Pinebrook woman appeals to County Council for traffic mitigation along Kilby Road
Drivers use access road as their “own personal freeway,” woman says
Charlene Cottis and her husband often spend their mornings walking a nearly six-mile loop from their home in the Pinebrook neighborhood to the area near Walmart in Kimball Junction.
But, Cottis said their outing is typically interrupted by close-calls with speeding drivers once they’re on Kilby Road, the frontage road that runs south along Interstate 80.
“I recognize that speeding happens everywhere and my husband reminds me that I won’t stop the problem, but I’m afraid someone is going to come blowing up that road and someone will be t-boned or run over,” Cottis said.
On Wednesday, Cottis appealed to the Summit County Council to install more traffic calming measures to discourage drivers from speeding, such as radar speed signs. Kilby Road has several speed-limit changes over a two-mile stretch between Pinebrook Boulevard and Tanger Outlets, including near Ecker Hill Elementary School.
“I feel Kilby Road needs them (speed signs), especially because the schools are there,” Cottis said. “I think we need something to alert people of how fast they are going through there because once they finish Whole Foods, it’s going to really be a nightmare.”
At 43,000 square feet, the new Whole Foods Market on Landmark Drive, which eventually turns into Kilby Road, will be nearly double the size of the existing store and will be the anchor tenant on the property. It will also include another building with 18,000 square feet of retail space and 20 affordable housing units.
When the County Council and Snyderville Basin Planning Commission reviewed the project, significant concerns were raised about what the new store’s impact on traffic would be.
Lt. Andrew Wright, with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, said Kilby Road presents several challenges for law enforcement because it is a narrow two-lane road that connects to several large neighborhoods, schools, a church and mall.
In 2016, Wright said deputies stopped 350 vehicles for traffic violations on it. He said deputies see numerous violations on the road, but have limited resources for enforcement.
“It can prove difficult to have deputies on all of the roadways where we have these problems,” Wright said. “We feel like we do our best and, it doesn’t excuse our responsibility to keep the road safe, but we understand it is a heavily traveled road and we take that seriously.”
Wright said the Sheriff’s Office has requested the county install a school zone. However, no school zones exist in the county.
Derrick Radke, Summit County Public Works director, said the county’s engineering department administers a traffic calming program for county roads if certain criteria is met.
“We need to verify that there is actually a speeding problem and, under the policy, the freeway frontage roads do not qualify for traffic calming measures,” Radke said. “But that doesn’t mean we won’t put them up, it’s just not a high priority as other areas.”
Radke said frontage roads are the primary response route for most emergency vehicles and large county trucks. He added, “Frontage roads are meant to move people, we just happen to have schools along most of ours.”
Cottis said she approached the County Council nearly five years ago with the same concerns and fails to understand why they haven’t been addressed.
“That road is crazy because you have so many speed changes. They either need to eliminate all the signs and let people do what they want or address the speed and make it 35 miles per hour,” Cottis said. “People are just flying down the road and they use it as their own personal freeway. Something’s going to happen.”
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The Coalville native doesn’t see any major roadblocks for this year’s fair, though presenting in front of the County Council is a little nerve wracking.