OGDEN -- Considering the number of students attending each of the two schools, the crowd was relatively light at a Tuesday night public forum to discuss ways to safely shuttle students to and from school at Mount Ogden Junior High and Wasatch Elementary.
Fewer than 30 people showed up to the junior high auditorium Tuesday night, as Ogden city and the city council explored several options to improve pedestrian safety at and around the two schools.
Lack of a public sidewalk along most of the 32nd Street corridor and several automobile accidents involving pedestrians in the area have spurred city officials to begin to seek information about safe routes for students.
Ogden City Engineer Justin Anderson said the city has studied the area in question extensively recently and found that 32nd Street near the school has approximately 1,600 vehicles traveling on it every day.
Anderson said the city took extra-close looks at the intersections of Polk and Tyler avenues and found hundreds of daily pedestrian movements there as well.
Anderson said regarding pedestrian safety in the area, the city is considering five different options to improve safety along the 32nd Street corridor, which is immediately north of the school. As with most projects, the city is also considering a "no-build" option, which means no action would take place.
The action options include: narrowing the roadway, which would impact and lower traveling speeds; a concrete median to provide a barrier between traffic and pedestrians; a two-way shared-use path that would function like a trail; a 4-foot-wide sidewalk; and a landscape median, which would provide a soft barrier between cars and pedestrians.
Residents who attended the meeting said the area is dangerous and something needs to be done to improve safety for children as they walk to and from school.
"I would hope that you decide to do something instead of nothing," said Peggy Vogel, who lives near the school. "I saw a boy hit last year. And it's not just the kids who walk to school (who are in danger). A lot of parents will drop their kids off right on 32nd Street, and they have to step out of the car, right into the street. It's dangerous."
Jane Fowers has lived in the area for more than 30 years and said a sidewalk on 32nd Street is long overdue.
"It's exciting to think there will finally be some kind of sidewalk on this street," she said. "It's way past time."
Stacey Starley also lives in the area and said she has witnessed two auto-pedestrian accidents. Starley asked the city to consider extending whatever project takes place on 32nd Street further west of Harrison Boulevard near the 7-Eleven, because there are pedestrian problems there, too.
Anderson said the city will thoroughly consider all of its options before moving forward.
"We haven't made any decisions yet," he said. "But we know that something needs to be done."
Contact reporter Mitch Shaw at 801-625-4233 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23.