July 13, 2017 – In an email to Councilpersons Luke and Adams, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski today decided that there will be no bike lanes on 2100 S from 1700 E to 2300 E.
The email states that despite the support for safety, reduced speed, and bike lanes , that the Mayor would keep the same configuration of 2 lanes in each direction with no center turn lane and no bike lanes. This configuration, according to Salt Lake City Transportation, is more dangerous for all road users – motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians. Yet, the Mayor seemed to give in to worries from local residents about potential congestion and held this as the deciding factor over safety and the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan.
The Mayor did state that 2100 S should be looked at in its entirety, something that Cycling Utah included in our comments on the project.
The decision follows an extensive public outreach that gathered more than 1500 responses.
The responses of those who registered on the Open City Hall website (519 total) (http://www.slcgov.com/opencityhall) overwhelmingly favored making the route safer for bicycling and walking:
53.2% to 36%.
The ranked goals favored reducing congestion over improved conditions for bikes and pedestrians, but no totals were available.
53.7% favored a safer design of 2 lanes and a center turn lane, of which 46.2% favored bike lanes.
58.7% of respondents were willing to spend an extra minute or two during rush hour to have a safer 2100 S.
64.3% favored a reduction in speeding, which would have occurred with the Road Diet of 2 lanes, center turn lane, and bike lanes.
73.6% favored reducing congestion. Keeping the existing design will result in the same level of congestion, and is hence contrary to the desires of the survey respondents.
The email is below:
Dear Council Members Luke and Adams,
I wanted to let you know that after careful consideration and based on the community input we received over the last month, the Administration has decided not to pursue a change in lane configuration on 2100 South at this time.
The Transportation Division had recommended the changes be made to improve safety on the roadway as well as reflect the intent of existing master plans, primarily the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan. Understanding that these changes could cause concern with local residents, and knowing your opinions on the issue, I personally asked Transportation to begin a public outreach effort to get feedback specifically on this project.
Even with an abbreviated window of time, this outreach effort was one of the most successful public engagements in City history—and Transportation should be applauded for their efforts. With more than 1,500 responses—a combination of Open City Hall, phone calls, emails, in person comments, and letters—the overall community was almost evenly split on the plan to reduce traffic lanes and add a center turn lane. More specifically however, respondents in 84108 and 84109 (the largest group of participants) were overwhelmingly opposed to any changes. Businesses along 2100 South, reached through door-to-door efforts, were largely in favor of reducing lanes and adding the center turn lane because it would provide easier access to their businesses.
As was to be expected, some of the conversation surrounded the addition of bike lanes on the roadway. The responses were split among those who ride bikes and those who don’t. The responses were also impacted by age, with older residents favoring the current configuration.
Respondents did identify safety as their second greatest concern, but were more concerned about congestion on neighborhood roads and bottlenecking—especially as the proposed reconfiguration would reduce traffic lanes at 1700 East.
Based on these responses, the adopted master plans, and information provided by our experts in Transportation, I believe the City needs to do further outreach to explain the benefits of a complete streets concept on this and other roadways. We also need to develop comprehensive plans for the length of 2100 South, rather than taking a piecemeal approach with changes. While the adopted Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan calls for bike lanes from 1300 East to Parley’s Way, it envisions a more complete stretch of 2100 South being reconfigured.
Please note, the planned resurfacing/slurry project on 2100 South will continue, beginning on Sunday. Over the next few days we will begin doing additional outreach to residents to notify them of the direction we are heading. We would appreciate any support you can provide, including sharing this with your constituents.
If you have any questions, please let me know.
Mayor Jackie Biskupski
The Mayor can be reached via email at [email protected]