Farmington parents demand bus routes, sidewalks for elementary students

Posted at 7:06 PM, Aug 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-23 00:22:06-04

FARMINGTON, Utah – Parents in Farmington are worried about their children traversing a dangerous street with few sidewalks.

On Wednesday, Canyon Creek Elementary opens its doors for the first time. While most parents are happy with the look and architecture of the new building, they’re concerned about the lack of a safe walking route.

About 200 students will start school at Canyon Creek Elementary. But parents refuse to let them walk or bike the one and a half miles because there are few sidewalks, crosswalks or traffic lights.

And with a new high school and homes under construction along 650 West, they fear kids will run into danger.

“As a parent, I get it. I can sit down and have a conversation with my kids and say you need to walk single file on this road through here, but they’re kids. And I can guarantee maybe once they’re going to do that,” said parent Alison Dunn.

Dunn said city leaders are looking into installing sidewalks, but it will be a couple more years. Until then, she wants Davis County School District to provide buses.

Administrators say a route must first be deemed hazardous. They’re awaiting results from an outside engineering firm who makes that determination.

“We understand that parents are concerned. They want their child to arrive safely at school. We want that to occur too,” said Christopher Williams, Davis County School District Community Relations Director.

The district says state law calls for students who live within a mile and a half of the school to provide their own transportation. If the route to Canyon Creek is deemed hazardous, the district will look at bus routes, but even then, finding bus drivers at short notice will be difficult.

In the meantime, parents say they’ll drive their kids to and from school. They worry they’ll add onto more traffic and create a more hazardous situation for students.

Dave Millheim, city manager for Farmington, said they are mindful of student safety.

They are working on installing more sidewalks to accommodate them. They are reminding drivers to slow down in those areas during school hours.