County Releases Results of Canyon Transportation Studies

(KCPW News)  More parking, mass transportation, bike lanes and advance traffic warning signs are all recommendations stemming from the results of three canyon transportation studies released today by Salt Lake County, the US Forest Service, and other partners.  Tom Pollard, Mayor of the Town of Alta, says finding answers is necessary because canyon traffic is already causing gridlock in cities at the base of the canyons, especially on snowy days.

“It’s driven by not only the increase of the population that’s projected over the next couple of years, but we realistically have issues today,” says Pollard.  “As the Department of Transportation will say to you, Highway 210, which goes up Little Cottonwood Canyon, has been at capacity or over capacity for a long time now.”

The studies focused on mountain transportation in the Cottonwood Canyons, parking in those canyons, and on the unique transportation issues in Mill Creek Canyon, and make several specific recommendations.  Cottonwood Heights Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore says it’s time to more closely examine the options.

“We talk about a summer shuttle up Mill Creek; I think that’s great, that’s only one small part.  What do we do about more parking at the mouth of or up the canyons?  What do we do about trying to get people up the canyons in a mass transit concept without negatively impacting the environment?” says Cullimore.

The county and its partners will soon move into the environmental phase of the issue and will begin a federal National Environmental Policy Act study.  Cullimore says this will set the foundation of a solution to the transportation issue.