Record editorial: Don’t test safety on streets near Park City schools |

Record editorial: Don’t test safety on streets near Park City schools

The start of the school year in the Park City School District always brings its share of excitement, nervousness and a sense of renewal as the students start in their new grades.

The school year begins on Wednesday in the Park City area, and there will be more challenges getting to and from the schools campus off Kearns Boulevard than usual. In a typical year, of course, the traffic on Kearns Boulevard outside the campus and on the S.R. 248 entryway is awful on weekdays.

There has always been danger at the location with students crossing the busy street as they are arriving and leaving for the day. The pedestrian-bicyclist tunnels underneath Kearns Boulevard have greatly increased safety for the students, but it is especially important for everyone – students, parents, drivers, bicyclists, School District officials and law enforcement — to pay attention to the traffic this year.

The school year will start amid a large construction project at the high school. The work involves construction traffic on the Lucky John Drive side of the school, certain pedestrian restrictions and limited parking. There will also be alterations at Treasure Mountain Junior High and McPolin Elementary School.

The School District has devised a traffic pattern at the campus that will be unfamiliar to just about everyone at the start of the academic year. Significant changes at Jeremy Ranch Elementary School and, within weeks, Ecker Hill Middle School add to the unfamiliarity.

The Park City Police Department and the Summit County Sheriff’s Office normally heavily patrol the streets around the schools, and that sort of law enforcement presence will be needed even more at the beginning of school this year. The possibility of a tragedy involving a driver and a pedestrian outside the campuses has always loomed over the traffic plans for the schools, but that chance seems to be heightened this year with so much activity in a concentrated area coupled with the construction.

Even as law enforcement and School District administrators attempt to protect the arriving and departing students, it is also up to the wider community to understand the importance of the efforts.

No one should test safety on the streets around the schools.

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