ST. GEORGE — Measures are afoot by the city of St. George to slow increasing traffic on parts of Snow Canyon Parkway, and many residents of a subdivision along that road are happy to hear it.
The City Council chambers was full Thursday night with residents of the Paradise Canyon development who came in support of neighbors who spoke to the council about installing a traffic signal at the intersection of Snow Canyon Parkway and Great Basin Drive-1400 West.
“I don’t know of a more dangerous intersection than Paradise Canyon on Great Basin Drive,” resident Jim Slemboski said as he addressed the council.
Slemboski and two other residents highlighted worries about increasing traffic on Snow Canyon Parkway making it nearly impossible to turn left out of the Paradise Canyon development. Speeding traffic was also a concern.
“It isn’t the Snow Canyon Speedway,” Mayor Jon Pike said, noting the city has installed a digital “Your Speed” sign on Snow Canyon Parkway for traffic going downhill from the Bluff Street-Red Hills Parkway intersection. The sign monitors the speed of passing traffic and starts flashing when it goes above 40 mph, which is the designated speed limit for Snow Canyon Parkway.
When the residents called for a traffic signal, Public Works Director Cameron Cutler explained that certain “warrants,” or thresholds, had to be met before a signal at an intersection is considered necessary.
The city adheres to guidelines established by the federal Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices that outlines nine specific warrants traffic engineers can consider when looking at a possible site for a signal. Among the factors to be considered are the volume of traffic during different parts of the day, how a traffic light will impact the traffic flow of the surrounding area and the number of certain types of vehicle crashes at the target intersection.
“When we looked at the traffic volumes, they were really close,” Cutler said before announcing that the city had already hired a consultant to design a signal for the intersection.
“It appears it’s time,” Pike said. “We try to do this when it’s close, not overdue.”
A new signal at the Snow Canyon Parkway-Great Basin Drive intersection wouldn’t happen for at least six to seven months, Pike said, as the city is already working on installing a new traffic light at an intersection on 3000 East for the nearby Crimson Cliffs High School. The city is currently waiting for the best time to order the steel needed for the project.
The 3000 East and Snow Canyon Parkway traffic signals are two of six new signals the city has budgeted for the year at $1.8 million, according to the 2019-20 city budget.
In addition to the new traffic signal, Pike said other measures aimed at slowing speeding traffic on Snow Canyon Parkway include plans for a roundabout at the Tuweap Drive intersection.
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