Salt Lake City Offers Free Parking on 300 South
Salt Lake City is offering free parking along 300 South in downtown while workers finish construction of a protected bike lane.
The free two hour parking will be available on 300 South between 200 West and 300 East until about mid-October. Robin Hutcheson is the Salt Lake City Transportation Director. She says part of the reason for offering the free parking is to help those who might be confused by the new design, which places the bike lane closest to the curb and makes cars park between the bike lane and normal traffic.
“We knew this was going to be the case," she says. "We have a lot of informational signs out there that say, do park like this, don’t park like this. And while it’s confusing, we feel that we should offer some time for people to get used to it without the fear of parking incorrectly and receiving an enforcement, you know, a violation ticket.”
“I’m not anti-bicycle, I’m pro-business, pro-bicycle, and I’m pro-car. I think that, the fact of the matter is that most people don’t shop via bike, they shop via car, so you have to accommodate the cars,” says Michael Sanders.
He’s the owner of Now and Again Vintage located at 207 East and 3rd South. At first, he was very concerned about losing street parking in front of his store to a right hand turn lane. But after complaining, the city changed their plans giving him back some of that parking.
“I don’t think Salt Lake City is being unresponsive, I do think that they’re being reactive," he says. "I wish they would have been a little more proactive to prevent some of these issues, but it’s a big project.”
This is only the first leg of several projects planned by Salt Lake City aimed at making biking a little safer for commuters. Bike protected lanes and other bike-friendly designs will eventually expand from downtown to the University of Utah.