LAYTON — Will $350,000 make student travel to Ellison Park Elementary safer?

Layton hopes so.

Traditional school begins Monday, and Cold Creek Way, where the school is located, won't be a dead-end road anymore. Layton has spent about $350,000 this summer to punch the road through to Gentile Street. The road previously only had access from Gordon Avenue.

Parents of children who attend the school, which opened last year, expressed concern and frustration last spring about not being able to enhance the safety of their children who walk, skate or bike to the school.

Two schoolchildren were hit by vehicles along Cold Creek Way — one inside the crosswalk and one outside — this past spring.

"The project has essentially been completed," Layton city manager Alex Jensen said.

He said the new road segment to Gentile Street has been paved and all that's left to do are a few touch-up items and completion of a section of new sidewalk.

The hope is that the new road will spread out traffic and create better visibility,

Also, Ellison Park will be receiving more than 100 new students this year. The Green Leaf subdivision to the northeast also will be attending the school this year. Previously those students went to Vae View Elementary.

These new students, if not bused, would have to cross both the FrontRunner and Union Pacific railroad tracks, as well as Gordon Avenue.

Andrea Bos, spokeswoman for the Davis School District, said the new students will all be bused to the school — even though they only live about a mile away. "The students will be bused for their safety," she said.

Normally students must live two miles or more from a school to be bused, but in this case, the "hazard bus routes" rule applies.

Some parents would have liked a crossing guard at the school, but Layton officials say 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.

Layton planned to extend Cold Creek Way in the future anyway. It used contingency money to get the project done early.

Ellison Park Elementary, 8000 N. Cold Creek Way, is located only a few hundred yards south of Gordon Avenue and just east of Ellison Park's sports complex.


E-mail: lynn@desnews.com