Salt Lake City announces new roadway and additional street crews
Press Release – November 1, 2018 – On Thursday, November 1st, Salt Lake City officials will mark the completion of the Gladiola Street reconstruction project. Mayor Jackie Biskupski and Council Member Andrew Johnston will join project team members in planting a ceremonial tree along the renewed corridor, an additional 40 trees are expected to be planted in the coming months.
The Gladiola project, which began in June, was a complete rebuild of the roadway between 500 South and 900 South, including wider lanes, improved curb and gutters, sidewalk enhancements, new ADA ramps, and bike lanes. The City invested $3 million dollars in the project and plans to reconstruct another segment between 900 South and California Avenue in the next few years.
“Our City’s ability to remain competitive and a leading commercial hub depends on our timely efforts to invest on quality transportation facilities, like Gladiola Street,” said Council Member Andrew Johnston who represents District 2. “The benefits from the new Gladiola Street and Indiana Avenue, will be felt for years to come, not just in this district of our city but statewide.”
City officials will also announce the Streets Division is prepared to hire a new street maintenance crew, funded as part of the Funding Our Future 0.5% sales tax increase approved by Mayor Biskupski and the City Council in early 2018. The new crew will allow the City to double the number of lane miles that are maintained on an annual basis, including resurfacing and pothole repair.
“My Administration is committed to repairing our City’s aging infrastructure in order improve the lives of residents and businesses,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “By fixing our failing roads and properly maintaining our good roads, we can drive down costs for residents and create opportunities for new bike lanes and transit enhancements to get people out of their cars to help clear our air.”
Analysis and Call to Extend the Bike Lanes on Gladiola: The Gladiola street reconstruction is in an industrial area with heavy (weight) truck traffic, that requires a solid street to move goods to the ever increasing number of warehouses and industrial sites in Salt Lake City’s northwest region. It is pleasing to see that the City is following their Complete Streets Ordinance with this roadway reconstruction and adding bike lanes.
Although the lanes aren’t striped yet, we understand that this will be done as the roadway construction is completed. We are glad to see this.
Given this new development, we are calling for the addition of bike lanes on Gladiola Street from 900 S to approximately 2100 S. Gladiola is a thoroughfare in this area with truck and car traffic traveling on the road to and from the many worksites in the industrial park. Currently, the roadway from 900 S to 2100 S has bike lanes for a short section of the roadway from 1820 S to 2100 S. From 900 S, where the new reconstruction and bike lanes stop to 1820 S, the roadway is wide and has no striping of any sort. With the increased traffic in this area, adding bike lanes, as well as car-lane striping is necessary to maintain an orderly flow of vehicles and to reduce speeds in the area.
The key observation of Gladiola from 900 S to 2100 S is that it is very, very wide, and there is plenty of room for bike lanes, two car lanes, and a center turn lane, or just 2 car lanes and bike lanes. The bike lanes could go in tomorrow by sending out a paint crew when the new construction is restriped.
What benefit would this have? For starters, it would provide safer access for bikes to this work destination. Vehicle traffic would have literal guidelines as to where to drive, and bike lanes would provide dedicated room for cyclists. Secondly, this would extend the 3200 W/Gladiola bike lane all the way to 500 S. Gladiola curves and turns in to 3200 W, which currently has bike lanes from 2100 S to 4700 S. This would finish a 6.3 mile stretch of bike lanes by adding 2 miles of bike lane. At a cost of $5000 per mile for paint for the lanes, this is an inexpensive addition to a $3 million project.
Thirdly, the addition of bike lanes on Gladiola would connect E-W bike lanes on 500 S, 900 S, 1820 S (Director’s Row), and 2100 S. This helps to connect and fill in the bike network in this area.
Lastly, the intersection of 900 W and Gladiola could really use crosswalks, and at the least needs to have the sidewalk to the south of 900 S cleared of trees for safe walking.
Salt Lake City does plan to reconstruct Gladiola in the future from 900 S to California Ave (about 1300 S). While from looking at the roadway this would not seem like a priority (the pavement is in much better shape than many other roads in the city), this is no reason to wait to add bike lanes. Paint is inexpensive and has a great return on investment, and the bike lanes could be implemented as soon as possible, not years from now.
We will be submitting the above analysis to Salt Lake City, and hope they will follow our advice.