OGDEN -- In response to two high-profile auto-pedestrian accidents in the past month, Ogden officials and the city council have sent a formal letter to the Utah Department of Transportation reiterating their concern about the accidents and asking for the state's prompt action in addressing them.
The letter was sent earlier this week to UDOT Region One Director Kris Peterson and was signed by Mayor Mike Caldwell and Council Chairman Bart Blair.
The letter states that the city is grateful for UDOT's decision to pursue traffic studies on Washington Boulevard and Wall Avenue near where the accidents occurred, but also requests "that these safety issues be addressed jointly and promptly to prevent future accidents."
Caldwell and members of the council said the letter was sent to encourage UDOT action by presenting a unified front from the council and the city administration.
"It's too important to wait for somebody else to die to get a street light, a crossing, or markers or something," said Councilwoman Susie Van Hooser.
The letter comes on the heels of two February auto-pedestrian accidents that occurred in downtown Ogden.
On Feb. 15, an 83-year-old woman, a 72-year-old woman and a 12-year-old girl were struck by a pickup truck while using a crosswalk to cross the 2400 block of Washington Boulevard near Peery's Egyptian Theater.
All three patients are in stable condition and are expected to make full recoveries.
Just 10 days after that accident, Daniel Thobe, 50, was struck and killed by a 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix while trying to cross Wall Avenue at 26th Street.
UDOT Region One spokesman Vic Saunders said the state has received the letter and has initiated two traffic studies in the areas where the accidents occurred.
Saunders said the studies are conducted without public notice to lessen the possibility of people purposely trying to influence them.
"These studies have been initiated, and we are going to do everything we can to complete them as soon as possible to see what might be needed in these two areas," he said.
Saunders said the studies will consist of monitoring and logging every pedestrian and vehicle movement in the two areas over a period of a few weeks to determine if a crosswalk or any other safety measures are needed.