MAY 20, 2020

SLC THROWS OUT PARKING REQUIREMENTS NEXT TO SINGLE FAMILY HOMES

SLCPD WORKING ON 250 OLD RAPE KIT COLD CASES WITH ONE DETECTIVE

SLC SURPRISE CLOSING OF STREETS ANGERS RESIDENTS AND HURTS BUSINESSES

SLCPD HAS 62% INCREASE IN HOMELESS CALLS

STILL NO FUNDING FOR PARK RANGERS AND MOBILE COP CAMS

SLC APPROVES LOAN THAT EFFECTIVELY REZONES PROPERTY WITHOUT HEARING

 

SLC THROWS OUT PARKING REQUIREMENTS NEXT TO SINGLE FAMILY HOMES

  Over the last few months, there have been a lot of complaints about a proposed project by Peter Corroon, the former County Mayor, called Cleveland Court.  Despite significant neighborhood anger against the proposal, the local community council hearing on the project was not attended by the neighbors (they were not told about the meeting on the project).  So the Planning Commission and City Council was told that the local community council approved of the plan.  That is how important these community council meetings are.  I tried to explain during the presentation that the proposal to rezone the property to FB-UN1 would remove all parking requirements.  FB-UN1 is supposed to be a zone next to a fixed transit station.  Cleveland Court (1400 S and 400 East is a mile away!  The property was a single family home and it will be developed into 2 and 3 bedroom apartments and a studio.  The developer says that it will be affordable for middle income.  But there will only b 7 off street parking spaces when the regular multi-family zone would require 13 spaces.  

  Councilman Darin Mano said that this was a difficult decision but he voted to rezone the property to no minimum parking requirements.  Councilmembers Amy Fowler, Chris Wharton and Dan Dugan voted against the rezone.  The rest of the Council voted for it and it passed 4 to 3.  

  This is a big deal since it is the first time a developer has been able to convince the City to remove all parking requirements for a building that is next to single family homes.  I expect many other developers to ask for similar consideration and approve their minimal or no parking onsite projects.  I urge everyone interested to email the Council and Mayor at council.comments@slcgov.com, mayor@slcgov.com and tell them what you think.  And please attend your local community council.  I put the 2020 list of councils and contacts and their meeting information in a download button in the top right.  These community councils are extremely important and influential.  Some rubber stamp proposed projects without even discussing them.  If you want your City to work better you need to spend a little time at these meetings.  Just 2 hours a month and they are now online!

 

SLCPD WORKING ON 250 OLD RAPE KIT COLD CASES WITH ONE DETECTIVE

  I put the May 19 SLCPD report to the City Council in the right on a download button.  Some important issues discussed included the number of rape kits being processed.  In 2018, there were 218 processed and in 2019, there were 225 processed.  Some kits are taken but not processed until the victim agrees to the processing of the kit.  The rape kit is stored until then.  In Utah, the victim has the choice to restrict the kit from processing until they agree to do so.  But that stops the potential to identify serial rapists.  At Utah State, in the last ten years, there were two separate rapists that had committed many rapes and the only way that they were identified was when at least one victim came forward.  But if all rape kits are processed, and entered into a database, if a pattern is noticed, the rapist can be identified quickly.  

  Many experts think that most rapists commit many rapes and are not stopped until they are caught.  In addition, many women are charged for the rape kit that is collected at a hospital.  Usually insurance covers it but there is also a fund to pay for it.  But that should be automatic.  Women who are raped should never get a bill for a rape kit.  The State should cover the cost automatically (Utah does not).  Despite the obvious need for more victim advocates, it appears that there is a hiring freeze and more won’t be hired for a while.  In 2019, 149 victims declined to prosecute!  They shouldn’t have to decide.  If there is a pattern of abuse, and all rape kits are processed and entered into a database, the rapists can be identified.  If a rape victim does not want to participate in the prosecution, that is her choice.  But the rape kit should be processed.

  Women have to run a gauntlet to report and help prosecute rape.  They shouldn’t have to.  The military has recognized that even reporting a rape can result in repercussions against the victim.  The military can offer to restrict the report and only additional reports, or the victim agreeing to prosecute, will result in full prosecution (although the rapist can still be held accountable).

  Chief Brown, in his presentation, also noted that there were 752 cold case partially tested rape kits, some going back to the 80s, that just made it to through the initial test and they are going to new DNA testing.  768 kits were never sent to the crime lab.  So far, the SLCPD has tested 250 of the old kits for DNA and there is one additional detective added to work on these old cases (which probably include murderers)!  The SLCPD should add more detectives to this work.  It should be a higher priority.

  Chief Brown also mentioned that domestic violence calls were up 13% since the COVAD 19 restrictions.  He also said that there were 600 registered sex offenders in Salt Lake City.

  

SLC SURPRISE CLOSING OF STREETS ANGERS RESIDENTS AND HURTS BUSINESSES

  During this week’s City Council meeting, Councilwoman Amy Fowler expressed concern about a large number of angry emails that she has received that complained about “closing” of Stratford Avenue (around 27th South) from 1300 East to about 2000 East with no notice.  The community and Sugar House Community Council was told the night before that the street was going to be repurposed to a Stay Safe, Stay Active multipurpose street that allows and encourages pedestrians and bicyclists in the street.  It encourages local traffic only.  Councilwoman Fowler said "Quite a lot of the neighbors (were) incredibly upset and thought that they were blindsided….they didn't know it was coming”.  I have also heard from businesses on this street and others that they are concerned that just when they thought that they were going to get their customers back, the customers are being discouraged from driving back to their stores and restaurants.  Stratford, 900 South and other streets have neighborhood, locally owned small businesses.

