University Of Utah: 'Intelligent Transport Systems' & Toll Road Could Ease Little Cottonwood Canyon Congestion

University Of Utah: 'Intelligent Transport Systems' & Toll Road Could Ease Little Cottonwood Canyon Congestion

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University Of Utah: 'Intelligent Transport Systems' & Toll Road Could Ease Little Cottonwood Canyon Congestion

Photo: Maurice King | Cover: Garrett

The traffic in Little Cottonwood Canyon is getting ridiculous. On a busy weekend, the 7 mile road between Sandy, UT and Snowbird can take users anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to travel and that’s just not right.

Related: Avalanche in Little Cottonwood Canyon

Not only does sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic after a day of powder skiing ruin the overall experience but all those idling cars create awful pollution in the canyon.

With hopes of remedying the situation, a group of researches with the engineering school at the University of Utah are planning possible solutions that include tolls, “intelligent transport systems,” and “free flow exits” from Snowbird/Alta.

 “We are hoping to plant a vision in the public mindset that a wholesale widening of the canyon is not necessary. A better use of transit and private-vehicle ridership can make up this gap.”

These three main objectives could drastically reduce traffic in the canyon while accommodating the growing number of cars in the area. The study says traffic in the canyon grows by approximately 2% each winter season. One of the main conclusions is that widening the canyon road would be detrimental to the long term sustainability and environmental well being of the area.

Sustainable Improvements:

• Avalanche sheds. Build several of these above-ground tunnels along the road to protect it and vehicles from avalanches that result in road closures.

• Free-flow exits from the ski resort parking lots. Design better exits from the ski resorts that allow traffic to move more smoothly and freely.

• Minor road alignments. Make minor changes to the roads for improved vehicle sightlines and to allow better merging and passing.

• Improvements for bicyclists. Develop more paving and guardrails for biking.

Find the entire study here: The Road Less Traveled | University of Utah Engineering Study Details Proposed Improvements To Ease Little Cottonwood Canyon Traffic

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