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A newly completed plan will identify short and long term strategies for traffic congestion, neighborhood connections, safety and transportation options.

By Shireen Ghorbani, Facilities Management

The University of Utah has joined a team of local jurisdictions and agencies to identify challenges and seek opportunities to improve Foothill Drive. The Foothill Drive Implementation Strategy will identify short term and long term strategies to address issues such as traffic congestion, improving neighborhood connections, enhancing safety and providing transportation options. The project focuses on the entire Foothill corridor, including a portion of 500 South, extending from 1300 East to where Foothill Drive intersects with Interstate 80.

This project is a partnership among Salt Lake City, UDOT, UTA, Salt Lake County, University of Utah and Wasatch Front Regional Council. Earlier this year the project kicked off with an open house where clear goals were established and an assessment of needs to improve the Foothill corridor were addressed.

This is not the first time the Foothill corridor has been studied. “We are taking a comprehensive look at this section of Foothill Drive, building on what previous studies have accomplished,” says Cris Jones, transportation manager for Salt Lake City. The 2008 study provided recommendations that included HOV lanes and other infrastructure to encourage multiple modes of transportation. Those recommendations did not receive unanimous support from all stakeholders.

“The goal of this study is to carry forward the best options and recommendations, those that best meet the goals set out in this study,” says Jones.

There are eight goals guiding the Foothill Drive Implementation Strategy. These goals reference the importance of preserving and enhancing communities along the corridor, addressing safety and providing options to manage transportation demands.

John McNary, director of Campus Planning for the University of Utah, is excited that the U is a partner in this study. “We recognize that the U is a regional impact on the corridor, we want to be a proactive partner for improvements that address the needs of neighbors, commuters or visitors that may come to one of our clinics or one of many cultural or sporting events hosted on campus.”

The project partners want to hear from U employees or students. Visit the online workshop to find an overview of the project, see draft corridor goals and have the opportunity to leave feedback for the team. To learn more, get involved and leave a comment, click here.