  The City says that it was intended to be a benefit to everyone in the neighborhood and that they were surprised at the backlash since the other areas seemed to be more accepting.  The Stratford Avenue repurposing was the only street with significant pushback.  Many community councils in the other areas ignored the new street purposes because the City Transportation Department did not reach out to ask what they thought.  The Department utilized a one week long survey (easy to stack one way or the other) with over 6000 responses.  But only 3700 commented and half of the commenters were against allowing pedestrians and bicyclists to block vehicles.  The City said that they did do public engagement but I go to a lot of community council meetings and have friends in many others and the City implemented many streets without telling the community councils.  Admittedly, it was rushed to be implemented before traffic returned to normal.  The complaints, after the new signs designating the street as shared and local traffic only, were directed at the local council chair and Councilwoman instead of at Transportation.  The survey should have received more time and news publicity since it was clear that these streets were nominated for change.  But the City’s avoiding taking the issue to community councils questions their public engagement.  I put the email and phone number to complain or comment below.

  The Transportation Director, Jonathan Larsen, said that the Administration is looking for more signage that makes it clear to residents and businesses that traffic is still allowed to the businesses.  The Administration wanted more of a fun atmosphere…something to get people out… and they did not see any angry emails.  

  From the website:

 tinyurl.com/slcsafeactivestreets

“Salt Lake City is expanding its temporary measure to adapt to changing conditions and needs due to COVID-19: opening certain streets for community recreation, such as foot and bicycle traffic, while maintaining access to local traffic. This opening of streets follows a week-long survey in which the City asked residents for feedback on which streets they would like to see used for recreation.

Opening certain streets for community recreation, such as foot and bicycle traffic, will make it easier to maintain six feet of distance from others while recreating. Vehicle access on these streets will be maintained for local traffic.

Motorists are asked to drive slowly and with extra caution. Foot and bicycle traffic are asked to be extra cautious around motorists and to respect their right to access homes and businesses by moving to the side of the road when necessary to allow them to pass.

Consider the street to be shared. All users should respect others, allowing each to use the street together.

Parking may be impacted on some streets.

Factors that helped determine which streets to open include community survey feedback, street walkability, community visions for their streets, geographic equity, ease of implementation, connections to parks and trails, hospital/emergency routes, transit routes and traffic patterns. Streets opened so far include:

500 North between Redwood Rd and 800 West

900 South between 300 East and 700 East

600 East Between South Temple St and 900 South

Wasatch Dr between Crestview Dr and 1300 South

Stratford Ave between 1300 East and 2000 East

4th Avenue between A Street and N Street

200 West between North Temple and 600 North

 

Streets that were suggested on the survey are:

Q Street

Westminster Ave

Garfield Ave

500 North

N Street

1200 West

Emery Street

800 West

200 West

Wasatch Dr

Stratford Ave

1900 East

1500 East

11th Ave

900 South

4th Ave

700 South

Kensington Ave

800 East

600 East

  Before converting anymore streets to a STAY SAFE, STAY ACTIVE Street (open to walking and bicycling), the City should adopt some basic rules before further implementation.

1. Get local/community councils’ input, discussion and recommendations on which streets are appropriate (Ironically part of a recently adopted policy to encourage more public engagement.).

2. Do not discourage local business with local traffic only signs (streets with many local businesses should not be considered).

3. Do not increase congestion or pollution by forcing traffic and walkers and bicyclist to be in one lane (forced by medians 600 E/800 E).

4. Monitor the street and remove it from this purpose if there are too many concerns and problems or businesses are impacted.

  If you have comments or complaints or would like to report issues on any of the open streets, please email communityoutreach@slcgov.com or call our comment line at 801-535-7711.  

 

SLCPD HAS 62% INCREASE IN HOMELESS CALLS

  During the recent SLCPD report to the City Council, Chief Brown said that dispatch calls for service were up 6% but the police are discouraging tickets, engagement and bookings.  Homeless calls were up 62% but there is little that they can do now other than see if they need help.

  Community and Neighborhoods Department (CAN) also said that they are proposing a budget to pay for one half of the cost of biocleanup on private property.  They have received 26 requests so far this year but until the budget is passed, they cannot help.  They also need more help funding for camp cleanups with the homeless and County Health.  Public Services budget, discussed next week, also has funding for the homeless.

 

STILL NO FUNDING FOR PARK RANGERS AND MOBILE COP CAMS

  SLC still has not budgeted or asked for grants for more of the very effective (in the words of Chief Brown) 24/7 mobile cop cam trailers which cost $40,000.  The State Halfway House funding (which gave extra money to communities with most halfway houses) was used in the past to buy the trailers but the State budget is now up in the air and the City is not sure that they will get more funding.  Both Councilman Rogers and Mano pushed for more funding for the trailers.  Many community councils are begging for them.  The Chief said that he understands and that they work well at reducing crime.

  The SLCPD reorganized in January to increase patrol officers and as of May 19, the City has 5 unfilled sworn officer positions.  But the City loses 2 or more each month to retirement or recruitment by other County law enforcement and it will be down almost 30 by the end of the year.

Communities impacted by violence and drug dealing are begging for more visible police officers.

  The City is still not funding Police/ Park Rangers other than with overtime.  Staffing will not be available until August at the earliest.  A Sergeant has been assigned and is drafting the rules, procedures and recommendations to implement the SLCPD's proposal.  If any community has recommendations, let your local CIU (Community Intelligence Unit Officer) know (Google SLC.gov and CIU).  The Chief said that they are asking communities for suggestions and recommendations for the patrol.

  There was also a discussion about police vehicles.  The SLCPD has 32 Chevy Impala patrol cars that are over 10 years old (and worth about $2500).  They have an average of 97,000 miles on their engines but the engines and transmissions need replacement.  Although the mileage is low, the constant idling exhibited during patrol increases wear and tear by 2.5 times than normal.  A new vehicle costs $30,000 plus $10,000 to make ready.  The City just bought 106 hybrid vehicles that the Chief said are working great.

