RECREATION

Mayor Wilson: Gondola system up Little Cottonwood Canyon not the answer

Nov 10, 2021, 5:55 PM
gondola system...
The Utah Department of Transportation has logged nearly 1,400 cars an hour in Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons on the busiest days — 5,000–7,000 cars for the whole day — all trying to drive up a two-lane road. (Photo: KSL TV)
(Photo: KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — Skiers and snowboarders who are hoping for a gondola system, or other way to beat the traffic for the next winter season, might have to wait a little bit longer. 

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson recently spoke before the KSL and Deseret News Editorial Board about the traffic congesting the road up Little Cottonwood Canyon. While some members of the public are excited to see a gondola system to help transport winter sports enthusiasts, the eight miles of gondola tracks up the canyon just doesn’t make sense to her. 

“You cannot get enough parking stalls at the base, so basically you’re reliant on a bus system.” 

Widening the roads up the canyon isn’t the answer either. 

“Right now we think we should encourage the legislature to appropriate funding that would construct a mobility hub, then we would invest in an enhanced bus system.” 

She doesn’t just have her eye on a new bus system. She offered up a few different alternative solutions for UDOT to consider before investing directly into a gondola system. 

“We would work more directly on travel demand management strategies such as tolling, carpooling, and then we would invest in technology to help with real-time information that can link to the scheduling as well.” 

She believes that these are common-sense solutions that won’t solve the problem entirely, but can be a start. 

“I’m not sure that anything really would solve the problem.”

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Mayor Wilson: Gondola system up Little Cottonwood Canyon not the answer