Letter: There have to be solutions to Little Cottonwood traffic problems that do not cost $500 million

I have skied at Alta for the last 20 years, so I thoroughly understand the traffic problem in the canyon. However, I don’t understand how so much taxpayer money can be spent for the benefit of the smallest number of Utah taxpayers.

The canyon really got crowded when the Ikon pass was initiated. People using the pass are mostly from out of state. Are we spending taxpayer money to pander to out-of-state skiers? Do UDOT and the “powerful players” think we need a gondola to keep up with other ski areas in the U.S. and the world? Many taxpayers do not ski, but use the canyon to hike and bike in the three other recreation seasons. The gondola does nothing to alleviate the parking problems at the hiking trailheads.

There have to be solutions that do not cost $500 million of taxpayer money. People who use the canyon, I’m sure, would be willing to pay to use the canyon. I pay for hiking and skiing in Millcreek Canyon. Have seasonal paid passes for locals, and charge others a fee to drive up the canyon, especially during ski season. Have rideshare vans available at the mouth of the canyon and drive up groups of 12 skiers to a specific resort. Have buses dedicated to each ski area, leaving the parking lots more frequently. Who wants to stop three times at Snowbird to reach Alta? Reserved parking until noon seemed to work quite well last year at Alta.

Construction of a gondola would take many years. Who knows, by the time the gondola construction has destroyed the natural beauty of the canyon and possibly compromised our water supply, climate change may have done its deed on the Utah ski industry.

Someone is benefiting from spending $500 million on the gondola, but it is not the Utah taxpayers. Let’s spend the money where it will benefit Utahns, not the privileged few.

Ruth Hoffmann, Holladay

Submit a letter to the editor