Ogden Valley Pathways
From Weber County Wiki
40-1 Purpose and Intent
The Pathway Element of the Ogden Valley General Plan (Ogden Valley Pathways Master Plan) was developed to promote, plan and protect non-motorized public pathways in order to maintain and enhance the Ogden Valley's beauty, pastoral atmosphere, rural lifestyle, outdoor recreational opportunities and sense of community. The vision is to establish a network of pathways linking all of Ogden Valley and to enable residents, visitors and their children to travel in safety on foot, bicycle, horseback, skates, snowshoes or skis, to a wide variety of destinations throughout the valley.
40-2 General Categories of Pathways
Pathways shall be designated for non-motorized use only except as used for law enforcement officers and other authorized personnel in the course of their duties. There are two general categories of pathways:
- A Valley-wide pathway network as shown in the Ogden Valley Pathways Master Plan, referred to subsequently as the Master Pathways Map.
- Pathways to connect individual neighborhoods or subdivisions to the network.
40-3 Locating Pathways
Wherever possible, pathways shall be located in corridors that have been or will be preserved as natural or green space, thus creating a greenway and not a standard sidewalk or alley. The Master Pathways Map is adopted as a guide, and is not intended to define the exact route of every pathway.
Each Pathway, as shown on the Master Pathways Map, as well as other pathways which may be proposed in the future, shall be constructed or designated for public use in one or a combination of the following locations:
- On currently existing public rights-of-way.
- On rights-of-way or easement corridors acquired from willing landowners, who may grant or sell a portion of their property, an easement, or a license for use.
- Sidewalks developed as part of a subdivision shall provide access to the pathway network. The provision of the pathway fulfills what is a county sidewalk requirement.
40-4 Pathway Types and Development Standards
Pathways in the Ogden Valley will be used by a wide variety of non-motorized user groups; therefore multiple-use pathways can often provide the greatest benefit to the most users. In some cases, a pathway suitable for one user group may be unsuitable for another, due to inherent conditions such as surface or location.
1. Pathways types
- Unpaved Trails. Typically located in parks or undeveloped areas, these pathways are suitable for equestrians, hikers, walkers, joggers, and mountain bikes. They shall be a minimum of four (4) feet in width, except in the back country, where they shall conform to USDA Forest Service standard trail specifications for desired and expected user types. Unpaved trails shall be constructed of native material or surfaced with crushed rock or similar material when necessary to prevent erosion or mud conditions. Where unpaved trails parallel a roadway trails shall be separated from the roadway by a barrier open space or landscaping of minimum of ten (10) feet. The typical unpaved trails section is shown in Figure 1.
- Bike Paths. Also called shared use paths or Class I Bikeways, these pathways are suitable for walkers, joggers, skaters, and others, as well as children and casual bicyclists. Bike Paths shall be paved with asphalt, concrete, or a compacted surface such as roto-mill or crushed rock and shall be separated from roadways by a minimum ten (10) foot barrier, open space or landscaping. Certain trails may be designated as unpaved trails with the agreement/expectation that they will later be converted to bike paths as funds become available. Bike paths shall be a minimum ten (10) feet in width and designed to AASHTO (American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials) standards for shared use paths, as shown in Figure 2. Bollards or gates may be placed at the entrance to a bike path in order to prevent unauthorized use by motor vehicles. Bollards, when used, shall be placed a minimum of five (5) feet apart, with one bollard on the centerline of the bike path in order to show two-way traffic directions. Approved signs shall be installed to designate the purpose and use of the bike path.
- Side Paths. Side paths are designed to run alongside a roadway and are intended primarily for pedestrian use. Side paths shall be paved with concrete, asphalt, road base or crushed rock, with a minimum of five (5) foot width, and located a minimum of ten (10) feet from the roadway, where feasible. The ten (10) foot open space shall preserve the naturally occurring vegetation or shall be landscaped with grass or other plants. See Figures 3 and 4.
