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Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

Bike lane project on 300 South applauded and criticized

By Richard Piatt, Deseret News

Published: Wed, Sept. 3 3:10 p.m. MDT

 A cyclist rides in a bike lane on 300 South in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. A truck blocks the lane in the background. A vehicle is parked in a parking stall at right.

A cyclist rides in a bike lane on 300 South in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. A truck blocks the lane in the background. A vehicle is parked in a parking stall at right.

(Ravell Call, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Businesses and bicyclists are unsure about a new layout on 300 South.

Salt Lake City is adding protected bike lanes on 300 South between 300 West and 600 East. The lanes are supposed to be safer for cyclists because they are closer to the curb, pushing parking spots a full lane away from the curb.

“There’s way more bikers than there ever has been. I think the reconstruction on 3rd (South) is awesome,” said cyclist Spencer Davis.

A lot of work has gone into creating the new lanes, but the project has had its snags. For example, there is confusion over the markings, and vehicle parking spaces look like they're in the middle of the street.

“I’m a little confused with the whole process. I don’t understand how it quite works,” said Deb Swanson, a shopper on 300 South. “I think it needs to be clearly marked and understood. You don’t know if you’re parking in a spot or not.”

Now and Again business owner Michael Sanders and other merchants along the street also worry about parking.

“Parking is almost substandard as it is,” he said.

Original designs cut nine parking spaces in front of the 300 South shops down to two spaces, and shop owners called on city engineers to sort things out.

“You can’t pick up a piece of furniture on your bike,” said Amy Leininger, owner of Q Clothing. “(Bicyclists) can come shop, but you also need to make room for the cars.”

City engineers are responding to concerns about parking, confusion, new signs, concrete medians, and rethinking the parking space design.

“We’re, indeed, adapting our design to be as responsive as we possibly can,” said Robin Hutcheson, Salt Lake City’s transportation director.

Ultimately, the new concept for the city is something everyone is trying to get used to — even cyclists.

“I think if people pay attention, it will be fine,” said cyclist Erik Seig. “But I vote for the bike lanes the way they used to be.”

Email: rpiatt@deseretnews.com

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1. midvale guy
MIDVALE, UT,
Sept. 3, 2014

This all adds up to just one more reason to not go downtown. I would much rather go somewhere that has ample parking without congestion and interference. I always try to take the trax if I go downtown And I only go if there is an event I really want to attend such as comic con. If I am going out to eat or meet friends I will usually choose someplace outside of town.

2. ctylem
East Millcreek, UT,
Sept. 3, 2014

“You can’t pick up a piece of furniture on your bike,” said Amy Leininger, owner of Q Clothing. “(Bicyclists) can come shop, but you also need to make room for the cars.”

There is plenty of room for cars in this city. If you can't find parking on 300 South, look on the adjacent and intersecting streets and you'll be just fine. It downright baffles me that people won't frequent a particular business just because it takes a couple minutes longer to park.

Kudos to Salt Lake City for better accommodating those who choose to travel by bicycle.

3. CynicJim
Taylorsville, UT,
Sept. 3, 2014

I get irritated regarding privilege given to bikers. I'm not anti bike as a way to save money, improve health or keeping abreast of joint problems, and I'm not unaware of the contributions riding a bike can have, albeit minuscule, to helping the environment.
I'm against giving bikes a free ride: no license, no regulation, access to the road and sidewalk and riders taking a superior position in leading the way to environmental superiority. If I'm to give up some portion of the highway, road or lane specifically to bikers they should make some contribution in taxes and license.
Some years ago the small game preservation groups wanted to use money from the sale of big game licenses to be used to preserve the rabbitts, the squirrels, and non migrating birds. Those monies were for the improvement of hunting issues. I resented their trying to divert funds to their favorite charities.
I feel the same about bicyclers. Bikers should pay their way.

4. Sqweebie
Salt Lake City, UT,
Sept. 3, 2014

wasted money yet again. More than half of the bicyclists don't use the bike lanes because in their mind - the sidewalk is the bike lane. I have been hit by bikes on the sidewalk, told that s/he had the right of way on the sidewalk. I've started walking in the bike lane as there is less chance of getting hit by a bike. Seriously.

Another thing I noticed is that many of them don't obey traffic laws meaning that when they have the red light it means stop not going speedily through the intersection.

Something that I need to point out is that the SLC police department gives tickets to those bicyclist in the bike lanes for not being on the sidewalk - someone is acting stupid.

There is a sign up downtown telling people no bike riding on the sidewalk. But it's being done and it doesn't help when our men in blue are also riding their bikes on the sidewalk when they're not chasing down someone.

The worst place for people walking and in wheelchairs is on the west end of north temple

5. lket
Bluffdale, UT,
Sept. 4, 2014

bottom line is they don't pay tax for highway roads. but they get bikes lanes, and run stop signs, and stop lights and cause accidents. and cause cars to almost collide when they are too far out in the lanes.