Building, linking paved trails envisioned for Utah

Oct 28, 2022, 6:31 PM | Updated: 7:16 pm

WOODS CROSS, Utah — Everybody in Utah should have easy access to safe trails to get from one place to another without getting on a road. That’s the new transportation vision proposed Friday by the governor and the executive director of the Utah Department of Transportation.

This is a long-term vision that will improve the way Utah communities connect, they said.

“We are going after this in a big way. We’re very serious about this,” said Gov. Spencer Cox.

Standing along the Legacy Parkway Trail in Woods Cross, Cox and UDOT Executive Director Carlos Braceras, announced a vision to build a statewide network of paved trails that connects Utahns of all ages and abilities to other communities.

“As I travel around this state, as I ride and run, I hear the same thing: the public loves our trail systems and they want more,” Cox said.

It’s a big part of who we are as a state and our quality of life,” he said.

But trails are not only for recreation.

“A dedicated trail that works will provide additional transportation choices for all Utahns,” the governor said.

“This will serve people who choose not to drive, as well. Those that cannot or choose not to drive will now have a way to get around the entire state because our communities will be connected,” Braceras said.

Cities and counties have already built trails. Now, the state will get involved.

Right now, they don’t have any specific lines on a map or funding for a statewide trail system. UDOT plans to work with every community and the legislature to build the network.

“We want to present a vision and work through the vision with the legislature and see where it goes,” Braceras said.

Cox said they may start by completing trails already under construction and connecting those trails.

“The idea is to prioritize what we have and how to connect it to other places,” Cox said. “Where can we get the biggest bang for a buck? Where are the trails most used now? And how can we expand those?”

Cox said he and UDOT will work with the legislature to re-purpose existing funds and come up with other sources of funding for the trail network.

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Building, linking paved trails envisioned for Utah