The City Council is considering a request to contribute $55,000 toward the construction of a pedestrian overpass near an elementary school.
County Commissioner Tom Shimizu told the council Harry S. Truman Elementary, 4700 S. 3200 West, tops a list of county schools that face serious safety problems. "Truman Elementary came out the highest risk of all the schools that were studied," he said.Parents have petitioned for a pedestrian bridge to be built across the four-lane 4700 South ever since 9-year-old Shannon Kinder was killed there Oct. 5 as she was crossing the street on her way to school.
"Many, many sleepless nights have occurred because of this safety problem," Truman Elementary PTA president Debbie Ames told the City Council. "Every child has the right to be safe and well."
The county has agreed to half of the projected $330,000 cost of the skywalk. "So far, anyway, it's still in the budget," said Shimizu, but then quickly added, "and will still be there." Commissioners recently cut several million dollars from last year's budget and have not yet given final approval to the 1990 budget.
West Valley City is being asked to fund one-sixth of the cost; Granite School District will be asked to pay one-third.
Council members appeared to favor the proposal, but did not vote on it. West Valley City has a budget year that begins in July, and some members expressed concern that if the council appropriated any money it might not be available until then.
During the same meeting, residents expressed other safety concerns and asked the council to help pay for installation of a traffic light at the "very hazardous intersection" of 3500 South and 3450 West.
"Some of our junior high students don't stand very tall and are not easily seen," said resident Stephanie Bird. "The cars just don't watch for the pedestrians."
She said Utah Department of Transportation officials have placed the intersection on a list of locations needing traffic lights. Because the need is school-related, she said officials told her the intersection would be given higher priority if half the money - $35,000 - could be raised.
Council members, however, were critical of UDOT's proposal.
How Salt Lake County wants to divide costs for a bridge near Truman Elementary.
West Valley City 55,000
Granite School District 110,000
Total Cost 330,000