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Guest Editorial

Michael R. WatsonPark City

In the August 26-29 issue, The Park Record published a photo on page A-6 with the headline: "Medians Near U.S. 40 Irk Elliott," and some accompanying text. For the reader who may not be otherwise informed and any cyclists who missed the reported text, I’d like to inform:

The photo shows two cyclists occupying the farthest right of the roadway as practical on the road, originally developed to service a park and ride lot during the Olympics four years ago. It runs parallel, immediately adjacent to and east of U.S. 40, from the Basin Sewer Plant across I 80 from Silver Creek Estates at the north, south past a big-box hardware store, to the small commercial area at its intersection with S.R. 248. This road has been identified by reference as the "Old Hwy. 40 Frontage Road." For cyclists recreating or training, or commuting to work in Park City, this road has been a Godsend. Its use by cyclists grows as more cyclists become aware of it.

I reside in a nearby residential area, a cyclist myself, often using this road as a commuter, sometimes more than five days a week. It goes without saying that I love this stretch of road, even with its newly installed graveled surface. Perhaps as everything changes, use by motor vehicle traffic will increase, when commercial establishments make the "Old Hwy. 40 Frontage Road" their business addresses.

Which leads to the connection to the newspaper photo and text mentioned to start: Now would be a fine time indeed for all voting cyclists to assist Ms. Elliott’s efforts to make our county government aware of your advocacy for cycling use, and demarcation of, on this road. And to point out that in its current state of minimal motor vehicle use, your tax dollars that have been spent to stripe it with the pictured median, might be better spent to identify it as a much used bicycle route, with a wider space striped in accommodation for, and identifying a reasonably sized bike lane, with signage along it to identify it as such. Further, for the purpose of identifying for drivers that yes, indeed, there is another method of travel growing in this county, they can become educated about the need for safety and, ideally, learn to share the road with cyclists, whether there exists signage elsewhere or not.

It’s a fact that cycling in Summit County is growing and is a much-practiced recreation and sports activity. It may not equal skiing as an "economic generator" just yet, but for the county economically, it wouldn’t be the same without cycling. Not to mention that added awareness for drivers of cars would help to lessen bike/car incidents and all associated costs resulting. My take is that currently it is a "time for cycling." Cycling/voting citizens, the opportunity to accommodate and enhance cycling’s impacts is now more than ever important.

Advocate: Send our commissioners e-mails or letters, ride, be seen as a cyclist, take someone on a ride with you who doesn’t ride a lot. It is an opportunity. And help Ms. Elliott’s efforts to make cycling accommodations on our county’s roads a "hot issue" for county and city government.


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