Plain City, Utah: Concern and efforts produce results

Introduction

Plain City, UT, is a small town of about 5,000 citizens. On June 27, 2006, the Weber County School District passed a bond to build a new elementary school in Plain City. The new school’s location is near three large subdivisions, which increased the number of students who walk to school from 270 students at the school’s old location to 420 students at the new location. Although the school is within walking distance, the narrow access road that leads to it poses access and safety issues for both pedestrians and motor vehicles.

Activities

The road on which Plain City Elementary is located does not currently have sidewalks or shoulders.After the bond was passed, a native resident of Plain City and mother of students attending the new school became concerned with the lack of safe access to the school. Plain City Elementary has a narrow access road that lacks sidewalks and has a ditch lining one side of it.

The main access road for the school is narrow and lacks sidewalks for pedestrians or bike lanes for cyclists.This same road is used for both buses and cars, which leaves little room for safe pedestrian activity. These safety issues were brought before the Plain City council in August 2006, and a request was made to develop possible solutions and find funding for improvements. Working with a city engineer, the mother applied to the Utah DOT (UDOT) in November 2006, and received $150,000 for infrastructure improvements. At the same time, the Plain City Elementary principal was approached and asked about providing educational and encouragement activities at the school. The pair then applied for UDOT SRTS funds and received $12,400 for non-infrastructure improvements.

Milestones

In August 2007, the city installed curbs, gutters and sidewalks along a road near the school to fill in the gaps between existing sidewalks and to create one continuous path between the three neighborhoods surrounding the elementary school. Additionally, in August 2007, city funds were used to widen the road leading to Plain City Elementary and to cut an unpaved path alongside the road. The plans for installing a sidewalk that leads directly to the school are in process. However, there have been issues of land access and limitations of existing road infrastructure that have delayed construction. Work on the sidewalks will continue when these issues have been resolved.

Since their first attempt at acquiring SRTS funding was successful, the city applied for SRTS funds in 2007 and again in 2008. Both years’ applications were approved for $150,000 each for infrastructure improvements. The UDOT currently is reviewing the infrastructure improvement plans and will proceed with those changes once construction is approved.

Contact

Beth Koford
Plain City Elementary
(801) 732-2790
jbkoford@gmail.com