SLC plans more permanent bicycle lanes

Posted at 3:33 PM, Mar 31, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-01 12:40:15-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- With the kickoff of another season for the city's popular GREENbike Share program, there will be more cyclists on the road.

The Salt Lake City Mayor's Office is adding another permanent bicycle lane along 200 West, stretching from North Temple to 900 South. It would be similar to the permanent bicycle lane on 300 South through downtown.

"Second West provides a a good opportunity because it's way overbuilt," said Colin Quinn-Hurst, a transportation planner for Salt Lake City. "It can handle 70,000 cares per day and it only has 7,000 so we're going to reallocate that a bit."

The permanent bicycle lanes on 300 South initially did not impress some business owners in the city's popular Broadway District.

"It was very bumpy in the beginning," said Michael Sanders, the owner of Now & Again near 200 East and 300 South.

Sanders said the initial plans took away too many parking spots and cut off access to many shops. He said city planners did ultimately respond to their complaints, modifying the street design to give them some more parking spots.

While he is a strong proponent of cyclists in the city, Sanders said there are still problems with the 300 South bicycle lanes.

"I think that many people have not figured it out," he told FOX 13. "We see every day, bicycles on the sidewalk instead of the bike lane. When I ask them, 'Why aren't you in the bike lane?' They say they don't feel safe.  We also see people all along Broadway parked in various sorts of unwieldy ways."

To get people accustomed to the parking changes, the city suspended ticketing along 300 South for a few months. Quinn-Hurst said they learned from the 300 South project and insisted they have done things differently for the proposed 200 West bicycle lanes.

"On this one, we've really done a lot of homework and reached out to the businesses," he said. "We've had public meetings and gone by two or three times and talked it over."

Salt Lake City's bicycle master plan ultimately calls for yet another permanent bicycle lane somewhere on the city's east-side (likely 200 East or 300 East). Quinn-Hurst said cities that invest in cycling have seen anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of commuters using bicycles to get to work, which could help with air pollution issues along the Wasatch Front.

The mayor's office said Wednesday that the Salt Lake City Council has already signed off on the 200 West bicycle lane. Public comment can be submitted here.