A proposed bike skills park for youth along the Millcreek Parkway has raised opposition among citizens concerned that it will degrade the peaceful, natural character of the bike path.
The City of Moab has partnered with the Grand County Division of Active Transportation and Trails in approving and funding the park, which is set to be located along the Parkway near 100 East. The design includes features meant to help new bikers learn elementary bike skills in an accessible location. There will also be a restroom installed, filling a gap in public facilities along the multi-use path.
The city has committed a total of $60,000 to the project, which was approved in 2019; the Division of Active Transportation and Trails secured just over $60,000 from a grant from the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation. However, as the project moves toward the construction phase, several concerned citizens have asked for a time-out.
Sara Melnicoff, founder of the local nonprofit Moab Solutions and volunteer network Friends of the Parkway, organized a meeting on June 8 at the site of the proposed park, inviting neighbors, concerned citizens and county and city staff. City Councilmember Mike Duncan was also in attendance.
Neighbors said they were frustrated that city council members had not approached them about the project before it was approved. Participants expressed concerns about drainage on the plot and fast-moving bicyclists being drawn to the peaceful area. Many suggested the site be moved adjacent to Anonymous Bike Park, which is located at the end of the Parkway along 500 West.
Maddie Logowitz, manager of the Division of Active Trail and Transportation, explained that the Anonymous Bike Park would need a prohibitively expensive level of additional infrastructure to make it ADA-compliant, which was a priority for park planners. She also noted that the user group at Anonymous is more advanced, making it an intimidating area for new bikers to practice.
Mike Duncan said that if there is widespread concern about the park and its location, he will propose a formal public hearing on the matter to the city council.