Crosswalk recommended for deadly stretch of Wall Ave.

Posted at 8:50 PM, Apr 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-05 00:48:08-04

OGDEN -- After two men were killed within months of each other, the Utah Department of Transportation is recommending a crosswalk for a deadly stretch of Wall Avenue.

UDOT completed a traffic study of a section of road near St. Anne's Center, a local homeless shelter, following the deaths of David Saures and Daniel Thobe, who were killed crossing the street. It recommended either a crosswalk or an overpass along the stretch of road between 25th and 27th Streets.

"A crosswalk is probably the likely solution," said UDOT spokesman Vic Saunders.

Saures was killed in a hit-and-run crash on Christmas Eve. Two months later, Daniel Thobe was hit and killed by a car in the same area.

"This is the busiest part and the spot that need a crosswalk the most out here in Ogden," said Kevin Raat, who stays at St. Anne's.

Frustrated with waiting, St. Anne's workers took matters into their own hands. They made orange flags to help make the homeless who cross the road to get to the shelter more visible. The Ogden Police Department has said that even though they are not marked, the crossings at Binford Street and 26th Street are technically intersections -- and drivers need to stop for pedestrians. However, many people also dart out into traffic between the unmarked intersections.

In numbers provided to FOX 13, UDOT said its study focused on the area of Wall Avenue from 25th to 27th Streets. On average, the agency said it documented 66 people crossing between 7-8 a.m., and 37 from 8-9 a.m. In the afternoon, 102 people were counted crossing between 4-6 p.m.

An average of 20 people in an hour is enough to justify a crosswalk, UDOT said.

"A crosswalk does not guarantee safety," said Saunders. "But it does provide a safe zone for people to cross in."

St. Anne's Center workers and clients were thrilled to hear they would be getting a crosswalk.

"We're so excited," said Summer Rohwer. "I think the community really got together and advocated for us to get this crosswalk. I think it's really important and we're really excited to get it."

UDOT said a crosswalk was still a ways away. The agency will next meet with Ogden city officials to determine who pays for it and where it will be placed. They will also look at whether or not additional lighting is necessary.