The amendment to the town general plan by Montezuma Castle Land Exchange presents an opportunity to address a serious problem in the making for the neighborhoods of Woodhill, Alpine Village and Manzanita Hills. The plat maps show, and the current town traffic plan has confirmed, that Sherwood Drive is planned as a through street to the new Airport Road alignment.
As a resident of Woodhill, and owner of a home on Sherwood Drive, this proposed extension has serious quality of life issues for me and my neighbors in these subdivisions. The long-term consequences of connecting quiet residential streets to major thoroughfares serving the new industrial, commercial and mixed use residential area must be considered before proceeding.
Neighborhoods are approved by the town and built by builders, but it is the people who live in those neighborhoods that give them their character. Any severe change, like the Sherwood Drive extension, impacts everyone in those neighborhoods. Presently, Sherwood acts as a collector street for these neighborhoods. Current traffic flow is tolerable, but barely. Extending Sherwood will do several things to our neighborhoods — all of them bad.
It will increase the present traffic levels through quiet residential streets by a factor of at least 10 times. Traffic coming from Airport to McLane and off McLane to Airport will “cut through” the neighborhoods, increasing our already heavy traffic flow.
Construction vehicles working on the developments proposed on the amended parcels with also use Sherwood, increasing not only the traffic flow and noise levels, but decreasing the safety of the residents. Further, during the summer months when the Beeline and SR 260 are totally clogged with traffic, it does not take much imagination to see where the traffic off Airport and McLane is going to go … through our neighborhood.
By opening up Sherwood to through traffic, the neighborhoods that we all know and enjoy will be utterly transformed. Once the development begins, the traffic flow will increase exponentially, not only from construction vehicles, but also from new residents in the proposed development areas that will use Sherwood as a “shortcut” to the center of town. In fact, the quality of life which we all now enjoy, and truly the reason many of us came to Payson, will be destroyed.
The proposed Green Valley Parkway, which can be developed simultaneously with the commercial/industrial and residential build out, along with Vista and Airport Road (both 35 mph roads, not 25 mph residential streets like Sherwood) provide ample traffic flow for ingress and egress to the town core. I respectfully request that the council revisit this issue with the impact on the neighborhoods in mind. Cul-de-sac’s on Sherwood from both McLane side and Airport Road side would be a viable and easy solution. Pedestrian and PATS traffic could be accommodated while vehicular traffic would be curtailed. Thank you for your time and consideration.