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Health, Science & Environment

Could Ridesharing Solve Canyon Congestion? Some County Council Members Think So

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Salt Lake County Councilman Richard Snelgrove has a plan to ease traffic congestion in the Cottonwood Canyons. He gauged the council’s interest Tuesday with mixed results.

Canyon Ride Share, a concept based on what Washington D.C. and San Francisco-area commuters call “slugging” could help solve traffic problems in the canyons beginning this winter say Salt Lake County council members Richard Snelgrove, Sam Granato and Max Burdick. All people have to do is stand in line at the base of the canyon and hitch a ride with drivers who have the same destination. And the county would only pay for signs. It’s that simple, Snelgrove says.

“And this isn’t Richard Snelgrove saying this. This is Washington D.C. and San Francisco saying this. In terms of adopting their model, which very much has an overlay in terms of what would fit in here,” Snelgrove says.

The plan peaked Councilman Jim Bradley’s interest.

“I think it’s very appropriate and to spend a little of our time looking at ways to make it work, I think it could be very useful,” Bradley says.

But Councilwoman Jenny Wilson says long-term canyon management requires investment. 

“We need public infrastructure,” Wilson says. “We need coordinated planning. We need coordination with every resort and sadly that comes with an expense.”

Wilson says parking lots are maxed out, and many people are already carpooling.

Catherine Kanter is challenging Richard Snelgrove in this year’s election. She told KUER, she’s concerned “slugging” won’t work without an HOV lane, which is the incentive for carpoolers to participate in the city’s Snelgrove gave as examples.

Snelgrove is hoping council members will support the formation of a working group to explore the idea. 

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