NORTH OGDEN — The city council will spend $10,000 to increase safety around North Ogden Elementary School.
The council responded to requests from the school’s principal and community council members and will hire a crossing guard. School crossing signs and painted crosswalks for children will also be added around the increasingly busy elementary school that is only a few blocks from the city offices.
The school has had extra traffic since boundaries to the school changed a couple of years ago, and more parents are picking kids up by car because the walking route is a little too long and is along busy streets, North Ogden Community Councilwoman Martha Urban said.
Some students have to cross at busy 400 East near Centennial Park, but that is not the biggest concern for parents, as so few children cross there. The biggest concern is the area right around the school, near 2650 North and 550 East.
Urban said the parents would like a traffic light at the school, so drivers will be aware.
“We do need to heighten awareness,” Urban said.
City Councilman Dave Hulme wondered if traffic signs and controls would help parents change their traffic patterns and to watch more carefully for students.
At a recent council meeting, Police Chief Polo Afuvai said the police department has observed the area closely and agrees the biggest need is around the school, but said money is always an issue.
“We need to do what we need to, to keep kids safe,” City Councilman Wade Bigler said.
Currently there is a light to slow traffic at the spot where the old school was, on 550 East, but it isn’t in the direct line of traffic for the new school, which is just east of the old school, across the parking lot.
A school crossing light is also on 400 East at Centennial Park, but that is just a solar light.
The council approved installation of school crossing signs on 2650 North approaching 550 East from both directions. Crosswalks will be painted at the intersection of 550 East and 2650 North, and a crossing guard will be hired for $3,500. Another $6,500 will pay for the traffic control devices.
City Manager Ron Chandler said the changes will be made before school reopens Aug. 22.