Motorists in Tooele City may have noticed new striping in the area of 100 East that connects existing bike lanes on 1000 North and Vine Street.
The project, which includes approximately 3 miles of striping and new bike lanes, costs just under $460,000 and was funded through a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, according to Jim Bolser, the city’s community development director.
The restriping is actually a Utah Transit Authority project and any matching funds for the grant were provided by the Wasatch Front Regional Council from Proposition 1 funds. Tooele City is not contributing any funds to the project
The funds being used on the bike lane project are part of $20 million in TIGER Grant funds awarded to UTA for projects in its service area, Bolser said, in an email.
The green areas painted on 100 East, between 1000 North and 700 North, and Vine Street, between 50 East and 50 West, indicate a shared use lane, according to Bolser.
“When there is a bicycle in the green area they have the legal right to use the entire travel lane as if they were a car and cars have the responsibility to yield to their full use of the lane and follow behind them as they would any other car on the road,” Bolser said, in an email. “If there are no bicycles present the vehicle has full use of the travel lane including the green marked area as if there were no green markings.”
On the remainder of the project area, there is a striped bike lane outside the vehicle travel lane, Bolser said. Areas where there is a double white line indicate a buffer between the motor vehicle lane and the bicycle lane. There will be additional markings once the project is complete to clearly identify the traffic pattern to drivers and bicyclists.
Tooele City public works director Steve Evans said there have been concerns from the public about where to drive on the green markings and if they can cross the double yellow line to turn left on 100 East and Vine Street.
Since the striping project establishes areas of roadway for different forms of transportation where it was an unmarked roadway before, it’s necessary to have yellow striping down the road now, according to Bolser.
“It is legal to turn across a double yellow line where they run parallel close together as they do in the areas marked by this project,” he said. “ … Where it’s not legal to turn across a double yellow line is where those lines spread apart or are separated.”
Bolser admitted the City’s transportation master plan is not overly robust in terms of alternative transportation, which he cited as one reason the City has begun work on developing a new general plan, including a master transportation plan.
Beyond the UTA striping project, the next step in alternative transportation infrastructure in the city will be a topic of conversation as the long-term plans are completed, he said.
“This route was selected because it provided the cleanest and most effective path to connect the limited existing bike lanes in town through the heart of the community and on to the education corridor on the west side of town,” Bolser said.