I bought a lot on a public street, then later I built a home on that lot. The street is busier than it was when I purchased here, and I don’t like it! Payson, I want to close access to this street to make it better for ME! Too bad that others can’t get to where they want to be, I want my privacy!
Essentially this is the attitude of those new residents on Phoenix Street. The property developer had an understanding with the Town of Payson, and with the Forest Service that public access to trails was a given. Who knows what information was passed along to buyers, but probably not much. So now that this trail entrance into the national forest is probably the busiest in Payson, users are worried and new homeowners are angry.
Social media can be blamed for much of the increased popularity, but another reason is that so many other ways to access the forest trails have been blocked in recent years. This is PROGRESS, and this is the town putting the cart before the horse, as has happened all too often.
Now that we are in a rapid growth stage the town must address quality of life as well as quantity. PLEASE!
Payson Area Trails System (PATS) was well on its way to assuring that residents and visitors would be able to get around town and out into the surrounding forests via a network of trails that would be protected from actions such as what the Boulders HOA is trying to pursue. This, and other citizens committees, were formed by Mayor Bob Edwards. Then, when Kenny Evans took the helm he discontinued all. That is when our trails began to erode and access denied because there was no one to speak up.
The trails are in sad condition, and in many places they are disappearing without a town leadership that cares about anything other than growth. Keeping trails also requires the local Forest Service to do its part. If both of these entities want to preserve this precious part of our local charm alive and thriving I believe that there are many residents willing to volunteer to see that we retain and improve upon our outdoor access. We just need leadership. Again, PLEASE?!