NORTH SALT LAKE — Despite residents and cities banding together in front of the Utah Legislature earlier this year to fight the expiration of the truck ban on a Davis County scenic byway, state officials announced Friday that when that ban lifts on Jan. 1, so will the speed limit.

Legacy Parkway’s current speed limit of 55 mph will rise to 65 mph, according to the Utah Department of Transportation’s recommendations announced during the Utah Transportation Commission meeting in Brigham City on Friday.

The new speed limit is based off a UDOT traffic study that found 85% of drivers are already going around 70 mph on Legacy Parkway.

“Regardless of what the signs say, this is how people are behaving on the roadway,” Robert Miles, UDOT director of traffic and safety, told the commission.

After that traffic study, which is how speed limits are decided across the state, Miles said UDOT decided to recommend 65 mph.

“Listening to the communities and using engineering judgment, taking a look at the road, we feel this is the appropriate speed limit,” Miles said.

The raised speed limit will take effect despite more attempts from the group Save Legacy Parkway to fight the truck ban and the speed limit change — and despite resolutions from multiple cities including Woods Cross, North Salt Lake and West Bountiful requesting UDOT set the new speed limit at no higher than 60 mph.

Attempts to extend the truck ban faltered earlier this year in front of the Utah Legislature, after lawmakers decided to let the 15-year truck ban enacted in a settlement that ended lawsuits filed by environmental groups trying to stop the freeway from being built.

Legacy Parkway, an 11-mile stretch that runs along the Legacy Nature Preserve, is known for its meandering route near wetlands, wildlife and fields of blooming sunflowers with views stretching to the shores of the Great Salt Lake.

“I’ve learned to lose gracefully,” said Gary Uresk, Woods Cross city administrator, telling of failed attempts earlier this year to get the Legislature to extend the truck ban. “We lost on the truck ban, I get that. ... But the communities and the area around there is now facing a double whammy come Jan. 1.

“Not only are we going to have trucks, but we could have the possibility of trucks going 70 mph on that (road), and I think it’s too much of a change on the ecosystem and the community around it.”

Uresk urged UDOT officials to at least phase in a speed change over time, aiming to lessen the concerns of people who live near and use the parkway, whether it be to commute to work on a more relaxing road or to enjoy the views to the west.

“Please do not turn Legacy into another I-15,” Uresk said.

Angie Keeton, founder of Save Legacy Parkway who lives just 1,000 feet away from the parkway, wore yellow flowers pinned to her shirt as she urged commissioners to not raise the speed limit, noting that raising the speed limit is “just one option and is not a requirement.”

As soon as she first heard of the truck ban lifting last year, Keeton said she “couldn’t believe” that the investment people made when they built homes near the parkway would “change so dramatically.”

“We the people of Utah, the taxpayers of Utah, had chosen to make their communities there and to turn their front doors to Legacy instead of turn them away,” she said.

Despite residents’ efforts, no action was taken to adjust the recommended 65 mph speed limit. Though UDOT informs the commission on such decisions, setting speed limits is under UDOT’s purview, not the commission’s, said UDOT spokesman John Gleason.

“It’s an important note that by changing the speed limit, we don’t actually believe that we’re going to change the speeds by which people are driving,” Gleason told the Deseret News, again noting the study that found most people are already driving 70 mph anyway.

But Keeton told the Deseret News in an interview Friday that real issue is enforcement — and she rarely sees Utah Highway Patrol troopers patrolling Legacy Parkway.

“It’s really unacceptable we are basing the speed on lawless drivers who are not being responsible and making other people feel unsafe,” she said.

Keeton said she’s disappointed in the decision to raise the speed limit along with the lifting of the truck ban, but she also pledged Save Legacy Parkway’s fight isn’t over.

A lawsuit is “likely” their next step, Keeton said.

“That’s the only way that people seem to listen to important issues of quality of life,” she said.