Transportation - U to Downtown Background & History

Project Background & History

An enhanced bikeway between the University and Downtown has been in public discussion since 2011, when the City first proposed a physically separated centerline bikeway on 200 South. This project was not funded by council, and was tabled.

In 2013, as part of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan update, the City engaged a focus group to assist in selecting a primary corridor for the route: 300 South, with a jog to 400 South. This selection was a result of a technical analysis followed by community input.

The final, constructed project is the result of this input. Broader public input on this concept was sought through Pedestrian & Bicycle Master Plan, open houses, online survey, and outreach to organizations such as the Downtown Alliance/Downtown Merchant's Association. Based on both a technical analysis and public support through the master plan, the City Council funded the University to Downtown Bikeway in 2014, as well as adopting the master plan in 2015.

Many factors were taken into account in selecting 300 S/400 S as the primary corridor. In our current design, this has become the "intermediate" or "blue route."

The focus group also suggested looking at smaller, quieter streets for the absolute easiest grades up/down the hill. The steep hill between the University and Downtown is a primary consideration in selecting a bicycle route. While the challenges of a steep uphill bike ride are clear, bicycle travel down a steep hill can also result in safety concerns from crashes.

Additionally, even among commuter bicyclists, there is a diversity of types of bicycles, fitness, and relative speeds. Also as a result of community input, Salt Lake City first turned our attention to the downtown portion of the bikeway - the 300 South protected bike lanes, which were constructed in 2014.

We have subsequently received many inquiries as to why the bike lanes ended at 600 East. This project now extends the bikeway further east - with a simple, paint-only design, appropriate to lower traffic volumes.

 

Back to University to Downtown Bikeway main paige.