Queue of vehicles during morning rush at 2600 N. and Center Street on August 22. Photo: Autumn Foster Cook

Residents around Skyridge High School are excited about the opening of the new school—you can feel the energy in the air! But many are concerned about the safety of both high school and elementary school kids crossing the intersection of 2600 North and Center Street during the morning and afternoon rush. Residents are asking for a crossing guard to be posted during the times the high school is beginning and letting out each day.

Elementary students cross the intersection on foot, scooter or bicycle to reach Eaglecrest Elementary, while high school students cross in the opposite direction to reach Skyridge. Cars driven by high school students are backed up in long lines, waiting their turn to cross the intersection on their way to the school half a block away.

Parents of elementary students who walked with their kids the first few days of school were very concerned about the situation at the intersection.

“I had to pull my son back because he almost went out on his scooter in front of a car with high school kids. He fell down and the kids were laughing as they drove through,” said Kristi Cook. “You have kids crossing diagonally and cars stopping in the middle of the intersection because someone is crossing in front of them.”

Other parents expressed concern about the unique dynamic of elementary and high school pedestrians combined with high school drivers, along with the absence of a sidewalk on the northwest corner of the intersection.

Wade Allred, Lehi City’s Superintendent of Streets, said he is aware of the concerns, and the city is watching it, but a traffic study conducted last year determined that a crossing guard at that location isn’t required. The company conducting the study, RSG, videoed pedestrians last year and determined that while a crossing guard could be an option, the situation at the intersection doesn’t require one as a minimum standard.

Residents are asking the city to reevaluate the situation now that school is in session and the pedestrian traffic has changed dramatically with the addition of high school students to the mix. There is widespread concern about the addition of high school drivers to the intersection.

Lehi City pays crossing guards $8.57 per hour. With 180 school days, a crossing guard working two shifts per day would be paid approximately $2,880 per year.

Cook said that a lot of parents have reached out to her since she posted about her concerns on a Lehi-focused Facebook group. She has gotten many phone calls, and someone left a note on her door in order to get in touch. She says she didn’t intend to become a voice for the issue, but it appears that her expression of concern resonated with a lot of people. Others have also initiated posts about this issue in the Facebook group.

One post included a photo of high school students on a motorcycle weaving in and out of traffic. The poster stated, “If these are your boys, please chat with them about driving safely. They cut around several cars and blew through the 4-way stop at Center and 2600 N. without stopping. If I had been turning left, I would’ve creamed them as they barreled past me on my left.”

Allred said that in making a determination about the need for a crossing guard, the Engineering Department makes a recommendation to the Police Department, and the Engineering Department generally draws its recommendation from the results of the independent traffic study.

Allred has offered to meet with residents who are concerned and explain the process. Residents have expressed interest in meeting, but still feel strongly that the mix of elements in the intersection warrant a crossing guard.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Watch this video to see why this intersection needs a crossing guard. No fewer than 16 near misses in about a 20 minute time frame! “Traffic study?” WHATEVER. The money they wasted on that could probably have paid for the crossing guard.

  2. This is a video put together by my neighbor, Ariana Duke, TODAY. Notice the Annotations at the bottom of all the near misses. Come on Lehi City! We don’t want our kids hurt!!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbWkAdPEAyU&feature=youtu.be

    ANNOTATIONS: (these are timestamps in the video)
    2:28 Kid on scooter having to run through the crosswalk because of the white car going through the intersection.
    3:11 White SUV heading east stops, then starts to go and stops abruptly because kids are running north in the crosswalk.
    3:25 Blue station wagon turning east only leaves a few feet between the pedestrians and their car. Immediately after, the red pickup turns east also having not allowed the pedestrians to cross all the way.
    3:37 Minivan heading east slams on brakes in the middle of the intersection while kids with bikes run north through the crosswalk.
    3:45 White Toyota SUV heading north starts going into the intersection and has to slow for kids already crossing (kids heading west).
    4:16 Group of high school kids crossing east to west almost get hit not once, but twice. First by a big white SUV that wasn’t blinking left, then at 4:19 by an old dark silver car heading north.
    4:21 High school kid waving his finger at me was actually saying “Oh my gosh, are you getting this on video? This is insane! We need a crossing guard so bad! I’ve almost been hit. There’s so much traffic!”
    4:21 White toyota camry heading east stops just a couple feet from high school kids in the crosswalk who are heading south.
    4:25 Silver minivan heading south proceeds while kids are still in the crosswalk.
    4:34 White SUV heading south proceeds while kids are in the crosswalk heading east.
    5:16 Dark silver sedan heading east stops, proceeds while kids are in the crosswalk, then stops partway into the intersection.
    5:28 Small dark silver sedan heading east stops, proceeds while kids are in the intersection, then stops partway into the intersection. Then at 5:32, it proceeds through while kids are just barely out of the way.
    5:48 Big white Toyota SUV turns with just barely enough room to not hit the kids who are in the crosswalk.
    5:50 White SUV heading south proceeds while kids are in the crosswalk, and they have to run to get out of the way.

    It took several minutes after the pedestrian traffic subsided to completely clear the line of cars heading south.

  3. The study was made A YEAR AGO before Skyridge (the new High school opened). If Wade Allred is willing to have his kids cross that intersection every morning and afternoon without a crossing guard maybe we are fine. Can you take the challenge Mr. Allred??

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