transportation

Salt Lake City Will Introduce New Parking System

Nov 25, 2014
Photo by PilotGirl, CC via Flickr

Installed in the spring of 2012, many of the 344 blue kiosks have consistently malfunctioned.  Credit cards weren’t being read and some drivers had trouble reading the kiosk screens at night. Now the city is working

quickly to replace the system. Robin Hutcheson is Transportation Director in Salt Lake City. She says the kiosks themselves will be left up.

“A company will replace the entire guts, if you will, of our tall blue parking pay stations, as well as the front panel—to improve the user experience of it—and as well as the software,” she says.

Garrett via Flickr

Utah lawmakers may be seeking a comprehensive solution to the state’s transportation funding issues during the next legislative session.

The Salt Lake Chamber’s, Utah Transportation Coalition has identified an $11 billion dollar hole in the state’s transportation funding for the next three decades.  Representative Johnny Anderson Chairs the Utah House Transportation Committee. He says house and senate leaders are considering a wide range of options, including raising the gas tax, and better aligning registration fees with vehicle fuel efficiency.

Tim Slover

One study shows that several of the voice-controlled entertainment systems available in new cars can be more distracting for drivers than talking on a cell phone. In the other study researchers tested several voice-activated entertainment systems and found that Siri on the Apple iPhone caused the most 

distractions, even when altered to be used hands-free.  Assistant Research Professor Joel Cooper was lead author on one of the studies. He says lengthy interactions with voice-activated systems make for more distracted driving.

Brian Grimmett

Salt Lake City is offering free parking along 300 South in downtown while workers finish construction of a protected bike lane.

The free two hour parking will be available on 300 South between 200 West and 300 East until about mid-October. Robin Hutcheson is the Salt Lake City Transportation Director. She says part of the reason for offering the free parking is to help those who might be confused by the new design, which places the bike lane closest to the curb and makes cars park between the bike lane and normal traffic.

Ken Lund via Wikimedia Commons

A report from non-partisan research group Utah Foundation says road repairs and increased public transit options top the list of ways to prepare for population growth along the Wasatch Front. But the question is who will pay for it?

Pkg203 via Wikimedia Commons

Salt Lake City is issuing warning citations to anyone offering a car-ride service without a business license—and yes that means the drivers of the pink mustachioed cars that recently hit Salt Lake City streets.

San Francisco-based Lyft is a booking service that connects ride-seekers to local drivers through a smart-phone app. The drivers use their own vehicles, which can be identified by a large pink mustache on the grill. The company launched its program in Salt Lake City about a week ago.

uber.com

A taxicab alternative e-travelers hail with a smartphone app will be available in Salt Lake City starting at seven o’clock tonight. Two companies called Uber and Lyft have announced plans to expand here, but city officials say the companies must first comply with safety and fair business rules.

United States Department of Transportation via Wikimedia Commons

Starting this summer accessing 1300 south in Salt Lake City might be a challenge. Construction is slated to close down the bridge over the railroad tracks between 500 and 700 west for the next year.

The $10 million facelift includes a full deck replacement, widening of the overpass, seismic upgrades and improved pedestrian and cyclist access. Salt Lake City will select a contractor for the project this spring and begin construction as early as June. It’s being paid for through the federal highway trust fund with a 6% match from Salt Lake City. 

A Republican state representative is proposing a gas tax increase this year. The Utah legislature has not passed a fuel tax increase in more than 15 years, but Representative Jim Nielson of Bountiful argues the roads need funding, and those who use them should be the ones who pay. Republicans as a rule don’t like to do be associated with tax increases, but Nielson insists raising taxes on gasoline is a conservative idea.

Enterprise Holdings

Salt Lake City, the Utah Transit Authority and Enterprise Rent-a-Car announced a new Wasatch Front car share partnership today. Enterprise vehicles are now available for rental downtown, at various TRAX stations and on the University of Utah and Utah Valley University campuses.

UDOT Campaign Sets Its Sights on Teen Crash Fatalities

Oct 23, 2013
Karina Puikkonen

The Utah Department of Health and Department of Transportation announced  an initiative to decrease the number of vehicle related fatalities among youth. Car accidents remain the leading cause of teen fatalities in the state. Last year 21 of the 217 Utahns who lost their lives in car accidents were teenagers.

The Salt Lake City Council makes a decision about the Sugar House streetcar route, Senator Orrin Hatch files 24 amendments to the comprehensive immigration bill, and a community group protests a plan to build a freeway in West Davis County.

After a nationwide search Governor Gary Herbert has appointed Carlos Braceras as the new director of the Utah Department of Transportation.

