Drivers stopping for pedestrians |

Drivers stopping for pedestrians

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

The Park City Police Department says more drivers are stopping for undercover officers as the department continues what has been dubbed ‘Operation Crosswalk,’ an effort to reduce the number of drivers who ignore pedestrians and bicyclists in crosswalks.

According to the Police Department, 7.6 percent of the drivers monitored in the most recent operation, held on Sept. 19, did not yield to the undercover officers and were stopped by other officers watching the crosswalk.

The percentage is the lowest of the three ‘Operation Crosswalk’ actions. The figure was 11.3 percent on July 16 and 16.1 percent on June 20, meaning that a smaller percentage of drivers stopped for the undercover officers on the earlier dates.

The Police Department says officers stopped 12 drivers on Sept. 19, ticketing eight of them and warning the remainder. In the July 16 operation, 21 people were stopped and 30 were stopped on June 20.

Between the three actions, the Police Department reports officers monitored 530 crossings by undercover officers and stopped 63 drivers. Forty of the drivers who were pulled over were warned and 23 received tickets, according to the Police Department.

Operation Crosswalk actions were held at high-profile crossings such as the Bonanza Drive-Iron Horse Drive intersection, Park Avenue outside Albertsons and Swede Alley outside the Old Town transit center.

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"I’m hoping it’s because (of) increased awareness of the safety issues with pedestrians," says Phil Kirk, a Police Department captain involved in the operations.

Pedestrian safety has for years been of concern to Park City leaders and regular Parkites, and the issue has been especially noteworthy as traffic has increased recently. Many people say the crossing at Bonanza Drive and Iron Horse Drive is particularly dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Park City voters have passed a bond to pay for upgrades to make pedestrian and bicyclist safer, with some of the money expected to fund improvements along Bonanza Drive and Kearns Boulevard.