Transportation - 300 South Protected Bike Lane

300 South Protected Bike Lane

In 2014, 300 South (Broadway) in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City was transformed into a better street for people and business, and to improve connections from nearby neighborhoods into the heart of downtown.  A protected bike lane, median islands, pedestrian crossings, planters, artwork and colored pavements were added. 

  • ·         September 2015 – Please read our update report, summarizing changes to the corridor since the project’s construction. 

Here are some photos from the project since completion.

Bicycle Parking  Riders  Pedestrian and Parking  Bikes at intersection  

Why 300 South?

The 300 South project originated as part of Salt Lake City’s commitment to provide transportation choices, improve our region’s air quality, promote healthy active transportation, and create a vibrant, economically sustainable city. 

300 South’s transformation is part of the implementation of the City's Downtown in Motion Master Plan (adopted in 2008) and Complete Streets Ordinance (passed in 2010).

300 South was identified as a specific corridor ideal for these improvements based on the preliminary recommendations of the Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan update. 300 South is a key corridor for the start of a low-stress bikeway network in downtown and connecting to the University of Utah. An initial technical analysis identified appropriate streets based on destinations, traffic volumes, speeds, width, grades, land use, and connectivity.

Our growing low-stress bikeway network seeks to make bicycling a safe, comfortable way to travel – for the many people who do not consider a painted bike lane to be enough separation from busy city traffic.  

  • This flyer from Summer 2014 gives an overview of the project as well as preconstruction information.

Making Key Connections

The 300 South protected bike lane provides bicycling and walking improvements connecting neighborhoods to downtown. This map shows how the downtown protected bike lanes fit into the existing and soon-to-be constructed bikeway network, including the 600 East Neighborhood Byway, Parley's Trail, 9 Line Trail, Jordan River Trail, and North Temple Boulevard.

About the Protected Bike Lane Design

A protected bike lane is on the street, similar to a regular bike lane. It is physically separated from traffic by a row of parked cars, a small curb, or a row of planters. Similar designs have been common in Europe for years, and are now being implemented in other U.S. cities including San Francisco, Missoula, Austin, Washington D.C., and Chicago. Median islands, colored pavements, public art, and planters have been incorporated into each project.

Both of Salt Lake City’s recent installations have been peer reviewed by colleagues through the National Association of City Transportation Officials NACTO, and by national experts through consultants Alta Planning and Design and Horrocks Engineers.

Making Bicycling Friendly

Protected bike lanes are for the many people who would consider riding a bicycle, if they felt safe. While many people already bike in downtown Salt Lake City - especially to events like the Twilight Concert Series and Farmers' Markets - many more would ride if they felt safer on the city streets, with more separation from traffic.

The streetscape changes will make these streets safer and more inviting for pedestrians, with slower traffic speeds and shortened crossings of Salt Lake City's wide streets.

Better for Business

Protected bike lanes create safe, convenient access for bicyclists and a more pedestrian-friendly streetscape - both of which are good for business!

Protected bike lanes in other U.S. cities have resulted in a significant boost to the local economy, compared to similar streets nearby.

  • Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington D.C., reported a 100% increase in bike traffic with the implementation of protected bike lanes.
  • Businesses along New York's 9th Avenue protected bike lane had a nearly 50% increase in sales.
  • In Portland, people who traveled to an urban shopping area by bike spend 24% more per month than those who traveled by car.

The relaxing pace of a protected bike lane is more conducive to stopping to shop or eat, compared to riding in a regular bike lane where riders may be more focused on traffic. Customers who arrive by bike shop more locally, more often, and they have more disposable income because they save money on transportation.

As part of this project, Salt Lake City will provide local businesses with resources on how to market to bicyclists and will highlight businesses along the protected bike lane.

Benefits of Protected Bikeways

Increases bicyclists' comfort and safety, attracting new riders:

  • Ridership increased by 55% in Chicago, on the Kinzie Street protected bike lane
  • Ridership increased by 40% in Washington D.C.
  • Ridership increased by 28.5% in New York City
  • 86% feel safe or very safe, compared to only 17% in traditional bike lanes
  • 49% consider driver behavior to be safer around protected bike lanes

Decreases motor vehicle speeds, leading to fewer fatal/serious crashes:

  • 75% of motorists exceeded the speed limit before, and only 20% after, in New York City
  • Average motorist speed was 34 mph before, and only 27 mph after, in New York City
  • 66% of motorists exceeded the speed limit before, only 26% after, in Washington D.C.
  • Average motorist speed was 29 mph before, and only 22 mph after, in Washington D.C.

Provides safety in numbers:

  • Repeated studies of crash rates in locations across the globe have concluded that the risk of injury or death from crashes with motor vehicles declines as ridership increases
  • These studies have come from: Portland OR, Berkley CA, Davis CA, New York City NY, Australia, Canada and Europe.

All statistics for protected bike lane benefits were provided by the Chicago Department of Transportation, with individual studies cited in this Protected Bike Lanes Fact Sheet from the Chicago Department of Transportation.