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Comment on the UDOT LCC EIS today!

Like you, we at WBA are concerned about the future of Little Cottonwood Canyon (LCC), as UDOT explores transportation alternatives that will forever impact the canyon, and how all of us use it.

After months of in-depth research, and after hosting a series of one-on-one interviews with key stakeholders that was live streamed as a part of our vlog & podcast series The Uptrack, the WBA board arrived at a position that represents the human-powered recreational community in the Central Wasatch.

Thank you for standing up with us to take action by submitting your comment to UDOT as a part of the EIS process. Your efforts matter!

As a part of this EIS process, the most impactful comments include new perspectives and/or ideas that haven’t been previously been considered during the EIS process. While any comment you provide is important in supporting our position, if you have time, please take some time to customize the form we included below by including your personal perspective about why you love LCC, concerns you have, and unique ideas you have that will help the UDOT EIS team consider all perspectives in their efforts to arrive at the best solution.

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17 responses to “Comment on the UDOT LCC EIS today!”

  1. Anonymous says:

    So far, every option proposed is in favor of the resorts and the ski community, not the ENTIRE population of Utah. We need to be considerate of everyone that may want to access the canyon. Not everyone skis and not everyone can afford to ski. Therefore, each option needs to be weighed to fit the needs of every Utahn, not just those who are fortunate enough to ski.

  2. I would not support the gondola plan period. To have tram cars 100s of feet above the ground will ruin the beautiful mountains in LLC. The canyon is best served by utilizing new energy sources that will dominate all sources of transportation in the next 10 years. I’m totally against allowing more skiers to use alta/bird on a daily basis. If snowbird and alta can’t serve the community with transparency please sell to owner that can balance the ski experience with keep costs down to the local blue collar folks.

  3. Emily Clark says:

    Before we further destroy LCC and disrupt a vital watershed, we need to exhaust every possible option given the current infrastructure. Let’s encourage people to take the buses by limiting/penalizing single riders during peak times/days, providing benefits to carpoolers, increasing bus frequency, enlarging car share parking lots in the valley, and utilizing the passing lanes for buses and HOV vehicles only.

    The gondola does not serve the people. It serves the resorts and does not provide equal opportunity to the outdoors. Unless you can afford to pay thousands of dollars for a season pass, your access to the outdoors will not benefit from the gondola. I think it’s ethically wrong for a private company to profit off of public lands that only seek to serve the privileged.

    Let’s look at the easiest, cheapest, and most environmentally sound option we have. I ask that we do not move forward with installing a gondola, nor widening the lanes until we can definitively say that current infrastructure is inadequate. Installation of either of these options will forever have an adverse impact on land that serves a diverse community and provides critical resources to the people of Utah.

  4. David R. Smith says:

    We clearly need an effective transportation system for Little Cottonwood. Such a system must benefit all users–dispersed as well as wealthy resort customers! To do this, it must be year-round and stop at popular trail-heads (at least White Pine). If we expect tax-payers to foot the bill, at least they should benefit from their investment! Don’t ask them to finance a system that benefits primarily resort customers and owners.

  5. Billy Treacy says:

    the gondola is definitely not a good option. I hate to say it, but with global warming, the winters in Utah are going to be getting thinner and thinner. the gondola only really serves Snowbird and Alta, and old man winter is getting tired.. Their are too many people that go up the canyons in the summer and go to areas that are NOT Snowbird or Alta, and there will be no stops for them, so guess what – tons of cars, even with a Gondola. Road widening can happen in a few years if a more robust use of public transportation and more parking west of Wasatch Blvd isnt enough. WE CANNOT UNRING THE BELL.

  6. Édouard Saget says:

    Gondola is a no go. Worst idea ever on so many fronts.
    Resorts have not invested in managing their own flow once in the resorts. They have not learned from their European counterparts. Proof is there is not one Poma lift anywhere on these two resorts and lines are unbearable.
    Solutions must be viable for summer and winter. Must look into technology and systems that are improving or are on the near horizon. Once implemented (maybe temporary disruption to landscape) must NOT destroy further the landscape but even look the challenge of beautifying it, restoring to minimal impact. Underground or partial underground can and should be looked at.

    Lots to do still here!

  7. Meredith Lenz says:

    We need to protect the wilderness as it is. We do not need more construction in beautiful wild places.

