Nearly everyone speeds on Longhorn Road.
Should Payson do something to slow them down — or increase the speed limit?
That’s the question facing the Payson Council on Thursday night starting at 5:30 in Town Hall.
The results of a traffic study on Longhorn in the wake of resident complaints about speeding motorists shares the agenda with a quarterly financial report, plans to buy up right of way to widen Bonita Street, a contract for waste disposal and a plea from a developer for more time to start building.
Residents along Longhorn have complained repeatedly about the speed of drivers barreling down the road, prompting the town to do two different traffic studies in August.
The sensors recording speeds of more than 6,500 drivers a day on Longhorn found that 85 percent of the drivers went lickety-splitting along at about 35 miles an hour – an average of 10 miles an hour above the speed limit.
As it happens the town’s Surface Transportation Advisory Committee is in the middle of a study of traffic speeds all over town. STAC Chairman Tom Loeffler, a former state traffic department official, has argued that the town should raise the speed limit on key, arterial streets where people habitually speed in an attempt to move traffic more efficiently around town.
However, resident complaints and the presence of the high school prompted town engineer LaRon Garrett to recommended “traffic calming” humps, signs and stripping to slow speeders on Longhorn.
The council on Thursday will consider Garrett’s recommendation that the town put reflectors and striping on the street to eliminate a center turn lane and make the street seem narrower, in hopes that will slow drivers down to 25 miles an hour.
Garrett noted that the straight stretch between 500 W. Longhorn and McLane roads poses the biggest problem, with the overwhelming majority of drivers exceeding the speed limit.
Repainting the lanes and shifting the lanes back and forth to avoid the creation of a straight-away would slow traffic fairly cheaply – less than $1,000.
If that doesn’t work, the town could add a 25-mph speed hump; near 512 W. Longhorn – at a cost of about $4,000.
If that doesn’t work, Garrett recommends two more speed humps between 606 and 706 W. Longhorn.