Manti discusses pedestrian safety signs, regulations
By Collin Overton
MANTI—Linda Nielsen, owner of Manti Mercantile Village, called for the city council to enact laws for wheeled vehicles on sidewalks at a meeting June 4, citing safety concerns.
Nielsen recalled several instances in which customers were hit or nearly hit by children on bikes and skateboards, in addition to property damage at her storefront. She brought copies of Provo and Salt Lake City laws that banned wheeled vehicles on certain sidewalks, and urged the city to adopt similar regulations.
“One of my customers stepped down off the steps and was knocked off her feet by a little girl on a bike,” Nielsen said. “My customer was really shook and so was the little girl….Fortunately, she wasn’t going very fast and so there were minor injuries, but my customer was very shook up and the fall was jarring. She said to me, ‘Don’t they have bike laws in this town?’”
Councilman and Mayor Pro-Tem Jason Vernon, who was filling in for Mayor Korry Soper, said he did not think Manti had an ordinance for bicycle use, but now would be a good time to start discussing it. One challenge to prohibiting bike use on Main Street, he said, would be that it interferes with children’s’ routes to schools. It would be something the city would have to work around.
Nielsen also suggested the city add speed signage on the south end of town, as she’d seen countless commercial trucks speed past her storefront at 50 to 60 miles per hour. Another Manti business owner, Linda Collins, agreed. She said the problem was especially bad at night and that it was hard to get police there in a timely manner.
Councilman Gary Chidester asserted that there was signage on the south end for speed reduction. Nielsen retorted that the signs should be bigger and be as visible to drivers as the signs on the north end. Vernon assured Nielsen that the city would consult the sheriff’s department about patrolling the area more often.
Michelle Serra, Collin’s sister, also stepped up to the podium and said there should be a light on Union Street to slow drivers down.
“There are many times we hear cars screeching to a halt and horns honking,” Serra said. “I’ll go out and there’s someone walking across the street—children, people in wheelchairs…they cannot get across that intersection safely.”
Councilman Jason Maylett seconded the idea, and said he saw it often when he owned a store in the same area.
The council also heard from Manti Public Works Director Cory Hatch, who gave his monthly update and proposed a new chip seal project.
All streets that are currently road-based, including the industrial park and three full blocks on 600 West will be crowned and double-chipped this year, Hatch said. Road crews will also touch up the road north of Manti Elementary School, 500 South, 400 East and 500 West, to name a few.
The council went into executive session for an hour to discuss property negotiation to close out the meeting.