Provo Peaks Crosswalk Concerns
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I am Clancy Black, my daughter Maggie is a first grader at Provo Peaks. I am a resident of the Maeser Neighborhood and work as a traffic engineer who specializes in safety analysis. I am writing on behalf of several residents in the Maeser Neighborhood, many of whom also have children that attend Provo Peaks
Elementary. I am requesting that the City and School District take action to improve safety at the crosswalk located in front of Provo Peaks Elementary at 600 East Center Street. Children and other pedestrians using this intersection are placed at risk every day due to low compliance from drivers. I hope that you will act on this quickly to prevent a tragic accident rather than waiting to act after something has happened. We use this crosswalk daily to drop off and pick up our children and regularly experience drivers passing through the crosswalk completely ignoring the crossing guard and children trying to cross. Sana, the crossing guard, has told us that multiple times per day she will have a car pass her while she is in the crosswalk with the stop sign up. It is just a matter of luck that no children have been hit. I believe there are several factors contributing to this problem:
1. Roadway width: The width of the road allows drivers to comfortably travel at or above posted speeds and makes it difficult for them to see children waiting to cross due to the wide shoulder and parked vehicles.
2. Sign locations: The reduced speed school zone signs are offset too far from the roadway to be easily visible to drivers. Upgrading the signs and installing brighter LED lighting may help but the signs are still too far from the travel lane. In addition, I believe the signs are often lost in the background of the street trees.
3. Roundabout at 700 East: The roundabout at 700 East is a prominent feature that draws drivers' attention away from the 600 East intersection. Eastbound drivers are focused ahead on the roundabout and westbound drivers are focused on accelerating to normal speeds after slowing down for the roundabout.
Based on a week of counts provided by the crossing guard approximately 30-40 children use this crosswalk during the morning and afternoon peak hour. It is also heavily used outside of school hours and on weekends. The speed limit, traffic volume, and number of pedestrians would not typically warrant additional safety
measures at this intersection, but the observed lack of compliance and complicating factors described above create the need for an enhanced crossing. We are requesting that the city perform additional study and implement one or more of the following options at this intersection as soon as possible.
1. Install bulb-outs at the crosswalk, also known as curb extensions. This is a preferred option because it provides passive speed reduction by introducing side friction, reduces the crossing distance, and allows for warning signs to be placed closer to the travel lane where drivers are more likely to see them.
2. Install a raised median "refuge" island similar to what is present at the nearby roundabout. This would provide many of the same benefits of bulb-outs by introducing side friction and allowing for placement of signs closer to driver's field of view. A benefit of the median refuge island is that it would not require new drainage design like bulb-outs would. It would restrict westbound left-turns from Center Street but due to excellent connectivity in the area I believe the neighborhood would be
okay with it.
3. Install an overhead reduced speed school zone assembly. This would increase awareness of the school zone but would not fit in with the the overall character of east Center Street. It also would improve safety only when active, not during off-hours. In addition, the lack of space between the intersection and the roundabout may make this ineffective for westbound drivers. I and others in the neighborhood would love to contribute in any way we can to move this forward. We appreciate your careful consideration of this issue and hope to hear back soon regarding your thoughts and proposed course of action.
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