  The City is buying new bodycams that activate when vehicle lights are engaged or a weapon is drawn.  In addition, the City is considering a new app from Axon, the cop cam leader, that allows regular phones to be used as a body cam.  The goal is to ensure that every officer in the field has access to and is using a body cam.

 

SLC APPROVES LOAN THAT EFFECTIVELY REZONES PROPERTY WITHOUT HEARING

  The SLC RDA Board, earlier this month, approved a loan modification that allowed a project developer to borrow money before a property is rezoned for development!  That essentially means that the project rezone (to be done by the same Council/RDA Board members) is a done deal.  The project is Richmond Flats on Richmond (1220E) just north of Elgin.  The area is surrounded by single family homes but they will now not have a respectful chance to comment or object to the project.  

  The RDA Board should adopt a policy of NOT allowing loans to projects (like Richmond Flats) that imply a "done deal".  Millcreek and Sugar House have not been allowed a respectful public engagement on this development and any further similar decisions should be allowed appropriate public engagement. Again, the RDA Board, as the City Council, recently adopted a policy of: " increasing awareness/participation for City projects".  The RDA loan modification approval ignores that policy.

 

MAY 7, 2020
COMMUNITY COUNCILS NON ATTENDANCE COMPLAINTS
AGAINST SECRET MEETINGS AND DECISIONS
UTAH PUBLIC NOTICE WEBSITE INOPERABLE FOR 2 WEEKS WITHOUT NOTICE
UTA CELEBRATES TRAX MILK RUN
UTA TO KILL BUSES FOR MONEY
UTA REFUSES FREE FARE BUT HOW DO WE PAY
AIRBNB ALLOWED TO BE USED FOR ADU ADDITIONS
UTAH COULD GET MORE RADIACTIVE WASTE FROM ESTONIA
1100 EAST TRACES' TREES MURDERED
SLC DISCUSSING ALLOWING LIMITED CAMPING IN PARKS 
SLC FOOTHILL FIRE MITIGATION PERMITS NEED BETTER CALL2HAUL RULES
STRATFORD AVE EAST OF 1300E TO BE LOCAL SLOW TRAFFIC STREET
SLC LIBRARY PLANS TO REOPEN
SUGAR HOUSE WILL BE PERMANENT CONSTRUCTION ZONE FOR 5 YEARS

 

COMMUNITY COUNCILS NON ATTENDANCE COMPLAINTS
  During another public hearing on Peter Corroon's Cleveland Court proposal to rezone a single family home property to multi family, and that provided 8 off street parking spots for 7 apartments (many are 3 bedrooms), many more complaints emerged about the lack of notice to attend the local community council that heard and supported the proposal.  This is a constant complaint by neighbors of new projects.  The City needs to constantly remind citizens and businesses of the importance and influence of the local community councils.  I put the SLC recognized community councils in a download button but you can Google SLC community councils and get it. 
  These community councils are extremely important and influential.  Now, during the virtual meetings that they are running, it is easy to participate.  Please understand that all projects that do not meet zoning, must go to community councils.  Although not all agree to have a hearing on the projects, all projects have to give a 45 day notice to the local community council.  If neighbors do not like the project, the best place to object and influence the outcome is at the local community council.
  I like Peter Corroon more than I like this project.  This rezone to the FB-UN1 zone should not be granted since it encourages patchwork quilt zoning throughout the City.  One of the most important reasons for zoning in a City is to decrease fighting between neighbors and to assure property owners that their rights will be protected.  If they move into a single family home neighborhood, they assume (and are assured) that the area will remain a single family home neighborhood.  The FB-UN1 zone was for transit stations, not next to single family homes (even if there are some multifamily homes in the block).  SLC zoning should be respectful and reasonable.  This property should not be rezoned to FB-UN1.
  The SLC Council, after hearing many more comments against the project, closed the public hearing and differed action to another time.

 

AGAINST SECRET MEETINGS AND DECISIONS
  Several years ago, Mayor Jenny Wilson, when she was a Councilwoman, expressed frustration at a County Department that she thought was keeping secrets.  Although she has appropriately responded to the emergency of homeless and COVID 19, she has decided to keep secret the facilities that are used to alleviate issues due to this emergency.  Whether they are used by homeless or anyone else, this information is important for nearby residents and for the County's citizens to see that the County is appropriately and respectfully acting during this emergency.
  It is disrespectful to the citizens of this County to hear that elected officials don not trust us to know what is decided.  I, and I believe the majority of County citizens, do not like secret meetings and secret decisions.  The County should release the locations used to mitigate COVID 19. 
  Mayor Wilson's office responded to my concern with:
"There are several county-owned buildings across the valley that are in use as part of the COVID-19 response. Their use does not present a threat to neighborhoods or communities in any way. Some buildings are for warehousing and storage, some are alternate care sites, and some are safe social distancing facilities for people in our community who have no place else to go. The county is not publicly identifying which facilities function as what due to medical privacy concerns, and because facility uses change frequently as the needs of the response evolve."
 
UTAH PUBLIC NOTICE WEBSITE INOPERABLE FOR 2 WEEKS WITHOUT NOTICE
  Utah Interactive, which operates the Utah Public Notice Website, upgraded the website software two weeks ago and almost no one noticed that it essentially made it worthless.  Although it still gave the meeting notices, it did not allow the documents to be downloaded!  And almost no one complained for two weeks!  I did but it took another week for them to believe me.  When another complaint was received, they finally believed me and recognized that their software upgrade broke the system.  It only allowed downloads of the documents, packets and agendas in PDF formats if one removed the secure from secure.utah.gov (and the document link).  Otherwise, the attempt to download documents resulted in a technical difficulties notice.  Utah Interactive solved the issue with a newer update this week.
  The most important point should be that not enough people care about government meetings.

