Saturday, June 13, 2015

News-Press: "Bicycling: 7 cities"--Salt Lake City

NP feature 6/14/15--Chapter 6: Salt Lake City, UT
 Link to Overview article: Bicycling: 7 cities that will make Florida riders jealous
                                     Salt Lake City

                                                 BUILD IT AND THEY WILL BIKE  
Salt Lake City is expanding its use of protected bike lanes and, as part of that, is set to become among the first U.S. cities with a protected intersection for bicyclists.
(Photo: Courtesy of Salt Lake City Transportation Division.)
This fall, Salt Lake City, Utah, may become the first U.S. city with a protected intersection for bicyclists as part of a 1.5-mile, $800,000 project to add protected bike lanes, public art and more comfortable crossings for pedestrians, according to the city.

"People want safer facilities, more comfortable facilities," said the city's transportation director, Robin Hutcheson. "This was quite simply the best way to handle it."

A protected intersection was the best way to link protected bike lanes, she said. The layout offers safety benefits: it slows traffic and is meant to keep bicyclists apart from traffic as they move across the intersection. This option has garnered interest in the United States in the past five years, but is based upon European designs, said Salt Lake transportation planner Colin Quinn-Hurst.

"The protected intersection is based on northern European designs that developed over decades of experience managing interactions between people walking, biking and driving on streets with protected bike lanes," he wrote in an email.
Salt Lake City is set to be among the first U.S. cities to construct a protected intersection for bicyclists.
(Photo: Salt Lake City)
City residents are mostly on board. An April survey found about two-thirds of Salt Lake City residents favored more bike lanes on streets, even though some businesses owners have voiced concerns about lanes reducing parking spots, according to the website.

There's also an environmental imperative to get cars off the roads, Hutcheson said. Salt Lake City has a smog problem, which runs counter to its image as fantastic place to recreate outside.

Mayor Ralph Becker has been instrumental in carrying out a vision for planning for all modes of transit, not just cars. Becker has a background in environmental planning and is a cyclist.

"Our overall goal is to eliminate the need for people to get into a car to live their lives," said Art Raymond, the mayor's spokesman.

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