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Wed, April 21

Community View | Kingman traffic jam fix not fast enough for reader

Please, someone call the paramedics! Kingman has a clogged artery! Yes, the life-blood of Kingman is seriously at risk! While we are busy planning to spend money on “revitalizing” our historic downtown in order to attract tourism – place benches and landscape, build trails, etc. – no local or tourist is going to stop downtown after spending an hour getting the last 2 miles into town from Golden Valley, Bullhead, Las Vegas and points west and north of Kingman off highways 93 and 68.

Sunday seems to be the worst day for the backup from the West Beale Street exit – over Coyote Pass and often as far as the 68 and 93 intersection near the inspection station. People from other Arizona towns just going to Vegas for the weekend now have an extra hour added to the return trip due to the slow-moving, bumper-to-bumper last miles.

The last botched Arizona Department of Transportation “fix” of the traffic lights at the Beale Street exit from I-40 has left our town in a really ridiculous predicament. County residents and others are not able to get into town for medical appointments in a timely manner, much less in a medical emergency. Eastbound traffic on 68 is now often seen going south from 68 to Shinarump and coming into Kingman on I-40 North, a good 30-45 minute detour.

Oh, yes, in the public notice printed in the Kingman Daily Miner a couple of weeks ago, ADOT was asking for public input on the plan to create a new exit at this Beale Street intersection, bringing it into Highway 93 near historic Beale Springs, but no plan to begin until 2024!

Impacted by the delay getting into Kingman from the west? Let your local officials know.

This problem is a big black eye for our community. Another idea for ADOT. Let’s slow traffic on I-40 down to 65 mph through Kingman, like they do through Flagstaff. It may save our ongoing pavement and bridge repairs and stop the ever-present noise that plagues sleep for anyone within a mile of I-40. It’s time for the state of Arizona to get a solution in place now, not three-to-four years down the road. We might have a clot break loose and kill what should be a thriving recovery for Kingman.

(Lynda Thompson is a resident of Kingman.)

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