Why and how to oppose the Little Cottonwood gondola
Yesterday UDOT announced that their preferred alternative to handle traffic congestion in Little Cottonwood Canyon was a $500 million gondola. Given UDOT’s past history, and their continued lack of concern for anything other than traffic flow, we are not surprised. But that option is still the worst possible solution.
It is a public subsidy of two ski resorts, coming at a time where the future of the skiing industry is at serious risk due to climate related warmer winters and diminishing snow pack. The congestion is only a problem for 15-20 days a year, and as the skiing season will undoubtedly continue to contract in the future, the problem will become even less frequent. A gondola does little to reduce canyon traffic generated by non-skiers, and it will only push the congestion further down into Cottonwood Heights.
The 262 ft towers would be a permanent blight on the beautiful, natural scenery that is the canyon’s greatest, and irreplaceable public asset. The blasting, digging, and construction of the gondola will almost certainly contaminate the water in the stream.
There are so many better things, with real benefits to the public, that half a billion dollars of taxpayer money could do to reduce our air pollution. We agree with Mayor Wilson, the public should demand this idea die. We urge you to go to UDOT’s website and voice your opposition to the gondola boondoggle.
“The Salt Lake County Council is considering its options to prevent the gondola based on its authority over roads involved in the process, as the majority of councilmembers disagree with UDOT’s plan,” a Tribune article writes. Strong public opposition is an absolute must in this battle.
Other solutions to congestion in the canyon, like a bussing system, have been proposed. We agree with the Mayor that flexible solutions should be implemented first. This solution does not solve the congestion – it only serves to cram as many people up to the resorts as possible.