Report by Brian Hutchinson- CHNC Transportation Committee Chair
Show your support for the Capitol Hill Traffic Calming Plan, sign the petition
Salt Lake City is about to dramatically improve the safety and livability of its neighborhood streets and residences, starting with a pilot program in the northern gateway neighborhood of Capitol Hill. City Council Member Wharton led an effort to restore SLC Constituent Request Applications for Capital Improvement Program (CIP) funds last spring. At summer’s end SLC Council Members and Mayor Mendenhall recently awarded CIP projects for each of the city’s districts, including ~ $600K to execute the Capitol Hill Traffic Calming Plan.
“I’m excited to see the completion of the grassroots efforts of Capitol Hill residents to identify issues in their community, work with City Staff on possible solutions and push for the funding of those projects. The deep care the Capitol Hill Community Council and Transportation Committee have for their neighborhood will soon be seen in this completed project.” Erin Mendenhall- Salt Lake City Mayor
“The CHNC Transportation Committee has addressed the neighborhood with a comprehensive outreach/engagement effort. They have worked hand-in-hand with city engineers, have held dozens of public meetings over the past couple of years and have reached consensus on a comprehensive, neighborhood-wide, shovel-ready plan,” Chris Wharton- Salt Lake City Council Member, District 6
Capitol Hill Traffic Calming Plan
- Product of a two-year collaboration between the CHNC Transportation Committee and neighborhood residents and businesses, school and library administrators, SLC Mayor and Council members, State Representatives and Senators, city and state transportation engineers, regional transportation consultants, city and regional planners, environmental agencies, industry representatives, SLCPD, UHP, and others
- SLC Community Improvement Program (CIP) approval Aug 23, 2021 ~ $600K
- Education/Engineering/Enforcement structure
- Neighborhood-wide speed-suppression elements, reduced speed-limit signage (default maximum speed of 20 mph), and a range of other infrastructure to improve safety, efficiency, and livability
- Complete streets- Street diets w/space for pedestrian, bicycle, vehicle and transit
- State road/secondary street interface- Signage and signaling to restrict cut-through traffic and improve the safety and efficiency of the regional transportation system
- Default maximum speed of 30 mph on state roads in Capitol Hill neighborhood
Phase 1- Q4/19… Public engagement, site visits, design/engineering meetings
Phase 2- Q3/20… Reduced speed limit signage (started)
Phase 3- Q3/21 City funding approval
Phase 4- Q4/21-Q1/22 Final engineering/scheduling
Phase 5- Q2/22… Infrastructure implementation
“We are impressed with the level of thought and effort from the community to work with our staff to develop a draft traffic calming plan for the neighborhood. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the community to make it a reality,” Jon Larsen- SLC Transportation Division Director
“This grant will go a long way towards solving many traffic-related problems that have plagued Capitol Hill residents for decades”, David Scheer- CHNC Board Chair
“You work here, we live here. The investment by SLC in traffic calming will help us share the space, while improving safety in our communities”, Dan Love- CHNC Board Member
Education/Engineering/Enforcement are key to the success of this type of project. We’ve spent a couple years developing the Capitol Hill Traffic Calming Plan, which will serve as a model for the Engineering component of the solution. And we are working with the SLCPD and UHP to develop an effective data-driving Enforcement program with citizen support and an education component.
We think it is time to launch a wide-reaching publically funded Education campaign that shares the safety and efficiency data and analysis that are behind roadway design and the rules of engagement for drivers of vehicles on taxpayer-built and maintained roadways.
(Note: Large industrial haulers, shipping companies and other private industries and public agencies have already invested in fleet-wide systems that monitor driving patterns of trucks and cars to improve safety and efficiency. Several have yet to fully utilize the technology and have voiced support for a program that reaches all citizens.)
Such an effort would be critical to understanding the extent of harm inflicted on communities by each act of selfish, aggressive driving on high-capacity corridors or by cutting through neighborhood blocks for the chance of shaving seconds off one’s commute or commercial delivery.
We need to acknowledge that we have a disturbing number of self-absorbed, distracted, reckless drivers. Some are emboldened by the lack of enforcement and too many others tend to keep pace to prevent aggressive drivers of cars, semi-trucks and motorcycles from riding their bumpers, honking horns, and sharing offensive gestures. Although regional commuters, industrial haulers, and exhibitionist-vehicle drivers account for the majority of the traffic volume and offences in Capitol Hill there are also an unhealthy number of our neighbors who flout the rules and display open disregard for the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, other drivers, and residents on their own city blocks.
Utah Traffic Numbers
- Pedestrian mortality doubles when the crash vehicle shifts from 20 mph to 25 mph and quadruples at 30 mph
- Studies show that road diets reduce all traffic crashes by nearly 30%
- 11% more Utah vehicle deaths in 2020 than 2019
- 31% of fatal crashes in Utah are speed-related
- 14% of fatal crashes in Utah are pedestrian-involved
- 3% of fatal crashes in Utah are bicycle-involved
- 7 % of fatal crashes in Utah are distraction-related
- 16.3% of vehicles deaths in Utah are motorcycle-related