Trails And E-bikes Make Biking To Work In Park City Safer And Easier

May 17, 2019

A bikeshare station at the Kimball Junction Transit Hub
Credit KPCW Radio

May is Bike Month, and on a good-weather day, some people might want to experience the fresh air on their commute to work. But if you work in town and live out of town, how feasible is it to plant your car at a park-and-ride and cycle in? 

Summit Bike Share ambassador Chris Putt says, with the motor-assisted pedals on e-bikes, it’s totally possible to bike into Park City from the Kimball Junction Transit Center or Ecker Hill park-and-ride—without getting too sweaty.

“I think bikeshare systems in the past have been more like a first mile-last mile problem," Putt said. "With e-bikes, it's more than just a mile that you can cover really quickly and really easily.”

Access to the local bike trail system means cyclists who are hesitant to ride on the shoulders of the higher-speed corridors in and out of town don’t have to. Putt says except for a few road crossings, people can take the bike paths all the way into town.

“So long as people are aware of those and utilize the system that we have here, it would be a really safe and quick way to get around town," Putt said. "It bypasses a lot of stoplights and stop signs, too, so you have the benefit of using that.”

Caroline Rodriguez, Regional Transportation Planning Manager for Summit County, says active transportation—including biking or walking—plays a significant role in mitigating traffic on the corridors. The County has invested in the e-bike program to demonstrate to the Utah Department of Transportation, which owns S.R. 224 and 248, that the community wants more options like that for reducing traffic. Rodriguez says it’s also important to make improvements to active transportation—perhaps by adding bike lockers or air pump stations—to show support for those who commute that way.  

“With our residents, visitors and workers, they've demonstrated to us that they are willing to use these other modes of transportation, especially walking, biking, scootering or whatever it is," Rodriguez said. "And we want to provide those facilities, so when we ask them, hey, one or two days a week, can you try and do something other than riding alone in your car, that we're giving them a way to do that safely.”

For those looking to e-bike into work, there are a few items to consider. To rent an e-bike, you must be 18 years or older; try to remember to wear a helmet; and be courteous to others utilizing the trails. For information about pricing, passes and station locations, visit summitbikeshare.com.