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School district examines safety of walking, biking routes

School district examines safety of walking, biking routes

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SALT LAKE CITY — Are the walking and biking routes to schools in the Canyons School District safe? District officials are asking the schools to look over their routes to see if there are any problems.

At the beginning of last school year, there were dozens of boundary changes in the district, which had a big effect on walking routes. So, it's important that staffers in each school see if there are any safety concerns.

"Routes that are not preferred because of high traffic volume, narrow roads, lack of sidewalks, walkways and crosswalks and perhaps visual obstructions; those routes are flagged for attention by administrators," said district spokesman Jeff Haney.

Haney said every year, schools provide a Student, Neighborhood Access Plan, or SNAP, which tells city leaders which routes may be problematic.

"The schools are working with their school community councils, which are made up of parents, faculty members and staff members," he explained.

In the past, each school had to submit its SNAP to its respective city. This gave local governments several different plans to coordinate. But last year, instead of each individual school submitting a plan to its respective city, a small group of district officials spearheaded the effort.

"It was so productive, we plan to adopt that process every year," Haney said.

The plans must be finished by Jan. 17.

"Then, we plan to meet with the cities at the start of February. We do this early enough so that cities can start working on plans to improve their infrastructure before they wrap up their budget process," Haney said.

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Paul Nelson

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