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Crossing Guard for Little Valley Road and Crimson Ridge Intersection

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Dear Mayor and City Council,

As I’ve watched the news reports over the past couple of days, I have to say that I am completely baffled by the city’s response to the Little Valley Road and Crimson Ridge Drive intersection.

Four-way stops are—at their best—confusing.  You’re always trying to figure out who was there first and whose turn it is to go. Now, take a four-way stop and throw it on two main artery roads. Add in vans, trucks, SUVS, and huge construction vehicles. Then you take a steady stream of little people and you let them cross the intersection in three different places. In a magical world, this scenario would work. Drivers would always stop at the stop signs. They would always see little tiny short people over the hoods of their gigantic vehicles. They would never get impatient at the steady flow of children and try to shoot between the gaps.

Okay, but back in the real world, this intersection isn’t working. It’s stressful for drivers and it’s dangerous for kids. Having a crossing guard in place would benefit both the drivers and the kids. This is a win-win for everyone involved.

This is what I want my tax-payer dollars going towards: real solutions to real problems in the real world.

Parental patrols are not a real solution and here is why. Yesterday, while I was waiting for my kids, I went to the corner of 2350 and Crimson Ridge Drive. My intention was to help the kids cross in big groups. What I found is that if you don’t look official and have a giant stop sign, the kids don’t want to stop. They give you a weird look and try to go out around you. I had this happen several times. I had to grab one little boy’s hand as he was shooting around me and into the intersection where a vehicle was about to go. The vehicles assume that you are going to be able to stop the kids, but that is often not the case. Instead of making the situation safer, I actually made it more dangerous and I personally don’t want to be the one that has a kid ignore me and enter the crosswalk.

The walking school bus idea is awesome, but not practical. While this could work on a small scale, it’s not going to work on a large scale. A lot of parents have full-time jobs. A lot of stay-at-home parents have younger kids. Are they going to shepherd a group of kids while holding a baby in one arm and a two-year-old in the other? This is not going to be a solution that will work for the majority of people.

Up until this point, parents have been told that a crossing guard is not possible in this situation because of the four-way stop. I did some research. In the UDOT manual, page 746A14, there is a diagram of a typical set-up for a crossing guard at a four-way stop. All that needs to happen is to make this area a school zone and put in the appropriate signs.

If you are concerned about saving taxpayers money, then take a moment to consider the immense legal risk the city is currently running. There have been literally hundreds of near misses at this intersection. Ask anyone who lives over here and they can tell you of a time when they almost hit a child. Parents have been trying to get the city to address this issue for years and nothing has happened. In the past two days, we have recorded three near misses. That was in two days. And in the past three weeks, we have had two actual accidents. So let’s stop pretending like this is a safe situation and let’s stop playing Russian roulette with our children’s lives. The big accident is coming and you know it and we know it. So do something now before that happens.

 

Sincerely,

Emily Wall



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