By Adam Wolfe
City staff members were honored with “Employee Excellence Awards,” but it was the proposed speed limit change for Honeycutt Road outside of the Maricopa City Council’s agenda that concerned the public.
The proposed change would lower Honeycutt Road’s speed limit from 45 mph in some areas to 35 mph across its entirety (with the exception of 25 mph school zones). The item was not up for discussion by the council, but members of the public took the opportunity to address their city officials with their concerns.
“I believe this proposed reduction in speed will cause a reduction in property values in our neighborhood and adjoining subdivisions due to the increased distance from shopping and added time,” Tortosa resident Bob Howard said. “I ask that the full elected council take this matter under advisement and determine what is best for the citizens they represent.”
The city is hoping the speed limit reduction will increase safety and continuity on Honeycutt Road. The road changes from four lanes to two lanes in certain areas, and the addition of bicycle lanes makes the road even narrower. City officials expect the lower speed limit to make it easier for drivers and cyclists to travel safely. This concern is not shared by some local residents, though.
“While Honeycutt is a large road and a large path, some of it has been widened to accommodate a bike lane specifically, while a bike lane from White & Parker down to the Tortosa subdivision would not necessarily be safe for the bikers or the motorists because of how narrow the road is,” Sorrento resident Joshua Babb said. “I don’t believe a bike lane is safe for anyone on that stretch of road until the road is widened. I would move that the council removes the signs and delays any action the city takes until a formal hearing from the public can take place.”
The council was unable to respond to the public concerns because the item was not on the agenda for the meeting, but members of the council along with City Manager Gregory Rose and Public Works Director Bill Fay do plan to meet this week to discuss options for the Honeycutt speed limit change.
The Maricopa City Council took a few minutes to honor three city employees with their “Employee Excellence Awards.” Permit technician Saira Flores won for the non-management category, recreation manager Rocky Brown won for the mid-management category, and Police Officer Colt Homan won for the public safety category. Each recipient was awarded a plaque in front of City Council.
Members of the City Council also unanimously voted to approve a purchase and sales agreement for long-term storage credits from Gila River Water Storage LLC for the irrigation of the Copper Sky Recreation Complex in an amount not to exceed $1.528 million. With that, they also approved contracts not to exceed $1 million for on-call civil engineering services with Core Engineering Group PLLC, Sunrise Engineering, Dibble Engineering, Ritoch-Powell & Associates, J2 Engineering and Environmental Design LLC, and Entellus Inc.
Before adjourning, the council also voted to cancel their next meeting scheduled for Aug. 18. The next City Council regular meeting will be Sept. 2 at 7 p.m.