City Council Meeting - FINAL

Return to the Search Page Return to the Agenda
Meeting Date: 02/07/2023  
From: Martin Ince, Multi-Modal Planner

Consideration and Adoption of Resolution No. 2023-03:  A resolution of the Flagstaff City Council naming the tunnel under 1-17 along the Sheep Crossing FUTS Trail in honor of Cosmic Ray (Raymond J. Brutti)
1) Read Resolution No. 2023-03 by title only
2) City Clerk reads Resolution No. 2023-03 by title only (if approved above)
3) Adopt Resolution No. 2023-03
Executive Summary:
This resolution will name the tunnel under I-17 along the Sheep Crossing FUTS Trail in honor of Cosmic Ray Brutti in response to a citizen-initiated request and petition. Consideration of this naming request has followed the process and policy established in Resolution 2001-73, which includes a public outreach component and review by relevant City commissions and committees.
Financial Impact:
No financial impact.
Policy Impact:
The process for naming a City facility follows the policy and process set forth in Resolution 2001-73. There are no other policy impacts.
Connection to PBB Priorities/Objectives, Carbon Neutrality Plan & Regional Plan:
Priority Based Budget Key Community Priorities and Objectives
Livable Community
Provide amenities and activities that support a healthy lifestyle
Inclusive & Engaged Community
Foster community pride and civic engagement

Carbon Neutrality Plan
Decreased Dependence on Cars
DD-2 Create inclusive networks for walking and biking that are continuous, attractive, safe, comprehensive, and convenient for people of all ages.
DD-3 Encourage Flagstaff residents and visitors to walk, bike, roll and take the bus.

Regional Plan
Goal T.5. Increase the availability and use of pedestrian infrastructure, including FUTS, as a critical element of a safe and livable community.
Policy T.6.2. Establish and maintain a comprehensive, consistent, and highly connected system of bikeways and FUTS trails.
Has There Been Previous Council Decision on This:
No previous decision
Options and Alternatives:
Approve Resolution No. 2023-03
Do not approve Resolution No. 2023-03
This is a citizen-initiated request to name the tunnel at I-17 along the Sheep Crossing FUTS Trail in honor of Cosmic Ray (Raymond J. Brutti).
Resolution No. 2001-73 establishes a policy and process for naming or changing the name of a City facility. Following submission of a formal request, the naming is reviewed by the appropriate City commissions. For FUTS trails and related facilities, this includes the Pedestrian Advisory Committee, the Bicycle Advisory Committee, the Transportation Commission, and the Parks and Recreation Commission. A recommendation is forwarded to the City Council, which makes the final decision and adopts the name by resolution.
When facilities are named for a person, the City’s policy indicates that the individual must have contributed in a definitive way to the betterment of the Flagstaff community and its citizens, be accepted by the general public or professional field as a local, state, or national hero/contributor, or have historical significance. Information regarding how this request satisfies this requirement is provided below under Key Considerations. Additionally, the person must have been deceased for two years, or at least one year in for someone who has contributed outstanding civic service to the City. Cosmic Ray passed a little more than two years ago.
The policy also states that public outreach is done in conjunction with the community or neighborhood that will be served by the facility, and that City staff may initiate efforts to solicit input from the community. Outreach conducted for this request is described in the Community Involvement section below.
Previous examples of FUTS trails that have been named or renamed include the Karen Cooper Trail, Nate Avery Trail, and Matt Kelly Bridge.
Key Considerations:
Cosmic Ray Brutti
Raymond J. Brutti was born in 1946 and moved to Flagstaff in 1979 at the age of 33. He worked as a mechanic at the original Cosmic Cycles on South San Francisco Street, and during this time adopted the “Cosmic Ray” moniker. In 1988, he published “Fat Tire Tales and Trails,” one of the first guides for mountain biking in Arizona. He followed with two hiking guides, one for Flagstaff and Sedona and another for the Phoenix area. He died on October 2, 2020, at the age of 74.
Justification for naming
Ray’s book “Fat Tire Tales and Trails” was published in 1988, at a time when mountain biking was an entirely new activity. The book, and the subsequent hiking guide, helped put Flagstaff on the map as a destination for mountain biking, hiking, and outdoor activity. The books are known for their unique and humorous writing style and iconic maps and illustrations.
The guidebooks remain popular and are considered an essential source of information for hiking and biking in Flagstaff for both residents and visitors. The popularity of the books made Ray a recognizable and visible local figure.
Ray also promoting bicycling in Flagstaff in other ways: he conducted periodic free bicycle repair and maintenance clinics, taught weeks-long repair and maintenance classes, and helped individuals find and outfit old bikes for transportation. He also often stopped to pick up trash along streets and FUTS trails.
Sheep Crossing Trail
This is an aggregate surfaced FUTS trail, approximately 0.8 miles in length, that was completed in late 2020. The trail provides a connection between the Ponderosa Trails neighborhood and Fort Tuthill County Park. A map of the Sheep Crossing Trail is attached.
The Sheep Crossing Trail includes an improved tunnel under I-17 that is dedicated for pedestrian and bicycle use. The tunnel was originally built in 1960 as part of a “sheep driveway” to facilitate moving herds of sheep across the new interstate safely. Sheep driveways are historic routes for moving herds between summer pastures in northern Arizona and winter pastures in the south. The tunnel consists of two side-by-side concrete boxes, both 10x10 feet in size and about 290 feet in length. The FUTS tunnel uses the south box, while local drainage is directed through the north box.
In a related effort, City staff is working on a plan for interpretive information and potential artwork to acknowledge the sheep history of the tunnel.
Community Involvement:
The requestors have submitted a naming petition (attached) that has been signed by 150 individuals.
A public survey regarding the naming was hosted on the Flagstaff Community Forum through November 27, 2022. A total of 362 responses were submitted, of which 92.5 percent support the naming. The results of the survey are attached.
The request has also been reviewed by several City commissions and committees, as listed below. All of these bodies recommended approval of the naming request. 
  • Bicycle Advisory Committee: Nov 3, 2022
  • Pedestrian Advisory Committee: Dec 8, 2022
  • Transportation Commission: Dec 7, 2022
  • Parks and Recreation Commission: Dec 19, 2022

The requestors are considering different options for a permanent memorial at the tunnel, which might include a plaque, a mural or other artwork, or a memorial bench. Review of a permanent memorial follows the process described in Resolution No. 2014-18 and is independent of the naming process. 
Res. 2023-03
Citizen request/petition
Public survey results
Map of Sheep Crossing FUTS Trail


Level double AA conformance,
                W3C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0

AgendaQuick ©2005 - 2023 Destiny Software Inc. All Rights Reserved.