Bicyclists, & Public Transit in Downtown Salt Lake City

Rick Phillips, Concord, CA

At the 47th IMCL Conference in 2009, we presented on the philosophical origins and development of “Downtown in Motion”, the Downtown Element of Salt Lake City’s Transportation Master Plan. Adopted in 2008, this innovative plan integrates all travel modes in downtown from automobiles and public transit to cyclists and pedestrians, supporting a vision of downtown as a fully interconnected, multimodal model of urban livability.

The city is now beginning to act on the recommendations of the plan. The subject of this paper is the integration of transit and on and off-street pedestrian and bicyclist circulation, expressing policies and proposals grounded in principles of safety, utility, and delight for human beings of all ages and abilities.

While reviewing “Downtown in Motion” overall, the paper will zero-in on policies and recommendations specific to pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit patrons. These include “great streets” proposals for downtown’s primary street grid (the “City of Zion Plat”), development of pedestrian and bicyclist circulation systems within Downtown’s large blocks, extensions of these networks through buildings and new developments, and the specific roles of short, medium, and long-term recommendations over the life of the plan.

A key recommendation – critical to the plan’s family and child-friendly promise – is an off-street pedestrian/bicyclist path network (in addition to comprehensive in-street bike facilities) overlaid on Downtown, connected to recreational and commuter path networks in surrounding residential districts. Planning, design and implementation of this ground-breaking idea is a key focus of this paper.

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