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S.A.F.E. : Sidewalks from Sunstone to Daybreak Print E-mail
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Written by Elly   
Thursday, 15 October 2009 07:58

Here in Daybreak, we love our community: we love our fantastic green spaces, our excellent schools, and our wonderful friends and neighbors. Just to the west of us, there are some neighbors whose children go to Daybreak schools, who have friends among Daybreak residents, who enjoy the beauty of Daybreak trails and parks, but who must trudge through mud and weeds on a busy road to do so. The residents of Sunstone are concerned that someone is going to be hurt making their way to or from Daybreak.

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narrow roadside                Sunstone is a small neighborhood of about 1200 people about a half mile from Daybreak down 11800 South. If you’ve been out that way, you know how fast the cars speed down 11800 South, much faster than the posted speed limit. It’s a narrow two-lane road with very narrow shoulders—sometimes as little as 3 feet stretch between a pedestrian and speeding car. I wouldn’t want to walk along that road, nor especially send my kids down it. While children from Sunstone are currently bused to Daybreak Elementary, there are children who attend the new Early Light Academy that are walking along that 11800 South to school. And depending on how the boundaries are decided, there may be teens from Daybreak walking to the new high school down that stretch of road.

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                Sunstone residents have been asking South Jordan City to install a sidewalk in the area for years. In the past they have presented their case at city council meetings and while there was some interest shown, nothing was ever actually done about it, the sidewalk was never seriously considered, and certainly never built. Last week, the city finally listened to isolated Sunstone and is looking into the situation (possibly due to campaign season--but at least it's being addressed).

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When citizens bring up an issue like a sidewalk proposal before the city council, the city begins an extensive study of the area. They consider vehicle and pedestrian traffic patterns, expense (which can vary widely depending on whether or not the land has to be acquisitioned, utilities need to be moved, and the fluctuating cost of concrete), where in the budget the money would come from, alternative options, and future development plans for the area. Usually, a city will not install sidewalks in developing areas because the developer generally puts them in themselves (saving money for the tax payers)—unless there is a significant safety concern that needs immediate attention, as it does in this case. Even when the issue is given high priority it can take a couple of weeks to make the decision.

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In the case of a sidewalk connecting Sunstone and Daybreak, the current and future usage of the area deserves careful consideration. Even though it’s still mostly empty fields right now, Daybreak will eventually fill in and develop the area. And, more significantly, the new Mountain View Corridor will be going through soon (supposedly, construction begins in the spring). While I understand that you wouldn’t build an expensive sidewalk just to have it torn out in a year by a developer, at the rate homes are selling these days it could be a very long time before the area gets developed. And while you wouldn’t necessarily encourage people to walk through a freeway construction zone, if they are going to be walking through it anyway, wouldn’t it be safest and in the public’s best interest to designate a safe passageway through? If a sidewalk were built with proper coordination and consideration of future use, it would become a safety zone for pedestrians passing through the area as the Mountain View Corridor goes up over 11800 South.

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A sidewalk keeps people safe by designating where they can walk without fear of being run over. It helps vehicle drivers (and construction workers) identify where people will be—on the sidewalk—and where they won’t be—in the road or wandering through a field or construction zone. Sidewalks help everyone stay safe.

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.I hope South Jordan City finds a solution for pedestrians on 11800 South so we can welcome our Sunstone neighbors to Daybreak and visit them in turn, so their kids and our kids can walk to school without fearing for our lives. 
Last Updated on Monday, 26 October 2009 19:58
 
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