The Centerville City Council has declined to put its stamp of approval on its segment of the designated Davis County bicycle trail, saying the route along the frontage road parallel to I-15 is too dangerous.
Earlier this summer, the Davis County Commission along with the Golden Spike Empire travel council, designated a bicycle trail ride through the county, from North Salt Lake up to the Davis-Weber county line.A pamphlet was published, with a map and written description of the trail, outlining various parks, rest stops, and scenic overlooks of the Great Salt Lake.
The trail map has been widely disseminated, resulting in a marked growth of bicycle traffic along the trail, especially large groups of riders on weekends.
But the commissioners apparently did not consult with the police departments of the cities along the route and Centerville has balked at officially sanctioning its segment of the route.
Centerville Police Chief James Oswald told the council the stretch of frontage road between Parrish and Glovers lanes is too dangerous for bicyclists and several car-bike accidents have already occurred there.
He suggested an alternate route, a gravel road west of I-15 used by Utah Power & Light for access to its transmission towers and known locally as the Cattle Road or the Pipeline Road.
Although the road, west of and parallel to the abandoned Denver & Rio Grande railroad tracks, connects Parrish and Glover lanes, it has one problem: A six-foot deep trench cut across it to allow drainage of Ricks Creek into the Great Salt Lake.
The drainpipe under the road became blocked with debris this summer and, instead of clearing out the pipe, the county's public works crews cut a three-foot wide trench, leaving it impassible.
The pamphlet outlining the bike trail maintains Davis County is "a natural location for a bicycle trail. Located in the low foothills on the edge of the Great Salt Lake, the dedicated path is level, safe and provides a full panorama of the lake to the west and the Wasatch-Cache National Forest to the east."
Describing the contested segment, the brochure guides riders from the West Bountiful Park under the I-15 overpass and then north along the Eighth West frontage road.
"The Frontage Road takes you to the Parrish Lane commercial refreshment corner and the busiest intersection on the route," the brochure advises. "Just north of the corner and on the east side of the street is the Centerville Park.
"Continuing north along the Frontage Road, you come to Glovers Lane. A left turn here has you heading west over the I-15 freeway toward the Great Salt Lake Lake."
According to Chief Oswald, that stretch of frontage road "is not a wide road and in the past few years the police department has investigated two or three bicycle-automobile accidents in the proposed area.
"The speeds on the road usually average 50-55 miles per hour, and as the city grows there will be an even greater amount of traffic utilizing the frontage road from Farmington and Centerville areas to the Parrish Lane on and off ramps," the chief advised.
"Because of the dangers associated with the frontage road and the amount of traffic on Parrish Lane at the frontage road intersection, it would be my suggestion that the bicycle path be routed to the lower area where it would be more scenic and definitely less dangerous to the bicycling participants," the chief said.
The council, heeding the chief's advice, withheld its sanctioning of the route and has urged the county commission to reroute the bike trail off the frontage road and reprint its brochures.