Letter to the Editor: Red paint in Ferron
A concerned citizen brought to my attention at our council meeting held on June 16, 2005, that many of the truck drivers got the feeling they were not wanted in Ferron due to the red paint on the curbs. Ferron City needs and wants the truck drivers to continue to stop in Ferron to use the services available. Let me explain the reason for the red paint on our curb and gutter.
When I was elected to Ferron City Council, I was asked to be over the road department. I had several concerns as a mother who lives along the highway. One of the concerns was the Safe School Zone in Ferron. I wanted an overhead school crossing light installed and began the process with UDOT in January of 2004. I soon found out that Ferron City did not qualify for an overhead light because we did not have two traffic lanes in each direction.
The UDOT officials in Price were very helpful but couldn't allow for the installation of the overhead light because Ferron didn't meet the specified criteria in the MUTCD, a UDOT publication. In September 2004, at the Utah League of Cities and Towns Convention, I invited the UDOT officials from Salt Lake City to come to Emery County and visit Ferron City. They accepted the invitation and at their visit they conducted a safety audit on Oct. 8, 2004.
While conducting their safety audit along State Street in Ferron they noticed the volume of truck traffic along SR-10. They also addressed the many concerns I had with our safe school zone. UDOT also talked with Ferron Elementary's principal and Ferron City's crossing guard to address their concerns. UDOT gave us some options to solve our concerns.
The UDOT officials from Salt Lake told us if we would agree to meet some criteria they would write a variance for an overhead school crossing light to be installed. The criteria the city had to meet was to paint the curb and gutters red the required distances for the Safe School Zone, sidewalks and driveway approaches. Ferron City also had to post a No Parking Sign on the curb with the Safe School Zone and notify the Emery County Sheriff's Office of the new parking regulations. The Ferron City Council and Mayor decided that safety was our first priority and agreed to meet the criteria given to us.
UDOT supplied us with the red paint and the Scouts from the Ferron Creek LDS Ward conducted a service project on June 8, 2005 to clean and paint the curb and gutter. UDOT also installed the No Parking Sign and I drafted a letter to the Sheriff's Office. UDOT then brought their construction crew to Ferron and installed the overhead school lights.
Obtaining the lights has been a long and lengthy process but well worth the time and effort involved. I have become educated in UDOT procedures and met many wonderful people. I have also learned not to give up when there is opposition to a valid concern. It is not the city's intent to keep citizens from visiting Ferron. We want and need the support of all citizens but safety is our first priority. We'd rather see red paint and have the laws enforced than see possible fatalities because Ferron City neglected its responsibility to protect the citizens of Ferron. Please continue to stop and spend your time in Ferron, it's a peach of a place.