LOCAL NEWS

UDOT Extends Public Comment Period For Little Cottonwood Canyon Traffic Solutions 

Jul 13, 2021, 2:47 PM | Updated: Jul 14, 2021, 1:59 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Department of Transportation has extended the public comment period for two suggested solutions to the winter traffic congestion up Little Cottonwood Canyon during ski season.

Motorists headed up Little Cottonwood Canyon when the ski areas are open could be stuck in traffic for hours.

In June, UDOT releasedtwo preferred alternatives – a rapid bus service or gondola – for the public to comment on.

UDOT will take public comment on the two choices at an open house and presentation Tuesday.

Last fall, UDOT took 6,500 comments on transportation alternatives.

“Just the passion that everybody has for this very special place that is so close to the city,” UDOT Project Manager Josh Van Jura told KSL-TV.

UDOT said based on the response, it extended the comment period to Friday, Sept. 3, 2021.

The gondola would run from the La Caille restaurant at the base of the canyon to the Alta and Snowbird ski resorts.

“Gondolas just don’t go as fast as cars do. But again, they provide that extra alignment reliability,” Van Jura said.

A gondola would take 20 minutes longer to get from your car to the resorts.

Some said the fastest option would be an expanded bus service – with a rider time of 36 minutes.But others expressed concern about just increasing vehicle capacity in what they feel is a more crowded area of the county.

“What residents want throughout Salt Lake Valley is that we want slower roads with fewer vehicles and transportation alternatives,” Ellen Birrell said. “Until our governor and our senate transportation committee show political boldness and actually make good on the promises they keep telling us they care about the earth quality, that they care about the quality of life of the residents, we need them to show it by changing this level of service model that puts reliability for vehicles ahead of safety for residents.”

How To Submit Your Comment

Tuesday’s public open house will begin at 4:30 pm at Butler Middle School in Cottonwood Heights.

The public hearing and presentation will also be live-streamed on the project Facebook page and UDOT Instagram account. Live recordings will be posted on the project website.

A virtual hearing will be on July 20.

In addition to the preliminary preferred alternatives, other elements like road widening, snow sheds and mobility hubs have also been developed to support the alternatives.

Comments may be submitted at the public hearings, through the website or by sending an email, voicemail or letter to the addresses found in the Contact Us section.

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UDOT Extends Public Comment Period For Little Cottonwood Canyon Traffic Solutions