Weber County residents pushing to get crosswalk near high school

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SOUTH OGDEN -- South Ogden residents are making another push to put in a crosswalk on a busy street near Bonneville High School.

A councilwoman we spoke with has been fighting to get this crosswalk installed since 2003, but the back-and-forth with the Utah Department of Transportation hasn't resulted in anything. Now, both sides are working to prevent another pedestrian accident on this high-speed road.

It's been talked about for years: the need for a crosswalk at U.S. 89 and 4400 South near Bonneville High in South Ogden.

"It would be really nice to have it, better for us. That way we can walk a little more safer," said Jacob Barbera, a junior at Bonneville High school.

"All the students on the east side of the street have to cross 89 to go to Bonneville," explained South Ogden Councilwoman Sallee Orr.

Right now, students have two options: They can cross near the school illegally or walk more than a mile to crosswalks down the street.

"It's a little over half a mile down the street that they want them to go cross the street, and then come back up half a mile to get to Bonneville. No high school student is going to do that," Orr said.

"One of my best friends, Christopher Phillips, was the kid that got hit here. He went to the hospital. He can't walk for like a whole year. He can't do anything," said Christopher Abbott, a junior at Bonneville High.

In January, an SUV struck 17-year-old Phillips on his way to school. Phillips is now in a wheelchair, has rods and plates in his legs, and his pelvic bones are broken.

Joe Holmes also feels very passionate when it comes to this intersection. His daughter was killed in a car accident here in 2002, prompting UDOT to put up a light. "No parent should have to go through that kind of grief," he said.

UDOT is already conducting its own preliminary study on this intersection, but to move forward legally, the community needs to come up with a Student Neighborhood Action Plan to present to the school district. From there, funding needs to be secured -- around $250,000.

"There isn't any money in our budget right now for a crosswalk of this kind. If the money can be found through other means, we'll go ahead and do the work. But we don't have the money in our budget to do it," said UDOT spokesman Vic Saunders.

Saunders says his company agrees with concerned parents and community members, but currently the crosswalk doesn't rank high on the funding list. Federal stimulus money may cover getting sidewalks, but not the higher cost of a crosswalk.


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Nicole Gonzales


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