument over the whys and why nots seem rather short sighted. An immediate underpass crossing is needed for the greater good. Then, at a later time of ADOT’s choosing in their five-year plan, both interchanges can be done.

Kingman Crossing would provide the emergency services for a full district of citizens. The City of Kingman owns land it can leverage to help subsidize the cost of the underpass, with an eye toward the future of an actual interchange.

ADOT has already signed off on the north side of I40. No one expects ADOT to disavow the southern half of a crossing interchange.

There are only two property owners in the right of way for Kingman Crossing. One owner is Kingman Regional Medical Center, and the other is the City of Kingman.

In a perfect world we could do both the parkway and Kingman Crossing that would save money on building materials and construction.

However, we know ADOT has a tendency to move at a snail’s pace due to attempting to maintain all of Arizona’s roads not owned by the cities and towns. The best we could ever hope for is a five-year plan for both interchanges. Meanwhile, in the interest of public safety and emergency response personnel safety, we have to start on an underpass, whether we individuals like it or not.

The Kingman Crossing underpass needs to be completed. It seems to be the best option for all the necessary criteria. An added benefit is that when the interchanges are completed, Kingman will be in a different set of population demographics. With commercial retail space available at the new interchanges, there are some restaurants and chain stores that would be more open to coming in to Kingman.

If you have a better idea, I challenge you to let the city hear it.

It takes all of us to find solutions for the greater good, because together that greater good is made up of all of us.