 

UTA CELEBRATES TRAX MILK RUN
  UTA officially agreed with Salt Lake City's plan to put in another TRAX station downtown at 650 S. Main Street (discussed over the last year in this blog).  This makes TRAX essentially a streetcar and milk run through downtown SLC.  Making a rail line a milk run is not a good way to increase mass transit ridership.
  Salt Lake Tribune's Lee Davidson had a great story on the questionable rail projects, especially the Airport TRAX line at:
https://www.sltrib.com/news/politiccs/2020/05/05/new-study-pans-airport/
  Anyone interested in mass transit should read the article.  It is a good reality check.  For years we fought against the almost $100 million flying bridge TRAX reconstruction plans for the Airport.  Even after the Acting Airport Director pointed out the unrealistic plans (pointing out that the flying bridge maintenance would require shutting down the Airport entrance and hide the beautiful new terminal), many influential people tried to push their expensive and wasteful dream.

 

UTA TO KILL BUSES FOR MONEY
  UTA is going to replace 20 diesel buses with electric battery operated vehicles using the Volkswagen settlement.  This blog discussed this over a year ago.  The plan will include funding for supporting charging infrastructure.  UTA will get 65% of the "lowest price quote for each new replacement vehicle....The total maximum combined funding assistance awarded to UTA is $13,079,240. 
  Each UTA vehicle replaced through the funding must be permanently disabled within 90 days of entering the replacement vehicle into service. To disable, each vehicle must have a three-inch by three-inch hole cut in the engine block and the chassis must be disabled by cutting through the frame rails on both sides of the vehicle between the front and rear axles. For reimbursement a certificate of destruction must be submitted."
  UTA should charge money to watch the show.

 

UTA REFUSES FREE FARE BUT HOW DO WE PAY
  Despite requiring regular passengers to use the rear doors entering and exiting buses, UTA still requires money for fare and that requires going to the front of the bus and interacting with the driver.  Instead of giving everyone free fare, which the sales taxes can cover, especially with the recent big tax increase giving 40% of transportation taxes to UTA, UTA insists of people paying when the crisis is setting mass transit ridership back a decade.
  To watch the freefall in ridership, go to UTA's data portal:
https://data-rideuta.opendata.arcgis.com/datasets/rideuta::uta-mode-level-boardings-weekday-averages

 

AIRBNB ALLOWED TO BE USED FOR ADU ADDITIONS
  Recently, the Planning Commission was required to approve the conditional use of an ADU at a home on Wasatch Blvd on the East Bench that was being used as a defacto motel through Airbnb.  The East Bench Community Council objected but were told that there was nothing that could stop it despite the fact that SLC Code Enforcement found that the homeowner was doing up to THREE short-term rentals on AirBnB in his home, and without a business license to do so. They brought this up at the meeting along with the problem with parking for tenants. The Planning Commission only required that the owner provide off-street parking for all tenants.
  Salt Lake City needs standard rules for ADUs to ensure that they don't use and haven't used Airbnb.  These rules should require more parking. 
  Salt Lake City Planning responded to complaints to the Mayor and Council with this:
 "A short term rental is allowed in the zones that allow other nightly rentals, such as hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts.  In those zones, someone has to license their unit as one of these types of uses to do nightly or short term (less than 30 days) rentals. The only residential zones that allow one of these uses (bed and breakfast) are the mixed use residential districts (RB, RMU-35, RMU_45, RMU, RO). It is possible that there could be single family dwellings in these zones.  In these zones, ADUs are permitted uses because the zones already allow duplexes, townhomes, and multi-family developments. A Bed and Breakfast is also permitted in a designated Landmark site with a conditional use. These could be in any zone but they have to be a landmark site and the building has to be over 7,000 square feet in size."
  But that does not change the issue of ADU applications are being used for Airbnb rentals and it results in higher housing costs!  Planning does not do zoning enforcement but it is handled by Civil Enforcement (within Building Services).
  Planning is a complicated issue now in Salt Lake City since it has 56 districts.  In 1927, it had 6 districts. 40% of the work in Planning is in Historic Districts.  The City has 1400 lots in the Avenues which are historic and the City is in the top ten in the Nation for Historic District lots.  The City's Planned Development projects generally happen when there is a 75 foot wide lot that is 300 feet deep.  Planning gets about 1200 land use requests a year.
 
UTAH COULD GET MORE RADIACTIVE WASTE FROM ESTONIA
 "Energy Fuels, which is incorporated in Canada and headquartered in Colorado, recently applied for permits to store more radioactive material in its impoundment ponds, including waste imported from the country of Estonia. A public comment period on the company’s application runs through June 5 with the Utah Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control." (Google it and please tell them not to allow foreign radioactive material in Utah.

 

1100 EAST TRACES' TREES MURDERED
  The old Traces gift shop and nursery on 1100 East took out most of the mature trees in the property and no one, not even the community council complained!  Even if the City plants a thousand new miniature 2" trees a year, the City appears to be losing thousands of mature trees due to construction!  The City used to be called a Tree City.

 

SLC DISCUSSING ALLOWING LIMITED CAMPING IN PARKS 
  Salt Lake City is discussing allowing a limited camping in parks for the homeless.  At the same time, the Health Department along with the Police disrupted homeless camping in Sugar House Park at the beginning of April!  I, and I think most people, believe that the best place for homeless to camp in tents or in their vehicles would be near the homeless services in the Rio Grande area.

