More than 100 adults, residents, bicyclists and pets joined in a single-file march Monday evening to honor a boy killed in an intersection in Provo.
The march started at 300 West and 500 North, meandered south through the neighborhood and ended at 400 West 500 North, where exactly one month ago, Caleb Lane was struck by a car and days later, died from his injuries.
The reason for the single-file march was to draw out the march and to bring attention to the crosswalk.
Caleb was visiting relatives with his family when he was hit be a car. The family lived in Provo for several years before moving to Texas. Caleb was buried in Provo.
“I feel the turnout was great,” said Shelly Mulkern, Caleb’s aunt. “I think Caleb would approve and would have joined in with this.”
Mulkern and two other aunts of Caleb’s joined others to not only remember Caleb but to see if the city is really listening to their concerns.
“I feel like it’s difficult to cross the street anywhere,” Mulkern said. “I have to make eye contact with drivers.”
During last week’s Municipal Council meeting Tuesday, several residents of the neighborhood around the Provo Recreation Center and Timpanogos Elementary School addressed the council about the safety of their streets, including the walkability and bike-ability of 500 North.
Within 24 hours, Mayor Michelle Kaufusi and the public works department met and came up with a temporary solution, as they do more assessments of the area.
“I’m pleased to announce some important safety upgrades at two crosswalks near the entrance of the Provo Recreation Center,” Kaufusi said on her blog last Wednesday. “The first is called a rectangular rapid flashing beacon, which is essentially a sign with lights that flash when a pedestrian activates them by pressing a button,” Kaufusi said. “The second is a concrete median, which is also sometimes called a refuge median.”
These features will be placed at the crosswalks located at 300 West and 400 West along 500 North.
The council will be providing $10,000 of its budget to the upgrades.
“We are in the process of getting bids on the project. It is estimated to cost between $20,000 to $25,000 per crosswalk,” Kaufusi said. “We anticipate the features will be installed within 90 days.”
“To see this body of people coming out in support of Caleb’s family shows we are coming together as a community to make our streets safer,” said Shannon Bingham, Timp neighborhood chair.
“I’ve been crossing this street for 18 years and it’s always been a bit of a challenge,” Bingham said. “Now the rec center is here it is much busier. We have a collector street in residential areas.”
Bingham said she can walk or bike just about anywhere she or her family needs to go. Bingham said that the neighborhood is a walker’s paradise and should be kept safe as well as possible.
They are determined to keep working on making not only 500 North, but all the streets in Provo, pedestrian-friendly.