Stuart Johnson, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Canyons School District made several boundary changes at the start of the last school year, altering many walking routes to schools in the process.
Now, district officials are asking schools to look over walking routes and determine if there are any problems.
"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," Canyons spokesman Jeff Haney said.
Each year schools provide a Student Neighborhood Access Plan, or SNAP, which tells city leaders which routes may be problematic, Haney said.
SNAP is safety program from the Utah Department of Transportation. It’s part of the federal Safe Routes to School program. Its priority is student safety. Under Utah law, schools are required to create and distribute a SNAP, which shows the safest routes to school.
"The schools are working with their school community councils, which are made up of parents, faculty members and staff members," Haney explained.
In the past, each school had to submit its SNAP to its respective city. This gave local governments several 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," he said. "We do this early enough so that cities can start working on plans to improve their infrastructure before they wrap up their budget process."
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