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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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6/19/2013 6:01:00 AM
Truck delivery restrictions proposed to improve downtown traffic safety

PRESCOTT - Changes apparently are in store for truck deliveries on two busy downtown streets - a move that city officials say should enhance safety for pedestrians.

Although the Prescott City Council took no vote on the matter during Tuesday's caucus discussion, they voiced support for a proposal by the public works department to restrict on-street deliveries by trucks.

During previous discussions, council members had expressed concerns about the large beverage and food trucks that frequently park in the driving lanes on Whiskey Row.

Because the trucks often park near the mid-block crosswalks, city officials say they obscure the views of approaching drivers, leaving pedestrians in jeopardy.

At its May discussion on downtown issues, the council had asked for suggestions on how to deal with the pedestrian safety concerns, along with a number of other downtown problems.

In response, Engineering Services Director Mark Nietupski proposed that the city prohibit loading and unloading within 50 feet of the crosswalks on Whiskey Road (Montezuma Street) and Cortez Street.

"That distance is necessary when you consider that traffic is moving at 25 miles per hour," Nietupski said this week.

He suggested installing signs and street markings to alert truck drivers to the new restrictions. The changes should "improve visibility and en-hance safety," Nietupski added.

Although much of the previous discussion had focused on Whiskey Row, Nietupski said similar concerns exist on Cortez Street - between Willis and Gurley, and between Gurley and Goodwin.

Tommy Meredith, owner of the Jersey Lilly Saloon on Whiskey Row, said he foresees no resistance to the new restrictions.

"Most of the delivery guys know better than to park close to the crosswalks," Meredith said. "I don't think it's a problem."

With no objections coming up at the meeting, Nietupski said afterward that his department would move ahead with the traffic changes. He expected the signs and street striping to be in place by late July.

The council also heard suggestions for other traffic-flow concerns, such as the congestion that often occurs at Granite and Goodwin, near the entrance to the downtown-parking garage.

Because the intersection has no traffic signal, drivers heading from Granite onto Goodwin often have a difficult time turning left.

Noting that a traffic signal is "not warranted" at the intersection, Nietupski said another option would be for the city to station a police officer at the corner to direct traffic during special events.

But Councilman Jim Lamerson pointed out that the City Council has the authority to approve a traffic signal even if one is not warranted by traffic-safety standards.

City Manager Craig McConnell responded that, in some cases, "a set of eyes of an experienced police officer is going to be better. Sometimes the best way is not to have a signal."

Even so, Lamerson said traffic congestion regularly occurs at the intersection - even when there is no special event. "Every day, we have lunch hours," he said. "Sometimes, people are sitting there for five, six, eight minutes, and traffic just does not flow."

In other matters, the council also discussed methods for improving communications and dispersing tourist information on the downtown area.




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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, June 23, 2013
Article comment by: A Driver

I am a driver and spend a lot of time delivering downtown. The article is about parking 50 from crosswalks (not an issue), the comments have gone way off topic. I deliver approximately 15000 lbs of products per day using a tractor trailer. You can't hardly get a passenger car through some of the alleys downtown, not to mention a large truck. There are few options for us downtown. I have been yelled at numerous times (probably by some of the people making comments here) for doing my job. Many times the one spot that I can park is occupied by someone too lazy to park in a designated space designed for passenger vehicles, all the while time is ticking and I have very strict DOT regulations to adhere to. The drivers park where they park for a reason, and it's not to get under your skin.

Posted: Friday, June 21, 2013
Article comment by: Filler of said delivery trucks

I fill those delivery trucks and they are usually only there for a couple hours throughout the day, I'm certain they can't ruin someone's day enough "hold on a minute". As many people drive through the alley as that street looking for a good parking spot as well. Get of any high horse and let the delivery drivers do there job. They work their butts off and don't deserve to be pushed to the alley because a couple people think they are in the way.

Posted: Friday, June 21, 2013
Article comment by: Hold On a Minute!

There is a double yellow line down Montezuma and Cortez sreets. It is against the law to cross a double yellow line and park in the middle of the street, the last time I looked at a Driver's License Manual.

In that case...these trucks are illegally parked in the center of a street while straddling a double yellow line.

What special dispensation has the pope given these trucks to park in the middle of two of the main streets in downtown Prescott?

Illegal is the operative word. Too bad about deliveries...liquor and pizza is not the sustenance of life, believe it or not. There are alleys...fix them to accommodate the trucks pronto.

What would you do to a regular citizen if they parked in the center of Montezuma or Cortez street?

Put the deliveries in the alley!


Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: Rebecca Hamilton

Just wanted to mention that ADOT gave the downtown + part of Hwy 89 to the City more than a few years ago. The City takes care of it not ADOT. That is why the City can close it when they want. Some one has not done their homework..

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: Did The Lights Go Out?

@NeMo Wrong...every city/town/community does not rely on tourism. What stunted thinking.

Incidentally, addicts and rehab facilities have taken over Prescott's tourism industry in case you haven't noticed.

Prescott has water issues. Do you like drinking sand? Bet your bottom dollar that the posters encouraging tourism are the small business owners.

@Tired of cranky people..."Prescott is a nice town filled with business owners, families, professionals, retirees...all trying to make a living in a peaceful and beautiful town."

You poor soul, you have not a clue about the heartbeat of Prescott. Do you live in a satin and furlined box in your fantasy life?

Drug addicts and rehab house are the prominent feature of Prescott. Not enough water is an issue.

Those "cranky people" are the citizens who are the watchdogs and try to make a difference and recognize the deterrioration of Prescott. By the way...the Mayor just woke up to that fact, so don't feel left behind

A light at Granite Street/Goodwin should be of the lowest priority on the City's expenditure agenda.




Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: NE MO

Every state relies on tourism, every city and every community, especially today when people spend and travel. To think differently is someone who has never left the community.

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: prescott native

A traffic light at the corner of Goodwin and granite is not needed. I've been turning at that corner for 30 years, sometimes twice a day, and never at to wait five or six minutes- maybe one minute max. A light will just make the traffic on granite backup all the way to gurley

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: Granite Goodwin Is Spot On

@Granite Goodwin...you've got the right and best idea! That's all we need is to change a few parking spaces both east and west of Granite St. Simple, cost-effective solution. Glad you posted the idea, and I "second" it.

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: @get rid of Tourists

Are your serious? How many of the $20 beers had you consumed before writing your diatribe? Prescott is weak on manufacturing jobs, tourism allows the service industry to expand. Thousands of jobs were created and maintained by the tourists. The EMPLOYED individuals spend monies at local shops, supporting the town. Additionally, I laughed how you "spun" your diatribe to attack Antelope Hills. The golfers who come to Prescott spend money on rooms, gas, meals, not just $20 beers. Their monies support local jobs in the support industries.

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: tell it like it is

the crosswalk in question was first painted in illegally and no one was held responsible. local politicians yielded to political pressure and installed a crosswalk that never should have been instaled. people should have been made to walk a half a block to a traffic signal crossing to be safe. i was down town when there was a craft show at the square and most people crossing whiskey row didn't even use the crosswalk.the city of prescott police deptment look the other way when they see a jay walker. enforce the laws we have and fight obesity by removing the illegal crosswalk. make people walk to the nearest crosswalk.

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: My apologies

I let my frustrations get the best of me. I hold nothing against tourists and/or tourist businesses. I wish them well. Rough day yesterday. If I could remove my earlier posting, I would.

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: Tongue-in-Cheek .

Delivery trucks are easy targets to pick on to make their job harder, while Jaywalking is a lazy persons right to life in downtown Prescott. Admittedly, the cross walk visibility is of concern for safe pedestrian crossing, but a much greater issue is that fact that Prescott's downtown is festered with jaywalkers that pop out between parked cars and trucks and amble across the streets anywhere with that lazy look on their face like "hit me, I need the money". How about "NO JAYWALKING SIGNS" along the sidewalks and enforcement tickets to push people toward the marked crosswalks.

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: Tired of cranky People

To "Get Rid of Tourists"-You are an angry, bitter person who is obviously closed minded and selfish. What DO you like about your town of Prescott? Perhaps you should consider moving somewhere where there are no people. Prescott is a nice town filled with business owners, families, professionals, retirees...all trying to make a living in a peaceful and beautiful town. We need tourists to survive. Wake up.

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: Traffic Light??

@Clayton Boblett - Agreed, all the ticky-tacky tourist trinket events on the square every other weekend all summer long at the Ct. House. needs to stop.

The C.H. square was never zoned or designated as a park and most importantly, definitely not a dog park. It is zoned commercial and its intended use is to take care of the legal business in Yavapai County.

What town allows their government building/grounds to become a dog pottie box with circus booths on it every weekend? Only Prescott!

Install a traffic light at Granite that dead ends into Goodwin? That is just over the top razzle dazzle brilliance.

Heads up Council members...there is far more to Prescott than three square blocks of downtown!