- Shared Roadways. Shared roadways are minor or dead-end streets, typically local roads, loop roads and cul-de-sacs which are no more than 800 feet in length and serve no more than 14 dwelling units, where it is safe to walk or bike in the roadway, with no requirement for a separate pathway. Shared roadways are not appropriate for highways, areas of high motor vehicle speeds or commercial areas.
- Bike Lanes. Bike lanes are roadway lanes which shall be striped, marked and signed for the use of bicycles and are also known as Class II Bikeways designed to AASHTO standards, with a Bike Lane on each side of the roadway. All County roads in the Ogden Valley with an actual or expected average daily traffic count of 1,000 or more shall, when undergoing reconstruction or alteration over 2 mile or more, be constructed with bike lanes of a minimum five (5) feet in width, as shown in Figure 5. Where terrain precludes a minimum five (5) foot width, the County shall widen highway shoulders as much as practical.
- The design of grates for storm water catch basins is also critical to bicycle safety on all roadways. Grates with parallel bars pose a special danger to bicyclists, whose tires can easily slip between the bars. Other types of grates have been designed that effectively carry away storm water and are also safe for bicycles. The County shall adopt a bicycle-safe grate such as that shown in Figure 6.
- Because of safety concerns, side paths and sidewalks shall not be designated as bikeways.
- Pathways shall be required in all subdivisions, although some pathways may be of the shared roadway type described in 40-4A.4. The Planning Commission shall consider the Master Pathways Map and determine whether a pathway corridor should be set aside and what the exact route and width of the corridor should be. Land set aside in this manner shall count toward the provision of open space for clustering and other requirements.
- Trail heads shall be located so as to minimize impact on the local community and complement the rural setting, while maintaining access to the general public.
- A proposed local pathway system that is not shown on the Master Pathways Map, but serves a particular development and is designed to tie into the general pathway network, shall also be considered by the Planning Commission for acceptance.
- Unpaved trails may be used to link a development to Forest Service or other recreational land. Analysis shall be made by the developer during the approval process as to which pathway types are most appropriate and their location, with emphasis on safety, aesthetics and design that is tailored to the local topography and conditions.
3. Signage and Facilities
- Standard and consistent signs shall be used to designate trail heads, pathway uses, directional information, educational information and historical information along the pathways. Signs shall conform to the Ogden Valley Sign Ordinance which requires the use of natural materials.
- Vehicle and bicycle parking, restrooms, drinking water, trail information and hitching posts shall be provided at the direction of the Planning Commission at the time of review and approval process, as not all facilities will be necessary and/or required.
- Roadway crossing shall be accomplished by means of a signed and zebra striped crosswalk for most effective vehicular visibility. Tunnels or bridges may be constructed under/over high-traffic roads with County Commission approval after a recommendation from the Planning Commission. Tunnels shall conform to AASHTO standards.
- Any digging and filling of utility trenches on or along a pathway by utility, construction and excavation companies shall require restoration of the pathway to its original condition or better.
- Utility lines running parallel to the pathway shall be installed under the trail bed in order to minimize site disturbance. Laterals and lines perpendicular to the pathway shall be located to minimize site disturbance and removal of significant vegetation. Physical obstructions shall be located away from the pathway and access points such as manhole covers shall be located flush with the pathway surface to avoid hazards. A financial guaranty may be required by the Board of County Commissioners to ensure pathway restoration.
- If a utility line of any significant distance is proposed to be trenched, the Planning Commission shall determine whether or not the utility route could reasonably be used for a pathway as described in this Ordinance, the General Plan or the Master Pathways Map. If it is determined that the utility easement would be a desirable pathway, the utility company shall, in their restoration of the contours, restore to a level surface and grade which would be usable as a pathway.
- Prior to construction of a pathway, the entity to be responsible for maintenance shall sign a maintenance agreement to be approved by the County Attorney and the County Commissioners. Privately owned pathways, such as one in a gated community, shall be the sole responsibility of the Homeowner's Association. Maintenance of a pathway on privately owned land over which a public easement is granted shall be determined by agreement between the County and the landowner.
