SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (News4Utah) Drivers could soon be required to pay to drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon.
State lawmakers will consider a bill that modernizes the use of tollways.
Utah State Senate President Wayne Niederhauser drafted the legislation with intent to collect money from users of the popular canyon.
Before enjoying some of Utah’s most popular resorts, it’s not uncommon for drivers to first battle bumper-to-bumper traffic.
“I go to Brighton and some days you’re backed up to Solitude looking for a parking spot. It can be pretty crowded,” Deann Burkart said.
The best way to combat the canyon congestion? President Niederhauser suggest tollways.
“We will be able to incentivize people to carpool and take the bus to get in the canyon and reduce the number of automobiles that go up there,” Niederhauser said.
Senate Bill 71 paves the way for new technology to automatically monitor tollways and collect payment.
“Tolling is going to be a big part of the future as far as Little Cottonwood Canyon with the expansion of the road, the HOV lane, and the master plan for transportation,” Niederhauser said.
While Neiderhauser expects some push back, Ski Utah spokesperson Paul Marshall said they’ll work with agencies to handle the transportation issues in the canyons, including the idea of a toll but they have “yet to come to a perfect solution.”
People tell News4 Utah a toll wouldn’t stop them from using the canyon.
“I would take the shuttle because already having to pay for a toll and gas, that would be pricey,” Nephi Mobley said.
“I would pay the toll. I wouldn’t be happy about it, but I would do it,” Daren Sanone said.
“I’d probably take the bus,” Keith Page said.
Niederhauser said the bill could be discussed as early as next week.