Take care of the real issues in this town...like getting rid of the addicts and drug dealers/rehab facilities. Get serious about a moratorium on building permits re water issues. And stop closing off streets downtown. That should keep you busy for a couple of weeks.

Stop with the fru fru discussions of tourist nonsense, more unsightly signage and wasting money on a traffic light at Granite and Goodwin.

In other words...think beyond your nose.


Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: Michael Hunt

Nobody seems to be looking at the big issue here. These comments are all small time issues not needing attention. The big issue I see is when the Mayor abruptly ends the meeting in the middle of an agendized item (which, by the way, needs to be addressed) and is a big community problem that brings down quality of life. The big issue here though is that he ended the meeting cause 4 council members had a previously arranged commitment that had been scheduled for a month. I wanted to attend the function and looked on the quorum agenda, only to find it it wasn't listed. They once again seem to be holding private meetings.

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: waaahhh waaahhhh

Do I sound like everyone else?

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: Trucks not the problem

I have never found the trucks making deliveries to be the problem with traffic flow - the people who decide to park on the opposite side of the street - holding up traffic until they can pull their u-turn into the open parking space on the opposite side of the road are the ones who disrupt traffic flow the most. How about ending that practice? Delivery trucks are just doing their jobs - stupid people holding up traffic to pull u-turns to get their parking place are the problem.

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Von Deck

I'd have to say that people seem to do a pretty good job self managing the left turn from Granite onto Goodwin. The only possible issue is trying to see through all the parked cars on Goodwin. Not a huge deal.

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: Lamerson is right

Put the damn light in. It's a ridiculous corner.

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: One Way Not Their Way.

Traffic would flow much easier if Montezuma from Gurley to Goodwin was one way going towards Goodwin and Cortez was one way towards Gurley from Goodwin. Life would be easier and what happened to the turn arrows that were discussed over and over on the intersections. Guess good ideas don't make sense in Everyone's Hometown.

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: Get rid of Tourists

Don't want them. Tourist business fail? Who cares? Let them leave. Then we won't need to spend money on "attracting" them. Let the local economy contract, save taxpayer money, and let tourist-lovers go to Orlando. How many beers have to be sold downtown to pay for the deficit of the tourist-magnet golf course with our current tax rates? Say $4 million deficit divided by 2 per cent tax equals $200,000,000 sales. Divide that by $20 beers and we find we have to sell 10 million $20 beers to tourists just to fund the golf course deficit. Stop the delivery trucks. Close the golf course. Let us be real.

Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Article comment by: This whole discussion was rather foolish. As you might expect when you note the participants.

My favorite was when Blair & Lamerson decided we need a rickshaw service running from the parking garage to the Catholic Church and other nearby destinations. They point out how such a service would aid in the growth of jobs in Prescott. And no town rules should hinder individual rights to just start a small business like this. The city manager blanched. Well, maybe this excellent idea might offer a strong-legged individual a job for about a week. Don't you just love it when our Mr. Blair comes up with his 'outside the box', outside the realm of belief ideas, and Lamerson hops on the Blair turnip ... truck. These guys are supposed to be out leaders. Guiding the future of Prescott... OMG

Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Article comment by: Dear Clayton.

Big problem with the beer/liquor trucks is that they pose a dangerous situation to people. Many park right by the marked pedestrian walk. And sit there for long periods of time. Drivers cannot see if pedestrians are in the cross walk. A correctable situation not exactly to be ignored as you suggest. A safety concern.

And you are correct. Prescott police totally ignore the vendors every weekend blocking traffic all around the square. Hey, its tourist stuff! Ignore it!
They also allow dozens of trucks and machinery and construction workers' cars along Sierry Peaks and Woodridge Drive to park very near the many curves of both roads. Thus a blind obstacle. These cops normally don't even write tickets when they watch cars run red lights downtown. They just do not write tickets. Many wonder why. Maybe each should have a quota they have to issue every day!


Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Article comment by: Granite Goodwin

The traffic flow on Goodwin is not as much a cause of the delays experienced by drivers attempting to turn both right and left as is the lack of visibility of oncoming traffic that is caused by allowing diagonal parking as close to the corners as is currently allowed. This is even more of a problem when the closest spaces to the corners are occupied by large panel trucks, vans and suv.'s is often the case. Making the first two or three spaces closest to the corners be for parallel parking only would go a long way towards alleviating the backup of traffic.

Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Article comment by: tired of it all

Another mess up by our wonderful town government! First Whiskey Row is a two lane road with a middle non drivable lane. THAT is where the trucks park to unload. Maybe they need to get out just a tad more and actually visit Whiskey Row!


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