Big Cottonwood Canyon Mobility Action Plan (BCC MAP)
In summer 2022, the Central Wasatch Commission, at the direction of the Transportation Committee, released a request for proposals for the Big Cottonwood Canyon Mobility Action Plan (BCC MAP). The BBC MAP would identify and develop strategies to guide multi-modal transportation investments for Big Cottonwood Canyon—expanding sustainable transportation choices that support positive environmental, social, and economic outcomes. The BCC MAP would build upon foundational documents and leverage public and stakeholder input, new and emerging technologies, and enhanced transit options to identify near- and long-term projects, policies, funding, and corresponding next steps that activate further investment—by the Central Wasatch Commission, its member jurisdictions, and other jurisdictional partners—in a year-round mobility system serving all users of Big Cottonwood Canyon.
The BCC MAP is funded by a consortium of partners including the Central Wasatch Commission, Town of Brighton, Cottonwood Heights, Brighton Resort, and Solitude Mountain Resort. Participating partners with jurisdictional oversight include the U.S. Forest Service, Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities, Utah Transit Authority, and the Utah Department of Transportation.
The BCC MAP efforts got underway in late fall 2022, and the final plan was approved by the Board in May 2023. Ultimately, the BCC MAP serves as a crucial next step that builds upon the ongoing and previous planning efforts conducted for more than a decade, and results in a framework of actionable steps toward addressing the mobility needs in Big Cottonwood Canyon. The months-long process included data collection, mobility network analysis, a thorough review of existing transportation plans for the Canyon, and mobility hub assessment.
The Plan makes recommendations specific to infrastructure and transit in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Recommendation highlights include the following:
- Restripe Big Cottonwood Canyon Park & Ride lot
- Implement a supplementary shuttle in Big Cottonwood Canyon
- Enhanced bus service with a dedicated transit lane with resort mobility hubs
- Improvements at the intersection between Fort Union Boulevard and Wasatch Boulevard
- Tolling, restrictions to canyon on-road parking, and incentivizing bus options
- Year-round bus service featuring canyon trailhead stops
An exhaustive scope of recommendations for Big Cottonwood Canyon may be found in the final BCC MAP.
Central Wasatch Commission Chair and Summit County Councilman Christopher F. Robinson remarked, “Big Cottonwood Canyon sees just as much, if not more, year-round recreational visitation as compared to Little Cottonwood Canyon, and we are pleased to release to the public this comprehensive mobility action plan for Big Cottonwood Canyon. I hope, on behalf of the Central Wasatch Commission, that the Big Cottonwood Canyon Mobility Action Plan provides a solid starting place for further study and analysis and eventual implementation of transportation solutions in the Canyon.”
The BCC MAP was a public process, beginning with a transportation and transit survey released to the public in January, which received just under 1,000 responses. After the draft BCC MAP was released in March, the CWC opened a comment period for the public to review and provide feedback on the draft plan. Major themes of the public comment included general support for the BCC MAP, desire for active transportation solutions, desire for an electric bus solution, and a desire for acknowledging visitor use impacts, analysis, monitoring, and enforcement.
Updates between the Draft BCC MAP released in March of this year, and the Final BCC MAP included revisions specific to each comment, additional overarching acknowledgement of additional bicycle and pedestrian accommodations, electric vehicles, and protection of the watershed and water quality concerns.
You may read other BCC MAP updates that were made public since the project began in October 2022 here:
The primary components of the BCC MAP development process include:
- Evaluate the existing and planned mobility network, identify gaps, and synthesize existing plans and programs to ensure consistency between goals and priorities.
- Develop tailored mobility hub siting criteria, followed by identification of mobility hub locations, features and amenities, and implementation considerations.
- Identify transit investments that improve quality of users’ experience, reliability, frequency, year-round service, and service for all canyon users, and protect critical resources.
- Package the aforementioned items into the BCC MAP, which will:
- Define a prioritized list of near-, mid-, and long-term recommendations — including projects, programs, funding, and policy reform/development
- Lay out an implementation plan for the recommendations with tangible and actionable strategies, including potential funding sources, likely level of environmental analysis and potential lead agencies, equity considerations, and immediate next steps
The Mountain Accord and the Pillars for Transportation Solutions in the Central Wasatch Mountains, as the guiding documents for the Central Wasatch Commission, will broadly guide development of the BCC MAP. In addition, relevant components from the following ongoing efforts will be considered and incorporated as available and applicable:
- Central Wasatch Commission Visitor Use Study
- Utah Department of Transportation Little Cottonwood Canyon Final Environmental Impact Statement
- Utah Department of Transportation Draft Big Cottonwood Canyon Corridor Study
- Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities Watershed Master Plan update
- Varying parking management programs being implemented and/or considered by Brighton Resort and Solitude Mountain Resort
- S. Forest Service dispersed recreation site improvement considerations based on Great American Outdoors Act funding
The BCC MAP leaves the Central Wasatch Commission and its partners well-positioned with a catalog of prioritized mobility projects and initiatives to leverage to pursue funding opportunities and progress toward implementation, beginning with the top prioritized action items. The BCC MAP enables policy makers to jump start changes to make the mobility system more sustainable and meet the needs of today while dynamic enough to meet future challenges and needs.