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S.L. Council to vote on transportation plan for Sugar House

Published November 12, 2013 4:37 pm

Transportation • Proposal could reduce traffic lanes on Highland Drive, add bike lanes.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

When it comes to the Sugar House transportation plan, the question is, what will be left in and what will be left out?

The Salt Lake City Council will discuss the matter at its 4 p.m. work session Tuesday and has scheduled a vote later in the evening at its 7 p.m. formal meeting. Here are high points of the proposal:

• Reducing Highland Drive south of 2100 South from four lanes to three to allow for creation of a center turn lane and bicycle lanes.

• Realigning the intersection of Sugarmont Drive (2250 South) and Wilmington Avenue at Highland Drive.

• Adding bicycle lanes along 2100 South.

• Dividing large blocks into smaller ones in the commercial area between Interstate 80 and Wilmington Avenue from Highland Drive to 1300 East.

Two items already have been decided:

• Closing the right-turn lane on eastbound 2100 South at Highland Drive to make way for an expanded Monument Plaza;

• Running the Sugar House Streetcar north from 2100 South on 1100 East.

Even so, Council Chairman Kyle LaMalfa conceded that these decisions could be reconsidered. "This is the kind of thing where there could be a flurry of motions and amendments" to the ordinance, he said, noting that while he believed closing the right-turn lane to expand the plaza was a "done deal," those plans could be revised.

Councilwoman Jill Remington Love, who argued against the turn-lane closure, said she most likely would not bring it up again — but didn't rule it out completely.

What remains perhaps the most difficult part for residents to swallow, she said, is the proposal to reduce traffic lanes on Highland Drive south of 2100 South.

Some residents spoke out against the lane reduction at a Sept. 27 public hearing. Others supported it.

The council is well aware of the challenges in Sugar House, Love said, and seeks solutions to make it better.

"How do you create public squares and improve circulation in this business district?" she asked rhetorically. "It's so congested right now, but it's also vibrant and dynamic."

csmart@sltrib.com