Another take on the proposed gondola for Little Cottonwood

The Salt Lake Tribune had a very well written editorial about the plans to build a gondola to increase the number of people going to ski resorts up Little Cottonwood Canyon. The Tribune  seems to share concerns that the efforts to increase capacity use public dollars to benefit wealthy resort owners

“What state and local governments owe people — those who live here and those who visit — are detailed and open calculations as to just how many people will reasonably fit on top of our beautiful mountain peaks, the most cost-effective ways of getting them there and, when necessary, keeping them away” the Editorial Board writes. 

The editorial calls on the sharing of public data so we are able to better assess if these “improvements” are actually for the public good.

Lift line at Snowbird. Image by trappleye.

“But, as so far envisioned, the gondola would really only serve Snowbird and Alta, not the intervening trailheads and other attractions in the canyon, and so might do little to siphon auto traffic away from the highway and its many improvised parking areas, especially in the summer.

The highway expansion would also be expensive, disruptive and, like most projects in the history of pavement, likely to soon be overwhelmed by the increased traffic it will draw. (Does no one remember what keeps happening on I-15 through Salt Lake and Utah counties?)

It is difficult to justify either at taxpayer expense for a route to resorts that are already beyond the financial reach of so many Utahns.”

UPHE opposes the gondola and proposed highway expansion for various reasons, the biggest of which is protecting public health from environmental contamination. The construction and land disruption required to build the gondola will release a wide variety of contaminants into Little Cottonwood Creek, the worst of which are heavy metals.  

A gondola in Little Cottonwood Canyon is not the way to solve the traffic problem and squanders tax payer dollars to the benefit of rich business owners. 

Read the editorial here.