Mountain Transportation


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 the 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, and connections to the Wasatch Back. Stakeholders and the public have been and are invited to engage at every juncture during this process, beginning with a public comment period on the initial scope, goals, and attributes of a Mountain Transportation System and continuing with the Mountain Transportation System Expert Panel scheduled for Friday, September 18th, 2:00 –4:00 p.m and a subsequent 30-day public comment period on the MTS Alternatives Report, to be released on Friday, September 18th.

 

Read the Mountain Transportation System Objectives, Attributes, and Scope Comment Report 

Read the Mountain Transportation System Objectives, Attributes, and Scope public comments 

The Central Wasatch Commission held a public comment period from February 7th — March 1st 2020 and 1,223 comments were received from 366 individuals on the scope, goals, and attributes of a Mountain Transportation System. Those categories were further categorized into about 100 sub-topics. 

 

A Mountain Transportation System Expert Panel


As part of its Mountain Transportation System (MTS) initiative, the Central Wasatch Commission hosted an expert panel on Friday, September 18th from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Panelists included Laura Briefer, Director of Salt Lake City Public Utilities, Carolyn Gonot, Executive Director of the Utah Transit Authority, Ned Hacker, Director of Operations and Special Projects with the Wasatch Front Regional Council, Chris Cushing, a Principal with the SE Group, and Martin Ritter, CEO at Stadler US. Following an introduction from Salt Lake County Mayor and Co-Chair of the Central Wasatch Commission, Jenny Wilson, the panelists discussed the major transportation alternatives under consideration through the CWC’s Mountain Transportation System initiative: mountain bus service expansion, an aerial system, and a rail system. Potential impacts on the watershed correlated with respective modes and alternatives were addressed throughout the event. Members of the public were invited to participate in the panel event by submitting questions specific to the Mountain Transportation System for the panelists to consider.

 

The expert panel on the 18th initiated the second public comment period the Central Wasatch Commission has opened as part of the Mountain Transportation System initiative. 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: namely, a regional mountain transportation system should be efficient, safe, reliable while reducing traffic congestion, incentivizing transit use, and protecting the watershed, wilderness, and viewshed.

If you missed the event, you may watch the video recording here.

Access the MTS Draft Alternatives Slides here.

 

The Central Wasatch Commission’s Mountain Transportation System Alternatives Report Public Comment Period


The expert panel on the 18th initiated the second public comment period the Central Wasatch Commission has opened as part of the Mountain Transportation System initiative. The Central Wasatch Commission has opened a 30-day public comment period starting on September 18th, 2020 and ending on October 18th, 2020.

Read the CWC’s Mountain Transportation System (MTS) Draft Alternatives Report here

 

 

A Mountain Transportation System Virtual Summit


The Central Wasatch Commission’s Mountain Transportation System initiative will culminate over a two-day virtual summit on November 13th and 14th. The Commission invites the public to attend the summit for discussion of the transportation alternatives outlined in the Mountain Transportation System Draft Alternatives Report, released on September 18th, 2020. Information on how to register for the virtual summit, and materials are coming soon.

 

 

The Central Wasatch Commission’s Mountain Transportation System and UDOT’s Little Cottonwood Canyon EIS


The Mountain Transportation System (MTS) initiative is a regional transportation plan led by the Central Wasatch Commission (CWC) and member jurisdictions. The Little Cottonwood Canyon Environmental Impact Statement (LCC EIS) is an environmental study led by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Each study is following an independent and separate process and differs in intended outcomes, geographic scope, timeline, and the decision makers involved.

The Mountain Transportation System (MTS) initiative is a regional transportation plan led by the Central Wasatch Commission and member jurisdictions.

  • The MTS was initiated in January 2020 and is expected to be complete at the end of 2020.
  • The MTS study area encompasses the Salt Lake Valley, including S.R. 190, S.R. 210 and also includes the Wasatch Back.
  • The intended outcome of the MTS is a consensus recommendation for transportation modes for a regional mountain transportation system serving the Wasatch Front and Back.

The Little Cottonwood Canyon Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is an environmental study led by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) in partnership with Utah Transit Authority and the USDA Forest Service to provide an integrated transportation system that improves the reliability, mobility and safety for residents, visitors and commuters who use S.R. 210.

  • The EIS began in 2018 and is expected to be complete at the end of 2021.
  • The EIS study area is S.R. 210, from Fort Union Boulevard to the town of Alta.
  • The intended outcome of the Little Cottonwood Canyon EIS is the selection of a preferred transportation alternative that has fulfilled all required environmental clearances in order to allocate funding and preserve land for a future project.