Traffic in residential areas is always a concern when there are children present. With the new UTA TRAX stop planned for 11400 South, some residents are already concerned about the amount of traffic in their area.
Sandy resident Shane Woodbury stopped by the Jan. 24 city council meeting to make the city aware of the problems in the area.
Woodbury said traffic on Vista Way becomes extremely congested around the time school starts and finishes. He said the neighborhood is concerned that someone could be hit crossing the street in the crosswalk.
“There is bound to be an accident there and one of our kids could get hurt,” Woodbury told the council.
Woodbury said this issue has come about recently and mentioned the changes that UTA has done to 11000 South.
Sandy Public Works Director Rick Smith said UTA installed a median on 11000 South which prohibits a left turn onto 300 East as part of the new TRAX line. Although the change has impacted traffic closer to 11000 South, Smith said the impact to Vista Way near 11400 South would be minimal. It has changed the traffic patterns in the area, however, and he said it could be adding to the congestion on Vista Way.
Since most of the area surrounding the TRAX line in Sandy is residential, Smith said the city asked UTA to designate the area a quiet zone. This means that as a train approaches an intersection and the bars come down, the bells ring only until the bars are down and then start again as they start to rise. Smith said the extended median on 11000 South is one of the requirements in a quiet zone.
The city is planning to install a raised median on Vista Way that will prohibit cars turning left onto 11400 South from driving up the center lane. Smith said he doesn’t have a time frame for completion yet since the city is waiting on the funding, but he hopes to have it complete before the end of the school year.
“We want to make sure the kids crossing in the crosswalk are safe,” Smith said. “Our biggest concern is that cars using the center lane might not see the children before it’s too late. We want to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
The money for the project will come from the sale of a piece of property near the 11400 South TRAX station. UTA purchased the property from Sandy City in February for $51,840. Smith said he is just waiting for the sale to be completed and the funds to be transferred to the city.
Canyons School District is also looking at ways to help with traffic congestion. The district plans to extend the road running along Crescent Community Park between Crescent Elementary and Crescent View Middle School. This will allow parents to drop off and pick up kids without using Vista Way. Smith said the district did not have funding to complete the project this year and didn’t know when it would be completed.
“As soon as the funding comes through, we will get to work on the raised median project,” Smith said. “The council authorized the use of this money to make the neighborhood safe, and we’re going to be working hard to do that.”
— Brenda Fisher