- Volunteers from the Ogden Valley Chapter of Weber Pathways and from other trail-advocacy organizations shall monitor the pathway system to report necessary maintenance issues to the County. In addition, volunteer efforts, by groups such as the Boy Scouts and various trail users, may be used for simple maintenance tasks. An adopt-a-trail program may be initiated.
6. Environmentally Sensitive Areas
- The presence of wildlife is part of the heritage and charm of the Ogden Valley, and the protection of wildlife habitat and environmentally sensitive areas is an important value to the Community. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) has identified three types of critical wildlife habitat in the Ogden Valley area:
- Winter range, primarily for deer and elk, in the Middle Fork-Monastery area.
- The Class I fishery in Ogden Canyon.
- Small areas of wetlands and Class 3 fisheries in the Ogden Valley.
- Habitat items 1 and 2 are shown on the Master Pathway Map. Wetlands have not been mapped on the Master Pathways Map, but along with riparian areas, or the corridors of vegetation along streambanks, are habitats of great importance to local wildlife. The development of wetlands is regulated by the US Army Corps of Engineers, and trails along streambanks are regulated by the State Division of Water Rights.
- Impacts of pathways on wildlife can be positive or negative and shall be determined by the Planning Commission during the review and approval process. In order to minimize negative effects on critical habitat, the following shall be considered:
- Pathways on public land in the critical winter range area shall be closed seasonally during such dates as recommended by the DWR. Locked gates, with signage explaining the importance of the habitat and the reason for the closure, shall be installed at the trail heads or other appropriate locations.
- Any pathway near a river or stream shall be constructed so as not to adversely affect the water quality or riparian vegetation of the stream or to impair the natural processes of the stream, such as spring flooding.
- When any pathway is planned for a designated wetland area, the Corps of Engineers shall be contacted for a 404 Permit.
- Pathways shall not be routed through the middle of large undisturbed areas of natural vegetation, but shall be located on the edge of such areas or in places already disturbed by human activities.
- Pathways shall not be routed continuously along stream banks, depriving wildlife of important undisturbed habitat, but shall provide a reasonable number of access points to the stream, so that the public will not be tempted to create unauthorized or social trails to reach the water.
- Where appropriate, pathways shall be used to improve habitat through the consolidation of many social trails into one well-designed pathway. The social trails shall be revegetated with species native to the Ogden Valley or beneficial to wildlife.
- The County leash laws shall be strictly enforced.
40-5 Landowner Relations
Respect for private property rights is an essential aspect of the Pathways program. As shown on the Master Pathways Map, the scenarios under which pathways are to be constructed or designated for public use invite the cooperation of private property owners and the expression of their opinions and concerns. Furthermore, whenever a pathway is constructed along a pre-existing corridor formerly used for a different purpose, such as a canal or a power line, any pre-existing rights held by adjacent landowners concerning drainage, ditch maintenance, crossing and access, and other matters will continue to be honored.
Trespassing and liability are of concern to property owners adjacent to trails. While trespassing from pathways, just as trespassing from roadways, cannot be absolutely prevented, signs shall be posted at all trail heads reminding users to respect private property by staying on the trail. Access shall not be allowed or provided from a pathway onto private property without the permission of the landowner. Landowners adjacent to a pathway may, and are encouraged to create their own access paths to connect to the pathway.
The question of liability cannot be solved by the Ogden Valley Pathways Master Plan or by this Ordinance; however, it should be emphasized that the potential liability incurred by property adjacent to a pathway is no greater than that experienced adjacent to a roadway. Furthermore, the State of Utah has adopted a Limitation of Landowner Liability Public Recreation Act (Section 57-14-1 et seq.). This act specifically protects landowners who allow the public onto their property free of charge for recreational purposes.