  8. haily w says:

    This will impact the wildlife and quality of the canyon. At this point it’s all about the money and not preserving Utah’s beauty.

  9. Nolan says:

    We must exhaust all options before making permanent changes to the canyon. Further LCC and BCC must be considered in tandem for any solution!
    Buses and tolling!

  10. P. Robert Augason says:

    I own property up Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon.

    The roads were established before the Forest Service existed and they can not take any claim to right of way or ownership.

    The roads are paid for. Pleople like to park along the road and walk so just etend parking along the road.

    The ski resports stated that they would pay 100% for the transition from Alta – Brighton – Park City and decrease 30% of the traffic. So…. why would we pay any of this?

    Making me pay a toll to get to my property that they (private toll company like SLCO Millcreek) are charging others to visit is not right.

    Why is Alta Lift Company charging money to go up a road that they have no claim to (Albion Basin)?? This is criminal and a typical court case was done by an individual that was charging parking at Hogle Zoo…. but the individual did not own the property.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Increase number of buses, bus stops, and bus lines.
    Canyon passes for property owners, workers, etc.
    Limited number of passes for visitors.
    Tolls for everyone without a pass.

  12. SARAH says:

    Before spending more than half a billion dollars to tear up LCC to construct unproven solutions like a gondola or roadway widening, I am advocating that we first adequately fund programs and resources that leverage the existing infrastructure LCC has in place today in an effort to address the traffic and congestion problems. Some of these proven systems and programs could include:

    Tolling to incentivize use of public transportation
    – Tolling to manage canyon capacity
    – Reduced or free bus ticket prices on busy weekends
    – Increased funding to support more buses
    – Increased funding to create/operate express bus routes from locations all across the Wasatch Front — instead of bringing all traffic to Wasatch Blvd, bring Express Bus routes to key neighborhood hubs to avoid the crush of people on Wasatch Blvd.
    – Shuttles vans to transport dispersed recreation users to trailheads
    – Express bus and shuttle routes that deliver people directly to their destination
    – Optimized ski resort navigation to reduce resort congestion
    – Traffic controls
    – Double stacking
    Managed- and reversible-lane alternatives

    Furthermore, any efforts that intentionally or unintentionally increase capacity beyond the current capacity limit (as defined by current parking spots) are unacceptable. I am concerned that without a plan in place now to manage canyon capacity, LCC will become even more crowded, which will negatively impact the beauty of the canyon, the watershed and the recreational user experience. Increased capacity will also inevitably lead to increased ski resort expansion pressures. I am against any future ski resort expansion outside of their current footprints.

    I would love for Utahans vote to come into consideration when building a gondula that affects our watershed and changes the way the canyon functions. The Cottonwood canyons have changed a lot from when I was little. With the different season passes being offered, the lines for some resorts lead to the bottom of the Canyon. This gondula would back up the canyon more, cause congestion and ruining the beautiful Wasatch.

  13. Anna Clare Shepherd says:

    I have filled out the contact information form provided and also written my comment. Now I’m hoping it was forwarded by you to UDOT, as I have intended. Thank you. I am supportive of the Wasatch Backcountry Alliance recommendations— with NO to gondola or road widening and YES to express buses and shuttle service.

  14. Eric Lars Olafson says:

    I’ve been advocating for taking advantage of our existing infrastructure since this whole debate began, and cannot believe we’ve allowed the consumption of so much resource and energy going into these far-fetched solutions which only serve the ski industry to say nothing of the permanent impact on the Little Cottonwood Canyon environment – let’s get on with it, impose a toll system, get the shuttles going, improve the bus transportation options, including electrification, charge for parking at the resorts! These are mostly policies and low impact initiatives that can be implemented now!!

  15. Shelley says:

    We must acknowledge that global warming will result in less snowpack each year going forward – as we’re seeing. I cannot understand how it is that we continue to cater to the ski resorts. Once this land is further eroded with construction projects, it is a done deal. I vote absolutely “No Gondola” and/or road widening. People can learn how to ferry up the canyon on public transit. Others do it in other countries.

  16. Robert Sylvester says:

    Yes to express buses. Yes to charging people to go up the canyon to help fun restoration!

  17. I believe buses may be the best system. You would not have to change the road system and disrupt the canyon. They just need to buy a lot close to the canyon that could house 10,000 cars. Just condemn
    the land needed.

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