Central Wasatch Commission to Host Two-Day Summit to Seek Consensus on a Mountain Transportation System

As part of its Mountain Transportation System (MTS) initiative, the Central Wasatch Commission will host a virtual two-day Summit on Friday, November 13th 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., and Saturday, November 14th  8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. The Commission invites the public to attend the Summit for an overview of the Mountain Transportation System process to date, an overview of the MTS objectives and attributes, overview of the overlap between watershed and environmental protection objectives and canyon transportation objectives, and discussion of the transportation alternatives outlined in the Mountain Transportation System Draft Alternatives Report.

An overview of the findings from the Build your own Mountain Transportation System public engagement tool, the findings from the public comment periods opened over the course of this year, and the feedback gathered at the October CWC Stakeholders Council meeting will also be provided over the two-day event.

Over the course of Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, summit attendees will be invited to participate in a detailed discussion exercise in order to consider the various alternative modes and demand management strategies outlined in the Mountain Transportation System Draft Alternatives Report for the Salt Lake Valley, the Wasatch Front/Wasatch Back via I-80, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Cottonwood Canyons connections, and Big Cottonwood Canyon to Park City corridor (aerial).

The Mountain Transportation System Summit will serve as a major public event that the Central Wasatch Commission will host as part of the Mountain Transportation System initiative. The Summit follows two public comment periods, and the MTS Modes Expert Panel event hosted virtually on September 18, 2020. From February 7th – March 1st, 2020, 1,223 comments were received from 366 individuals on the scope, goals, and attributes of a Mountain Transportation System. Those comments helped shape the Commission’s recommendations for the priorities for a regional mountain transportation system serving both the Wasatch Front and Back. A Mountain Transportation System should be  a regional, year-round mountain transportation system serving the wide range of recreational users, and should be efficient, safe, and reliable while reducing traffic congestion. The priority goals include incentivizing transit use, and protecting the watershed, wilderness, and viewsheds.

Following the Expert Panel on September 18th, a second comment period was opened for the public to comment on the transportation alternatives outlined in the CWC’s Mountain Transportation System Draft Alternatives Report. During that comment period, the CWC received comment submissions from 218 individuals, groups, businesses, and local governments. Of those submissions, 1131 different topics were identified. Additionally, the CWC received 832 responses from the public completing the “Build Your Own Mountain Transportation System” survey.

Achieving transportation solutions for the Central Wasatch Mountains was a major goal of Mountain Accord. Multiple studies were conducted before, under Mountain Accord, and subsequently that analyzed local and regional transportation issues. Building on the work by Mountain Accord, UTA, Wasatch Front Regional Council, and UDOT, the Central Wasatch Commission (CWC) is coordinating among jurisdictions and engaging the public to seek consensus for a proposed mountain transportation system in the Central Wasatch Mountains region through the Mountain Transportation System initiative.

The CWC began the year-long Mountain Transportation System process in early 2020 to further refine and develop the transportation principles in Mountain Accord. Over the course of 2020, the Central Wasatch Commission aims to arrive at a proposed comprehensive, year-round transportation system that includes the Salt Lake Valley, Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, Parleys Canyon, Millcreek Canyon, and connections to and including the Wasatch Back. Stakeholders and the public have been and are invited to engage at every juncture during this process.

“The Mountain Transportation System Summit event serves as a milestone event in the Central Wasatch Commission’s Mountain Transportation System initiative, and will be an consensus-driven effort,” said Commission Chair, Chris Robinson. “We look forward to the two-day event, and invite the public to participate.”

Event details are as follows:

What: CWC Mountain Transportation System Summit

When: Friday November 13th, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., and Saturday, November 14th, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting here.

View the Summit Agenda here.

Registration for the event is limited. If the registration cap is reached, interested public may tune into the expert panel event via YouTube Live, at the below link. Staff will be monitoring YouTube Live during the event.

You may tune into the live-streamed event through YouTube Live here.

Should you encounter difficulties logging into the Zoom event, please contact Lindsey Nielsen at 801-706-1004, or lindsey@cwc.utah.gov.

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