Yearlong study brings new vision for Ogden Canyon


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OGDEN — Ask around, and it won't take long to understand why homeowners in Ogden Canyon like it there.

"We live in one of the most beautiful spots in the world," Jack Jones said, smiling. "Don't tell anybody. It's our secret."

Still, he said many drivers who pass by fail to treat it as the scenic route, instead using it more like a highway.

"People are crazy," Jones said. "People want to get home from skiing, and I've seen people speeding, 50, 60 miles an hour in the canyon."

While changes to the speed limit could come further down the road, the Utah Department of Transportation has plans to improve safety along the canyon, specifically focusing on straightening a tight bend near the bottom and improving some of the bridges.

"We're trying to do what we can to look at those areas that need some kind of tweaking to be more safe," UDOT spokesman Vic Saunders said.

The safety improvements are part of a much larger vision for the area, put together after UDOT spent the past year seeking public input from focus groups made up of people who live around and spend time in the area.

"The public's had a good deal of input on this," Saunders said. "And we want to make sure we do what's right for Ogden Canyon, not only for transportation, but it's a public resource that we want to protect as well."

Even more than improved safety, Saunders said, participants wanted to see more trails and access to recreation in the canyon. He said those efforts would have to be worked out in coming years between Weber County leaders and landowners.

Meantime, he said, UDOT will work on making those safety changes, using the current right of way. A speed study would also be conducted in the area to determine future speed limits, which could include slower speeds in some areas.

That's a change Jones would like to see.

"There's not been a time that goes by that we're not having people tailgate us," he said.

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