Skip to main content

The City Journals

Murray’s Adopt-A-Roadway is born

Mar 27, 2019 03:45PM ● By Shaun Delliskave

Vine Street is now up for adoption in Murray City’s Adopt-A-Roadway program. (Photo James Delliskave)

By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]

Ever wonder what it would be like to own your own street? Think no longer, as Murray City is giving you the opportunity to adopt a road. All you need to do in return is help keep it clean.

While you won’t officially own Vine Street, Fashion Boulevard, or even Spacerama Drive, Mayor Blair Camp is asking Murray residents and businesses to join his Adopt-a-Roadway program to help pick up litter and do other cleanup activities.

Murray City Communications Director Jennifer Heaps explained, “While he was knocking on doors during the election campaign in 2017, the Mayor was asked multiple times by city residents to implement this program. It became clear that keeping Murray roadways litter free and nicely maintained is important to many of our residents, and the mayor supports this initiative as well.”

The Adopt-a-Roadway program is administered by the city’s Public Works Department. Participants must be at least 12 years of age, and those between 12 and 15 must be under the direct supervision of an adult. The city will provide each group with safety vests, garbage bags and safety instructions for each activity and will also place warning signs in the area. City staff will pick up the filled garbage bags following the clean-up event.   

In Camp’s first State of the City address last year, he listed the program as one of his main initiatives. Applicants can elect to do a single cleaning or sign on for a three-year commitment with at least two scheduled clean-up activities. And while you can request Lucky Clover Lane, the City might try to persuade you to consider busier streets, like 5300 South or 900 East.

“The Mayor is often approached by businesses and residents looking for service opportunities in Murray. We’re fortunate to have such a strong community willing to donate their time to a good cause,” said Heaps. “Having a formal program in place allows volunteers to choose their level of commitment and schedule the clean up when it’s convenient for them. Another reason is that litter on the roadways is unsightly. We take great pride in our community, and keeping our roadways clean demonstrates that we care about our community.”  

Groups will be able to schedule clean-up events through a written request on the city’s website, www.murray.utah.gov, under the Public Works Department’s webpage. After the interested parties contact the department to discuss available roads and obtain necessary approvals, they will be able to select from a compiled list of roadways that are eligible, or a group may suggest an alternate road within Murray to adopt.      

“Since we announced the program in February, there has (already) been one application requested. There has not been a street adopted yet, but we’re hoping that warming temperatures and the desire to be outside will spark additional interest. Once a few street adoption signs are installed, I think the community will notice them and realize that the program is available in Murray City,” remarked Heaps.

Such adopt-a-highway promotional campaigns have been around since the 1980s. In exchange for regular litter removal, the organization is generally recognized on a sign in the section that they maintain. The sign-naming convention has at times caused controversy, as groups of a scurrilous nature and history have adopted highways for the purpose of name recognition. Both the State of Utah and Salt Lake County sponsor adopt-a-highway programs.

Heaps noted, “I’ve seen a lot of Adopt-a-Roadway signs in Utah and other states, so the program has been tried in numerous communities. I don’t know what the outcome has been for other cities, but we anticipate that the program will make a difference in Murray by providing service opportunities and beautifying the roadways that traverse our city.”