School districts, municipalities, the county and Utah Department of Transportation officials should get their heads together and decide how to deal with traffic problems created by new road construction, a Granite School District official believes.
"We need a summit meeting," said Lynn D. Davidson. He has expressed concerns frequently over the past few years as Granite District has tried to cope with traffic and safety issues inherited from road projects.The district again faces increased hazards to children with construction of an on-ramp onto I-215 and the development of the major West Valley highway project. Davidson argues that local and state road planners should consider the impact of projects on local schools and help alleviate problems. The transportation departments say they have no money to deal with school safety issues.
Children at several schools near the West Valley highway route will cope with additional hazards as they walk to school during and after construction. Parents are increasing their pressure on valley school districts to bus children or otherwise help ensure their safety.
Tuesday night, Tosh Kano, traffic specialist for Salt Lake County, added fuel to a plea by parents in the Driggs Elementary area, which will be affected by construction of an I-215 on-ramp at 4500 South. The parents are asking the school district to reverse a decision made last fall that denied hazardous busing designation for the neighborhood.
The ramp construction will force closure of Stratton Ave. and children will have to walk on Wallace Lane to get to school, Kano said. The narrow road already is carrying a significant traffic load and it will increase by an estimated 3,000 cars per day.
"We have asked UDOT to look at the impacts, but haven't received any cooperation," Kano said. Because there is no parallel street in the area, one-way designations are not feasible, he said.