By Kiley Miller
Imagine bee gardens and fruit trees, butterflies and birdsong, water flowing in a wonderful quiet place underneath the big beautiful cottonwood trees.
That’s what the city’s vision should be for the area of the Millcreek pathway instead of developing a bike skills park. In the midst of a pandemic and a serious financial crisis in the city, many employees have been laid off, furloughed, had their benefits cut and are working part time. The city is moving forward on a highly controversial bike skills park, which should be put on hold and moved to a more appropriate site.
Did the city let anyone in the adjoining neighborhood know about this proposal? No. Instead, citizens found out in the local newspaper. A friend who lives right by the pathway was sadly under the impression it was a done deal and wasn’t going to submit a letter of opposition to the city but then did. Then we were told that there would be no public hearing on the matter.
I’m continually bothered by the lack of empathy and consideration for those who live near areas that continue to see increased growth or have projects like this bike park plopped into their neighborhoods. Others and myself have tried for years to get some kind of remedy for the situation at the “most dangerous” place in Grand County — Left Hand and Millcreek Canyon. For two and a half years I wrote letters to the editor, emails to the city and county, addressed the two mayors as well as both councils asking for better signage on Powerhouse Lane to help guide tourists and better protect the people who live there to no avail.
Now we have a proposed bike skills park in one of downtown Moab’s last sweet, quiet spots next to the creek underneath those amazing cottonwood trees, which happens to be a favorite spot along the path of many others and mine. Every time I ride through there I have to stop and look around at the grandeur of those trees, listen to the creek flowing and revere that quiet, un-crowded spot.
To the supporters of this bike skills park, I ask them to consider that there are many of us who love that section because it is quiet and devoid of crowds. Would they want one of their special spots to be changed so dramatically, would they want one of their special quiet spots to have a bike skills park in it? One of my first thoughts about this park was about the people who live near this spot and how their quiet neighborhood would be exposed to more people and traffic, and how sad it is that they weren’t given any consideration or heads up in the matter.
That seems rather callous to me. We live in a beautiful place that is being overrun and overcrowded by visitors from all over the world. The least the local governments can do to not come off as tone deaf is to be more empathetic and considerate of the citizenry that will be impacted by proposed developments. Please protect the Millcreek ecosystem. Protect our quiet neighborhoods.
Miller writes from Moab.