SOUTH SALT LAKE — After three pedestrians were hit and killed in the last six weeks near the new Men’s Homeless Resource Center in South Salt Lake, UDOT is taking action. The city worked with UDOT to come up with safety improvements that include a pedestrian-activated crosswalk.
“Some of the fellows were trying to cross,” said “Caballo” Flores, who witnessed the first fatality in November. “He was running across with his stuff and dropped something, and just that moment of hesitation was too much, and he was struck down.”
That was the scene Nov. 26, after a man staying at the resource center was killed crossing 3300 South near 1000 West. Flores, also staying at the new shelter, saw it happen.
Police said the victim was 100 yards from the crosswalk at 9th West. But, there’s no crosswalk at 10th West. So, people run across the street in the middle of the block all day long.
“Why wouldn’t there be a crosswalk here? Look at all of the apartments,” said Flores, pointing at the large apartment complex on the north side of the street. “There’s got to be tons of kids here.”
The Men’s Resource Center, with 300 beds, brought new foot traffic when it opened in November at 3380 S. 1000 West. Since then, two people have been hit and killed on 3300 South, and a third person seriously injured. Another man in a wheelchair was hit and killed several blocks away.
Flores said men staying in the shelter regularly run across the 45 mph, six-lane street to get to and from the bus stop.
“They’re crossing in the middle of the road and it’s frightening for everyone around,” said Corey Thomas, the South Salt Lake Councilwoman whose district this encompasses.
She worked with UDOT to install a pedestrian-activated crosswalk as soon as possible to eliminate jaywalking.
“It makes me nervous watching that happen because I don’t want these individuals to get injured,” said Thomas. “I was extremely shocked at how quickly the individuals were getting injured. So, that’s why I pressed to really meet with UDOT, who has been so helpful to work with.”
“We’re going to start working on it right away,” said John Gleason, a UDOT spokesman.
UDOT will build a pedestrian-activated crosswalk in the next three to six months. That’s good news to Flores, who is grateful for the services at the new resource center.
“The shelter has moved out here, and we’ve got a great new facility. It really is,” he said.
UDOT is also working with the city and UTA about moving the bus stop to make it closer to the crosswalk to be installed. The councilwoman also said she is working on better lighting for this area.