Streets can either detract from or contribute to community character
Stand Up for Flagstaff is taking a position against widening Milton in favor of transforming it into a beautiful gateway to Flagstaff. This is why:
Milton is the main way in and out of historic downtown Flagstaff, and has become a hybrid street. On the one hand, cutting right through the middle of town, it is an important street for expressing Flagstaff’s character. On the other hand, it is a heavily used street and often congested. Nearly everyone considers it an ugly street and a necessary evil. It is stressful to walk on and unsafe for biking.
Widening streets like Milton to accommodate more traffic is a short term solution at best. Soon, congestion builds back up to previous levels. What is left is an even uglier street that is even less safe for pedestrians and bicyclists. Flagstaff is pursuing options to provide alternatives for travelers who don't want to go through the heart of town, who are bypassing it or headed to its suburban areas for instance. We support those options.
If we can't, and don't want, to turn Milton into a wider, high speed road whose purpose is only to move cars, we need, first, to accept its inevitable periods of congestion. Secondly, we can make it a beautiful street to drive more slowly on, and make it feel safe to walk and ride a bike on.
There are benefits to driving slowly on a beautiful street. As a resident, is a more peaceful experience, an opportunity for more trees, landscaping and public art. As a traveler, it allows time to grasp Flagstaff's personality, to scope out shops, galleries and restaurants to visit during your stay, or even convince you to make an unplanned stop. A beautiful street is good for commerce, good for the local economy. If a street feels safe and interesting to walk or bike on, people are more likely to leave their car at the motel and go to town that way, reducing the vehicle congestion on the street.
Please share your thoughts about how Milton, and other streets, can support community character.