After hearing emotional testimony about the dangers of walking along Geneva Road, the City Council agreed to seek state money to put sidewalks along a portion of the roadway.
Orem will apply for money from the Utah Department of Transportation's Safe Sidewalk program in fiscal 1994 to build sidewalks on Geneva Road from 400 to 1300 South. The state provides 75 percent of the money for a sidewalk project and cities provide the remainder.Ott Dameron, director of Public Works, estimates Orem's share would be $50,000 for one side of the road.
Pedestrians now have to walk along the shoulder of the road. Sherry Norfrey, who lives in the Springwater subdivision, is leading the drive to get sidewalks.
Norfrey gave the state Safe Sidewalk committee a petition signed by 182 residents who want sidewalks and crosswalks along Geneva Road.
Two weeks ago, Norfrey gave the council a copy of the petition. She said her dog was struck and killed by a passing vehicle as she walked it along the side of the road.
"What if it was a child instead of a dog?" Norfrey said.
She said 195 children live in the subdivision; about 48 children have to cross Geneva Road at 800 South to catch school buses.
Residents also want the Alpine School District to relocate the bus stop to the west side of the road, Norfrey said. Council member Kelvin C. Clayton is the director of transportation for the district.
Norfrey said the city allowed developments along Geneva Road without ensuring the safety of residents who live in the area.
Sherry Teschner, who also lives in the subdivision, said children have to walk in the road near 1000 South because there's no sidewalk to get around a pit where crews are repairing a city sewer line. The 10-foot pit is not properly fenced, she said.
"I want to know how many more children are going to be hit, hurt of killed before this changes," Teschner said.
Clayton said the council is concerned about the safety of residents. This year the city will spend $42,000 building sidewalks throughout Orem, he said.
Councilman Steve Heinz said "Safety is our No. 1 priority. We are handcuffed by economics."
He promised the residents the council would make an effort in the future to require developers to build sidewalks in conjunction with projects along Geneva Road.