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Centerville to make room for cyclists on Frontage Road

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CENTERVILLE — Cyclists soon will find it easier — and safer — to ride along the Frontage Road between Lund and Chase lanes.

City crews this spring plan to make more room for cyclists by creating wider shoulders and reducing the speed limit from 50 mph to 40 mph along the 1.6-mile stretch of road on the east side of I-15.

The road also will have a continuous left-turn lane, instead of the periodic turn areas that currently cause southbound traffic to move to the right or left at each residential access road on the east side.

It's an issue of safety, said Denise Cox, chairwoman of the Centerville Trails Committee.

"(The Frontage Road) is heavily used by cyclists, and something needs to be done," Cox said.

The committee knew the city was planning to reseal the road this spring and decided to use the opportunity to pitch the idea of adding bike lanes. But city officials determined that adding bike lines to the road wasn't possible because it was too narrow.

Instead, it was decided that the road will be striped to include a 2-foot-wide shoulder on the west side, where currently no shoulder exists. On the east side, the shoulder will vary in width between 2 feet and 6 feet.

"We feel this was a good compromise," Cox said, calling it a "temporary solution."

Ultimately, the Trails Committee would like the city to widen the road to allow for dedicated bike lanes on both sides. But unlike the restriping, which would have to be done anyway after the road is resealed, widening the road would have increased the cost of the project.

"I think what we've come up with will work out great for the motorists and also the cyclists," Cox said.

Police Chief Neal Worsley calls it a "win-win" for everyone involved.

"We wanted to see (the road) improved for all users," Worsley said.

The Trails Committee presented the plan to the City Council earlier this month. The council will not vote on the plan, however, because the police chief is responsible for determining traffic regulations, including speed limits, said Steve Thacker, city manager.

"It was a matter of informing the City Council of these proposed changes because we knew they would be hearing from some of their constituents who don't like the idea of driving 40 mph when they've been used to going 50 mph," Thacker said.

City officials estimate the reduction in speed will extend travel times along the stretch of road by less than 30 seconds. Worsley said 40 mph will be a more appropriate speed for the road when lanes are narrowed to 12 feet.

The speed limit already is 40 mph north of Lund Lane in Farmington.

E-mail: jpage@desnews.com