I am happy to see that the Davis County Commission is paying attention to the needs of the public.
As a story in Thursday's paper reported, Davis County has noted the increasing swarms of cyclists using the Antelope Island causeway.
This was creating a problem. Cyclists were worried about flat tires from garbage on the shoulders, so they were riding in the car lane. Cars would hit the bicycles, which is not a good thing.
Rather than tell cyclists to go away, the commissioners smoothed the road, cleaned up the shoulder, painted bike lane stripes and generally tried to make things safer for everyone.
Who says government messes up everything it touches?
That "how can we fix this?" attitude is a nice contrast to Ogden Canyon, where cyclists take their lives in their hands, and the general attitude seems to be, "Well, don't ride there then."
A letter in our letters-to-the-editor column Sunday is only the latest iteration of the never-ending war.
The letter said signs at the mouths of the canyon recommending against walking or cycling the canyon are not enough. The author said anyone who rides a bike there is "selfish and dangerous."
But bicycles don't have to stay out. Utah law says a bicycle is a legal vehicle with full right to any road, except interstate highways where an alternative is available.
It could be argued that the 1-ton, 7-foot-wide steel cars are what's dangerous in a narrow canyon, but comments on our website (www.standard.net) were mostly pro-car: Cars can't pass bicycles, bicycles hold up traffic, anyone who rides a bicycle in the canyon is a suicidal loon.
I'm a reluctant member of the "suicidal loon" camp. I want to see my grandchildren grow up. Legal or not, the canyon is just too narrow for bicycles.
There is no easy way to make Ogden Canyon safer for bicycles.
UDOT spokesman Vic Saunders said even if the money were available to widen the canyon, UDOT does not own the right of way. The canyon is a patchwork of UDOT, Forest Service and private ownership.
"In some areas, we only own the pavement, not the ground under it," he said. That makes widening the road a legal nightmare.
How about a trail parallel to the road?
Weber Pathways Executive Director Mike Benigni said his group was founded specifically to build such a trail based on the old trolley car right of way. The group has run into the same mess UDOT did. Despite years of work, there's no solution.
That's too bad. Weber Pathways has trails in the bench areas, around Pineview and along the Ogden River Parkway all the way out through Riverdale.
Benigni said the group is trying to figure out a way to have the trail south of Riverdale bridge the Weber River and go east all the way to Weber Canyon. Trails to Box Elder County are under discussion.
Davis County's trail network is impressive. I can get on the DRG&W rails trail at 31st Street and Midland in Ogden and pedal all the way to my granddaughter in Salt Lake City.
For some reason, there is no direct link between the Weber Pathway and Davis trails. Benigni said a link makes sense but isn't past the talking stage yet.
"Talk faster," I said.
Bicycles are transportation. As gasoline prices rise, more people will use them. Trails encourage their use.
Increased use means government needs to respond. As the work on Antelope Island causeway shows, when cyclists are safer, everyone is safer.
Thank you, Davis County. Keep up the good work.