Many people are deterred from cycling on busy roads because of heavy traffic and fear of being hit or involved in an accident. Transportation officials believe that we would see many more cyclists commuting and riding for enjoyment if roads were less congested and more bike-friendly. Locally, we are beginning to see a shift toward this trend.

In an effort to improve the Salt Lake City Bicycle & Pedestrian Master Plan, Utah’s capital is beginning to cater to the two-wheel crowd. "Salt Lake City skyline"

On June 26, the Salt Lake Tribune published an article entitled, “Imagine biking in Salt Lake City without fear of autos.” This article explained plans for a “Bike Boulevard” in downtown Salt Lake. This boulevard is actually largely already in existence, but the transportation department plans to further improve riding conditions for cyclists.

This “Bike Boulevard” refers to the stretch of road from 600 East to South Temple to 2700 South. According to the article, this area is visited by fewer than 1,500 vehicles each day, which makes the use of designated bike lanes unnecessary. Because this stretch is such a popular place for cyclists, the transportation department plans to reduce the current speed limit from 25 mph to 20 mph. There will also be push-button activated signal systems and push-button activated warning signs installed at several intersections along the stretch of road.

Salt Lake is notoriously known for its poor air quality, and state officials hope that this project will encourage more people to ride their bikes downtown instead of driving. Small, everyday efforts will eventually reduce pollution in the air.

Robin Hutcheson, Transportation Director at Salt Lake City Corporation, told the Tribune, “People are saying, ‘I’d ride a bike if I felt more comfortable on the street.’ Cyclists are taking their lives in their own hands when they are out on the roads. But 600 East is a beautiful ride. People will be able to go uptown or wherever they want to go without worrying they’ll be hit.”

The exact details of the project have not been finalized, and officials are still meeting together to create a more long-term plan. The “Bike Boulevard,” however, is definitely a step in the right direction for cycling enthusiasts. defines the “Bike Boulevard” plan in the following way:

“A bicycle boulevard is a low-speed, low-volume street that had been optimized for comfortable and convenient bicycle travel. Bicycle boulevards incorporate various treatments that contribute to a safer and more comfortable environment for bicyclists and pedestrians. Treatments may include measures to provide safer, more comfortable intersection crossings for bicyclists, calm traffic, or reduce traffic volume. In other cities, bicycle boulevards may be called greenwaysquiet streets, or bicycle friendly streets.”

For more information on the plans to create the “Bike Boulevard,” visit or download their project description brochure.

Photo Courtesy of Garrett and Creative Commons.