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- Enrique Limón
The best—and worst—places to try out the realm's hottest way to get around.
By Kelan Lyons
Whether you think they're terrific traveling companions or sidewalk scourges, there's no denying that electric scooters have changed how to get around Salt Lake City. They may not have the same convenience as commuting via car, but zipping from Point A to Point B on a Bird, Lime or Spin scooter is a cheap, fun way to travel that—just like riding a bike or walking—doesn't make the Salt Lake Valley's air quality worse.
But, rider beware: not all roads are created equal. Each brand's scooter can travel up to about 15 miles per hour, making some streets safer to scoot on than others. Below are some suggestions on the best and worst places in the city to scoot your little heart out. And, for Christ's sake, wear a helmet regardless of which route you travel.
The second-largest park in Salt Lake City (after Sugar House Park), Liberty Park features ample space to scoot along its paved trails while basking in the beautiful mountain views. Kill a lazy Sunday by scooting over and joining its famed drum circle, or if you like plays on words, restore a Bird to its namesake's habitat by riding to the Tracy Aviary.
The city's bike map marks the space along 300 South between about 1100 East and 400 West as being mostly "high comfort." That's probably because much of that bike lane is protected by a divider that separates it from the rest of traffic. If you want to ride a scooter downtown but you're afraid of motorists, this street's for you.
Jordan River Parkway
Considering it runs 45 miles, it's unlikely you'll be able to ride the entirety of the Jordan River Parkway on a scooter. But don't let that stop you from soaking up some sun and scooting to famed local hotspots like the International Peace Gardens, Glendale Golf Course and Constitution Park.
1000 West from 800 South to 600 North
Much of 1000 West from 800 South to 600 North is listed as "medium comfort" on the city's bike map. If you want to see the West Side, the Jordan River and the Utah State Fair Park, and don't mind trekking along a higher volume road, this route is ideal.
If you start scooting at the northern end of the Utah State Fair Park, you can go even farther north than 1000 West would take you. Throttle that accelerator and head through Rosewood Park and the Rose Park Golf Course. If you're feeling adventurous, follow the trail west from the links and eventually you'll connect with the Jordan River Trail.
There's no better way to risk life and limb than taking a scooter on State Street, a high-volume, no-nonsense road that's hostile to bikers and scooter riders alike. Unless you're looking to break the law and ride on the street's uneven sidewalks, steer your scooters away from this asphalt asshole.
The crowded, bus-heavy 2100 South is nobody's friend, least of all scooter riders who want a fast, low-stress ride. Instead, if you're riding from Sugar House toward UTA's Central Pointe Station, steer that scooter a block or two south, along the less-traveled, safer Trax walking platforms that run beside the train tracks.
Terrorizing missionaries and the religious faithful is generally frowned upon in polite society, especially in the Utah theocracy's capital city. Do yourself a favor and keep clear of the LDS church's hallowed grounds. The Temple Square-bordering 200 West is a great place to wind your scooter through the busy city streets. It's what Jesus would do.
If you have a death wish, Redwood Road between 2100 South and North Temple is a great place to scoot. Otherwise, avoid it at all costs. Riding down Redwood is a miserable experience that should be reserved only for masochists, people who have good health insurance and those who enjoy waiting for medical care in emergency rooms.
If you're feeling an inter-city trek between Sugar House and Holladay, don't bother scooting on Highland Drive. It's a grueling ride devoid of friendliness toward scooter riders. You'll get honked at, fear for your life and loath your decision to take such a crowded, unprotected, bus-infested road. Instead, ride on 900 East for a more comfortable, albeit more indirect, route.