The April 22, 2013 Arizona Republic had a great article about urban trails in Arizona’s high country communities and there was not one mention of Payson. It is quite sad to me that our community has not figured out that trails for bikers, hikers, and walkers that connect the forest with the community and allow people to ride bikes to work is an excellent way to attract those into a community looking for outdoor experiences and for those residents who value a safe place to ride or walk in the community.
The communities mentioned included Prescott, Flagstaff, Show Low and Pinetop-Lakeside and on the AZ Central website, some photos are shown of what is happening in these communities. http://www.azcentral.com/main/photos/undefined/undefined/25304
Clearly town management is supportive of these efforts and the Republic reports that these places make them quite desirable places to live and stay. The trail manager in Prescott believes that the system is a magnet for Prescott residents and out of town visitors.
So what does Pinetop area have that we don’t? For one thing, they now have Andy Romance. Good ole Andy is working for the Pinetop/Lakeside communities as their public works director and I can guarantee you that he will prosper with his can do attitude. You know Andy actively promoted a Payson trails system for many years and helped put into writing a master trail plan. So the plan sits and as residents we get excuses and the idea that everything has to be city like streets, no bike paths, no coordination of efforts, just excuses. If we are basing our whole existence on ASU coming to save us through the building of a college, then we are really missing the boat. College communities have vibrant systems for students to access including trails and bike paths. Those are so important yet so neglected in Payson.
While Prescott, Flagstaff, and the White Mountain communities appear to have the upper hand on Payson in urban trails. And we cannot forget Sedona. Their trail and biking system is fabulous and now includes bike lanes on 89A right through Sedona. Just something to think about. For access to the article: http://www.azcentral.com/travel/articles/20130405urban-trails-arizona-high-country-communities.html
Also note that trails are not concrete sidewalks.