LAYTON Ellison Park Elementary School, 800 N. Cold Creek Way, won't be on a dead-end road come this fall. The city has agreed to punch the road south, through to Gentile Street.
Layton City Manager Alex Jensen said the City Council has directed staff to come up with the engineer's estimate of about $350,000 to extend the road about another quarter mile to Gentile Street. Currently, the road only connects with Gordon Avenue on the north.
Jensen said the road is in the design phase, and although it likely won't be completed by the time school starts for the next year, it should be open soon after.
Parents of children who attend the new school have expressed concern and frustration about not being able to enhance the safety of their children who walk, skate or bike to the school. Two children were hit by vehicles along Cold Creek Way one inside the crosswalk and one outside this spring.
Parents would like a crossing guard at the school, but Layton city says the criteria to warrant one haven't been met. The Davis County School District also is hesitant about the insurance risk issues of having a volunteer crossing guard at the school.
Jensen said state codes have specific criteria and standards to follow regarding streets and traffic. Ellison Park does not meet the criteria to warrant a crossing guard. He said if the city puts one there it fails to be objective, becomes subjective and risks setting a precedent.
"Our view is that we should not put (crossing) guards where it does not meet the criteria," he said in an earlier meeting this spring.
Will the road extension solve the safety issues?
"It will help," Jensen said. "It will provide a more efficient flow of traffic."
He admitted it doesn't address all the issues and said the habits of drivers need to improve.
A new safety issue at the school may also surface this fall, when dozens of students from the Green Leaf subdivision, who formerly attended Vae View Elementary, begin attending Ellison. Unless they are all bused to school, these students will have to cross busy Gordon Avenue, as well as the Union Pacific and Frontrunner railroad tracks, to reach the school.Ellison Park Elementary is located only a few hundred yards south of Gordon Avenue and just east of Ellison Park's sports complex.
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