Truck traffic rolling through neighborhood streets continue to pose a safety threat to their neighborhood, say Marana Estates residents. Now, residents are asking local officials to revisit a promise made in 2009 to study the issue.
Marana resident Phyllis Farenga and neighbors spoke to the Marana Town Council on May 18, asking for help in stopping what they refer to as dangerous truck traffic rolling through neighborhood streets.
A 2009 promise by staff and council to study big-truck traffic issues in Marana Estates amounted to a three-day traffic count, and only a slight change over two years, they say.
The trucks are from a nearby diesel service shop. The neighborhood streets serve as an entrance to the business.
“These trucks have no regard for the fact that we have children playing along these streets,” said Farenga. “They go past the speed limits, fail to yield, and the police do nothing. It amounts to economics and what the council’s true priorities are.”
In 2009, the council agreed it was a concern, directing staff to conduct a comprehensive study. The study amounted to a three-day traffic count and a decision to reduce the speed limit to 15 mph, which residents say hasn’t helped.
Farenga said it is apparent now that when the issues were brought up in 2009 elected officials did nothing more than spew promises as part of an effort to get reelected.
Before last month’s, Town Manager Gilbert Davidson agreed having large trucks driving to the residential neighborhoods continues to be a problem and an alternative route should be found.
However, the solution comes down to cost.
“The long-term plan is to have the right-of-way outside the neighborhood,” said Davidson. “But, it takes time to negotiate and secure a right-of-way. The economy hasn’t helped, and building a road is expensive.”
Costs are what the residents were thinking when they went before the council, according to 25-year resident Alisha Meza.
“We knew they were planning the budget, but I guess we were too late,” she said. “All the money has been spoken for, and again, the staff took our project off the list.”
The project is not considered an immediate priority, and did not make the final list of capital improvement projects budgeted for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
After residents spoke at the May 18 meeting, several council members asked what could be done. It was suggested that a study session be held to review what has been achieved so far, and determine how the town could move forward.
A date for the study session has not been set yet, said Marana spokesman Rodney Campbell.
Farenga said Marana Estates is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Marana, with 27 homes and more than a dozen kids making up the close-knit community.
Meza and Farenga said they fear it will take someone getting seriously injured by the trucks for the Town of Marana to take action.