PAYSON, Utah – School is back in session, but many parents in a Payson neighborhood have expressed concern and frustration over a lack of a crossing guard at a crosswalk they consider to be dangerous.
The students all attend nearby Spring Lake Elementary School. Less than a half mile away at 500 West Saddlebrook Drive, parents said the street is getting busier and busier, and they say it’s a big worry.
Elementary school students in many cases have been left to cross the busy street on their own.
“There is no one to tell them to stop, to go, to know what to do, and the kids are confused and the drivers are confused,” said mother Christy Dalton.
The crosswalk was placed on a curve, with blind corners. There is no sidewalk on the south or west sides of the three-way intersection.
Parents in Payson are concerned about a confusing intersection near an Spring Lake elementary school that has no crossing guard, no sidewalks on the south side, and what they feel are insufficient crosswalks. @KSLsampenrodhttps://t.co/U8qZTosscspic.twitter.com/Ht2Q4Iw5it— KSL 5 TV (@KSL5TV) August 22, 2019
“A lot of kids turn off and walk on the road, so a crossing guard would help direct them to stay on the grass or cross right here and later when there is less traffic,” said Brea Sorrells, another mom in the neighborhood.
The parents said they have tried for years to get a crossing guard to help the children navigate the confusing crossing. They’ve even volunteered to do it themselves.
Payson city leaders said they’ve been looking at the issue for several months, but with the start of school already underway, the problem has not been solved.
“We don’t want to create another problem, by solving a problem, inadvertently,” said Payson Mayor Bill Wright.
The city paid for a traffic study by an independent engineering firm six months ago.
The study concluded this particular crosswalk did not qualify under state guidelines for flashing lights, and having a crossing guard is optional.
“We can’t put a crossing guard at every intersection, but again, we will take a look at their concerns. Nebo School District has told us they will do another study in September,” the mayor added.
With students already crossing at the spot every morning and afternoon on their own, parents told KSL they feared with another delay for another study and no solution in sight, it’s a tragic accident waiting to happen.
“Our kids need to feel safe. This intersection isn’t safe,” Dalton said.