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State wants input on bike paths

A woman’s death on Brown’s Canyon Road this summer has helped renew calls for more bicycle paths in Summit County. Peoa resident JoAnn Krajeski died as a result of a bike crash in July.

The state Bicycle Priority Routes Project meets at the Sheldon Richins Building today at 5 p.m. to discuss where bike lanes could be installed.

"Some of the existing roads have a wide enough shoulder we could actually stripe a lane and make it a bike lane," Utah Department of Transportation spokesman Adan Carrillo said. "Every road wouldn’t necessarily have a bike lane, but we want to make sure that the most traveled roads are the ones that may some day have a bike lane attached to them."

UDOT officials are touring the state to gather feedback, he said.

"We want to hear from people because we want to know what they want as far as bike lanes," Carrillo said. "It’s just a matter of finding out would people utilize the bike lane if we were to put it there?"

Locally bicyclists complain about narrow shoulders and rough pavement.

"As gas prices go up and new communities get built more efficiently it only makes sense to add bike lanes where before we weren’t really thinking about," Carrillo said.

With no money earmarked for bike paths, Carrillo insists they’re inexpensive on some roads.

"On some of these roads we already have a shoulder to add a bike lane it’s just a matter of finding out if people want them there," he said.

But funding won’t be available unless taxpayers express their support, Carrillo stressed.

"Now is the time for them to come out and express their desires for these facilities so that we can prioritize them for when we actually have the money," he said. "There is beautiful scenery in Park City and people are asking for bike lanes."

Bike paths may be needed in Kamas as the number of cars on State Road 32 increases. Kamas resident Alexander J. Barto is charged with a felony and appeared in 3rd District Court Monday after he allegedly ran down a group of bicyclists on the Mirror Lake Highway.

The speed limit on some stretches of S.R. 32 between Francis and Peoa is 55 mph, Kamas Mayor Lew Marchant explained.

"You’ve got automobiles going that fast and all the sudden they come upon on a bike and you’ve got some major traffic concerns as far as automobiles being able to get stopped and get around those bicycles," Marchant said. "There is just barely room for two automobiles."

Several bicyclists have ridden a new trail paved along the east side of the highway from Boulderville Road in Oakley to a park in Marion, he said.

"If we’re looking at the possibility of something like that then I think a lot of people would be in favor of the bike paths," Marchant said. "One concern I have people comment to me fairly regularly about are the bicycles on the narrow roads."

But the number of cyclists in Kamas has only begun to increase, Marchant said.

"And it’s not going to go down. It’s a real dangerous situation that I’m very concerned about," the mayor said. "Something’s got to be done to take care of the problem because our traffic in the eastern part of Summit County is just going to increase. We’ve got developments coming between Francis and Oakley and this highway is getting really, really crowded."

In North Summit a popular haunt for bicyclists east of Coalville is narrow Chalk Creek Road.

"I see significant people coming over to Coalville and parking their cars on Main Street and getting their bikes out and going for a ride," Coalville Mayor Duane Schmidt said. "As far as I’m concerned the bikes have just as much right to be there as the vehicles and it would be nice if there was funding available to municipalities like us for us to put bike paths in."

People are concerned, he said.

"Our streets do not have a tremendous amount of shoulder and you have bike traffic, cars and truck traffic, and it can present a safety issue when you’ve got a bike around the bend where you really can’t see the bike until you’re on top of them," Schmidt said. "I hear that from people on a regular basis and it’d be great to put a bike trail up there but it always comes down to money"

The UDOT meeting begins Sept. 17 at 5 p.m. at the Sheldon Richins Building, 6505 N. Landmark Drive.


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