SALT LAKE CITY — Avid cyclist Angie Vincent notes she and her husband own one vehicle and five bikes apiece.
The retired couple bike almost every day, from mountain biking to cross-country bike tours to just riding along the Jordan River Parkway Trail near their home in Taylorsville.
The bike community has changed over the past 13 years they've lived in Utah, Vincent added.
"Every day you get in your car, you see somebody on a bike. No matter what the weather is," Vincent said. "You meet so many cool people on your bike. If you go slow enough, you actually see people and their faces and wave hello and meet a lot of people."
On Tuesday, she and other cycling enthusiasts attended a ribbon-cutting for a newly completed section of Parleys Trail, a planned 8-mile paved walking and biking trail.
The latest completed section runs 1.5 miles from 1700 East to Tanner Park in Salt Lake City, connecting the Bonneville Shoreline to 900 West along the I-80 corridor.
"The biggest deterrent to cycling for many is the worry about being safe," Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams said at the event. "Properly engineered and built bikeways and routes that are safe and convenient will boost commuter cycling dramatically."
Parleys Trail is about one mile away from connecting the Jordan River Parkway to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail at the mouth of Parleys Canyon, said Juan Arce-Larreta, chairman for Parleys Rails, Trails and Tunnels Coalition.
"There have been so many issues with every section of this trail," he said, from designing bridges and underpasses to avoiding major roadways.
But now, "for at least the first 4 miles, you'll be able to get on this trail and you won't even have to cross a road," Arce-Larreta said.
When the idea for a trail was first proposed more than a decade ago, Millcreek Mayor Jeff Silvestrini said the paved trail seemed impossible and "beyond imagination."
"I’m really looking forward to being able to stay off the surface streets and get all the way down to Sugarhouse Park with this stretch," he said.
Parleys Trail is funded by the 2012 parks and trails bond, a $47 million initiative to complete trails, acquire land for park development and build regional parks around Salt Lake County.Comment on this story
One of the first sections of the paved trail opened in 2010, running 0.9 miles near Parleys Historic Nature Park.
The newest segment in the long-term project is open in the evenings while construction crews put the finishing touches on the trail over the next few weeks.
"The completion of this section of the Parleys Trail means residents now have a long, low-stress path between our west and east side communities in Salt Lake City," said Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski. "I can’t wait to get my kids on their bikes and my wife and come and ride on this trail."