 

SLC FOOTHILL FIRE MITIGATION PERMITS NEED BETTER CALL2HAUL RULES
  The Salt Lake City Council is setting a public hearing date for Wildfire Mitigation.  Permits for Wildfire Mitigation should include dumpsters for removing scrub oak cuttings that are difficult to fit in garbage cans.  Call2Haul does not allow them.  Please tell the City Council at the public hearing on June 2 to include Call2Haul flexibility.  The East Bench Community Council has expressed concern many times about this issue.

 

STRATFORD AVE EAST OF 1300E TO BE LOCAL SLOW TRAFFIC STREET
  Salt Lake City has announced another local traffic only street.  It is Stratford Avenue from 1300 East to 2000 East.  Unfortunately, there are several businesses that may be impacted by that.  It will take a while to see the effect.

 

SLC LIBRARY PLANS TO REOPEN
  SLCPL Public Library has announced plans to reopen in phases.  When the Library is convinced that there are enough disinfecting products, and personal protective equipment to support operations, they will start staffing a building at a time and start taking and processing library returns.  There will be quarantining and disinfecting procedures in place.  The Library hopes to start by the end of May.
  Then, after successful operations of above, there will be curbside pickup of materials.  Locations will be phased for opening one by one but not all at once.  After those are operated successfully, the Library will allow a limited number of patrons in the building at a time and requiring masks (if legal allows it).  There will be employee protections in place.
  When governments decide that it is appropriate, occupancy limits will be relaxed.  Small groups may be allowed to use a room but larger group use will probably wait for a while.

 

SUGAR HOUSE WILL BE PERMANENT CONSTRUCTION ZONE FOR 5 YEARS
  I put the Sugar House projects for SLC and UDOT in the downloads section in the right.  The first page is a map of all of the construction and road and highway projects for Sugar House in the next 5 years.  It means that Sugar House will be a permanent construction zone for the next 5 years. 
  The 1300 E. and 1700 E bridges will be replaced.  The 2000 East bridge, in coordination with SLC's 2000 East project, will be replaced.  Those bridges and the resurfacing/reconstruction of I80 with low noise pavement, will take place over 2 summers to avoid school traffic.  The City also is planning to put in a new water line on 2100 South from 700 East to 1700 East.  Highland will have sewer line work.  There will be many streets in the area reconstructed or resurfaced. 

 

APRIL 19, 2020
UTA SECRETLY PLANNING LEHI DRAPER TRAX WITH EIS GRANT APPLICATION
LEGISLATURE URGES STATE AGENCIES TO REFRAIN FROM NEW EXPENDITURES
UTA PAYING $20 PER RIDER SUBSIDY FOR RIDERS
LEGISLATURE SHOULD MANDATE FREE FARE TO SAVE TRANSIT IN UTAH
WHERE DO THE HOMELESS GO WHEN THEY TEST POSITIVE FOR THE VIRUS
SECRET MEETINGS AND DECISIONS AGAIN INVOLVING HOMELESS
DID EARTHQUAKES AFFECT PRISON BUILDING SITE?
PUBLIC HEARING CONTINUED ON CLEVELAND COURT REZONE WITHOUT PARKING 
2166 SOUTH PROJECT ADDS SECRET THIRD FLOOR AND REMOVES PUBLIC SPACE
SLC FOOTHILL TRAILS PROJECT SHOULD HAVE PRIORITY OVER BYWAYS
BUSINESSES WANT UNSAFE TWO WAY SHARED STREET CONCEPT FOR MCCLELLAND 
LIBERTY PARK BASKETBALL HOOPS REMOVED DUE TO PARTY GAME


UTA SECRETLY PLANNING LEHI DRAPER TRAX WITH EIS GRANT APPLICATION
  UTA's Board of Trustees have approved a grant application for the BUILD program with the Federal Transit Agency to fund an EIS for the Point of the Mountain project.  Although it is supposed to wait for the study on the potential projects and alignment, UTA is committing to building a project that will probably be a rail line, the TRAX from Lehi to Draper that has a lot of pressure from those with political influence and property in the area.  The legislators that own property plan commercial and residential areas but have resisted using assessment fees and seem to want taxpayers to fund their dream projects that will theoretically increase their properties' value.  There will be many millionaires made with the project.  The BUILD grant application is for around $200,000.  The U.S. Cares Act, the stimulus package passed by the Congress, provides billions in funding to transit agencies without any match required.  I expect UTA to try for many more applications for funds for projects.  The Federal Rail Agency has just announced a $311 million dollar fund available for transit agencies.
  I and I believe the majority of UTA transit riders are against the BUILD Grant Application for Point of the Mountain Transit Environmental Study.  UTA should stop all projects during this emergency and focus everything on providing bus service as much as possible.  If you have any comments to the Board, their email is boardoftrustees@rideuta.com.
  In addition, the Station Center Project and UTA/TOD proposal (authorized by Sen. Harper's SB150) should be postponed during this emergency.

LEGISLATURE URGES STATE AGENCIES TO REFRAIN FROM NEW EXPENDITURES
  Interestingly enough, after I commented to the Board about putting off projects until after the emergency, one of the first bills that the special session of the Legislature passed was HJR301.  It "urges state agencies; state and local government entities; state boards,  ...to: limit expenditures to essential costs during the remainder of the fiscal year ....avoid unnecessary spending during the remainder of the fiscal year ...refrain from committing to new or expanded expenditures for the fiscal year".  HJR301 was enrolled April 17th.  Essentially, the Legislature is telling every public agency to "refrain from new expenditures, including, projects like rail, TODs and other projects that are not as important now, compared to the serious decrease in sales tax revenue that is expected over the next few years while we recover our economy.  
  Despite this Resolution, UTA's Board, with pressure from influential leaders in the State, seems intent on using sales tax money to build more rail projects and buildings.  This includes the parking garage next to the Rio Grande area and several BRT projects.  The Transportation Commission is also considering funding the BRT projects around the State.  The funds could be and should be used for roadway projects but the Legislature has authorized the Transportation Commission to use those funds for transit projects.  I was the only one who commented against those transit projects at the Transportation Commission and more should argue against the funding.  Please consider telling the transportationcommission@utah.gov what you think about funding these projects when we should be tightening our belt.  The Commission is meeting April 24th.

