Horseshoe Bend in northern Arizona has quickly become one of the most Instagrammed places in the world.
The number of visitors?
“There’s [sic] probably about 500 a day,” said Levi Tappan, a Page City councilman.
He says the foot traffic to the landmark is great, but the actual traffic is not.
“There’s [sic] turn lanes, there’s [sic] no outbound lanes, there’s [sic] no acceleration lanes,” said Tappan.
In order to get to Horseshoe Bend, visitors have to park in a small lot, but once it's full, people park along the highway.
The turn-off for the lot appears out of nowhere, not a sign in sight and there's just one turn lane.
The result is 88 traffic-related incidents and 18 crashes in the last three years, according to the Page Police Department.
“I also work at the hospital and I was there when a local person had to be life flighted out because of a wreck at that spot,” said Tappan.
ADOT oversees that stretch of highway. It plans to add in signs next year that remind people the shoulder of the highway is only for emergencies, and it's on track to build a northbound left turn lane in 2021.
But Tappan says that isn't soon enough.
“They say they don’t have enough numbers right now, which means basically they don’t have enough wrecks yet. Nobody has died yet,” said Tappan.
The last deaths at the Horseshoe Bend turn-off happened 18 years ago.
We asked ADOT why the project will take three years, and they told us, "funding comes in stages and must be prioritized around other needs in the state highway system."
Tappan says the City of Page is frustrated and said visitors shouldn't have to risk their lives just to park their car, so they’re designing a new parking lot that will have 450 additional parking spaces, set to be ready sometime in 2019.
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