Salt Lake City has an active cycling population and a longtime commitment to bicycling infrastructure. The city often tops the lists of healthiest and fittest cities in the nation, in part thanks to its cycling culture. In 2018, Bicycling ranked Salt Lake as the 16th “Best Bike City in America.”
The city has had a bicycle advisory committee and bicycle master plan since the 1990s. In addition to painted, protected, and buffered bike lanes, Salt Lake also has the nation’s first protected intersection for bicycles. The comfort-rated Salt Lake City & County Bikeways map helps bike riders select routes for commuting and recreation, with additional safety tips and resources to increase the accessibility of traveling by bike.
The League of American Cyclists awarded Salt Lake a silver Bike Friendly Community ranking. In addition, the University of Utah, which sits at the east bench of Salt Lake, received a gold award for their bike friendly campus.
Over the past decade, various initiatives have helped create a strong cycling culture in Salt Lake. These efforts remain important as the city’s growing population puts pressure on existing bicycling infrastructure.
Salt Lake updated its Pedestrian & Bicycle Master Plan in 2015. Key initiatives include:
- Complete Streets Ordinance, which requires the city’s streets to be designed and maintained for all modes of transportation, including bicycling and walking.
- Low stress bike facilities that make people feel more comfortable traveling by bicycle, including protected bike lanes, buffered bike lanes, and neighborhood byways. The low stress nature results from a greater separation from traffic, use of lower volume and lower speed streets, and directional wayfinding signage.
- Expanded bikeways so 85% of all city arterial roads have bikeways and cyclists have increased access to transit stations.
- Traffic control advancements, including bicycle detection at intersection signal controllers, bicycle signal heads to indicate traffic instructions specific to bike riders, signaling timing adaptations for cyclists, and two-stage left turn queue boxes.
- Parking infrastructure, including city-installed bike racks, bicycle rack requirements in new residential and commercial buildings, bicycle valet services at large events, bicycle lockers at transit stations, and artistic bike racks commissioned by the Salt Lake City Arts Council.
- Bicycle counts that will inform future city plans.
Nonprofit Bike Initiatives
GREENbike is Utah’s only nonprofit bike share. Since 2013, GREENbike has offered Salt Lake residents a sustainable, affordable, and convenient transportation option. Their website says that GREENbikers have “offset more than 5.76 million pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the air, prevented more than 6.3 million vehicle miles from impacting local roads, and burned more than 79 million calories.”
The Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective has helped build a strong bike culture in Salt Lake through repair classes, open shop hours, job training, bike valet services, group rides, and much more. They have made cycling more accessible by donating bikes to adults and kids in need, as well as refurbishing and selling used bikes for an affordable price. Each year, the Bicycle Collective hosts Bike Prom—a massive group ride where friendly riders dress to impress.
Bike Utah works across the state to make Utah a better place to ride bikes. From bicycle safety education to advocacy toolkits, their programs support an active and engaged biking culture. Thanks to their work on the Wasatch Bike Plan, 96% of Salt Lake County residents now live in a community that either has an active transportation plan or is at least working on one.
Legal Help for Salt Lake City Bicyclists
Bike Law is a national network of independent lawyers and law firms dedicated to helping cyclists injured in bicycle accidents. We are cyclists ourselves and we care deeply about the cyclists in the cities and towns where we live and ride. Utah Bike Law attorney Ann Groninger provides legal help to injured Salt Lake bicyclists. Please contact us for help with your case.
If you would like Bike Law to come speak to your club or at your shop, please contact us.