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It is back to school time and that means kids on foot all over the valley making their way to school. The number of kids walking to school has significantly increased in light of budget cuts that have slashed bus service in all areas of the valley. Accordingly, schools and cities are ramping up efforts to keep students safe along the walkways they travel between school and home.

Individual schools map walking routes for students, but cities are responsible for the roads, sidewalks, overpasses, etc. that make those walking routes possible. Safety requires a cooperative effort between the two, but cities bear the brunt of the responsibility since they are responsible for the physical structures used by the students.

Riverton City has jumped on the safety band wagon by painting giant white footprints which highlight safe walking routes. Other cities are adding sidewalks and crossing guards to improve safety, while others have increased the presence of police with radar guns along busy routes to crack down on speeders. Some cities are paying school districts to bus children in problem areas like construction zones, while others plan to ask the legislature to add to or restore funding that has been cut back or eliminated for busing. Whatever the plan, we all need to be on the lookout for those on the move to and from school to make sure all arrive at their destinations safely.

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