While traffic still backed up for miles over the Labor Day holiday weekend, police managed to keep the major intersections clear thanks to increased patrols.
The Payson Police Department had received numerous complaints in recent weeks about drivers blocking the intersections along State Routes 87 and 260 and subsequent delays due to backed up traffic.
“Due to the expected high volume of traffic, we put out extra patrols to address these complaints,” said Payson Police Chief Ron Tischer. “The officers made over 100 traffic stops (59 of those stops occurred on Monday). The stops were for drivers going through red lights and drivers blocking the intersection.”
Police issued several citations and many warnings. Tischer said their goal was to keep traffic moving and make the drive through Payson as safe as possible.
“Drivers that block the intersection end up causing significant delays due to the obstructing of the cross traffic lands,” he said.
The Payson Police Department will continue to put out traffic details when there is an anticipated heavy volume of traffic. Typically, traffic volume decreases after Labor Day weekend and through the fall and winter months until Memorial Day.
Officials have considered a southeast bypass as far back as 1999. The idea is typically met with opposition from local merchants who fear the bypass would create a revenue vacuum for their businesses.
Local residents attempting to cross town on busy holiday weekends say it can’t come soon enough.
There are no plans to create a bypass at this time.
“The police department appreciates the drivers from out of town that patronize our local businesses and enjoy time in Payson,” Tischer said. “However, the police department will continue to ensure that traffic laws are being followed and accidents are hopefully kept to a minimum.”