Saratoga Springs residents fed up with Redwood Road expansion hazards, delays
The only road into many parts of Saratoga Springs has constant heavy traffic, so it was only a matter of time until an expansion would begin on Redwood Road.
When the first phase was complete, commuters that lived north of Grandview Boulevard were thrilled with the quicker travel times and easy flow on a newly widened road. Plans are in place to continue the expansion further south, but citizens are frustrated with the timeline thus far and have concerns about their safety on the road.
Before the work began on the portion of Redwood Road at Ring Road, a Maverik gas station was built that instantly increased traffic along the narrow two-lane road. The fears of citizens in the surrounding subdivisions were confirmed when an already difficult to access entrance became even more dangerous and crowded. Buses were delayed on the way to nearby schools and cars were forced to make risky and daring turns to leave the neighborhood. It wasn’t long after the gas station was complete that crashes at this turn became a regular occurrence.
Alex Tarsha, a resident of one of the surrounding subdivisions, said, “The entire flow is bad there because traffic is cruising around an uphill turn, so by the time you see people coming southbound, you have a pretty short reaction time before they’re on top of you. If someone is turning from southbound onto Ring, their vehicle blocks line of sight of other southbound vehicles, so you have to wait for them to complete the turn to see oncoming traffic. I’ve learned to leave earlier, and sometimes at 6:50 a.m. I still have to wait more than three minutes for a safe opening. If I leave at 7 a.m., forget it. A line of 10 cars, each one waiting two minutes for an opening.”
The gas station was completed without installation of a light and functional intersection and with the project still projected to be completed in late summer, according to the Utah Department of Transportation, homeowners in the Jacob’s Ranch subdivision requested a temporary light to allow them to leave the neighborhood and avoid serious accidents. UDOT denied the request. The end of 2018 was the original date given for the permanent light at Ring Road, however the light still does not exist and has been updated to be included with the “2018-2019 Improvements” with no set date confirmed.
Residents in the Jacob’s Ranch neighborhood aren’t the only residents along Redwood Road that worry for their safety while entering and leaving their neighborhoods. Many citizens in neighborhoods to the south have raised concern about dangerous maneuvers and illegal turns being necessary to access Redwood Road. Residents in the area have seen commuters make illegal left turns onto northbound Redwood Road before drivers that have the right of way on the east side.
Dianna DeGroff, a resident near the area, said she reached out to the city, and asked for “help at the intersection of Fairway and Redwood before someone gets in another serious accident there. People from the west side of redwood seem to think it’s like a four-way stop or worse yet, it’s whoever gets there first.”
The issue raised is that these illegal turns are necessary to get onto Redwood Road and without lights in close proximity, there are no safer alternatives.
With plans to complete more businesses in these areas along Redwood Road with the expansion still under construction, residents are left wondering why the expansion and safe solutions, including lights, seem to be an afterthought.
“Redwood Road is a state road. Therefore, lights are determined by UDOT. The entire project is scheduled for completion by the late summer or early fall 2019, weather permitting,” said David Johnson with Saratoga Springs. “Our officers are regularly patrolling these highly trafficked areas for violations, particularly during construction.”
A representative with UDOT was contacted, but could not be reached.