Salt Lake City considering new bicycle lanes

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SALT LAKE CITY - Salt Lake City leaders say they've come up with a creative way for cyclists and drivers to share the roads safely.

The plan is called cycle tracks, where parking stalls are moved out to make room for a bicycle lane.

"It provides a separation between car traffic and bike traffic," said Robin Hutcheson, director of transportation for Salt Lake City.

City leaders say the new plan provides a safer option for cyclists, something they thing will encourage more riders.

"Across the country, communities that have invested in it this way, they're seeing an increase in the number of bicyclists who wouldn't normally choose to ride," Hutcheson said.

The prototype was installed on 300 East, but city leaders plan to expand and put in permanent cycle tracks elsewhere in downtown beginning next year. Hutcheson says they're looking at 200 West in particular.

The system comes at a price tag of about $500,000 per mile, depending on the design. City leaders are weighing their options.

They're also looking at improvements to Sunnyside Avenue, but there was some controversy about possibly reducing lanes along the busy stretch of road.

"We're looking at maintaining all the travel lanes but doing everything we possibly can to make it more a complete, livable street," Hutcheson said.

In the coming weeks, they'll get input from the public before making a final decision.