If the comments attributed to members of the Surface Transportation Advisory Committee (STAC) in a recent issue of the Payson Roundup, “Fender-bender plan?” are correct, they are disturbing and frustrating — disturbing that town committees seem to be functioning in a vacuum and frustrating because their untimely comments are counterproductive.
After reading the article my immediate thought was, “we have met the enemy and they are us.” For STAC to decide to weigh in at this time is not only untimely, but unfortunate. For months there have been public forums, presentations by the consultant to various groups and appearances before town council.
Generally speaking, town committees made up of citizen volunteers should have one overriding objective in mind to “see the big picture” and work together for the ultimate benefit of the town. Unfortunately, STAC’s comments and their potential consequences do not set a good example and put the $300,000 grant awarded to the town for Main Street improvements in further jeopardy. This does not even consider the hard work by a variety of people, groups and committees over the past six months.
Remarks attributed to STAC include the proposed conceptual plan will result in “fender benders” and generally cause problems along the roadway portion of Main Street. To the best of my knowledge, it is conjecture and opinion and not based on fact. Whereas, the people putting the proposed “enhancement” plan together relied on a track record of proven successes where this parking layout and other road design is currently being used to the benefit of those communities.
Timely input from STAC is certainly valid and could have been appropriately addressed and a likely “meeting of the minds” reached to most everyone’s satisfaction. Coming now it is more like “for every step forward, we take two steps backward!” Ultimately, if we are to succeed in realizing Main Street’s full potential as a “place-maker” and an economic driver, we need to acknowledge the objective is to do everything we can to entice people to come, get out of their vehicle and stay! NOT to move traffic as efficiently and quickly as possible through to some other destination.
Finally, to suggest we should not be making an investment in Main Street, as the article suggested, is just plain irresponsible. Many people in this community are working hard to encourage investment in various parts of the town, and Main Street is certainly one of them. This area, like others, can be a significant asset to the town if properly encouraged and portrayed in a positive light. In regard to Main Street’s “historic” character, if we are to succeed in making this a viable attraction, we need to continue enhancing this element.
But one thing is for sure, if we continue to have people in responsible and/or visible positions within the town make comments that are negative in tone and counterproductive in their fall-out, success will continue to be an elusive objective!