SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — Better transportation methods could be on the way for Little Cottonwood Canyon because as more people are hitting the slopes it’s becoming clogged and congested with traffic.
UDOT is trying to fix this by introducing five plans, some of which were thought of by community members.
Skiers and snowboarders told ABC4 Monday they want something fast and something to ease congestion.
“I think it’s definitely congested,” said Chase Moffett.
The congestion seems to have getting worse through the years.
“We are no longer a well-kept secret,” said Utah Department of Transportation Public Information Officer John Gleason. “There’s so many people from out of state so many from in-state that want to get up and experience everything Utah has to offer.”
The Utah Department of transportation has ideas in place to improve transportation while trying to stay environmentally friendly.
“I think we need to preserve the canyon as much as we can like the natural features of the canyon,” Arrio Hoffman. “If we can do that and still increase efficiency of the road system then great.”
There are some shuttles in place but they cannot keep up with the demand and are mostly in the canyon.
UDOT’s ideas would be transportation at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon and take people up to Alta or Snowbird.
UDOT is looking to add bus service either with or without a designated shoulder, maybe even add a gondola that would be stationed at La Caille or add a cograil.
“We have the greatest snow on earth and we want to make it convenient and enjoyable for people to get up there safely,” said Gleason.
Currently, UDOT is in the process of reviewing all options and will move forward with a choice come this summer.
“So something does need to be done and my vote would be what is most environmentally friendly,” said Moffett.
Moffett said UDOT’s plans work well with him as long as they keep Little Cottonwood as preserved as possible.
“The Cottonwood Canyons have really become a focal point for Utah,” said Gleason.
The new transportation options would cost hundreds of millions of dollars and would run every 3-15 minutes depending on what option is chosen and then approved by the Utah legislature by the end of 2021 or the beginning of 2022.
A link to explore the options is here (https://littlecottonwoodeis.udot.utah.gov/draft-alternatives/)