Where are the most dangerous roads to bike in Utah? Salt Lake City and Provo, study says

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  • plan-ahead Farmington, UT
    May 28, 2019 11:09 a.m.

    As a cycle commuter of about 6 years, this sounds about right. I find it fascinating that cycle infrastructure projects are shut down because of accidents when accidents are the leading reason why automobile road projects are planned. And most cycling accidents are non-fatal and don't even result in serious injury. The "only x number people have died this month on the road" signs on I-15 come to mind. Just imagine if accidents shut down road projects. Nothing would be built!

    Either way, one of the best things we can do as cyclists is inconvenience motorists. Utah Code says bicycles are vehicles with the same rights as automobiles except where bicycles are prohibited (e.g. interstates and highways). Follow traffic laws, communicate clearly (including eye-contact), take the lane, and act like you belong there (you do). Roads are for people, not just cars.

    Jan. 8, 2019 9:05 a.m.

    I bike to work downtown whenever the temperature is above 45, I've been doing it for 3 years, I meticulously follow traffic laws, ride defensively, and have been hit by cars twice. Both times I saw that a car failed to notice me despite being in broad daylight and me having a full set of bike lights.

    For those who are interested in riding downtown without dying, follow Bikeboy's advice above. Here are 3 situations in which riding defensively is critical:

    1. If you're riding close to the speed limit on a 4-way road, cars turning left across your lane will not see you and hit you
    2. If you're riding too far to the right on a 2-lane road, or riding in the rightmost lane of a 4-lane road, and a car is going the same direction in front of you, it can block an oncoming left-turning car's view of you, and if that left-turning car is in a hurry to get through an intersection or to turn across traffic, it won't see you and hit you.
    3. If a car is driving slower than the speed limit in the lane next to a bike lane, they're looking for an address, and will turn right across the bike lane immediately upon finding it without checking the lane for bikes and hit you.

  • bikeboy Boise, ID
    Jan. 7, 2019 11:10 a.m.

    I've been transportation-cycling for 33+ years (in Boise). Haven't driven a car to work (downtown) since 1997. I'm sure I deal with pretty much the same hazards as people in SLC or Provo. Maybe not as much snow in the winter and narrower roads.

    Secrets to survival:
    1) Be legal! Ride with traffic, not against it. Follow the rules of the road.
    2) Be visible! If you're riding at night with no lights and wearing black clothes, don't be surprised when somebody smacks you. I use lights in all but full daylight, and I wear an obnoxious hi-viz vest that can be seen from outer space.
    3) Be predictable! Squirrels dart around in traffic - look at what happens to them.
    4) Be defensive! When other roadway users make mistakes - and they will - be ready to react. Any moving object, and lots of stationary objects, are potential hazards. (I wear a helmet - all the time - with a rearview mirror on it.)

    In the 80s, my biggest fear was sharing the road with drunk drivers.
    In 2019, my biggest fear is sharing the road with drivers who have a very distracting electronic gizmo in one hand, and wondering where their attention is focused.

  • AlanSutton Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 6, 2019 6:30 p.m.

    In The Netherlands, automobile drivers treat bicyclists with respect, not like annoying objects that clutter the roads, as here. That's what it takes to bring safety to bike riding on city streets.

    Jan. 6, 2019 1:28 p.m.

    After a few close calls I quit riding my bike with auto traffic. Of course this limits the number of trails I can ride on, but with the Strand in SoCal and Murdock Trail/Provo Canyon in Utah County there are still some great rides near suburbia.

    I'm looking forward to ubiquitous autonomous vehicles, I expect to then feel safe enough to again ride my bike on roads with autos.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Jan. 6, 2019 9:28 a.m.

    Wait, so what you're saying is that the places that have the most bikes and the most cars have the most accidents? What a shocking revelation!

    How about normalizing this data per capita so we can figure out where the most dangerous places actually are?

  • Charles5721 ,
    Jan. 6, 2019 8:53 a.m.

    Drivers need to use their blinkers more. Bicyclists need to obey the laws of the road (don't run red lights, don't drive between rows of stopped cars or pass them on the shoulders).

  • Opinionated Sandy, UT
    Jan. 6, 2019 8:08 a.m.

    I started bike commuting 13 years ago, at the age of 50, to get some exercise and to "lower my carbon footprint". I have logged 42,000 miles in that time. I have pretty much seen it all when it comes to the interaction between cars and bikes. I have seen bikers do many things that put them at risk for injury. But I have also seen drivers do many things that also put bikers at risk of injury. You see, either way, the biker loses. The old adage "let he who is without sin first cast a stone" should really keep rock throwing to a minimum in this discussion. When it comes to bike riding, it is truly a "catch 22". Drivers don't want their roads restricted by making safer bike lanes because "not enough people ride bikes" However, more people would ride bikes if there were more dedicated bikes lanes and paths. Where I live in Sandy, UDOT just took away a large "emergency lane" on State Street that was great for bikes, and instead, used that lane to create a 3rd car lane in each direction. Many talk the talk about reducing emissions but neither people or governments are really willing to commit to it--expecting others to do it instead of themselves.

  • Flat foot , 00
    Jan. 6, 2019 5:41 a.m.

    I didn't see in the article where there was a definition of "infrastructure" as it relates to the bicycle/car issue....not even from the SLC Transportation representative. So, based on what we see from past demonstration in SLC, I guess we can look for more confusing paint on the streets and roadways - think 300 East from 800 South to appx 500 So. and 200 West from North Temple south to about 600 South. Yikes!