UTA PAYING $20 PER RIDER SUBSIDY FOR RIDERS
  UTA has claimed that their "experiment" to provide more transit options in the southwest part of Salt Lake County is a great success.  In reality, it has resulted in an average of $20 subsidy for each rider.  This has got to be a record.  Unfortunately, it is not.  There are claims that some FrontRunner trains are running with fewer than 10 passengers!  (UTA says FrontRunner ridership is down over 85%.)  So that means that UTA is paying hundreds of dollars per rider to ride FrontRunner!  It may even be $1000 per rider subsidy.
  Transit ridership is down over 70% as of last week and may take a decade to return to the 3% of citizens using transit.  Personal vehicle use will increase due to the decline of transit service and social distancing encouragement and it will be difficult to recover transit ridership.  That is another reason not to invest in projects but focus on bus service.  No matter how many hundreds of millions that UTA spends on projects, ridership will not return when it is competing with pandemic fears and the enjoyment of the freedom and efficiency that a new personal vehicle brings.  
  UTA should reevaluate if all day FrontRunner and TRAX makes cost effective sense if only 10 passengers ride the trains.  UTA should consider using express buses on freeways to substitute for rail service if it is more cost effective.  Taxpayers will never forgive spending a thousand dollars subsidy per rider on FrontRunner.
  Hundreds of millions of dollars are being planned by UTA for projects that include double tracking FrontRunner and electrifying the trains (which involve billions) and include spending billions on the Lehi Draper TRAX extension.
   I acknowledge the serious issues facing UTA but I urge UTA to stop all projects and focus all funding on bus service.

LEGISLATURE SHOULD MANDATE FREE FARE TO SAVE TRANSIT IN UTAH
   Loss of a robust bus system will result in many buying cars which will set back mass transit use a decade.  I suggest that the Legislature or UTA implement free bus fares in order for bus drivers to not have to interface or deal with riders.  The free fare cards that are provided to low income and homeless need to be punched by drivers which is another situation that should be avoided.

WHERE DO THE HOMELESS GO WHEN THEY TEST POSITIVE FOR THE VIRUS
  Several weeks ago, the emergency homeless shelter had reports of a lot of the users hearing a lot of coughing at night.  Anyone could have guessed what that means.  Like many of the homeless shelters around the Country, the homeless shelters are a perfect incubator for getting and spreading COVAD 19.  At times (until April 15 when it was supposed to close) up to 175 homeless used the Sugar House emergency shelter at night.
  We have asked many times over the last 5 years to allow use, for the homeless, of the many vacant buildings and properties that SLC RDA owns near the Weigand and Vincent DePaul Centers and Fourth Street Clinic (7 of 15 acres - some properties vacant for decades). 
  When the homeless start exhibiting signs of the virus, others that are in contact with that person cannot just isolate themselves in emergency shelters or resource centers.  They will need an area to allow them to keep (6 feet or more) away from others.  The best option, in my opinion, is to allow them an area to camp, in their tents or cars or area that they can live in near to homeless services.  Salt Lake City should plan and consider on providing a camping area near to the concentration of homeless services now.  
  Of Course, if the homeless are going to be allowed to camp anywhere (and the City now seems to be allowing open air camping), they should be encouraged to camp near services which includes proper sanitation systems including hand washing stations.  It took way too long for the City and County to provide them for the hepatitis outbreak.

SECRET MEETINGS AND DECISIONS AGAIN INVOLVING HOMELESS
  I hate secret meetings and secret decisions.  Salt Lake County Mayor Wilson has provided one of the silliest reasons for her decision to rent, at a very reasonable cost, a secret hotel for the homeless to self isolate.  She has said that she can't tell anyone where it is since it would violate the homeless privacy rights!  I think that the decision was appropriate and reasonable but the reasoning to keep it secret was silly and dangerous.  Government decisions should not be secret.  She may be a good Mayor but she is opening up  a big argument against her continuing to be Mayor.

DID EARTHQUAKES AFFECT PRISON BUILDING SITE?
  Despite all of the earthquake news, along with lots of aftershocks, no one seems to have checked on the status of the new prison that is being built on land that is perfect for acting like quicksand during a nearby earthquake.  And the Magna 5.7 earthquake was near enough to be destructive of building on soil that has been recently compacted on soil that was never compacted and is like quicksand when shaken.  Someone needs to check and verify what the damage was to the new prison building.

PUBLIC HEARING CONTINUED ON CLEVELAND COURT REZONE WITHOUT PARKING 
  Sometimes bad developments happen to good people.  The Cleveland Court project that is near 1400 South and 300 East is one of those projects.  It makes one of my favorite developers look bad.  It had so many speakers argue against it that the City Council kept the public hearing open and is expected to have another hearing on it on May 5.
  This proposal misuses the FB-UN1 zone and should be rejected.  Parking is important in the single family home neighborhood.
In addition the front and rear and garage setbacks create what I call a modern brutalist architecture that is not appropriate in an area that is trying to protect the many single family home zoning in the area.  This rezone WILL encourage destruction of the blocks of single family home zoning across the street.
  Similar higher density housing in the area has become run down and attracts a lot of criminal activity and has caused a reputation of criminal activity.  The area already has problem controlling crime in the area and increasing density would exacerbate the situation.
  Ironically, State Street is a few blocks away and could, should and would provide better mixed use and mixed income housing and that should be the priority.
  This project WILL replace a single family home.  Single family home neighborhoods should be protected and walkable neighborhoods with mixed use and mixed income should be encouraged on streets like State Street.  Look at the pictures in the Staff Report.  They show single family homes surrounding the project.  Multi-family units within 3 blocks is not a good reason to destroy a single family home neighborhood.
  A majority of a significant number of neighbors that attended the Planning Commission were furious at the proposal (many more than 2) and also commented against it during the City Council meeting.  Good government should not be making citizens angry.
And I still love Peter Corroon (the developer).

