Do you think crews should narrow State Route 260 through Star Valley to two lanes?

Weigh in when the Star Valley Town Council hosts a public hearing with the Arizona Department of Transportation at 6 p.m., Tuesday, July 16. On the docket is discussion of putting 260 on a “road diet,” narrowing 260 from four to two lanes. The change is an effort by officials to reduce speeding through town.

“We want the public to attend and ask questions of the ADOT representatives about the changes,” said Tim Grier, Star Valley town manager.

He said the town council believes the plan could increase safety for drivers and pedestrians, as well as make it easier to make both right and left turns.

“We realize it’s a big change and there will be questions about it creating a bottleneck,” Grier said.

He said ADOT studies show the change does not decrease the flow of traffic.

The council heard a road safety report from ADOT back in April. A number of options were presented to address the speeding issue and the council chose to have the state agency move forward with what is called a “road diet” to reconfigure the highway.

The road diet would take the four lanes of 260 in Star Valley down to two and convert the other outside lanes to right turn lanes.

According to ADOT, a road diet is a low-cost striping change where a through lane in each direction is eliminated or converted to right turn lanes.

On 260 this would entail striping over the dashed lane dividers between the inside and outside through lanes to convert the outside lane to dedicated right turn lanes.

In its April report, ADOT said the benefits of road diets are:

• Limited obliteration of old striping required for installation

• Reduces number of lanes to cross for left turns from side streets

• Improves visibility on curves

• Provides buffer to pedestrians using sidewalk and shortens crossing distances

• Provides for dedicated right turn lanes for side streets and driveways

• Provides full shoulder for breakdowns or emergencies

• May result in lower average speed and usually eliminates highest speeds

• Road can be converted back to existing lane configuration if conditions change

The drawbacks include:

• Reduces through lanes by 50 percent

• Requires some new regulatory signs

• Removal would require some striping obliteration

• Does not prevent speeding

• Public acceptance may be difficult

tmcquerrey@payson.com

Contact the reporter 

tmcquerrey@payson.com

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