Residents brave the snow to rally against freeway plan for Farmington

Published: Saturday, Feb. 23 2013 5:25 p.m. MST

FARMINGTON — Covered in a blanket of white, the neon green signs stood out: "Help save Farmington."

Despite snowfall and 30-degree temperatures, residents of Farmington rallied Saturday to oppose the Glovers Lane option for the Utah Department of Transportation's West Davis Corridor. Between 100 and 150 people lined the edge of Glovers Lane with signs and red cheeks and noses, and with their tractors, cars, air boats and horse trailers.

"Keep the 'farm' in Farmington."

"This is NOT the place."

"It's Farmington, not Freewayton."

"We're trying to show UDOT how many people actually care about Farmington Bay," resident and event organizer Bruce Bassett said. "UDOT is trying to figure out if they want to go north along the I-15 corridor where they originally planned to do it 17 years ago or whether they want to now cut through Farmington Bay and we're trying to say, 'No, if you cut through Farmington Bay, you're effecting all of us.'"

And so in Carhartt jackets and camouflage, pink Cadillacs and SUVs and with some even on bicycles, the residents land their supporters lined Glovers Lane for more than a mile representing nine constituencies: from bird and wetlands enthusiasts, hunters and farmers to families, businesses, bicyclists and boaters.

"I am pleasantly surprised," Julie Ann Prescott said. "I'm just very proud of people for getting out here in the storm … to show just how much they care about this area and how unique it is. It's special and it's worth taking the time to try and save and keep in its natural state."

The proposed project is a 24-mile long expansion of the Legacy Parkway that would run from Centerville to Marriott-Slaterville between the Great Salt Lake on the west to I-15 on the east. UDOT is currently considering two location options for the corridor, the Glovers Lane option in Farmington and Shepherd Lane option in Kaysville.

Those at the rally Saturday were mixed on the best solution, with some hoping that the project will be scrapped altogether and others encouraging UDOT to choose the Shepherd Lane option.

That option would take the homes of 10 residents making either option life-changing for some of the residents in each community.

"Personally, I think that if you don't build a road people will find other ways," Prescott said. "It's kind of like they want to take the easiest way, the path of least resistance, everyone's guilty of it. But it's kind of a good way to say, 'You know what? It's not there, find a way to carpool or use FrontRunner or make fewer trips or to coordinate trips."

John Gleason, spokesperson for UDOT, said not building is always an option. But the department is trying to keep up with population growth. He said an environmental study evaluating the impacts of both alternatives is scheduled for completion by spring.

"After we release the results of the evaluation and gather all of the information this spring, we're going to be holding public hearings," Gleason said.  "I think it's important to consider both the community and environmental concerns and gather as much information on all sides as we can so we can make an educated decision for everyone in the area."

Lori Kalt, another organizer of Saturday's rally, said she was "thrilled" with the turnout.

"It feels better to have done something, to have made our statements, to say, 'Hey, we do not want this, this is bad for our community,' and I think it's good to see how many people this effects. … It's all of us coming together."

Kirt Peterson, who was there to represent "horse people," said he wanted to support and defend the home and community he knows and loves.

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