PROVO CANYON — The Provo River Trail in Provo Canyon is a place to escape from the city and enjoy a cool mountain breeze for joggers, skateboarders, and cyclists like Matt Brandley.
"It's nice to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine, and it's a long trail you can enjoy. It's really refreshing," he said.
But concerns about speeding cyclists and longboarders putting pedestrians at risk have county leaders considering a short restriction on bicycles and skateboards through Nunn's Park.
The speed limit along the trail is 15 miles per hour, but bicyclists in some areas clearly exceed that, according to joggers like Shelby Earl.
“Me and my dad were jogging and there were two bikes behind us and they were yelling bikes are coming and I didn't know which way to go and so I jumped off the trail,” she said.
Most cyclists believe 15 miles per hour is plenty fast on the trail.
“Some guys do go too fast," said cyclist Todd Wood. “The road bikes trying to hide from the freeway traffic are going pretty fast, but I think most of us are pretty safe."
Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said there's a walking-only zone to the trail in front of Bridal Veil Falls because of past problems of people going too fast and crashing into pedestrians, and they are looking at the Nunn's Park Campground to see if one is needed there too.
"Coming into this, it’s flat and then it comes into a downhill and people tend to pick up a little speed there, so we are looking into whether or not we ought to make this a walking zone designation as well," Cannon said.
Utah County deputies have actually been running radar on weekends, trying to slow bicyclists down in a spot where a lot of people like to walk to restrooms and picnic areas. The proposed walking zone would be 375 feet in all, where everyone would be on foot.
"It's almost like crossing a busy street on the weekends," said Curt Manning, a camp host.
The camp hosts have a lot of stories to tell about the accidents they have seen firsthand from bicycles or skateboards going too fast through the campground.
“We have accidents on the bike trail, and if it was a walking zone just through here where it gets really crowded on weekends, we could probably retire our first aid kit," Manning said.
The goal isn't to ban boarders or cyclists, Cannon said, but to keep people safe.
The Utah County Commission is reviewing suggestions from the sheriff's department before it makes a decision about whether to create a walking zone, add signage or other measures to improve safety in the area.
"They've approached the commission about putting in a walking zone," said Richard Nielsen, county public works director. "We're trying to make sure all the trail users are safe."
Contributing: Randall Jeppesen, Hunter Schwarz
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