Officials from the state legislature, the Utah Department of Transportation and the Utah Highway Patrol joined bicycle advocates to help kick off the annual Road Respect tour.
The Road Respect tour is an effort to help make cycling safer and to encourage a mutual respect between cyclists and drivers. On average, six bicyclists are killed a year on Utah roads and nearly 850 are involved in accidents. Lt. Governor Spencer Cox emphasized that those statistics are actual people as he told a story of a friend that was clipped by a car while riding in Little Cottonwood Canyon.
“Five years later he’s still trying to recover from that," Cox said. "Six inches made all the difference in his life that day. And so we have not just an obligation but an opportunity here to remind people of the importance of sharing the road.”
Carlos Braceros is the executive director for UDOT. He says every new project they work on they try and find ways to make the road safer for all users, even though accommodating everyone’s needs can be quite challenging.
“Yes, I’d love to have that perfect roadway where we have beautiful community, sidewalks, separated bike path, parking for vehicles and enough lanes for our transit and car usage, but that’s the balance we’re always under is finding a way to find the right balance to meet the most users needs,” he says.
The Road Respect tour is inviting all cyclists to join them for rides in Washington County, Moab, Park City and Logan that will take place towards the end of May and continue into early June.