Roy pedestrians, drivers warned about 5600 South

Saturday , August 23, 2014 - 4:54 PM

Standard-Examiner correspondent

ROY – Drivers and pedestrians have been cautioned to use more care along 5600 South where the Rio Grande trail crosses the busy roadway. Recently residents have contacted city council members asking the city to do something to give pedestrians more safety and security while crossing the road.

Councilwoman Karlene Yeoman brought up the concerns at a recent council meeting. She said some residents had asked if orange flags could be provided for pedestrians to carry across the road while jogging, walking or biking along the trail as some other cities have done.

City officials said that because 5600 South is a state road, there is really nothing the city can do except to caution drivers and pedestrians to be more watchful.

Councilman Brad Hilton said he thinks the flags aren’t always a good idea anyway.

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“They need to be yielding to traffic, not traffic yielding to them,” Hilton said.

He thinks the flags may cause more accidents because pedestrians think the flags give them a green light to just go.

Utah Department of Transportation spokesman Vic Saunders said the same thing. “It gives the person crossing the road a false sense of security,” Saunders said.

He did say the city was within its right to provide flags on either side of the road, because the flags aren’t related to the road or on state property. “If the city’s wanting to install orange flags we won’t stop them,” Saunders said.

Saunders said other cities have put the flags on either side of state roads, but that UDOT really discourages it.

The council came to the same conclusion. Yeoman said she was concerned about the safety of the pedestrians, but could see why the flags could be a problem. Other suggestions like flashing lights and caution signs were discussed and could possibly be implemented. Hilton suggested the city talk to UDOT to see what would be permitted.

For now, drivers and pedestrians are being strongly cautioned by city officials to use care at the trail intersection, but council members would like to place emphasis on pedestrians because their awareness is paramount. A warning will go in the city’s upcoming newsletter and follow up will be given on other ways to alert drivers and pedestrians to be safe.

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