WEST VALLEY CITY -- The bike trail along the Jordan River Parkway is where the world of West Valley Police Capt. Ed Spann comes alive.

Pedaling on his bike, he is surrounded by the damp, green grass in the spring, the ducks and beavers along the river, and in the dark stillness of winter, the hollow sound of the wind through stiff branches.Right now this city of 108,000 has only two bike paths.

Besides the trail along the Jordan River from 4100 South to 2100 South, a second bike path runs through Lake Park Business Center at 2700 South, from Bangerter to 4800 West.

That could change.

City Council members on Thursday will consider a short-range and a long-range plan to build several bike paths throughout the city. A public hearing on the plans is 6:30 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 3600 Constitution Blvd.

West Valley City's general plan doesn't include a bike plan. If adopted, the two plans would guide the development of bike trails within the next five to 20 years.

"We're looking to try to create connections to destinations for commuters and (recreational users)," said John Janson, assistant director of community development.

On the short-range list are bike trails on streets that could be easily re-striped for bike lanes. They include: 3200 West, connecting to businesses and Salt Lake City; 2700 South along the Jordan River to 7200 West; and a 2700 West trail that would run through homes and out to Valley Fair Mall and the E Center. Also, officials hope to create bicycle paths along popular areas used for walking like the grassy area along the canals.

On the long-range list are bike routes that would be more expensive because they would require widening the road. One road on the list is 4100 South, which was widened a year ago. Had a pedestrian-bike plan been in place, officials could have included bike paths in that project, Janson said.

Fifteen West Valley police officers have regular bike patrols. Spann supports plans to build more pedestrian-bike paths in West Valley.

To him, the best thing would be getting more kids and parents onto the trails and out of the streets.

"We're trying to promote interaction with families. (The bike paths) get kids, parents and officers out," Spann said.

It also allows bike cops to sneak up on criminals, he said. "We've caught crooks on bikes."

Not everyone may welcome the plan, though, particularly if a bike path is smack-dab where they park, Janson said. Some people wouldn't be able to park their cars along particular roads if the city re-stripes them for bike paths.

"There may need to be compromises," Janson said.

The long-range plan would require purchasing property from businesses and residents in order to create the paths, something that would likely take years to do.

The pedestrian-bike paths will largely be a local undertaking. Nobody knows the cost. Officials, however, hope to apply for grants to help pay for them.

City officials have considered pedestrian/bike plans before but haven't created them because nobody demanded it, Janson said.

Nine months ago, staffers created the plans, which match up with the Wasatch Front Regional Bike Plan.

Though there's no hard-and-fast figure, Janson predicts a potential several thousand people daily would use the trails -- if 2 percent of the city's driving population used them.

Staffers hope the plans will be the grease to get the project's wheels rolling.