In his poem “, Said the Shotgun to the Head,” slam poet Saul Williams writes, “From now on cities will be built on one side of the street so that soothsayers will have wilderness to wander and lovers space enough to contemplate a kiss.”
Using this poem as jumping off point, I proffer a modest proposal that will solve the dual problems of traffic and “Not In My Backyard-ers” who object to every change in the city.
Sedona could build a road circumnavigating the city’s perimeter, bulldoze every house in city limits and replace them with luxury shotgun-style homes from city limits to the city center where we can place parking lots, cell phone towers and amenities. From above, Sedona will look like Imperial Japanese Rising Sun naval ensign.
By placing bay windows on only the out-facing exterior so occupants can see no other homes, residents can live in Sedona but still pretend they have no other neighbors. This would appear to be the ideal vision of Sedona for many. With a city built on one side of the street, NIMBYs will have a wilderness in which to find new things to complain about.
Of course this solution is ridiculous. We live in a living city and sometimes that means we will have new water tanks, cell towers, connecting roads, businesses and community facilities go up on zoned parcels where there was nothing before.
Residents must be realistic and understand that a commercially zoned parcel will one day be occupied by a business. A residential parcel will one day have a home on it. The only way to prevent an undeveloped parcel from one day being built on is to buy it and then build nothing.
We also must accept that as smartphones become more commonplace and users demand better service, faster download speeds and more bandwith, the companies we pay monthly will want to improve our service.
In keeping with these needs that we users demand, these companies will want to improve our network. If residents want to prevent new cell towers, then start a campaign to ban all smartphones in the city and start cracking all digital devices like walnuts. If there is no demand for cell service, there will be no towers.
As that also seems unlikely, then to somewhat control these changes, the city has drafted a Wireless Master Plan. The plan is not some nefarious conspiracy for the city to build towers at trailheads. The city doesn’t build towers, these private companies do. Cell providers can contract with landowners to build towers on private property — over which the city has limited control — or on public rights of way under federal law, where the city can at least limit what type of towers companies might some day in the future build there.
Without a plan, cell companies could attach hideous cell relays to any existing APS power pole, perhaps even in the front yards of the most vocal NIMBYs.
Cell towers are coming and, yes, they may ruin some esthetics and some views. But we asked for them bit by bit and byte by byte, with every text, app, status update and download on our magical pocket computers.
Christopher Fox Graham
Managing EditorBLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS