Utah’s capital city said that transportation technologies such as electric scooters, ridesharing, the potential for self-driving cars and greater drone adoption are among factors necessitating updates to the plan.
Salt Lake City’s transportation masterplan is being overhauled for the first time since 1996 to carry the transportation vision and values of Utah’s capital city through the next four decades.
The city said rapidly developing transportation technologies such as electric scooters, ridesharing, the potential for self-driving cars and greater drone adoption are among the factors necessitating updates to the plan.
The Connect SLC policy document is designed to guide the implementation of future projects across all modes of transportation, including vehicular, public transit, pedestrian, and bicycle.
“Transportation options have changed significantly in the past 25 years and so has Salt Lake City,” said mayor Erin Mendenhall. “It’s time to view our roadways as assets for all our residents and visitors, not only those who drive automobiles.”
The new plan will reference other transportation plans, including the Transit Master Plan which was adopted in 2017, and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, which was adopted in 2015.
“It’s time to view our roadways as assets for all our residents and visitors, not only those who drive automobiles”
The City said equity will be at the forefront, given that many westside communities face significant barriers when trying to travel to the City’s east side.
Other equity concerns include high transportation costs, historic disinvestment, and geographic distribution of transportation infrastructure. Redressing inequity in past transportation investment is central to the plan.
“The Transportation Master Plan is important to me because I believe safe, affordable, and accessible transportation should be available to everyone,” said Tessa Nicolaides, a member of the Transportation Master Plan Community Advisory Council.
She added: “I have seen firsthand how much transportation plays into job and housing stability. Because transportation is what ensures that people can reach everyday destinations, such as jobs, schools, food, and healthcare, it needs to be accessible to everyone regardless of socioeconomic status.”
The update process is bolstered through the Transportation Division’s paid Community Advisory Council, whose nine members come from throughout the community and help inform and guide both policy and public engagement.
The City has conducted several public engagement efforts about the plan to date, and will host additional engagement opportunities throughout this summer. The plan is tentatively scheduled to be considered by the City Council in the fall of 2022.