Traffic Fatalities 04

Traffic is seen on I-15 on Thursday, May 21, 2020. There have been 86 fatalities on Utah roads so far this year. That is the highest recording through this date since 2017.

THUMBS UP: To Kaysville residents for not backing down and standing up for their health. In the continuing saga of “Where in the World Will Utah Business Revival and Katie Witt Go to Host Their Constitutionally Protected Collin Raye Concert,” Kaysville residents and the city council answered: “Not here.” Utah Business Revival, backed by Kaysville mayor and congressional hopeful Witt, had announced plans to hold a May 30 concert at Barnes Park in Kaysville, to oppose what they see as heavy-handed COVID-19 restrictions. But reaction from city residents was swift, with Kaysville City Manager Shayne Scott saying, “I hear from individuals that are both for and against, but in my estimation it is 90% against and 10% for the event.” Perhaps sensing the writing on the wall, Utah Business Revival announced it was moving the concert to Grantsville, in Tooele County. Well done, Kaysville.

THUMBS DOWN: To lead-footed motorists. Despite significantly lower traffic volumes and far fewer crashes — attributed to changes in driving habits due to the coronavirus — fatalities on Utah roads are higher than they’ve been in three years. The Utah Department of Transportation calls the trend “alarming.” “Quite frankly, it’s shocking news,” UDOT spokesman John Gleason said. “Because over the course of the last two months, we’ve seen a major reduction of traffic on our roads.” Speeding is believed to be a major culprit, as some motorists see the wide-open highways and byways as an invitation to goose up the speedometer. But distracted driving, impaired driving and failure to wear a seat belt are also added into the mix. We echo UDOT and the Utah Highway Patrol in their pleas to use common sense on Utah’s roads.

THUMBS UP: To Baby Animal Days at the American West Heritage Center in Wellsville. The annual celebration, being held over the Memorial Day weekend, offers a chance for visitors to interact with an array of cute and cuddly baby animals on what is basically a 200-acre outdoor living history museum. And we say this opportunity comes not a moment too soon. It’s a radical, refreshing change from months of being cooped up at home during COVID-19. Organizers of the event say they’re taking precautions to keep visitors safe, with social distancing requirements, face masks recommendations, and plentiful hand sanitation stations. Among the baby animals featured will be goats, pigs, cows, horses, ponies, chickens, turtles and more. As the kids would say: “Adorbs.”

THUMBS UP: To Ogden City’s “Make Ogden” plans, which take a long look into the future with an eye toward growth and expansion of the downtown sector over the next few decades. (But thumbs down to the name. Perhaps it’s intentionally open-ended — a fill-in-the-blank, of sorts. However, one can’t help but tack on “Great Again,” which adds unwanted political flavor.) But the concept is exciting. A presentation this week by consulting firm Design Workshop during an Ogden City Council session spelled out some of the plan’s goals: thousands of new housing units, jobs, hotel rooms and parking stalls, to be added incrementally through 2045. Council Chair Angela Choberka rightly brought up concerns by some residents who would like to see attention focused on more parts of the city, to which Brandon Cooper with the Ogden Community and Economic Development Department responded that effects of the growth downtown should “splash” on other areas. That would be a welcome outcome. Who could object to making Ogden great(er)?

THUMBS UP: To rain! While it's only come in fits and starts in recent days, any precipitation is a blessing. It's been a dry spring overall so far. Let's pray more is on the way.

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