Letter: Do more for Page, not tourists

Visitors bring problems with them

Dear city of Page,

Our town is not built for the amount of tourists we are hosting. Each year, the number increases, evidenced by the amount of hotels and motels you are building. There has been no building of restaurants to accommodate the crowds. Wait time at many eateries is often an hour, and it is not even the end of April. Many are a disaster. Two of us arrived at a restaurant 6 p.m. and waited 15 minutes to be served water. 50 tourists walked in and were served immediately. It took another 30 minutes to get served. I would suggest some serious, professional planning be incorporated as soon as possible, as you have inconvenienced taxpayers and the very people who keep this town in business when the tourists are gone.

We need more police presence in town. It seems that many who drive cars touting California plates, especially, believe that we in Page, drive the way many people drive in L.A. Nowhere in town exceeds 30 miles an hour. Some streets are more prone than others to incite this poor behavior. Take for example Sage, one of the longest straightaways without interruption. I have experienced drivers trying to outrun the landing planes, on many occasions. This also pertains to bus drivers who are running behind schedule on their way to the airport. Seventy miles an hour is seriously punishable. Sage has a 25-mile-an-hour speed limit.
I just returned from my second attempt to buy a few items at Safeway. Upon leaving the parking lot, headed to the boulevard, there was a bus parked, on the sidewalk.

Parking lot
Parking lot behavior has declined, also. Last year was the first year that I was nearly run down crossing to Safeway’s front door. It seems that many tourist drivers don’t know that the pedestrian has the right away. We need signs stating that in a few different languages, all around town. The walkways in front of Walmart are hunting grounds for your life.
Regarding bus drivers: Just tonight, at 5:30, a Scottsdale bus driver parked his bus within 50 feet of the front door taking up seven prime parking spaces. When I suggested he move his bus to park where the other busses were parked, he told me I should be thankful he brought his passengers to this store, and that he could park where he wanted to park.
Strict parking regulations for busses are a must. Safeway parking lot is a hazard for all of us.
It is imperative that Safeway has a designated area, outlined with painted ground lines, for tour busses, large and small, and for the personal travel coaches. Bus loading and unloading need ground line directions, also.  Perhaps we need a crossing guard. Presently, tourists approach the front door by sauntering in the middle of the parking lot aisles, making it sometimes impossible for one to park a car or back up to leave the lot in less than five minutes.

I believe it is time for the town to consider another large, food store, for many reasons.  Another store would take off the pressure for towns’ people and tourists to leave the store in reasonable time. Fifty people on one bus, times a few busses, plus townies at the registers cause chaos. Carts become backed up into the produce section, leaving little room for customers to pass through the store. The cashiers are stressed because many customers don’t speak the language, or don’t know how to use the check out “box.” This stressful treatment of the cashiers and other employees is unacceptable.
I will end with a question.
Has anyone seen much evidence of tourists carrying stores’ bags other than Safeway’s bags filled with cheese, fruit and vegetables? I don’t believe that any “shopping” time is included in the tours, as it is at Cameron Trading Post, for example. So, we house the tourists, have them stop at the food store and eat at our small restaurants, but that’s it. So how does this tourist industry benefit us, the taxpayers? Will the entire town get a new sewer system? Will we get new water pipes? Will we get free space in the park each week for tourists to purchase our artistic goods?
Answers would be a good thing.
Previously, I have enjoyed our tourists and have often carried maps of Page in my car to hand to befuddled ones, but this year has been a challenge; it is an unnecessary inconvenience to many of us. Let’s see what you can do and how soon you can resolve these important issues.

Karen Devonshire

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