Brigham City Mayor Pushes For Change At Busy Intersection
Mar 6, 2019, 7:45 PM
BRIGHAM CITY, Utah – Last week, 33 year-old Kelly Benson died while crossing Main Street, at 700 North. Mayor Tyler Vincent believes it didn’t have to happen.
“I don’t know why we can’t be proactive,” Vincent said. “I don’ know why we can’t look at something and say, ‘there is an imminent danger there. Let’s put a crosswalk with flashing lights.’”
Vincent said he started talking with UDOT a few years ago, about his concerns about the intersection just one block south, at 600 north. He says drivers often pass through the area too quickly.
“Traditionally, when they get to this end of town, they’re doing 45 to 55 miles an hour,” Vincent said. “I talked with them about putting a stop light here. Also I had visited with them about doing some crosswalks.”
Vincent says UDOT conducted a traffic study of the area last August, which he believes would not have properly accounted for school traffic.
Spokesman for UDOT’s region 1, Vic Saunders says they field many requests for new traffic lights. He says getting them put in is not a simple process.
“That study is done literally by someone going out to that intersection, and counting every vehicle movement, ever pedestrian movement that happens at that intersection,” Saunders explained, adding that a study at 700 north is already underway. “In this case, our traffic engineers went out the very next day, after the fatal incident. They went out the same time of day. They observed the traffic conditions, the weather conditions, everything that was in place when that happened.”
Saunders said it usually takes about 30 days to complete a traffic study. If the area meets certain thresholds, changes would be implemented as soon as possible.
He also said that new traffic lights don’t always help improve the situation.
“A lot of them aren’t able to be fulfilled, because the perception of what the danger is, relative to what the facts tell us is what we focus on,” Saunders explained. “We’re very serious about this, but at the same token, we don’t want to add extra burdens on the traveling public, when they’re not essential.”
Vincent is hopeful some kind of changes will put in place. He believes it should have happened sooner.
“Instead we wait for somebody to die, or somebody to be critically injured before we do anything,” Vincent said.