If you’re like me, having a peaceful place to walk with your family, your dog, or even by yourself is a high priority. More trails for walking, running, and biking is something we hear over and over from county residents, so in February the Salt Lake County Council approved $10 million for the design and implementation of new trails throughout the valley!
In addition to the funds to build more trails, we also allocated $1 million for trail maintenance. Funds for these projects came from a designated fourth quarter choice transportation fund and were generated in 2019 through sales tax dollars specifically allocated for projects like this. Previous trail funding has come from a variety of sources including grants, UDOT, and collaboration with cities.
Salt Lake County already boasts some great trail options. The Jordan River Parkway is a north-south system of trails that parallel the Jordan River, connecting 45 miles through Salt Lake County. The trail further connects to neighboring counties, allowing for travel to Utah Lake and the Great Salt Lake.
Parley’s Trail is the first east-west trail linking the Bonneville Shoreline trail on the east to the Jordan River Parkway to the west. The trail connects a variety of neighborhoods in Salt Lake City, Millcreek, South Salt Lake and West Valley City. The Bonneville Shoreline Trail is also continuing on the south end of the valley.
An option for those in the middle of the valley is using existing canal networks. The County has been able to obtain an executed trail agreement with some of the canal owners. This trail agreement allows Salt Lake County to use the canal maintenance road as public space for a trail. The canal company benefits from having their dirt maintenance road paved and the County provides a trail system that is separated from vehicle traffic. If the canal owner is not interested in entering into a trail agreement the County is unable to use the space as a trail, but we don’t give up easily!
Future trail development is dictated by the countywide regional trails master plan. The first master plan was completed in 1993. An updated countywide regional trail master plan is planned for 2023 and from that point forward the plan will be updated every 10 years.
Having a robust trail system throughout the Salt Lake Valley benefits everyone. More open space will expand access and raise the quality of life for all of us. The past two years have taught us the importance of prioritizing our mental and social health. Being outdoors is a natural antidepressant as sunshine naturally increases serotonin and endorphins that boost energy and reduce pain. I hope you’ll take some time to enjoy the Salt Lake County trail system and all the benefits it has to offer.
Aimee Winder Newton has been serving on the Salt Lake County Council since January 2014. She is the current chair of the council. Her district encompasses Murray, Taylorsville, West Valley City and West Jordan, and a small portion of South Salt Lake and Millcreek... [read more]
|Aimee Winder Newton||
aimee winder newton: County Council district 3