Braceras has worked for UDOT for almost 27 years and until today’s appointment had spent the past 12 as UDOT’s deputy director working directly under former director, John Njord. Braceras says as the new head of UDOT one of his main focuses will be to create better relationships with local communities.

Police officer’s shoot a man inside the West Valley City Public Safety building, Salt Lake City encourages bicycle commuting, and the search continues for a missing fisherman at the Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

Most Salt Lake City residents and local businesses in Sugar House do not like the streetcar alignment favored by Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and a number of Salt Lake City council members.  At least that’s the takeaway from last night’s public hearing at city hall, where several hundred people shuffled in hoping to have a say in the project.

The question before the council is this: Should the second phase of the Sugar House Streetcar travel east up 2100 south or north along 1100 east.

UTA debuts its new TRAX line to the airport, Chevron begins cleanup in Willard Bay, and a U of U researcher is getting an up close and never before seen view snowflakes.

Salt Lake City officially launched its much-anticipated  bike share program today. It’s called GREENbike and it offers unlimited short-term trips between stations scattered across the city. 

GREENbike is not quite a rental system. With memberships ranging from $5 a day to $75 a year, users pick up a bike at one of the solar-powered kiosks. But instead of chaining it to a corral or storing it at an office, the user returns it to the nearest kiosk for someone else to use. 

Governor Herbert says he’s close to a decision about the Snake Valley water agreement, the Utah Foundation addresses the conflict between education and transportation, and the Department of Corrections gets a new executive director.

Bob Nelson

The Utah Foundation’s annual meeting Thursday deals with two traditionally conflicting issues facing Utahns, education and transportation. The foundation organizes the Utah Priorities Project along with the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah. Stephen Kroes , the president of the Utah Foundation says conflicts between education and transportation going forward need to end.

Bob Nelson

The higher price of a gallon of gasoline was the driving force behind a marked increase in the Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index or CPI last month. The Cicero Group released the latest figures for Zions Bank today Tuesday. Cicero’s CEO Randy Shumway says gas prices affect everything.

“Since the average Utahn spends about 18 cents of every dollar on transportation, says Shumway, that has a big impact on inflation in the state.”

After losing out on a contract with Salt Lake City to provide taxi cab service to and from the Salt Lake City International Airport, Yellow Cab taxi service is calling for the city to increase the company’s cab rates. But the Department of Airports, which is responsible for recommending rate changes to the Salt Lake City Council, says the request will not be granted.

This week a group of Utah physicians demanded a moratorium on mass transit fares for the remainder of the winter season, joining thousands of Utah residents who continually point to Utah Transit Authority as the key to the regions poor air quality. But UTA says the only way to realize increased ridership is to expand service, which can’t be done in the face of lost revenue. 

Brian Grimmett

The Utah Transit Authority is holding public meetings this week on several proposed route changes and reductions. 

In connection with the start of service on the new Airport TRAX line in April UTA is proposing several route changes including eliminating routes in Salt Lake, Tooele, and Davis County. UTA spokesman Gerry Carpenter says he thinks for the most part these changes will be well received.

The Utah Transit Authority’s Provo to Salt Lake FrontRunner line is open for business as of today. Now UTA officials will turn their attention toward finishing the TRAX line out to the airport. That means some immediate changes in existing TRAX service will affect riders. 

UTA Spokesman Gerry Carpenter says trains moving north to Salt Lake and South to Provo were fully loaded with passengers opening day. He says there were minor hiccups and delays typical of a new service.

Media Tour FrontRunner South Line

Nov 30, 2012

The long-anticipated Utah Transit Authority Provo to Salt Lake FrontRunner will open to the public next weekend, but members of the media were invited to climb aboard this morning for a test ride. 

The smooth ride is accompanied by a surprisingly remarkable view of the low lands adjacent to the Jordan River. The trip takes about an hour each way.

Paul O'brien is the rail service general manager. He prides the FrontRunner south line on expanding service hours to Provo beyond what the current express buses provide and creating options for a faster trip as well.

Wasatch Canyons Transportation Study Complete

Nov 21, 2012

For those who enjoy spending time in the Wasatch Canyons, traffic and parking can make trips difficult.   Salt Lake County officials are considering some changes that could alleviate problems in the future. The recommendations are the result of a year-long series of canyon transportation studies which are now complete.

Major construction on the Utah Transit Authority TRAX Line to the Salt Lake International Airport is wrapping up this week with testing scheduled to begin as early as next week. UTA officials announced today the light rail system will be officially open on April 14, 2013. Utah Transit Authority spokesman, Gerry Carpenter, says with commuter rail to Provo opening in December, all metro areas will soon be connected.