Salt Lake City Council to vote on Sugar House transportation plan

- SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) - The Salt Lake City Council will likely vote on a Sugar House transportation plan tonight, opening streets to more bikers and pedestrians.

"We're just a month old and visibility is really important to us right now," said Bekke Robb.
Robb owns 1 World Gifts on Highland Drive.  She told ABC4 Utah business has been tough.

"If we could make it through the construction period I think it would be great," she said.

Right now, construction seems to everywhere in Sugar House because according to the Salt Lake City Council the area is booming.

"It's one of our great success stories of redevelopment," Chairman Kyle LaMalfa said.

Several new businesses, restaurants, and hundreds of apartment units are under construction which could boost the local economy.

"All these amenities and building around Sugar House is a way for Salt Lake City to leverage its position in the state as an urban core," LaMalfa said.

New development may also mean new people crowding Sugar House streets.  For that reason, the City Council will likely vote on a new circulation and streetscape plan. 

The first of two major provisions in the plan adds bike lanes to 2100 South.  Those lanes will be out of high traffic areas east of 1300 East and west of 700 East.

The second provision would reduce Highland Drive from four lanes to three south of 2100 South, extending to Interstate 80.

Business owners told ABC4 Utah they are fond of the idea if it means fewer cars and more foot traffic.

"Personally, I would be absolutely for it because I would love to see the reduction in vehicles," Robb said.

"I think it would really benefit the community," another business owner said.  "Sugar House is really a walking community."

However, business owners were not without concern, especially when it comes to construction.  Current projects have already cut down parking and closed roads.  The council said the project would require brief closures to re-paint affected streets, but those could be completed overnight.  That response did not calm anxious nerves.

"I would be concerned with a lack of additional traffic coming by our store," Robb said.

LaMalfa told ABC4 Utah the concerns are warranted, but that the long-term benefits of the project could be big. 

"I think businesses are going to be excited, pleased, happy," he said.  "Businesses are going to boom when this is completed." 

The City Council will vote on that plan tonight at seven o'clock at the City Council Building.  The meeting is open to the public.

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