Blackridge Reservoir’s Popularity Brings Parking Problems
Aug 10, 2015 11:17AM
By Bryan Scott
By Aimee L. Cook
South Valley - In 2009, Blackridge Reservoir, located at 15000 South Ashland Ridge Drive, opened to the public.
The original intention of the reservoir was (and still is) as a secondary water source. The city pipes in secondary water as a service for the residents to water their lawns, etc.
Due to the need to place the reservoir at a certain elevation for water pressure, city officials envisioned a park around the water, first as a beautification project. But knowing it would end up in a residential area, they determined it would be a nice feature to have an urban reservoir where people could play, swim and paddleboard. Residents got their urban reservoir, and a few problems that came along with it.
Residents have filed many complaints with the city, complaining about crowded streets due to inadequate parking, loud music, alcohol use, and even public urination. The city responded by posting signage and increasing police presence and patrols in the area. Some residents do not feel that is enough.
“The finishing of the reservoir came after the homes,” Steven Russell, a Herriman resident, wrote on the city’s Facebook page. “The people who continually use it have shown that there is no respect for where it is. It is a great place. Other cities and citizens in those cities need to proactively make it their own. Just like splash pads and skate parks and fishing ponds. Every city has one now and every city can have a reservoir if they plan out their secondary water ponds to do so. You cannot have the only place to play on water in the entire valley be at the back of a (used to be) quiet neighborhood. The roads, parking, and the park itself is not designed for the 100’s to 1,000’s of people who are using it. There are 110 parking spots at a city park that’s actually a lot. Once it’s full, that’s it. No more parking on narrow residential roads.”
The reservoir is staffed during opening hours from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Concessions are sold but the staff is also there to monitor the area. If a problem is discovered, Unified Police are called.
“The city has increased the overtime budget for the UPD officers so they could increase the number of patrols up there,” Tami Moody, director of communication for Herriman City, said. “The officers will ticket any cars that are parked illegally and address any other problems.”
The water for the reservoir comes from Utah Lake and Deer Creek. It is untreated water but is routinely tested for safety. Fish have been planted in the reservoir to keep algae down, but it is not a fishing pond. Swimmers swim at their own risk as no lifeguard is on duty. In fact, recently a near drowning incident was reported at Blackridge. David Roth and his family were taking a walk and noticed a man screaming for help in the reservoir’s deep end. Two men who were also swimming secured a raft nearby as Roth swam out to help. He ended up helping all three men into the raft and waited for help to arrive.
The city is working on solutions to complaints and problems that have arisen. They held a neighborhood meeting on July 28 to gather input from concerned residents. Currently, the city is working on adding additional parking and are considering charging a fee.
“I live on the corner of Ambermont and Aurora Vista,” Michelle Donohoo wrote on the Herriman City Facebook page. “I feel that Ambermont should be included in the parking-by-permit plan. People park on this street near a four-way-stop where about 90 percent of the vehicles passing through do not stop. It’s extremely dangerous for our children with all the traffic, parking, speeding and not paying attention.”