Parade Time | Urban Living
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Parade Time

Here's an example of Utah road idiocracy at its finest:



Summertime is parade time. In Salt Lake City there's the Pride Parade and the Days of '47 parade. In other counties and cities, there's often a Fourth of July parade, a peach or strawberry parade and, of course, the world's fastest parade at 55 mph (between Bicknell and Torrey). But marching—or even biking or driving—isn't as straightforward as it may appear.

Take, for instance, State Street and 300 West—parts of which are designated as Utah Highway 89. Traffic lights aren't synchronized there because two different departments—the city and state—run the show, creating several problems.

First, there's the increase in stop-and-go traffic which then, second, increases pollution. Third, there's doubling of services of maintenance when two different entities maintain our roads.

Worst of all, the Utah Department of Transportation has onerous rules for anyone who might cross over a state road—even if it's within city limits.

Here's an example of Utah road idiocracy at its finest:

When the Pride Parade passed from its start point at 200 West over State Street to its 400 East destination, it activated a UDOT waiver requirement. Before the paraders could march across State Street, they had to sign a Waiver and Release of Damages form per Utah Administrative Code R920-4 which required: 1. all event participants complete, and 2. that organizers retain all completed forms for 12 months for review if requested by the department. Parents had to sign the form along with childless adults and state that "each of us individually do hereby release, remise, waive and forever discharge the State of Utah, the Utah Department of Transportation, the Utah Transportation Commission, the Utah Highway Patrol and their officers, agents and employees from all liability, claims, demands, actions or causes of action whatsoever arising out of or related to loss, or damages and/or injuries, including death, which may result from my participation in the above named event involving roads within the state of Utah."

Salt Lake City, however, didn't require any individual participant to sign waivers. Are the thousands of Days of '47 participants signing this same release? The Pride Center also added on the back of the UDOT waiver a 10-point list of rules banning pets, alcohol and drugs in the parade and holding themselves harmless from the actions of drag queens and their feathers and men and their leathers. So much for fun.