Author Topic: Utah Hwy 24 Proposed Route and new bike path plans  (Read 7193 times)

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Offline Janet5

Utah Hwy 24 Proposed Route and new bike path plans
« on: August 30, 2010, 11:44:58 pm »
I'm coordinating a multi-agency committee in Wayne County, Utah to establish a bicycle pathway system along Utah's scenic SR-24. This route will take riders off busy I-70 and Hwy 50 and through eight rural Utah towns, Capitol Reef National Park, and through miles of spacious rangeland.

SR-24 will provide a safer, quieter and more enjoyable experience than riding along the shoulder of I-70. This route is already heavily used by coast-to-coast cyclist, regional touring groups and local cycling clubs. The existing shoulder along SR-24, however, is nonexistent for much of its 160 miles, posing a danger to the cyclists, large RV's, pickups pulling horse trailers and tour buses that share the road. Consequently, we are working to build a safe pathway system for bicyclists.

This route loops to the south of I-70 and reconnects riders with Hwy 50 approximately 160 miles later. It would add total of 65.5 miles to the existing corridor plan that places the proposed U.S. Bicycle Route System along the I-70/Hwy 50 corridor.

East-bound riders would access SR-24 in Salina, Utah. West-bound riders would access SR-24 approx. 13 miles west of Green River, Utah.

Our committee is working to gain adequate ROW along SR-24 to build a system of paved and road-base pathways for pedestrians and bicyclists; not horses or motorized vehicles. Our proposed pathway system will be a separate pathway from the road shoulder, and, when access is granted, may include areas that cross private land and follow river courses.

I welcome suggestions and input on this project. We are working with UDOT and will be asking American Cycling Assn. to consider this as an alternative to the proposed I-70 corridor for the U.S Bicycle Route System.

Offline rvklassen

Re: Utah Hwy 24 Proposed Route and new bike path plans
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2010, 09:15:19 am »
One thing to keep in mind is that if any portion of the route is subject to frost/snow, a paved shoulder, integral with the road base of the main road, means lower maintenance long term.   Something to keep in mind if you have stretches where paved shoulder makes sense and you need to convince someone to do it.

Where the path is off-road, I've found all sorts of creative ways of trying to keep motorized vehicles off.  Some of them very unfriendly to loaded bikes (esp. a tandem with full panniers).  Most of the time we can just pass between the posts/bollards, but sometimes the designers think that a proper maze is required...

Also, keep asphalt away from trees.  I strongly prefer paved paths, but tree roots don't take many years to create serious bumps in them.  I don't know whether that's an issue in those parts.

Good luck.

Offline aggie

Re: Utah Hwy 24 Proposed Route and new bike path plans
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2010, 01:43:49 pm »
I've ridden Hwy 24 from Torrey to Hanksville and found that to be an excellent road with little traffic.  Even though there wasn't much of shoulder the virtually non-existent traffic made the ride very enjoyable.  The only thing I didn't like was the wide spread use of chip seal.  It is NOT a bicyclists best friend.  It would seem that the easiest way to create a good path is to add very wide shoulders that are paved.  I say wide because if they add rumble strips cyclists need sufficient room to ride safely.   Ideally you will be able to have a separate paved bike path but that may not be possible in all sections. 

The section between I70 and Hanksville has the most RV and trailer traffic with many heading to Lake Powell.  That may be the best place for a separate paved bike path.  I don't see a problem with motorcycles using a trail only atv's.   Since atv's are much wider than a cycle with panniers "gates" should be able to be constructed to prevent ready access but with the wide open nature of much of the road they can always get around a "gate".   It may be best just to have signs that say motorized vehicles are prohibited and have the highway patrol ticket any vehicles that are on the path.   When I rode the route I didn't many atv's or motorcycles.

Offline Janet5

Re: Utah Hwy 24 Proposed Route and new bike path plans
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2010, 04:33:33 pm »
Thanks for the input, Ill share your thought with the committee in our Sept. meeting.

We have just begun project planning and will use your ideas about paving shoulders, frost heaves, preserving tree roots, and placing bollards to discourage motorized use but not block loaded bicycles.

We can also ue the chip-seal problem to encourage support of a separate path.

Realistically, the path will be a combination of widened and paved shoulders, separate paths through especially scenic areas where ROW is granted, and separate paths along rivers and waterways, where possible.

I'll update this post whenever we make some progress in planning and design.