As issuance of the Record of Decision (RoD) for the Hwy 210 EIS nears this summer, many hope that UDOT has finally, correctly concluded that the Little Cottonwood Canyon gondola is not the best transportation solution for winter traffic problems on the LCC highway. Also, on May 25 the Wasatch Front Regional Council will decide if it will include long-term funding in its planning, which makes the project funding easier.
Besides the scale of the project being intrusive enough to ruin the overall wilderness characteristics of the canyon, there are concrete, practical reasons that this is not best traffic solution:
• As currently forecast to cost $1.4 billion, and likely to cost more by the time it’s built, it is very expensive, especially to benefit primarily just two businesses. For a fraction of that cost, a properly designed, less invasive mass transit system, with incentives for canyon users to use it, can utilize the road right of way that already exists there. Such a system would be infinitely more flexible routing and scheduling by the day, week or season, and could serve all canyon users to all trailheads and facilities. As designed, it violates rules of three roadless areas.
• Such a mass transit system, unlike a “build all at once” gondola system, can be gradually developed, thus extending building costs. The technology for such a system, like electric buses, already exists.
• For those who want a tourist attraction in LCC, one already exists with the Snowbird Tram. It has great base and top facilities, fantastic views, is not too long and is affordable enough so tourists will ride it, and best of all, is not too intrusive to the canyonscape by being located off to the side of the canyon.
For these, and many other reasons, please tell your local officials to oppose it!
John Kennington, Cottonwood Heights