Murrayite’s opinions wanted on future transportation projectsMay 05, 2021 09:01AM ● By Shaun Delliskave
Murray City crews prepare a road for future construction. (Photo courtesy Murray City)
By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]
Forget about that pothole for one minute and think big picture projects for one moment. Murray City and the Utah Transit Authority are currently conducting two separate surveys to determine future transportation projects.
Murray City Public Works Director Danny Astill said, “The City initiated the process with a detailed public survey to identify problem locations and set priorities. With this information, City staff and our consultants prepared a thorough draft plan, and we would like our citizens to review the plan and provide feedback through another survey to ensure that we’ve identified and addressed the most pressing needs.”
A transportation master plan defines a level of service (LOS), determines transportation needs and, combines all of that with current and future funding, city goals and policies. The plan shapes how the community looks at growth by evaluating streets (LOS), available public transit services, and active transportation such as sidewalks, trails and bike lanes. It addresses everything from business to recreation to quality of life.
“There is always a need for safety improvements, from widening an intersection and improving how a signal operates to just adding sidewalks and ADA compliant pedestrian ramps for improved accessibility,” Astill said. “Growth and impacts of growth are always priorities in our discussions with the Planning Commission, the Mayor’s Office, and the City Council. Additionally, there is never a lack of maintenance or reconstruction projects, but there is always a need for more funding to provide the needed improvements.”
Before beginning the master planning process, Murray went through a consultant selection phase to identify a firm that the city felt could provide the best possible product at a fair and affordable price.
“We ultimately selected Avenue Consultants who have worked very diligently with the city’s staff to develop a new plan and associated documents as well as a survey,” Astill said.
The previous plan was developed and adopted in 2006, and a significant number of the projects identified then have been completed, plus many others that were not recognized. Additionally, since the last plan, there has been considerable growth and several City’s Land Use Regulations changes. Such changes include developing a new general plan that provides several identified zoning changes that directly affect transportation levels of service throughout the city.
On the east side of Murray, the Utah Transit Authority is conducting a survey about a possible light rail, streetcar or rapid bus transit system that would spur off from Sugar House at 2100 South and either head south on 1300 East or Highland Drive.
According to the survey, “The ongoing transit study is being done to address population and traffic projections for 2050 since we know we won’t be able to rely on cars alone to keep people moving between Sugar House, South Salt Lake, Millcreek and Holladay in the future.”
While the survey does not explicitly mention Murray, as the 1300 East project would end at the Murray border, and the Highland Drive alternative would mirror Murray’s border, Murray public transit riders would be impacted.
Both corridors are densely populated with a mix of commercial and residential properties. Thirteen hundred East currently has one travel lane in each direction, with a center turn lane and shoulders and sidewalks on each side. Highland Drive currently has two lanes of traffic in each direction, with a center turn lane and sidewalks on each side.
UTA’s survey also wants to know if commuters would like an extension that would head east on Murray-Holladay Road terminating at 2300 East.