Protesters oppose 1100 East Sugar House Streetcar proposal
Not much desire for this streetcar.
Sugar House residents and business owners gathered along 1100 East near 2100 South late Wednesday afternoon to voice disapproval of a proposal to run a streetcar along the north-south thoroughfare.
"We are watching out for the community," said protester Gail Murdock, a Sugar House resident. "It's ethically not OK to put a trolley here."
The Salt Lake City Council is slated to vote Tuesday on an extension of the Sugar House Streetcar line. Mayor Ralph Becker's favored proposal would go north along 1100 East from 2100 South to 1700 South. But some council members prefer extending the line east on 2100 South.
Wednesday's protesters said they don't want the streetcar on 1100 East. They say it will disrupt traffic, create safety hazards and harm businesses during construction.
Westminster College student Jovana Sisovic, one of about two dozen protesters, said putting a streetcar on 1100 East "would devastate the sense of community here."
"It's way more beneficial going up 2100 South," she said.
Rolando Gulesian, also a Sugar House resident, said he is not against streetcars in general but 1100 East is not suited for one.
"It's a quiet street. I like it the way it is," he said.
Some demonstrators carried signs calling out council members Carlton Christensen, Stan Penfold, Jill Remington Love and Kyle LaMalfa, who have voiced support for the 1100 East alternative.
Some also took turns calling Christensen, Penfold, Love and LaMalfa and leaving messages at their City Council offices.
The 1100 East extension was identified as the "preferred alternative" by the consulting firm of Fehr & Peers, which conducted a yearlong analysis for the Becker administration.
The second option east on 2100 South was identified by the consultants as viable but less than optimum. A group of business owners along 2100 South have voiced support for that alignment.
If the council endorses either route, the city can then apply for federal funding for the Sugar House Streetcar extension.
By year's end, Phase I of the streetcar line is scheduled to be completed from the TRAX Central Pointe Station at 225 W. 2100 South to 2150 S. McClelland Ave. (1050 East). It is expected the line would then run one block east along Sugarmont Avenue to Highland Drive and then north to 2100 South.
The City Council will again consider the Sugar House Streetcar extension at its Tuesday afternoon work session.
A vote is scheduled for the council's formal meeting later that day at 7 p.m., room 321, City Hall, 451 S. State.