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Sixteen projects in eight cities and unincorporated areas will receive $814,500 this year from Salt Lake County to make commuter bicycle routes safer.

In addition, the county will spend $300,000 on a bike transportation master plan to coordinate efforts between cities and unincorporated parcels.

"Salt Lake County is including cycling as part of the transportation future for our fast-growing metropolitan area," county Mayor Ben McAdams said at a news conference this week announcing plans to use funds from the county's new regional bikeway commuter grant program.

"Bike commuting reduces pollution, eases road congestion, saves money on gas and also contributes to a healthier, more active community," McAdams explained. "We're a thriving metropolitan area that has the potential to offer different transportation choices to our residents who want to trade four wheels for two."

Joining McAdams at the announcement was Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan, whose city received two grants totaling $152,000 for biking improvements. Sandy will tap its money to enhance bike routes on 11400 South from State Street to 1700 East and on 700 East between 7800 South and 9400 South.

"Our 'Mountain Meets Urban' city is ideal for active transportation," said Dolan, praising the county for ensuring bike routes are not disrupted by city boundaries. "This grant funds two projects that get us closer to a goal residents resoundingly request."

Also receiving grants were:

• Bluffdale, $25,000, for 2700 West from Bangerter Highway to 14400 South.

• Holladay, $80,000, for three routes in the city.

• Murray, $55,000, for Vine Street from Cottonwood Street to 900 East.

• Salt Lake City, $145,000, for 300 South from 300 West to 600 East and for Sunnyside Avenues from 1300 East to Foothill Boulevard.

• South Jordan, $120,000, for 11400 South between Bangerter Highway and Oquirrh Lake Road and 9800 South from Redwood Road to Jordan Gateway.

• South Salt Lake, $135,000, for 2700 South from 500 East to 300 West and the Parley's Trail crossing at 300 West.

• West Jordan, $47,000, for projects on 2700 West, 4000 West and 4800 West.

Noting that more county residents commute to work by bike than the national average, McAdams said it is critical to keep them safe. He cited Utah Department of Transportation statistics showing that 15 people were killed between 2003 and 2013 in more than 2,300 bicycle crashes on public roads in the county.

Twitter: @sltribmikeg

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