BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Does downtown SLC Main Street need a makeover? Which option do you like best?

Oct 18, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: Oct 19, 2023, 12:23 pm

Main Street...

SLC Open Streets will close Main Street to vehicle traffic from 400 South to South Temple in Salt Lake City.

SALT LAKE CITY — What is your vision of a future downtown Main Street in Salt Lake City? Close it to motor vehicles and turn it into a destination for pedestrians, do nothing, or maybe a combo?

Businesses saw a 19% hike in revenue during Open Street weekends on Main Street due to an influx of pedestrians and its more vibrant atmosphere, according to reports received by the Department of Economic Development.

Now, the city is doing a survey to look into different options for Main Street.

Main Street options

Peter Makowski, who is the project manager with the Economic Development Department, discusses the options for Main.

He said there are five choices under consideration.

  1. Full-width pedestrian/transit corridor. No cars, bicycles, or scooters. This option includes “public sculptures, kiosks, performance spaces, outdoor workspaces, and a linear garden bed — and can be turned into a space for outdoor events and celebrations.”
  2. Pedestrian/transit corridor. Again no cars, but this option includes space for bikes and scooters on the west side of Main.
  3. Pedestrian corridor and shared street/marketplace. This option allows for vehicle use during the daytime on weekdays. Most vehicle use would be closed off in the evenings, on weekends or during holiday seasons to allow for community markets, bar/restaurant space and special events.
  4. Enhanced roadway. No vehicle restrictions, except for major events. No pedestrian corridor plans but allows for cafes and retail stores to expand outward from their buildings. “Most of the existing trees” on Main Street would be removed for emergency vehicles.
  5. Leave Main Street as is.

Makowski said the design proposals are not about closing the street.

“It’s providing those activations and those experiences for people to want to come downtown to Main Street and hang out and not just use it as a thoroughfare.”

“We really want to turn Main Street into a place where something is happening every 15 seconds, like you’re walking down the street and there’s something new to interact with,” Makowski said.

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Does downtown SLC Main Street need a makeover? Which option do you like best?