In what's being referred to as "a ground breaking meeting", John Halikowski, Executive Director of ADOT, directed that ADOT take over the maintenance and r related costs for sweeping, signage and bike lane markings on the unincorporated portion of Hwy 179 between the Red Rock Ranger Station and Back O’Beyond Road by the end of 2017. These costs are currently incurred by VVCC and area friends of bicycling under an encroachment agreement that was originally required in order to have bicycle lanes included in the Hwy 179 reconstruction design.
Bob Beane, Coalition of Arizona Bicyclist “CAzB” President, made this request directly of Executive Director Halikowski at a meeting at ADOT Headquarters in Phoenix on June 8th. VVCC Board Member in Waiting Rich Leever represented the VVCC at this meeting. According to Leever, "the VVCC will soon receive written confirmation from Audra Merrick, District Engineer for ADOT in Flagstaff that we are no longer responsible for quarterly sweeping the bike lanes." In an email summary of this meeting sent to CAzB Members, CAzB President Beane wrote "I believe that having a VVCC representative in attendance was influential in the outcome."
After the meeting, Rich Leever stated "I like to present VVCC's heartfelt thanks to CAzB and its President Bob Beane for for arranging the meeting and bringing VVCC's situation to the attention of ADOT leadership in Phoenix."
There are others in the Verde Valley that helped create awareness about the need for ADOT to take over the cleaning of the 179 in VOC. The VVCC will be sending out thank yous to those people and a press release to the community about this change.
Since the VVCC has been raising money to keep the road clean we will determine at next week’s board meeting if there will be any forecasted surplus sweeping donations by year's end as well as the best way to contact those who so generously supported the VVCC’s sweeping requirements concerning any forecasted surplus. "Hopefully some of those that made donations may be willing to allow the VVCC to keep any surplus sweeping funds for other positive cycling issues" Leever added.