State Issuing Passes To Bypass Tire Checks In Cottonwood Canyons
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Department of Transportation, the Unified Police Department and area ski resorts have partnered to help curb the traffic driving through the Cottonwood Canyons this winter.
Authorities said the amount of vehicles that traveled through the canyons this summer was higher than average, and they anticipate the same beginning this month.
The state started a program last year that allows drivers to have their tires pre-inspected so that they can bypass the tire checks at the mouths of the canyons.
Ski season officially kicks off the weekend before Thanksgiving, and the program is working to help drivers heading up for the first ski of the year get up and down quicker. It’ll also ease travel for those who live in the canyons.
“Sometimes in the morning, if it’s a big snow day, sometimes you can wait a long ways to get home or to get to work,” said Bill Mackie, who owns a home in Big Cottonwood Canyon.
He jumped at the opportunity to get a Cottonwood Canyons Sticker Pass.
Residents on Monday came through the UDOT Cottonwood maintenance location to get the tires approved. And one the crew gives the tires the OK, then the drivers won’t need to wait in lines during the winter to get them inspected on the way up the canyons.
This year, there are also parking limitations at the ski resorts due to the pandemic.
“We have a lot of new measures, including our parking system, that went live last week and we will be using throughout the season,” said Snowbird spokesperson Sarah Sherman.
The parking reservation system lets the resort know when drivers will be coming “and you know you have your spot locked in,” she said.
Snowbird is recommending residents make reservations 48 hours in advance, but Sherman said people can also book the day of – depending on availability.
Mackie said he thinks the changes with resort parking along with the sticker program are going to simplify what could be a very busy season.
“I hope they can expand it,” he said.
To get the sticker pass, drivers must sign up and fill out information at cottonwoodcanyon.udot.utah.gov. However, there are only 3,000 passes available.
UDOT will be inspecting tires and issuing passes Thursday and Saturday.
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