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City planners present changes to make State Street safer

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A 5-mile stretch of State Street, beginning at the intersection of South Temple, has long been an issue for residents and pedestrians in that area. Monday night, city planners and residents met to talk about change and how to make the area safer.

On any given day, State Street is a heavily traveled highway and bustling thoroughfare for both pedestrians and motorists. According to statistics provided by the city, 14,000 people make their home along the 5-mile stretch. During the week, more than 50,000 people work in the same area. According to a UDOT study spanning seven years, they documented more than 1,200 traffic-related injuries and 14 fatalities, half of those deaths involved pedestrians.

“We need to understand that this is both a regional street managed by UDOT, which is a state facility, but it is also serving a lot of our populations,” said Molly Robinson with Salt Lake City Planning.

With growth in the area expected to continue, change is coming.

“Most people don’t think of dining on State Street, but we’re thinking of that as a long-term or short-term possibility,” Robinson said.

On Monday night, a room at Salt Lake Community College was filled with people dedicated to improvement along one of Utah’s first highways.

“I would like to see a walkable community and devalue the emphasis on cars and automotive,” resident, Andy Adelman said.

Project leaders presented plans to the public and asked for feedback.

“You know, start to get them excited about what the possibilities are on State Street today and for 20 years in the future,” Robinson said.

Some of the ideas presented include widening sidewalks, adding landscaping, medians, and repurposing one lane as a transit priority lane.

“I live here,” Adelman added. “This is my town, and I want to see the future of it be beautiful and successful.”

Projects managers hope to break ground on the project in the next couple of years, if lawmakers approve funding next session.

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