FARMINGTON - For a Farmington mom with five young boys, summertime often means getting the bicycles out and hitting the trails.
But the Spencer and Amy Shumway family lives in the Park Lane area, intersection for Highway 89, Legacy Highway, and an I-15 interchange.
All of that traffic makes it hard for the family to bicycle to many of the places they’d like - such as Station Park, without worrying about safety, she said.
That’s why Amy Shumway started what has become a quest to get a pedestrian/bicycle friendly overpass built on Park Lane. It would traverse all of the traffic lanes below.
“My husband takes FrontRunner. He has to get in his car and drive the mile there instead of hopping on his bike,” she said. “He has come home quite a few times, said I saw another biker almost get hit on Park Lane.”
That led to her taking action, which included meeting with the Farmington City Council earlier this month. The council is backing her desire for an overpass, and has formally submitted a request for the project to be placed in line for funding.
“It was never designed well for pedestrians or bicyclists,” said Farmington City Manager David Millheim. “It’s not getting any better.”
UDOT is working to increase signage to alert drivers, he said, but the area is “all car-oriented,” the city manager said.
There is the Clark Lane overpass, but bicyclists and pedestrians aren’t going to walk north to take that to go east or west, Millheim said.
Shumway presented a petition with more than 400 names in support of the overpass to the city council, and several people spoke in its support, even though the hour was late.
Shumway has gained support from such groups as the Farmington and Davis County Trails committees, and grass-roots interest appears to be growing.
Officials from UDOT and UTA have heard her proposal, and she and others are now contacting their state legislators for support, she said.
“We have no (bike or pedestrian) access,” Shumway emphasized. She’s hopeful the project can get a high priority on the funding list.
Millheim said the overpass could cost between $6 million and $9 million if it is free-standing, less if it’s combined with other construction.
In the meantime, the Shumways are serious about their trail use and riding bicycles. Even her 4 year-old made a 100-mile milestone last year.
“Our city is growing. It matters for our people to be able to enjoy the outdoors,” said Mayor Jim Talbot.
“We need to have safety through this avenue (overpass) for years to come. We want people to be able to walk or ride to FrontRunner. We really want to pursue this,” he added.