Public Easement To Traffic Light Barricaded Near Two Weber Schools, Draws Safety Concerns Of Parents, School Staff
Apr 22, 2019, 6:46 PM | Updated: Apr 23, 2019, 9:58 am
OGDEN, Utah — Students, going to and from Two Rivers High School and the neighboring Weber Innovations Campus, have to navigate a busy 12th street each school day.
Charlotte Ekstrom, who has kids at each school, said the cars, driving at 50 miles per hour, or sometimes faster, concern both her and her two teenage kids.
“For me, it’s not just the safety of the students, and everybody that works at this school,” Ekstrom said. “It’s also protecting people that are trying to make their way to work.”
An ongoing dispute has the Weber School District at odds with the owners of a neighboring IFA store.
A roadway on land, owned by the IFA, is designated as a public easement.
IFA owners and the school district have so far failed to agree on terms to keep access for students, parents and staff at the two schools open.
Weber School District Spokesman, Lane Findlay says a judge had initially ordered the road be opened, but that decision was later reversed. Concrete barriers were put up to block access for the schools last week.
“Our feeling is there is a public easement that would allow us to have easement to the light,” Findlay said. “It really comes down to trying to keep students safe. 12th street is a very busy road. It’s a 50 mile an hour zone.”
Frustrated by the blockade, a group of about a dozen students and parents protested along the corner of 12th street and 1050 west picketed signs and protested Monday afternoon. A mother, Rebecca Gurnee, said she would like to see the roadway remain open, while the matter is resolved in court.
“Our concern is in the meantime, what’s going to happen to the kids? What will happen to the faculty, the staff? Every Weber school employee that needs to come to this building?” Gurnee said. “All of them are at risk.”
A junior at the Weber Innovations Campus, Justin Jacobson, shared his concerns.
“When you have to pull into WIC, and you can’t safely slow down, it gets a bit scary,” he explained. “Because I turn a bit sharply, or like I hit the curb when I come in to WIC, because I don’t have enough time to safely slow down.”
Craig Sellers, Vice President of Finance at Intermountain Farmers Association sent KSL the company’s response in a statement:
“Intermountain Farmers Association (IFA) is a Farm Supply Cooperative owned by local customers and has been doing business in Ogden since 1923. IFA has owned the subject property since 2006. IFA does not believe the Weber School District has a legal right to access the IFA Property. A judge recently ruled that IFA is allowed to block the Weber School District, including its students, buses and employees, from accessing the IFA Property. This matter is the subject of pending litigation, and IFA is optimistic that the parties can reach a mutually agreeable resolution of this matter. Beyond this information we have no further comment.”