Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

November 9, 2021
Okay, UDOT, we have a problem here

To reword a famous understatement from astronaut James Lovelll after an explosion crippled Apollo 13, “Okay, UDOT, we had a problem here.”

It has been just over one week since the Midvalley Highway opened and we’ve had at least four accidents, including one fatality.

UDOT was quick to respond. By Monday morning a blinking light was added to the top of the stop sign at Parachute Lane and the Midvalley Highway , a “Stop Here” sign with flags on top was added, an additional stop sign was added on the left side of the turn lane at Parachute Lane and a “Be Prepared to Stop” sign with orange barrels was also added.

UDOT has also promised to paint “STOP” messages on the pavement and to add signage to indicate a T intersection ahead — previous to this drivers referred to and treated Parachute Lane as an S curve in SR-138. Why not? There was no through traffic at the intersection, then.

This will hopefully solve the problem of drivers that have become accustomed to driving through the intersection to stop and wait for the new oncoming traffic that doesn’t stop, before turning onto the MIdvalley Highway from Parachute Lane.

UDOT points out that Sheep Lane and Erda Way both join the Midvalley Highway with nothing more than a stop sign.

Yes, but drivers have used those intersections for years, not days.

In addition to the signs and road markings, we ask UDOT to perform a new traffic study of this intersection and post the results and engineering standards for stop light warrants for the public to read. 

Also an analysis of the merits of other alternatives to a stop light or stop sign should be explored, even the dreaded roundabout.

While traffic analysis was performed in the design phase, it is possible that the volume of traffic along with the intuitive nature of the design may have been underestimated.

Some Stansbury residents have complained of long waits at the intersection as they drive towards Grantsville. Again, perhaps the importance of the Stansbury to Grantsville traffic, while secondary to the travel from Grantsville to I-80, was underestimated.

And while you’re at it, take a look at west bound Pole Canyon Road and Parachute Lane. Maybe that’s a county issue now, but it’s one UDOT created. Large trucks and passenger vehicles have been seen either speeding through the intersection or screeching to a halt, instead of timely hedding their stop sign, as it appears that the road formerly known as SR-138 continues straight ahead.

Oh, and Tooele County, if you’re reading this, don’t forget we’re looking forward to the extension of Village Boulevard. How much extra money did your auditor say you have in your fund balance?

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