Thursday, September 27, 2007

Parleys Trail

Parley's HollowYesterday I took some pictures of the news Parleys Trail bridge. This section of trail splits off the Bonneville Shoreline Trail crosses I215 on a spanking new pedestrian bridge then drops into Parleys Hollow. At this point the trail is sort of a bicycle path to nowhere. For road bikes, it is a trail that leads to the bottom of an 11% grade. Mountain and crossover bikes can go through a series of gravel and dirt roads then pop out of the hollow in a South Salt Lake neighborhood near Tanner Park.

The next phase of the trail project will dig a tunnel below I80 which will connect Parleys Hollow with Sugarhouse. When the trail is complete, there will be an uninterrupted trail from Sugarhouse to the top of Grandeur Peak.

Since the current trail doesn't actually go anywhere, I don't think it will have a major impact on the Salt Lake Cycling community. The Parleys Crossing project had a major impact on cycling as it connected two popular cycling routes (Foothill Boulevard to the U, and Wasatch Boulevard). As stated, the trail has an 11% grade. I actually perfer the grade of the neighborbood roads between Parleys and 3300 South.

Parleys HollowNow that there is a trail going all the way through Parleys Hollow, I suspect that we will see another big showdown between the nature lovers and dog owners over the off leash status of the trail. Dogs and bikes simply do not mix. Dogs love to splash in the creek, which is in direct conflict with nature lovers apreciation for the biodiversity of riparian zones.

During the trail construction, they created a large fenced in area. I would not be surprised to find this area designated the "off leash" area. Of course, since the fenced in area is a half mile from the road, it really is untenable as a dog park. Of course, that is the way people win in politics. You force your opponents into an untenable situation and they give in.

I really love to take Coco on walks through the park. Unfortuanely there's now a very large number of pitbull owners in Salt Lake and there are people who like to take large packs of large dogs into the park. As the hollow becomes part of a green corridor, I suspect the park will soon lose its off leash designation. The tragedy of the commons is that the commons will always be trampled.

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