Payson's traffic advisory committee has come up with a tentative list of $7.7 million in top-priority street improvements all over town, with a second-tier list totaling another $4.4 million.
The priority list could take years to complete and includes major improvements to many of the major streets and roads in town, including Frontier, Easy, Mud Springs, McLane, Manzanita, Rumsey and Goodnow.
On Wednesday, the Surface Traffic Advisory Committee (STAC) approved an 11-street "A" list and a six-street "B" list, based on cost, traffic volume and condition of the pavement. The committee has asked for additional information on traffic accidents, which will then help rank the proposed improvements in order of importance.
Tom Loeffler, a retired traffic administrator and newly appointed head of the committee, said the process should help the council prioritize scarce funding.
"We need long-range planning based on objective criteria," he said.
The committee worked from a much longer list of possible street improvement projects prepared by Town Engineer LaRon Garrett, who offered a synopsis of each potential project to a committee heavily weighted with newly appointed members.
For each street, Garrett provided the average daily traffic volume, condition of the pavement and the estimated project cost. Most of the projects would lay down a new foundation and widen the street to include a sidewalk on at least one side and a bike path. The top priority streets, in the order of traffic volume, included:
- Manzanita Drive (Hwy 260 to Evergreen Street) 2,561 cars/day, $550,000.
- McLane Road (Airport Road to Payson Ranchos) 2,519 cars/day, $800,000.
- Easy Street (Evergreen to Sherwood) 531 cars/day, $880,000.
- Easy Street (Sherwood to Matterhorn) 892 cars/day, $850,000.
- McLane Road (Payson Ranchos to Payson Pines) 868, $1,020,000.
- Frontier Street (Meadow to Hwy 87) 747 cars/day, $550,000.
- Frontier Street (McLane to Meadow) 747 cars/day, $1,027,000.
- Goodnow Road (Bonita to Highway 260) new road, $765,000
- Main Street Parking (East of McLane) new parking, cost not estimated.
- Rumsey Road (McLane to Hwy. 87) new road, $440,000.
- Mud Springs Road (Granite Dells to Hwy. 260) new road, $800,000.
Roads and streets on the second tier list include Aero Drive, Briarwood, Colcord, Longhorn, Mu Springs and Phoenix.
The committee will discuss the list again, together with suggestions from the public, once the town staff compiles a list of accidents on each of the proposed streets and roads. That should enable STAC to rank the projects in order of priority.
The town currently has two different priority lists for future street improvements, one for projects likely to attract developer financing and a second for roads on which the town will have to bear the whole cost. The list has not been updated in years and includes no statistical support for the rankings, said Loeffler.
The controversial extension of Mud Springs to Highway 260 had long headed that list and the furor about that project prompted STAC to try to find a more systematic way to set the town's priorities.
The priority list will be back on the STAC agenda for its May 7 meeting.
At that time, the committee will also consider recommendations for the town staff for traffic calming measures on Phoenix Street and Mud Springs, to both slow traffic and ease resident fears that the extension of the road to the highway will create a de facto highway bypass.