A proposed bike path running parallel with 2100 South in Sugar House, along with a proposed thirty-story residential tower on the corner of Highland Drive and 2100 South, has long-time Sugar House business owners up in arms.
All About Coins Owner and operator Bob Campbell is leading the charge for the newly commissioned Sugar House Business Alliance to stop plans to both narrow the “busiest east-west corridor” in Salt Lake City, and further congest the area with a huge residential development.
“They [the city] have their own agendas of what they want to promote. For example, increased foot traffic, but get rid of traffic. For example, whether or not it’s the pollution from the traffic or it’s the congestion of the traffic, they’re trying to minimize that and trying to encourage people to get on their bicycles,” Campbell said.
For the past year, Campbell has been demonstrating his opposition to the new proposed bike corridor in City Council and Planning meetings. Campbell says that his opposition has mostly “fallen on deaf ears.” He says city planners pretend to listen but they have not made any revisions to their plans based on his and other business owners’ feedback.
So why isn’t the city listening? “A good reason why is that a lot of people in the city have never been in business and they don’t understand a small business way of doing things,” Campbell said.
Campbell has formed a coalition of business owners who reject the changes to 2100 South, which he says will be a major detriment and obstacle in allowing his customers access to his 60-year-old business.
“Whenever they say smart city, it means the opposite; it’s a dumb city,” Campbell said.
Other business owners on the block include 140-year-old Sterling Furniture and 80-year-old Fankhauser Jewelry. These shops also are opposed to the city’s plans. While they aren’t as adamant as Campbell in their opposition, they realize that the ideas to remove turning lanes and limit capacity on one of Utah’s busiest roads will be a detriment to business.
“The city’s going to make it so difficult for my customers to get here that we might not survive,” Campbell said.
The city planners say they are taking these measures to improve pedestrian access and safety, but Campbell believes this is a guise. “We actually believe the city is trying to put us out of business,” he said.
Campbell feels very strongly about stopping the proposed bike path. “We’re going to try to stop it, and we’re going to try to take the city to court over it.” He believes the only way to get the city’s attention is by “slapping” them in a court of law.