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Neighborhood split over new speed bumps for safety

Posted at 5:39 PM, Jun 22, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s been almost seven months since a Bonneville Elementary Schooler was struck and killed in a crosswalk at 2100 East and 1300 South.

Since then, Salt Lake City’s transportation department is making major changes to those streets, but the project has the neighborhood split.

“I’m in meetings with parents and neighbors who are making an emotional plea to do something and do something now,” said Jon Larsen, transportation director of Salt Lake City.

From the intersection at 1300 South and 1700 East to Foothill Boulevard, the city is adding seven speed bumps and a raised crosswalk.

The project will also place four speed bumps on 2100 East.

Nearby resident Shay Silk grew up in the neighborhood and is part of a group of neighbors against the project.

“I’ve always been pretty safe in this neighborhood," said Silk. "I never really felt like there were a whole lot of issues when it came to speeding or traffic or pedestrian safety."

The group, named the “1300 South Street Coalition”, dropped off a petition at the Mayor’s Office Thursday after gathering over 600 signatures.

A spokesperson with the city said it appears only a third of the signatures live in nearby zip codes.

“The neighborhood is questioning why so many speed bumps and if speed bumps are really the proper choice,” said Eric Povilus.

The group said they aren’t against safety. They claim the city didn’t make the time to collect enough public opinion.

“We all want it to be slow enough and a safe street,” said Margo Thurman. “But we need the decision-making before any changes to be done in a way that it is normally done.”

Other parents in the neighborhood are for the speed bumps.

Alison Elbrader said her family had a scary close call in a crosswalk on 1300 South.

“As we stepped into the intersection, a car came and turned right into us,” she said. “They didn’t stop at the stop sign. They were going too fast.”

Elbrader said the car hit and pushed her son’s stroller. The vehicle also scratched her when she held her arm out to protect her daughter.

“It’s scary, but it’s really, really scary after when you’re starting to think how close you really were,” she said. “Because both of the kids were in front of us.”

Larsen said the city lowered the speed limit in that section a year and a half ago but decided more needed to be done.

“Anytime we do a project there are going to be people who don’t like it," he said. "Especially when you’re asking people to take on a little bit of inconvenience for the good of the whole."