By Dave Iltis –
Sandy, Utah – Salt Lake County recently announced ambitious plans for a 1500 mile Bicycle Commuter Network throughout the Salt Lake Valley.
“Salt Lake County is including cycling as part of the transportation future for our fast-growing metropolitan area,” said Mayor McAdams. “Bike commuting reduces pollution, eases road congestion, saves money on gas and also contributes to a healthier, more active community.”
The network will be bolstered starting immediately with an $800,000 infusion of cash from Salt Lake County that is being given to municipalities in the form of grants for paint ready projects.
Sandy, Utah is one of the communities that will benefit. It received a grant for $152,000 to help construct commuter bike routes on 11400 S from State Street to 1700 East, and on 700 East between 7800 and 9400 South.
Salt Lake County has 340 square miles of valley floor land area. The network will span 750 miles of roadway, and hence have 1500 miles of bike lanes. This year, 19 projects have been funded.
The network will roll out in three phases. First, the goal is to create a functional commuter network based on existing bike routes, and by increasing connectivity of those routes. This can be done by working with municipalities on paint ready projects.
Second, some of the more difficult connections will be built. These include bridges, separated bike lanes, and other low stress bike lanes. The Utah Collaborative Active Transportation Study (UCATS) top 25 will no doubt be part of this.
Third, some of the ultimate treatments and dedicated bikeways will be created.
According to Salt Lake County Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator George Deneris, the network will provide safer alternatives to cycle for the public as soon as possible. And, the network will help change the culture of the valley by providing opportunities for exercise. Additionally, the network will help to bolster business development and economic development.
Salt Lake County has also committed $300,000 for a bicycle master plan.
Additional projects that will be funded immediately include:
- Salt Lake City’s 300 South protected bikeway.
- Salt Lake City’s improvements on Sunnyside Avenue
- South Salt Lake’s bike improvements on the Parley’s Trail at 300 West.
- West Jordan – 4800 W. between 6200 South and 10000 South
(For the full list, see http://slco.org/uploadedFiles/depot/fRD/BikeRoadwayProjects2014.pdf )
“We’re a thriving metropolitan area that has the potential to offer different transportation choices to our residents who want to trade four wheels for two,” said McAdams.
For more information, see http://slco.org/regional-development/bicycle-commuter-network/