We moved to Payson three years ago from Holbrook. We grew up in Holbrook and dealt with the Route 66 traffic going through town making getting anywhere a hassle. Then came the I-40 bypass. Traffic in Holbrook was great. You could actually get across the street without any problems.
Then reality set in. Besides the lack of traffic there was a large — very large — drop in business. The town started to die. Shops closed and the tourists stopped only because the town was located between the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest if they stopped at all. Most of them didn’t stop.
Take a drive to Holbrook and see it is still in bad shape.
If you are asking what’s our point here it is:
We the citizens of Payson can complain about the traffic, but the people coming through town bring much-needed money to all the businesses here. Remember what it was like when the road was closed coming from the Valley due to the landslide? All the businesses do.
The movie “Cars” wasn’t just a cute cartoon it was a true story about not only Holbrook but also other cities.
Payson cannot afford a bypass. Locals so far have learned to deal with the traffic so it’s time to truly examine just what Payson has to lose and weigh it against what a small gain it will be.
Oh yes, after the bypass in Holbrook, the town dropped into the poverty level, house prices dropped drastically. You think the recession was bad on house values, wait and see what happens if the bypass goes through.
We have been there and saw it firsthand.
Judi and Art Standiford