300 East Cycle Track

What is the 300 East Cycle Track Pilot Project?

Salt Lake City is looking for innovative ways to improve our bicycle network and attract more people to bicycle. One design, called a cycle track, has been implemented in other U.S. cities like San Francisco, Missoula, Boulder, and Chicago. This may provide a safe, cost-effective design for more separated bikeways throughout downtown SLC in the next few years. These designs have been shown to attract more people to travel by bicycle, providing greater levels of comfort and safety.

300 East was chosen as a location for this prototype due to proximity to downtown, current popularity among bicyclists, and low automobile traffic. Two blocks of protected cycle track and one block of paint-buffered bike lane were constructed in July 2012. This project has been funded in part through Bikes Belong / REI.

Public input

Feedback from bicyclists was strongly positive about both the protected cycle track and the paint-buffered bike lane, with slightly stronger support for the cycle track. Motorists and residents along the route indicated that traffic on 300 East is calmer and slower after the cycle track, and that there are significantly more bicyclists on the street. Some critical comments have been helpful as well; the City is continuing to refine its design for cycle tracks based on this input and our experience with maintaining this innovative design.

A new type of bicycle infrastructure

A cycle track is like a bike lane, but the bike lane is now located between the curb and parked cars. A three-foot buffer is placed between the parked cars and the bike lane, in order to remove the threat of car doors opening into the bike lane. This allows for a safer, more protected space for bicyclists. The cycle track is one-way on each side of the street, and follows the direction of traffic. This design is being evaluated from 600 S to 800 S. A paint-buffered bike lane is being evaluated from 800 S to 900 S.

Preliminary feedback from both bicyclists and motorists has been mostly positive. Residents along the route have been helpful in identifying issues and working with the Transportation Division in suggesting solutions. Some of these suggestions have been incorporated as small changes to our design. This is a new and innovative design for Salt Lake City, and we appreciate everyone's input as we try this new concept as a community.

Download our 300 East Cycle Track brochure to read more about this project and how it functions on the street.

Benefits of protected bikeways

Increases bicyclists comfort and perception of safety, attracting new riders:

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

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

  • 75% of motorists exceeded the speed limit before, 20% after (New York City)
  • Average motorist speed 34 mph before, 27 mph after (New York City)
  • 66% of motorists exceeded the speed limit before, 26% after (Washington D.C.)
  • Average motorist speed 29 mph before, 22 mph after (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, Berkeley CA, Davis CA, NYC, Australia, Canada and Europe

All statistics for cycle track benefits were provided by the Chicago Department of Transportation, with individual studies cited in the PDF available below.

For more information

Read this Cycle Track Fact Sheet courtesy of the Chicago Department of Transportation.