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New study aims to expand mass transit, bike lanes in Salt Lake Valley

FILE: Steve Griffin,

SALT LAKE CITY — More and more people are living in the Salt Lake Valley, making our streets more and more crowded, even with mass transit and bike lanes widely available.

That’s why Salt Lake City, South Salt Lake, Millcreek, and Holladay have started the Local Link study to look at expanding mass transit options, as well as make some streets more bike and pedestrian-friendly. 

During a virtual presentation on Facebook on Thursday, Holladay Community Development Director Paul Allred argued that Utah needs to change how it thinks about transportation to relieve congestion. 

“We tend to think of ourselves as rural and living in these wide open spaces, but we don’t. The vast majority of Utahns live tightly packed together. That provides challenges but also opportunities for transit, for bikes, for walking,” Allred said.        

Local Link will look at putting in bike lanes and making the streets around the business district in the Sugarhouse neighborhood of Salt Lake City more walkable. It’s something known as the “complete streets” concept. 

Salt Lake City transportation engineer Lynn Jacobs believes those are options young people want. 

“We’re lacking in a lot of the facilities that we need for people who ride bikes, or people who walk or ride transit. [We need] to make that experience just as efficient, or effective, or affordable, or convenient,” Jacobs said. 

He also feels it’s important to relieve car traffic on the roads as Sugarhouse becomes even more popular. 

“Hopefully, that will help take some of the congestion off of our roadways and make things better for everybody that lives and works and shops in this amazing and fantastic part of our community,” Jacobs said.  

Intersections and streets will also be fixed for better traffic flow and to accommodate pedestrians and bike riders. 

The second part of the study will identify places for mass transit to go, linking Sugarhouse with South Salt Lake’s new downtown, as well as Millcreek and Holladay. 

Local Link is asking for the public to help planners make decisions on mass transit and bike lanes here: