Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Cycling lanes in SLC

I grew up biking in a context where urban biking was dangerous, drivers indifferent and sometimes hostile. Being killed by being hit behind from a careless/inattentive driver was continual worry. (Which is why I often bike on the wrong side of the road--at least I can see someone coming). Three yeas ago, I didn't care--the risk was an inherent part of the activity. But now...

I want separate bicycle lanes, I want them everywhere, and I  don't care what it does to traffic speeds. When I bike, I bike with family, with vulnerable people. So the separated bike lanes are really nice. Having a lane of parked cars between you and traffic is an enormous comfort--distracted drivers get to crash into a parked car, instead of someone you love. The painted lines are crap, and I sneer that them. Sure, they are better than nothing...but not much. Most were put in place as part of road diets, as an excuse to narrow the road--the bike lanes on 700 East and 300 West most notably.

I think SLC should take a lane off the whole of 3rd South and give me a continuous protected route from Downtown to University. The traffic volumes don't justify the pavement width, anyway. 100 South cars, 200 South for Streetcar, 300 South for bikes and 400 South for TRAX.