Dangerous crosswalk: Provo Peaks parents fight for an upgrade

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PROVO (ABC4 News) – Parents at Provo Peaks Elementary are fighting for a safer intersection at their school, saying they’ve documented 36 near-accidents involving cars and children. 

Provo Peaks El. is right on Center Street in Provo, and children walking to school cross the busy intersection in the middle of rush hour. It is a school zone, so the speed limit is 20 miles per hour, but while ABC4’s Sarah Martin was on the scene, police gave out two tickets for drivers who sped through the crosswalk while children were still in it. 

Sana Soi is a mom and a former crossing guard in this intersection; she said, “When I was crossing here, I had to pull a kid back because a car kept going and then they looked at me like, ‘Was I supposed to stop or something?'”

Eliot Bliss is another Peaks Parent and a proud Provo resident. He explained when he realized the intersection was a problem, “My son started kindergarten last year and it came to my attention on the second day because I asked him if he wanted to walk to school on his own, and he said ‘no I think the road is too busy’…My six-year-old.”

The four-lane road does have a crossing guard but parents say they don’t always come, and it does little to deter drivers. So they bought and maintain their own child-shaped yellow cones for the road. They’ve also done some data collection on the intersection. 

Mikell Sudweeks also has children attending the school.

“At the end of the last school year, we had 36 near accidents where someone pulled up short within feet of children in the crosswalk,” he said.

Parents say they want the city to install a raised median for the children’s safety that is equipped with flashing lights; a solution that works even if a crossing guard’s not on duty. 

But that would take money. To have something like that installed public works would have to evaluate the project then the city council would have to find funds in the budget and vote at a council meeting.

Parents have reached out to the Provo City, the Public Works Department, and to the local police, and while they get positive responses on an individual level, they feel no-one will take up the project.

Bliss said, “It doesn’t feel like the political will is there. As many calls as I’ve made, I’ve never heard anything back.”

ABC4 did reach out to Mayor Kaufusi for this story and will be updating it with her response.

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