‘A disaster’: Business owners say Salt Lake City needs to clean up street encampments

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Two roads in Salt Lake City have been closed for the past two weeks because of an increase in street campers who have been living in vehicles parked on those city streets.

For months dozens of cars, RVs, and trailers have lined Decade Drive and Milestone Drive on the Capitol City’s westside, just north of Highway 201.

“They just end up here,” Cliff Anderson told ABC4 News. “They hear about it and come down here and go park. Might be here for a month, might be here for two days.”

The landscape of abandoned vehicles and discarded trash has local business owners furious and fed up.

Mike Devine is the co-owner of a nearby mailing company, Eagle Direct Response.

“It’s a disaster down there. People are piling up junk,” Devine said. “I know the landlord personally has removed dump truck loads of trash out of there. People are parking up on his property. The City needs to do something about it and take responsibility.”

Section 9.64.170 of the Salt Lake City Code prohibits dumping trash and Section 12.56.525 prohibits parking motorhomes on city streets for longer than 48 hours.

“Enforce the laws that are on the books,” Devine said. “That’s probably the easiest thing to do to clean up the mess down there.”

Workers in the area tell ABC4 that more campers have arrived, some of them parking in an empty lot at the southwest corner of Decade and Milestone. About two weeks ago, someone placed “Road Closed” barriers on both ends of the streets.

“I would assume the City did,” Devine said. “I mean, the City is the only one I know of that can put up Road Closed signs.”

Not in this case.

On Thursday, the owner of the property, who requested not to be identified, told ABC4 on the phone that he had the signs placed there, adding that his next move is to place concrete barriers around the perimeter of that lot to keep vehicles out.

The property owner admitted that those Road Closed signs have not been effective in eliminating through traffic and he plans to have them removed by the end of Thursday.

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