raise concerns at county trails workshop
By Ranae Bangerter
April 06, 2006| HYRUM -- Providing access to all types
of trails -- biking, walking, jogging, riding horses
and many others -- was discussed in a county-wide trails
and bike route workshop Tuesday. But some citizens were
concerned about the safety of trails on private property.
The workshop was scheduled to talk about connecting
trails from city to city and across county lines and
a map was prepared to show how that would happen.
"We kind of came to the conclusion that we need to
do this," said transportation planner Jeff Gilbert,
about the workshop and combined map. "We know that some
people don't want it and that's what we're trying to
do, get their input," he added.
Tables in the Civic Center were set up with large
maps spread out, which marked specific trails all over
the valley. Citizens were encouraged to fill out surveys,
place stickers on maps and make a comment on a sheet,
next to the same colored sticker, about the trails.
"When we look at one city's trail system and another
city's trail system and compare them we see other opportunities,"
said County Trails Coordinator Tim Watkins.
Most of the 30 citizens who took a survey and commented,
liked the idea of giving input.
"I appreciate that they are allowing us to talk about
it," said Nibley resident Thayne Mickelsen. Although
Mickelsen did like the idea of having the cities come
together he didn't appreciate trails by the canals,
which had been drawn on the large-scale maps. "I think
using existing roads is a good idea, but not by the
canals," he said.
Another Nibley resident, Ron Hellstern, said he thought
if a citizen allows access to another person's private
property, then that citizen should allow others to have
access to their property as well.
Others were concerned about crime, safety issues,
and vandalism, if strangers were in their backyards
by the canals. Janett Forbush, a North Logan resident,
has a home by the canal, and has seen litter, sanitary
napkins, and diapers in and by the canal, and she thought
that would all only increase with a designated trail.
"The reason I worry about it is because of the trail
they designated in Weber County," said Forbush.
"My understanding is there is a problem spot by a
lot of vegetation by a main road," said Watkins, about
the trails by Jordan River in Weber County. Watkins
also said the issues by the Jordan River should not
be used as a way to prove that all trails are bad.
Watkins said that the county group is planning an
alternate route around the canals. He said that a new
state law does not allow for eminent domain for trails,
and that he would negotiate and work with landowners.
Other residents were worried about if the trails would
have signs to designate what would be allowed on the
trails, such as bikes, horses or dogs. "They need to
specify what will be on that trail," said police officer
Gilbert said that the county has set aside $50,000
Utah State University student Rachel Cox said she
likes the idea of trails on main roads by the university.
"I would like a bike lane on 4th North," said Cox. "A
lot of students walk on the sidewalk and with a bike
lane it would make it safer for me to travel on the
Providence resident Gayle Knapp is an avid runner
and biker and loves to take her dogs with her to ski-jor,
which is cross-country skiing behind huskies. She said
she and her husband run or ski with their dogs on trails
in the valley year-round. Knapp said she thinks the
connecting trails will give stores more business because
runners and bikers need to be replenished when traveling
The surveys and comments will be taken into consideration
when the master trail plan is completed and awaits approval
later this summer.