Can Residents' Clout Color Council Votes On Parkway?


Ever since Tyler Parkway was created several years ago, it has been an agonizing experience for even the sanest of motorists.

With a 25 mph speed limit on a road that town Public Works Engineer LaRon Garrett has publicly stated on several occasions was designed to be driven 40 mph, staying anywhere near the prescribed speed limit has become the ultimate exercise in self restraint.

An attempt by the Payson Town Council to rectify the situation a couple of years ago was met by a cadre of area residents claiming Tyler Parkway was, in fact, a residential street. Had they not made these claims with a straight face, everyone would have had a good laugh and gone home.

But they didn't crack a smile, and the council caved in.

Then two weeks ago the council tried again, and this time, with one Tyler Parkway resident in attendance, voted 6-1 to raise the speed limit to 40 mph.

Now, a handful of Tyler residents has successfully manipulated the council to reconsider the change, and a new motion to limit the speed limit increase to 35 mph is on the agenda of this Thursday's town council meeting. This, despite the fact that shiny, new 40 mph signs have been ordered, delivered and presumably paid for by the town.

The basis of this minority's claim is that they were not informed of the agenda item prior to the council meeting, and therefore should be given another opportunity to lobby for their desired speed limit-espite the fact that the meeting agenda was publicized and posted in the Payson Roundup and through all the normal venues.

Is it political clout or financial influence that gives this particular group of residents a second chance because they are unhappy with the decision of the overwhelming majority of the council? What kind of precedence is our council setting by caving in to the willfulness of a disgruntled minority?

This action smacks of elitism and favoritism. Tyler Parkway belongs to all the residents of Payson and was intended as a bypass rather than a residential road that happens to be adjacent to upscale homes.

If residents are concerned about their children being endangered by cars traveling 40 mph on Tyler Parkway, have them play on the two acres or so that comprise their back yards -- or on the side streets off Tyler Parkway, on which most of their homes actually sit.

We ask the council not to continue this kind of precedent and instead allow democracy to prevail.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.