Residents Fight to Keep Neighborhood Roads Safe
Sep 09, 2015 01:12PM
● By Bryan Scott
By Briana Kelley
South Valley - Riverton residents on Van Cott Peak Drive and Lookout Peak Drive are asking for change. Representatives from the neighborhood attended Riverton’s July 21 council meeting and demanded road safety changes along Van Cott Peak Drive and Lookout Peak Drive. The road goes downhill and has a public park and bus stop at the bottom, which makes it treacherous for children. The road currently has no posted speed or safety signs.
One week following the council meeting, residents met with Councilmember Sheldon Stewart, the neighborhood’s council representative. In the meeting, specific solutions were addressed. Residents have proposed putting in a four-way stop at the top of the hill, speed bumps, speed signs, painted road signs and flashing speed signs.
Speed bumps have been refused due to the safety hazard they create for emergency vehicles responding to an emergency situation. A four-way stop has also been denied, though many residents do not understand why.
“We’re looking at three things,” Stewart said. “We’re looking at the stop sign changes and the intersection in question. We’re painting the speed limits on the road and we’re installing signs that say ‘Park Ahead’. We want to create awareness for the children who are playing in the area and resolve the safety concerns that came up during the council meeting, particularly for the children who are walking to school.”
When asked for a time estimate for these changes, Stewart said it would be 30 to 60 days. Many residents hope that these changes will happen soon. Residents approached the council and city staff as early as nine months ago to address the speed and safety problem.
Residents have contacted the city numerous times concerning the issue. In response to initial demands, the city has monitored both speed and traffic frequency in the area, but have yet to make any safety changes.
“It feels like nothing is getting done,” resident Britney Walker said.
Walker’s neighbor, Todd Olson, agreed.
“It’s frustrating. Talk is talk but I haven’t seen any action yet. I’ll believe it when I see it,” Olson said.
In the interim, residents are pleading that those who drive Van Cott Peak Drive do so slowly and safely.
“People need to be careful in neighborhoods. We have seen kids almost get hit more than once. I would hate to see a kid get hit because somebody wasn’t paying attention to how fast they are going. It would be horrible,” Walker said.
These near-misses are what have spurred her and fellow residents to action.
“I’m hoping that through all this, it will be a good reminder to people. I truly feel that none of us want to hurt anybody or have accidents, but we get in our own world driving. I feel myself and others that are on the Van Cott street are more aware of it and will watch our speed, and I think other people are just driving and not paying attention,” Olson said. “I’m hoping these changes will help. Something is better than nothing, and I hope something happens soon.”