By Myrna Trauntvein
UDOT (Utah Department of Transportation) would like to eliminate a crosswalk in Nephi on Main Street.
Seth Atkinson, city administrator, said that Doug Bassett, Region Three Traffic Engineer with UDOT, had written a letter to the city stating that one crosswalk should be eliminated.
“They want to remove the crosswalk leading from the post office to Wells Fargo Bank across Main Street,” said Atkinson.
UDOT has criteria for where marked pedestrian crosswalks should be placed on state highways.
“How does UDOT determine where a crosswalk should be placed?” asked Greg Rowley, council member.
In their marked pedestrian crosswalk criteria, UDOT states that mid-block crosswalks should not be considered where the distance to the nearest intersection is less than 600 feet.
All pedestrian enhancements must comply with Department Standard Drawings and Specifications.
A two-way left turn lane is not considered a median pedestrian refuge.
Marked crosswalks alone should not be used at unsignalized intersections where the speed limit exceeds 40 MPH.
Atkinson said that UDOT considered marked crosswalks in some areas as giving a false sense of security.
“Crosswalks should not be installed at locations that could present an increased safety risk to pedestrians such as where there is poor sight distance, complex or confusing designs, a substantial volume of heavy trucks, or other dangers without first providing adequate design features and traffic control devices,” UDOT standards read.
UDOT standards state that it is important to consider other pedestrian facility enhancements such as a raised median, traffic signal, roadway narrowing, enhanced overhead lighting, traffic-calming measures, and curb extensions as needed to improve the safety of the crossing whether or not marked crosswalks are installed.
“Randy McKnight (retired city administrator) and I argued for a crosswalk by the elementary school going to the northwest,” said Mark Jones, mayor.
He said that UDOT argued with he and McKnight that a crosswalk was not needed.
“We also petitioned for a marked crosswalk at the park by the pool,” said Jones. “They ignored us.”
Atkinson said that Bassett had made the suggestion that the crosswalk be removed but council members agreed that there needed to be further dialogue between the city and UDOT.
“We want the crosswalk preserved,” said Jones.h4>