This is addressed to the many outraged folks venting opinions about Highway 87 from Payson to Pine and roadside memorials.
My thoughts on Highway 87:
Highway 87 is not truly a safe state highway. Here's why I think it is not as safe as it could be:
1. There are only a few turnouts and too few usable shoulders; you are in deep trouble if you have to pull over or break down, or hit an elk. It seems like a paved logging road being used for increasingly heavy traffic with no plan in the near future to improve.
2. Signs need upgrading (and some repainting). How about no bicycles allowed?
3. How about some reflective/recessed safety bumps that would warn you when you are over the double-yellow and yet allow snowplows to go over them? Pine has these in the middle of town.
4. How about a reduction of speed? And have it enforced? Although I haven't a clue where a cop could pull over an offender.
5. Put a small cell repeater so cell phones would work for emergencies.
6. It isn't the local drivers I am so worried about, but the increasing amount of visitors who aren't familiar with negotiating narrow mountain roads in the dark (not taught in Phoenix driving schools). This is particularly true at night and in the winter when a dangerous condition is easily foreseen.
My thoughts on roadside memorials:
I am as religious as the next guy, and can appreciate the grief and sadness when a loved one leaves us. However, perhaps I, too, am self-serving by not wishing to see these memorials. My reason is different. Recently, I lost a dearly-loved first grandchild. This precious baby was properly buried in a Christian cemetery. Now, each time I drive into town I must relive the pain and grief brought on by the sight of roadside memorials.
I don't wish to be disrespectful or any of the other things blurted out by irate readers, but please have some consideration for those of us who wish not to be constantly reminded of our own grief on a trip to town. Perhaps this is why we have cemeteries, memorial parks and sacred grounds on which to visit and to pray for our loved ones.
My last opinion:
I was terribly offended by the thinly-veiled anti-Semitic and personal attacks toward Mrs. Cohen. C'mon folks, this is an opinion page. Your right to disagree with a writer's opinion does not include personal attacks.
May God help all of us to rest these issues in peace, understanding, and Christian charity.