New crossing flags prove to be an inexpensive way to fix crosswalk issue

The Soto family replaces the flag after crossing Second East in Logan Tuesday afternoon.

LOGAN – The residents at the north part of Adam’s neighborhood are excited about the effectiveness of new flags along 200 East from 400 North to 1000 North. Residents were having a hard time crossing the street due to traffic, but not anymore.

Ronnie Soto lifts a flag out of the flag holder to help his mother and sister cross Second East Tuesday afternoon.

Dena Larsen took her concerns to a neighborhood council meeting. She wanted to dress up the crosswalks a little so drivers would take notice and slow down and let pedestrians cross.

“I was working with the city on new crosswalk ideas but found federal regulations on crosswalks are specific and there is no room for creative painted crossings,” Larsen said. “There are several online creative painted crosswalks I thought we could try.”

They were hoping there was room for change but that’s not the way it worked.

Introducing new ideas, that’s how you make changes,” she said. ”I’ve been talking with Logan City about the crossability of existing crossings.”

Logan City Public Works Director Paul Lindhardt and his group took notice, analyzed the situation and came up with a solution.

“They came to the city wanting to make crosswalks safer,” Lindhardt said. “We had used flags before so we decided to make the more available, added some more flag crossings and make them more visible.”

He said the crosswalk flags had been around for years, but a lot had been lost or taken. “We decided to change things up a little.”

“We’ve gotten mixed reviews on them,” he added. “Most people like them and appreciate what we’ve done.”

Logan City Logan City Public Works Director Paul Lindhardt and his group installed the new flags around the city.

He said one of the problems with the flags is they tend to disappear.

Lindhardt said the city has 225 flags in 35 locations currently in use.

Residents in the neighborhood have seen a real change in drivers attitudes of pedestrians trying to cross 200 East with the new flags.

Pedestrians just reach for the flag and vehicles stop almost immediately

Marilyn Griffin is active in the neighborhood council and lives close to 200 East and has seen a real difference in pedestrian traffic since the city installed the new crossing flags.

“The flags have really helped us get across 200 East,” she said. “In the past, the traffic has been a problem just because the motorists don’t stop.”

She said last week she was crossing West to East and went to reach for the flag and traffic stopped before she could get the flag in her hand.

“It was the most amazing thing I’ve seen in the 18 years I’ve lived here,” Griffin said. “Even young kids will just cross without looking. Some of motorists won’t stop, but they are getting better with the flags.”

Griffin said there are more people walking the neighborhood and it would be impossible without the flags. “We have three grocery stores and the university within walking distance,” she said. “The flags were absolutely worth it.”

Logan City Councilwoman Jeannie Simmonds has noticed a lot more people walking the neighborhoods.

“There is concern about safety when walking the neighborhoods of Logan,” she said. “Change in the Adams neighborhood started with a grassroots effort to improve safety for the citizens there.”

A cyclists rides a bike on the sidewalks along Second East passing a crossing flag Tuesday afternoon.

She said she is happy more people feel safe walking in Logan.

Crosswalk flags were simple and cheap to implement and are proving to be effective and popular at improving pedestrian safety. Pedestrians simply pick up a bright orange flag and carry it with them while crossing and leave it on the other side. It is a low-tech initiative that has proven to be highly effective in other communities, like Salt Lake City.

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