A word about the "roundabout" on north Highway 87 adjacent to The Home Depot.
At first, I could not figure out why ADOT referred to it as the "roundabout." However, after driving through it several times, it became apparent that it is the most roundabout way to make a left turn that you could get.
The ADOT driving manual indicates on page 35 that when making a left turn, "You must yield the right-of-way to any oncoming vehicle and pedestrian." This is a universal rule of the road and, of course, it makes good sense not to challenge oncoming traffic. On page 36 of the ADOT driving manual, it states, "Vehicles in the roundabout have the right of way." This, of course, reverses the left turn rule on page 35. No wonder drivers get confused when attempting to use the roundabout to execute a left turn. On page 36 of the ADOT driving manual it states that, "Vehicles must slow down." However, it is perfectly legal to enter the roundabout at the posted speed limit of 40 mph.
Fortunately, the driving public is smart enough to slow down when approaching a confusing road situation. The confusion starts with several road signs that are difficult to interpret, even if you had time to digest them.
These conditions add up to a very dangerous roadway.
If ADOT had driven through Payson on Highway 87, it could have noticed that all businesses are accessible by simply using the center medium to make a safe left turn, which everybody understands.
It was not necessary for ADOT to change anything on Highway 87 in order to turn left to access the Home Depot. It creates a dangerous situation that ADOT may be liable for, should there be an accident involving the roundabout, due to the conflicting rules stated above.
If you want to go to The Home Depot while driving north, it would be better to go through the roundabout in the right-hand lane and then make a left turn at Houston Mesa Road for easy access.
The town of Payson and The Home Depot management would be wise to urge the Arizona governor to remove this roadway impairment and return the highway to its original configuration and simply paint a left turn lane in the center median.
As for the plan to erect a statue of an elk in the middle of the roundabout, a more fitting statue would be one of Mickey Mouse.
Can anyone even imagine a roundabout at the junction of (highways) 87 and 260?
Paul Myers, Payson