SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Over the course of 2023, Salt Lake City officials have been exploring options to turn downtown Main Street between South Temple and 400 South into a pedestrian-only shopping district. Now, the city has revealed four potential concepts that could be the new look for Main Street.
The “Together on Main” project, which has been exploring Main Street options, has entered the second phase of community feedback. Between now and Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023, Utah residents are encouraged to take part in an online survey, sharing their thoughts on several options for Main Street.
Through the first phase of the project, the Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency (RDA) said the community wanted more green areas, improved dining, better-programmed events, and spaces for play, performances, public art, and a community market. With that in mind, the RDA released four concepts they believe meet the demands.
The first concept would close Main Street to traffic year-round. The street would become truly pedestrian-only as the city would even move bicycle and scooter traffic to an “improved West Temple.” The RDA said this concept preserves the most trees along Main Street and provides ample space for many elements that were deemed important after the first round of surveys.
In the second concept, Main Street would become pedestrian-only on the east side of the TRAX lines. The west side of the TRAX would be more focused on a “consistent retail marketplace.” The west side would also include a space for a multi-use path that would allow for bike and scooter traffic through Main Street while preserving the healthy trees and greenery along the road.
The third concept would follow the current Open Streets concept with a little bit of reimagining. The street would be closed to traffic during weekends, evenings and holidays for community markets, nightlife and special events. Meanwhile, on weekdays, the roads would be open as a shared street for bicycles, scooters and slow-speed cars. Main Street would still be reimagined to include more space that can accommodate both a pedestrian mall and the shared street.
Another option is to not convert Main Street to a pedestrian-only mall, instead preserving car access throughout most of the year and closing for only major events. Walkways would still be expanded for cafes and retail while keeping through traffic for cars and shared with bicycles and scooters.
A fifth option available in the survey is to not change Main Street at all.
In addition to changing Main Street, the RDA said there is an opportunity to adjust 100 South between Main Street and West Temple as well. The road just in front of the Salt Palace Convention Center received two concepts that reduced traffic significantly, though didn’t close the road to through traffic.
One concept has one lane each way on the north side of the street. Walkways would be expanded to include more space for pedestrians, bikes, and scooters as well as marketplaces and outdoor dining or retail. Another option is to have one-lane traffic on either side of the street with a walkable center median that would allow for public art or a center space for on-street retail.
The survey only takes about 10-15 minutes to complete and can be done at any time before Tuesday, Oct. 31, online at the project’s website here.