Here’s how SLC’s ambitious Green Loop would connect to the west side

It’s one of Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall’s biggest agenda items for her second term. She wants it to benefit west-siders, too.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) A cyclist walks a bike along the Folsom Trail on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022. The Green Loop would link downtown to the west side through the existing trail.

If Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall moves forward on one of the boldest items on her to-do list for a second term, west-siders could pedal to the heart of the city more safely.

In her State of the City address, Mendenhall committed to linking the west side to downtown’s proposed Green Loop — a roughly five-mile stretch of green space that would encircle the city’s urban core. The city plans to create that connection through the existing 9 Line and Folsom trails.

“When we unlock the connections the Green Loop will make, its reach opens up a second link into our west side,” she said. “It’s more than a downtown opportunity, it’s a west-side opportunity as well.”

If built, the Green Loop would replace car lanes on some downtown streets with bike and walking paths, greenery and places to sit.

(Salt Lake City) A map released by the Salt Lake City mayor's office shows how the proposed Green Loop would connect to the west side.

According to a new map released by the city, the loop would connect to the off-street Folsom Trail at 500 West near The Gateway. Previous renderings were unclear about how the Green Loop and Folsom Trail would intersect.

The new map also calls for additional landscaping along the 9 Line on the loop’s southern edge. The intersection at 900 South and 500 West would mark the southwestern corner of the loop.

Mendenhall has pitched the Green Loop as a recreational, transit and economic benefit to the city. Last summer, a city-led pilot project temporarily turned a block of 200 East into a mini-park, offering a glimpse of what the Green Loop might look like with food trucks, performances and lots of trees.

In her speech, the mayor said the Green Loop is still a long way from coming to fruition, but she wants to see it open to the public in time for the 2034 Winter Olympics.