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The City Journals

Bikes and Trails Draft Plan for Cottonwood Heights

Jan 28, 2016 03:31PM ● By Bryan Scott

By Cassandra Goff | [email protected]

Cottonwood-Holladay - Over the past few months, city planners have been working with residents to comprise a master plan for bike and trail improvements within the city. On Dec. 15, a review draft of the plan was presented to the city council during a work session meeting. The plan was presented by Mike Johnson, the city planner. 

The purpose of the plan is to “propose strategies to create a cohesive and functional network of trails and bicycle lanes throughout the city, in addition to increasing recreational opportunities, promoting safe travel for multiple modes of transportation and enhancing human-scale activity throughout Cottonwood Heights.”

The plan would ultimately like to have a “more balanced pattern of transportation development in the city.”

The goals of this plan include: promote healthy lifestyles through bicycle and pedestrian travel options; make bicycle and pedestrian travel a viable option within the city, and between Cottonwood Heights and its surrounding communities; promote Cottonwood Heights as an outdoor recreation destination; and focus on bicycle lanes and trails as catalysts for economic development.

Some objectives within the plan include: gain recognition as a bicycle-friendly community through organizations such as UDOT’s Road Respect program and the League of America Bicyclists; create a complete bicycle lane network to ensure that all bicycle lanes are connected, and to ensure that safe, effective bicycle travel is feasible throughout the city; and enhance existing regional partnerships with Salt Lake County, the state of Utah and surrounding municipalities.

The plan consists of a classification system for bicycle and train infrastructure to identify existing conditions and future needs.

A Category 1 Bike Lane: It provides space exclusively for bicycles by combining the user experience of a separated path with on-street infrastructure of bike lanes. Specialized maintenance equipment may be required.

A Category 2 Bike Lane: Separated Bike Lane is a “Buffered Lane” that provides horizontal separation from cars and pedestrians. It uses signage and striping to allocate roadway space to bicyclists. Examples of these bike lanes are on Wasatch Boulevard and 2300 East.

A Category 3 Bike Lane: Shared Roadways are “Signed Shared Roadway / Marked Shared Roadway / Shoulder Bikeway.” On this type of bikeway, bicyclists and cars operate within the same travel lane. Examples of these lanes are seen on Kings Hill Drive and Prospector Drive.

Urban trails and natural trails are also addressed within this plan. Urban trails are “multi-use pathways that are physically separated from vehicular travel lanes and may be used by both pedestrians and cyclists.” An example of an urban trail is Big Cottonwood Canyon Trail. New urban trails are proposed within the plan. Natural trails such as the Ferguson Canyon Natural Trail, Deaf Smith Canyon Trail and Bonneville Shoreline Trail are proposed for improvements.

The plan focuses on interconnectivity, convenience and trail connections for the bicycle lanes. All bicycle lanes should connect to one another, creating one continuous bicycle network, according to the plan.

In addition, they suggest partnerships with Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center, Utah Department of Transportation, Wasatch Front Regional Council, Salt Lake County, Midvale City, Holladay City, Murray City, Sandy City, Canyons School District, local bicycle shops, League of American Bicyclists, and private developers would be helpful for potential interconnectivity between other cities and better lanes within the city. 

The proposed draft ends with suggestions for implementation and maintenance. The draft is back in working stages and will be presented to the city council when it is in a final draft form, which is approximated to be in February.