2166 SOUTH PROJECT ADDS SECRET THIRD FLOOR AND REMOVES PUBLIC SPACE
  There is a rebuild project at 2166 South 900 East that is converting a commercial space to a two floor restaurant.  Unfortunately, during the confusion caused by the COVAD19 pandemic, the City is ignoring proper inspections and seems to be allowing a secret, non-approved rooftop facility with railing and three accessory structures.  It supposedly is a bar.  It is not on the approved permit and the permit allows the landowner/builder to lease property next to the sidewalk, literally, for a raised patio that is about 3 feet wide.  So the City is giving away space that should be used for wider sidewalks that are recommended for the area and allowing it to be used for the restaurant!  There is a vaping shop next door and I want to see what happens when a person that is smoking or vaping on public property on the sidewalk is next to the diners.  Zoning is supposed to be used to decrease conflicts between citizens.  This project seems to be meant to increase the conflicts between citizens.

SLC FOOTHILL TRAILS PROJECT SHOULD HAVE PRIORITY OVER BYWAYS
  During one of the recent SLC City Council meetings, there were several grant applications for bicycling amenities that impacted personal vehicle travel.  In addition, Budget Amendment 4 had some money ($300,000) for the SLC Foothill Trails program.  That project should have more money and the City should be applying to the federal government for some of the funds in the stimulus act.  The federal government is expected to pass another stimulus bill that encompasses more infrastructure, and the majority of SLC suggestions for using the funding should go to the potential for a world class Salt Lake Foothill Trails System.  I support the $300,000 budget amendment for the Plan but more should be going towards it.
  There are several grant applications that I am against.  Grant Applications for the 600/700 N FTN and 800 E Byway are questionable.  The Grant Application for the 600/700 N FTN should stop if buses cannot reach the curb.  UTA's managers in charge of the leased bus tires have expressed concern about scuffing of the tires and have ordered drivers to stay one to 4 feet from the curb!  So, even a million dollar bus stop is a waste of money if riders have to step further down into the street and further up onto a bus.  It will discourage ridership.  The $228,000 grant application should be used to provide more frequent bus service.
  The 800 E. Neighborhood Byway is already walkable and the $210,000 is a lot of money that could be better spent.  If the money is to be used to install right hand only turns, I and I think the neighborhoods are against it.  The 600 East Bicycle Boulevard plan did not make clear that there would be right hand only turns installed and they increase pollution.  SLC should not increase air pollution.

BUSINESSES WANT UNSAFE TWO WAY SHARED STREET CONCEPT FOR MCCLELLAND 
  Last year, the Sugar House Community Council Transportation Committee approved a suggestion for the the McClelland Street reconstruction that would provide a shared street and a slow one way (going south) road that could be pedestrian and bicycle friendly.  The adjacent businesses were against it and the plan is now for a two way shared street!  A two way shared street is incredibly unsafe.  And the suggestion that the left hand turn from 2100 S to McClelland going south be stopped has been reconsidered since the businesses want it.  But that is one of the most dangerous corners for pedestrians!  The City seems to be making it safer for pedestrians at many other intersections on 2100 South but on the McClelland, so called walkable street, safety is planned to go downhill!

LIBERTY PARK BASKETBALL HOOPS REMOVED DUE TO PARTY GAME
  Okay, so some people are ignoring the social distancing directives and orders and have been seen playing basketball.  The City has responded, after complaints, by taking down the Liberty Park basketball hoops!!!  So one on one between family members (son or daughter and parents) are outlawed and now impossible.  That is another reason to have a single family home and yard that allows things like basketball.  Other problems at Liberty Park include the keep off the playground signs have been removed (apartment dwellers have no other way for their kids to play) and the fence around the southeast fountain keeps getting torn down. 
  I keep hearing complaints from virtual meeting participants that some park goers are walking their dogs in the park and playing with their kids in the park.  I think that people should not try to tell others what to do and follow the Governor's suggestion of using good sense.  That's why he issued a directive and not an order.  PLEASE DO NOT GO UP TO SOMEONE WITH A DOG AND TELL THEM TO GO BACK INSIDE AND SELF ISOLATE THEMSELVES.  I keep thinking that someone is going to get bitten by a dog while confronting their owner.  People don't need to be reminded about the pandemic.  They know and it can be just as dangerous getting in the face of someone who you think is acting dangerously.  I have heard several people claim that they have tried talking to others about social distancing in the park.

