The Sugar House Neighborhood
Residents of a Sugar House neighborhood were fed up with all the speeding vehicles that exit Interstate 80 and cut through their streets so drivers could avoid the more heavily traveled 700 East, 2100 South, and 2700 South.
Scott Doutre, a neighbor who has been working to resolve the traffic problems, said residents want to keep drivers from cutting through Commonwealth, Elm, and Wilmington.
“You’ve got guys barreling down these streets,” he said. “We’re looking to get people to slow down and if they use these streets as cut-throughs, to do it at appropriate speeds.”
The neighbors worked to come up with a solution, and through the Sugar House Community Council, they submitted a funding application to the Salt Lake City Council for projects to “calm” traffic and better accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians in their area. The effort paid off—the council recently voted to fund their projects.
Salt Lake City Council Member Amy Fowler said she’s excited that residents got together to tackle the problem.
“People are starting to use a lot of side roads as a pass-through,” Fowler said, adding that many drivers are going double the speed limit in the West Sugar House neighborhood.
The money is coming from Salt Lake City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP), which funds community projects each year to improve streets, sidewalks, parks, buildings and other public property.
Neighborhood Improvement Projects
The city allocates project funds every fiscal year. Proposals are submitted to the Community Development & Capital Improvement Programs Advisory Board, which compiles a priority list. Those recommendations are presented to the mayor, then forwarded to the Salt Lake City Council for action.
In late August, the council allocated $21.3 million for 30-plus projects throughout the city. Among them was the Sugar House West Neighborhood Traffic Calming and 600 East Bicycle Boulevard Improvements project, which was approved for $150,000.
The city transportation department will devise a plan to slow down motorists, such as putting in speed bumps and lowering the speed limit. The funds also will pay for minor changes to the 600 East Neighborhood Byway to make walking and riding a bicycle there more comfortable and convenient.
“As the City’s first neighborhood byway, it has been a success,” a city staff report says of the road, which runs from 2700 South to South Temple.
Another Sugar House project, which was allocated $500,000, will make improvements to McClelland Street from 2100 South to Sugarmont. Elements of this project could include special paving, lighting, bicycle parking, green infrastructure, landscaping, a more distinctive pedestrian space, public art, benches and outdoor dining. The City’s long-term plan is to convert McClelland from a traditional roadway into a shared street for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.
Other projects in the Sugar House area that were funded for fiscal 2020 include:
- $419,328 for Hidden Hollow Natural Area enhancements. The work at Hidden Hollow, which is in the area of the Commons at Sugar House, includes replacing a failing irrigation system, a drinking fountain and damaged benches; removing invasive trees that create hiding places for transient camps; refurbishing damaged stone monuments and an interpretive plaque.
- $221,600 for replacement of curb and gutter on 1100 East from Ramona Avenue to 1953 South. This project includes removal and replacement of the driveway approach at the US Post Office, 1953 South 1100 East, and possible removal and replacement of a park strip tree.
- $349,500 to address speed and visibility issues at the McClelland Trail east-west crossings at Harrison, Browning, Roosevelt, Emerson, Kensington and Bryan avenues, between 1100 East and 1300 East.