February Letter from the CWC

February 2019

During each monthly public meeting, the CWC Executive Director delivers a staff report to the Commission on all that CWC staff accomplished or made progress with during the preceding month. Please see below for the February report. By sharing these reports with you through the website, we hope to continue the tradition of transparency and engagement.

 

February 2019 Overview

In February, the Central Wasatch Commission staff made significant strides working with UDOT on transportation issues, convened the first meeting of its Budget Committee, and  made additional progress with the Environmental Dashboard. The CWC hosted the February meeting of the Stakeholders Council, and met with consultants to update the CWNCRA Storymap to reflect the current CWNCRA draft.

Staff met with Utah State and Federal delegations to discuss the CWNCRA. State Senator Cullimore introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 10: Urging Solutions for the Central Wasatch Mountains, which supports the work of the CWC The CWC staff had continued interaction with Central Wasatch Mountain interests, community groups, and individuals.

Stakeholders Council Meeting

The Stakeholders Council convened its second meeting on February 20th at Millcreek City Hall, which will serve as its standing meeting location. CWC Chair and staff welcomed the stakeholders and briefed them on policies and procedures for the Stakeholders Council and the Stakeholders Council considered an alternate representation policy.

UDOT Project Manager John Thomas presented several early transportation action items underway in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Thomas also gave a presentation on Decision Lens, an online decision-making tool that members of the Stakeholders Council will utilize to streamline their decision making processes.

Transportation Work

The Little Cottonwood Canyon Environmental Impact Statement and Canyons Corridor Transportation Action Plan work continued. Pilot “High-T” intersections were installed at Alta Wildcat Base parking area, and Snowbird Entry 4, and speed sensors were installed throughout Little Cottonwood Canyon. UDOT launched a feedback survey to collect data on intersection user-experience (you can still take the survey here.). The data from the survey will inform the permanent installation of the High-T intersections. Other short-term improvements were implemented, and UDOT and CWC staff continued to meet with impacted stakeholders in Little and Big Cottonwood Canyon to address transportation concerns.

UDOT and the CWC will host an informational open house on the Little Cottonwood Canyon Environmental Impact Statement and the Cottonwood Canyons Transportation Action Plan in April.

Environmental Dashboard

A meeting with the ESRI team and the consultants from The Brendle Group took place on February 5th, where next steps for the project were defined.

CWNCRA Storymap

CWC staff met with representatives from Wild Utah Project to discuss updates to the CWNCRA Storymap, which is a GIS-mapped representation of the proposed Central Wasatch National Conservation Recreation Area Act. The CWNCRA Storymap is currently live on the CWC website, but reflects earlier versions of the CWNCRA. Updates to the Storymap are scheduled to be completed mid-March.

2019 Utah Legislative Session

Senator Kirk A. Cullimore, District 9, introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 10 (S.C.R. 10) to the Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee on February 27th. CWC staff and Board members, Councilor Christopher F. Robinson (Summit County), and Mayor Mike Peterson (Cottonwood Heights) represented the CWC during the committee hearing. S.C.R. 10 passed with unanimous support from the Government Operations and Political Subdivisions committee. Senator Cullimore will now introduce S.C.R. 10 to the Senate floor for consideration.

If passed, S.C.R. 10 would affirm the consensus-based work of the Central Wasatch Commission and allow the CWC to continue working at the local level with all stakeholders to further solutions for the longstanding transportation and land use issues in the Cottonwood Canyons.

S.C.R. 10 does the following:

  • Recognizes the tremendous value of the Central Wasatch Mountains
  • Acknowledges the work of the Central Wasatch Commission to develop solutions that address significant transportation and land management issues
  • Urges the President of the United States, Congress, and Utah’s congressional delegation to propose and secure passage of legislation that implements the Central Wasatch Commission’s recommendations
  • Reflects the desires of local and state governments to work with all parties to further solutions to longstanding issues and desires of the parties of the Mountain Accord

Administration

The staff and CWC Chair have continued to work towards moving into new space. Construction on the office space at The Gateway has yet to begin as negotiations with the building owner are ongoing.

Additional GRAMA requests and appeals have been responded to, public comments have been recorded and responses prepared, and administrative costs have been carefully monitored.

CWC staff will deliver this report to the full Commission during the March public meeting, happening Monday, March 4th, at Cottonwood Heights City Hall. We hope to see you there.

Sincerely,

Chris, Ralph, Jesse, and Lindsey

    

    

5 thoughts on “February Letter from the CWC”

  1. Jonathan Webber says:

    I enjoy reading the update letters, but am greatly disappointed in the level of information conveyed. It is like reading someone’s travel log and instead of describing the cities, modes of travel and meals, they just said:

    Today we were in a different city than yesterday. It was nice. We ate a all different restaurants and the food was good.

    Please give us some details on transportation proposals for the canyons! It has been the worst winter yet for traffic in both BCC and LCC. Two hours up and even more down on the weekends. It is horrible!

    1. Mark Pollish says:

      Well said Jonathan Webber.

    2. Joshua G Korpi says:

      We need action on transportation issues, were all so tired of hearing about study after study after study but nothing being done.

      Thanks for all your hard work but lets start putting some of this data to good use

      1. Lindsey says:

        Thank you for your comment, Joshua. We agree! The Cottonwood Canyons Action Plan (CCTAP), will identify short, medium, and long term transportation solutions for the issues facing both Big Cottonwood Canyon and Little Cottonwood Canyon. Included in the actions on the immediate horizon are intersection improvements to improve traffic flows, increased bus service for convenience and reducing single-occupant vehicles, increased traffic and public safety enforcement, and parking lots and management. In the medium term, UDOT is considering avalanche sheds in Little Cottonwood Canyon, additional parking at Canyons entrances, restrooms at trailheads, removal of on-road parking with increased enforcement, tolling, and further road improvements in the rights of way to move traffic more freely. Analysis to date suggests a combination of these changes will significantly address the short-term traffic problems in Little Cottonwood Canyon and Big Cottonwood Canyon.

        In the long term, transportation issues that involve the Wasatch Front and the Wasatch Back comprehensively offer exciting options that need to be further evaluated with intensive public input – and then implemented. So many options have been presented by the public, from trains to dedicated bus service and aerial systems. As part of the Cottonwood Canyons Transportation Action Plan that will be conducted in the next year, UDOT and the Central Wasatch Commission will work with the best experts available and the public to arrive at a preferred approach to be implemented in conjunction with the short- and long-term actions.

        To see an infographic for the timeline for some of these projects, follow this link.

  2. Lindsey says:

    Thank you for your comments, Jonathan and Mark. The CWC endeavors to share as much and as detailed information with the public as we can, and will take your comments into consideration when it comes time to draft up next month’s staff report. Regarding transportation, please see the transportation page on this website: https://cwc.utah.gov/transportation/. There is also a lot of good information on the Utah Public Notices website: https://www.utah.gov/pmn/sitemap/publicbody/5673.html. I also encourage you to follow the Central Wasatch Commission across the social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We share a lot of good information and material there. Additionally, you can always access the Little Cottonwood Environmental Impact Statement webpage directly at: https://www.udot.utah.gov/littlecottonwoodeis/. We also encourage you to attend our monthly meetings at Cottonwood Heights City Hall. We are looking into the possibility to live stream these meetings in the near future, so if physically attending the meetings is not a tenable option for you, you may be able to listen-in in the near future.

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