NORTH SALT LAKE — A grassroots activist group has formed in North Salt Lake, determined to keep the Legacy Parkway mild and slow-paced.
When construction on the parkway was finished in September 2008, the corridor represented an about-face in how arterial roads in Utah were normally built. The highway featured slower speeds, a quiet road surface, a large truck and billboard ban, a 14-mile continuous trail with no street crossings and a protected nature preserve near the wetlands of the Great Salt Lake.
Those calming features were required by a settlement agreement that was reached by the state and citizen activist groups in 2005 after a lawsuit halted construction on the parkway in 2001.
But a few of the things that make the parkway more tranquil than nearby Interstate 15 — a 55 mph speed limit and a ban on large trucks and billboards — could be gone in about a year.
The Utah Legislature previously implemented a statute in which the truck prohibition will automatically expire on Jan. 1, 2020. No such clause exists for the speed limit and the billboards, but legally, the Utah Department of Transportation could ax those restrictions as well. UDOT has previously indicated it would do so.
Members of Utahns for Better Transportation, a group dedicated to promoting balanced transportation choices that protect the environment and quality of life along the Wasatch Front, have been working with Davis County residents to explore ways to keep the traffic calming measures in place.
UBT co-chair Ann Floor said a group of residents from the North Salt Lake neighborhood of Foxboro have organized community meeting on the issue, to be held 7 p.m. Jan. 16 at Foxboro Elementary School, 587 Foxboro Drive, North Salt Lake.
Floor said 2,500 door hangers notifying residents of the meeting have been distributed to homes and businesses in the area.
The meeting will feature a panel discussion and include speakers Bryce Bird from the Utah Division of Air Quality; UDOT Operations Director Jason Davis; Woods Cross City Manager Gary Uresk; Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross; Rep. Melissa Garff Ballard, R-North Salt Lake and Rep. Raymond Ward, R-Bountiful.
Weiler has filed a Senate bill request to address the continuation and the issue will likely be examined throughout the 2019 legislative session.
Cities along the corridor like Farmington and Woods Cross have passed resolutions asking the Legislature to remove the restrictions expiration clause, but Floor said the movement is still in its early stages.