[Parkway Panorama] I bicycled the soon-to-open Legacy Parkway early Sunday morning with my favorite cycling partner. The 14-mile stretch between Farmington in Davis County to Redwood Road and I-215 in Salt Lake County is scheduled to open to traffic next weekend. We did a round trip of 28 miles.
As you can see here, the big plumb for recreational and commuting cyclists alike is the paved bike trail that runs parallel to the Parkway. The trail is pancake-flat, with few curves so it's easy for anyone to ride. Bike partner and I ran into about a dozen cyclists of varying ability and physical shape (including the two guys on touring bikes puffing away on a smoke break under an overpass) and not a one was struggling.
People with a memory of 10 years or so will recall the bitter division over building the Parkway. After a long legal battle between state Republican leadership and environmentalists, a compromise plan was struck, which included wetlands protection on the west side of the highway, as well as a ban on semi-trailer trucks. The speed limit on each direction of the two-lane road is 55 mph (uh, right. We'll see how long that lasts. Can you say "Bangerter Highway?"). People who want to drive faster and big rigs will have to stay on I-15.
Anyway, it's about the best mitigation we could have hoped for--knowing how Utah loves its roads at any cost. It took a legal fight to get the Legacy lovers to realize that the area needs protection. Riding the trail, I saw the power of political compromise up close and personal.