UTAH

Utah lawmakers react to Little Cottonwood Canyon gondola announcement

Aug 31, 2022, 4:56 PM | Updated: 4:58 pm

a sign about the gondola is vandalized to say gondola sucks...

A Gondola Works sign that has graffiti on it in is pictured near Little Cottonwood Canyon on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON, Utah — Following the announcement from the Utah Department of Transportation supporting a gondola in Little Cottonwood Canyon, several Utah lawmakers have shared their opinion on the move.

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson told Dave and Dujanovic that the community still had time to speak and act before the decision is finalized.

Wilson said the state should be using a phased approach instead; investing in electric busing and moving people through carpooling. The UDOT will use the phased approach as it works on funding for the gondola.

Wilson also brought up that she thinks the gondola is too expensive and voiced concern that the gondola would create more traffic issues through the parking garage that’ll be used for it. 

“I’ve already asked my team to start looking at locations where we could have regional transit hubs that serve our communities,” Wilson offered as a solution.

Sandy Mayor Monica Zoltanski said she would have preferred that the UDOT dismiss the gondola, but said she agreed with the phased approach the agency would take in the meantime.

“Now is the time for residents, environmental groups, ski resorts, developers, and elected officials to work together to deliver real progress to manage user demand for the canyon we all love and want to protect.”

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall released a statement explaining the city’s role in the Little Cottonwood Environmental Impact Statement the UDOT’s decision was based on. Mendenhall expressed support for the use of a phased approach but said she was concerned about the gondola’s watershed and environmental impact.

Rep. Suzanne Harrison, D-Draper, also released a statement on the decision. She said, “Taxpayer-funded transportation solutions should benefit all residents, not just ski resorts. A gondola is the wrong approach for Little Cottonwood Canyon.”

Harrison also stated her support for the phased approach over the gondola. She encouraged locals to voice any concerns before the project is finalized.

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Utah lawmakers react to Little Cottonwood Canyon gondola announcement