UTA installing new fences for pedestrian safety

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WEST JORDAN, Utah - UTA is taking new steps to increase the safety of commuters crossing TRAX and FrontRunner tracks.

They're installing new safety devices across the Wasatch Front, including at the intersection of 3200 West and 8600 South in West Jordan where Shariah Casper was hit and killed by a TRAX train back in June 2011.

New "channeling" fences are going up in 160 locations where sidewalks intersect with TRAX and FrontRunner lines.

"We're getting them to look down both ways, even if they don't realize they're doing it," said  Chad Saley with UTA. "We've had a lot of issues with people that are distracted in the past. With pedestrians whether they have headphones in or maybe a hood on or they're paying attention to a phone."

The system is designed so that a sidewalk ends at a fence, forcing pedestrians to change their direction and perhaps see an oncoming train they would have otherwise missed.

"It's zig-zaggy and it's usually straight," said pedestrian Jaycia Griffin. "It makes you more aware, that you have to stop before you go across the tracks."

Construction is complete in 70 of the 160 locations designated for channeling fences. The rest are expected to be finished within a year.