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Valley Journals

City to create mobility master plan after grant award

Jun 02, 2017 11:43AM ● By Kelly Cannon

The TLC grant will allow South Salt Lake to finally develop a mobility master plan. (Wasatch Front Regional Council)

By Kelly Cannon | kelly@mycityjournals.com
 
The Wasatch Front Regional Council awarded South Salt Lake City a Transportation and Land Use Connection grant in late April. The TLC grants are made available through a partnership with Salt Lake County, the Utah Transit Authority and the Utah Department of Transportation whose purpose is to help communities promote better connections between transportation and land use. South Salt Lake plans on using their grant to develop a mobility master plan.
 
When South Salt Lake City Engineer Dennis Pay began his job 11 years ago, he looked for any type of master plan but he was never able to find any kind of transportation master plan.
 
“We’ve been working with the council to fund a transportation master plan for quite a while. This was an opportunity to be able to leverage our city funds to be able to do a more comprehensive transportation master plan,” Pay said. “Our local match is about $40,000 and we were awarded about $80,000.”
 
According to Pay, the mobility master plan will look at all forms of transportation, including pedestrians, bikes, cars and transit and will also examine infrastructure improvements on sidewalks and streets in general.
 
“Some of those things, like bus and rail, are out of our hands or take coordination with (Utah Transit Authority) but we want to be ahead of the game so that when we have anticipated redevelopment or growth, that we can intelligently discuss those things with whatever entity there is, whether that’s (Utah Department of Transportation),” Pay said. “Many times, it would also require us to coordinate with some of our adjacent communities like West Valley and Salt Lake and now Millcreek.”
 
While the city does have a master plan and that master plan does have a transportation element involved, Pay said it’s not very specific. The plan is to take those elements and create something more specific and in-depth not only with the current transportation options in South Salt Lake.
 
Pay believes the city currently has a good grid system but with the master plan, they want to make sure they have a good handle on what vehicular traffic looks like in the city and see if there are ways to improve it or make it more efficient. He said there is also more and more demand for bike lanes and bicycle facilities in the city.
 
“We want and try to incorporate those onto the streets where it’s safe and where it makes sense and make a more bicycle-friendly system within the city,” Pay said.
 
South Salt Lake also has a lot of residents who use transit. Pay said building connections between pedestrian facilities and transit is critical to the master plan.
 
“There are places where there are gaps in sidewalks and maybe there are places where crosswalks need to be done to make better connections between our bus and rail services in South Salt Lake for the people who are using them and make it easier for those people to use,” Pay said. “Also, I think an important part of that is American Disabilities Act accessibility, making sure we have our sidewalks, our ramps and our facilities accessible.”
 
The mobility master plan will also take into consideration any trails that go through the city. South Salt Lake has some links to the Jordan River Parkway Trail and when Parley’s Trail comes into the city, they will have to figure out how best to accommodate that.
 
“We want to try and tie into those systems as well,” Pay said. “Make sure those are integrated with what we’re trying to do.”
 
Currently, the city is in the process of signing letters of concurrence and receiving an invoice for their local match from the Wasatch Front Regional Council.
 
“Once we get that, we’ll start trying to get a request for local proposal, hire a consultant team to work on the project and make a selection and then go from there,” Pay said. “It will probably take a couple months. I would like to be started sometime in July.”
 
The Wasatch Front Regional Council has allowed the city until January 2019 to complete the project but Pay believes they’ll be done sooner.
 
“I think that this is something that we’ve needed to do for a long time and hopefully when we’re done, we’ll have a healthy idea of where we are and where we need to go to improve the mobility and transportation options and facilities in South Salt Lake,” Pay said.
 
For more information about the Wasatch Front Regional Council Transportation and Land Use Connection grant, visit http://www.wfrc.org/new_wfrc/index.php/wfrc-programs/transportation-and-land-use-connection