 

MARCH 19, 2020
SLC OFFERS $7.5 MIL FOR ALLEN PARK
MILLCREEK SAYS SLC WILL DO SECRET ROAD DIET ON HIGHLAND
ANTI CELLPHONE BILL DIES AFTER OPED PUBLISHED
LEG, UTA & SLC GIVE PRIORITY TO SPENDING TRANSIT MONEY TO BUILDINGS
EFFORT DIES TO GIVE DEVELOPERS MORE TRANSPORTATION MONEY FOR PARKING LOTS
LEGISLATURE CELEBRATES ELECTRIC VEHICLES WHILE NICKEL AND DIMEING THEM
LEGISLATURE MAY PUSH SLCO 3 DISPATCHES TO COMBINE
SLC QUESTIONS ALLOWING 190 FOOT BUILDING IN RIO GRANDE AREA
SLC MAYOR TEACHES COLD HEARTED A LESSON
SLC POISED TO ALLOW DEVELOPERS NO PARKING REQUIREMENTS
SLC IGNORES SUGAR HOUSE PUSH FOR WIDER SIDEWALKS
SLC PUSHES PROTECTED BIKE LANES
BETTER ANTI GAMBLING BILL MAY HIT CRIME SLC MAGNET
ANTI CATALYTIC AND MAIL THEFT BILLS DIE
DOGS STILL BANNED IN CANYONS
WHY USE SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETERS DURING EMERGENCIES
MORE SLC ALLEY VACATIONS
HUNDREDS OF CARS STOLEN LAST YEAR WITH KEYS OR RUNNING
UTA STILL REFUSES TO PAY DRIVERS REASONABLE RESPECTFUL SALARY 
SAFETY STOPS AUTONOMOUS SHUTTLE BUT ALLOWS SIMILAR BUSES
EASTSIDE SLC DOWN 17 COPS IN FEBRUARY
LEGISLATURE PUSHES PATCHWORK QUILT OF TIMEZONES
UTA SHOULD PROVIDE FREE FARES TO DECREASE DISEASE SPREAD
17TH SOUTH ROAD DIET ON HOLD DUE TO COST
ANTI DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BILL SB 46 DIES IN LEGISLATURE
LEGISLATURE FINALLY PASSES ANTI PREDATORY TOWING BILL

SLC OFFERS $7.5 MIL FOR ALLEN PARK
  SLC has submitted an offer to the Court appointed fiduciary for Allen Park
From the Council briefing document yesterday:
"A 7-acre parcel is being considered for purchase in Salt Lake City. Last summer, a fiduciary was assigned to sell the property and has engaged a local real estate agent to list the property for an undetermined amount where all "highest and best" offers were submitted July 31, 2019. The City engaged an MAI appraiser to estimate the value based on the development and infrastructure limitations that came in at $6,990,000 not considering development limitations. However, based on current high demand for the property and the outpouring of public support for the City to purchase the property coupled with a rapidly increasing real estate market, a Letter of Intent has been submitted at the Mayor's request for an offer amount at $7,500,000. In a previous budget amendment, budget amendment #1 of this fiscal year, $4,000,000 was allocated. Public Utilities contributed $1,000,000 and $3,000,000 came from parks impact fees. This budget amendment is requesting an additional $3,500,000 from parks impact fees.
A signed Letter of Intent has been sent to the fiduciary in behalf or the City pending approval of this budget amendment."
  During discussion with the Council, it was stated that the City originally offered $4 million and it was declined in favor of another offer that was withdrawn (theoretically the developer).  The City attorney asked for limited public information until the public hearing but the Council took a straw poll and everyone was for the City going forward with the purchase although, officially, the City can decide next Tuesday after the public hearing in order to make it official and legal.  If the City needs to move faster, the Mayor can contact the Council for quicker legal permission.
  Good news all around.

MILLCREEK SAYS SLC WILL DO SECRET ROAD DIET ON HIGHLAND
  Millcreek City is about to restripe Highland Drive to improve traffic flow and encourage safer bicycling.  It is essentially a test and will result in the grinding down of the present lane markings and repainting for this plan.  Millcreek will test the new layout and it may change the final plan after a year or two.
  I put the Highland Drive Study in the upper left TRANSPORTATION DOWNLOADS.  But Millcreek has also said that it expects Salt Lake City to also restripe the portion of Highland Drive north of 3000 South that Salt Lake City owns.  Millcreek has had several public outreach events and a public hearing last week but Salt Lake City has had no public hearings or engagement. 
  The first discussion with the Sugar House Community Council was Monday during a ZOOM virtual meeting.  Several participants expressed interest but others expressed concern.  The City's representative and project leader, Lynn Jacobs, said that Salt Lake City was concerned that the roadway in Salt Lake City is in worse condition than the Millcreek portion and the Millcreek plan to temporarily grind down the present striping is not wise for the poor condition of the Salt Lake portion of the roadway.  In addition, there has been no public engagement and very few people know about this plan so Salt Lake City was not planning as of this week on restriping the roadway.
  But Millcreek is operating on the assumption (this week) that a restriping of Highland must be and will be coordinated and done with Salt Lake City and is planning on starting the restriping in April!
  My concerns about the plan are below.  It is not a good plan.
Comments on proposed road diet on Highland Drive
Buses need a turnout lane to allow traffic to pass when picking up passengers.  When the 1300 East road diet was implemented, buses were so frustrated at the traffic backup that they stopped in the middle of the lane (making transit riders work/walk to the bus in the street and discouraging mass transit ridership) and backed up traffic (that was already backed up).  That resulted in vehicles sometimes taking 15 minutes to go 4 blocks which led to significantly higher pollution levels.
Only allow left hand turns and lanes at cross streets.  All businesses should be encouraged to use side streets for in/out to decrease potential backups with one lanes configuration (2100 South backs up at 1250 East due to that problem).
Encourage right hand turns only in most cross streets to decrease pedestrian and bicycle dangers (and accidents).
Reconfiguration should not decrease service of street grade.
No road diet without broad public engagement and significant notification of local residents and businesses and community councils.
Removing left hand turn lanes except at cross streets will allow wider bike lanes and decrease pedestrian (and bicyclist) conflicts and accidents.
WFRC projected ADT on Richmond appears extremely low.  I would say that it has doubled in the last ten years.
Right hand turns only should be allowed on Richmond due to the high speed limit (and the speed should be reduced south of Elgin.
Projected completion of development seems too optimistic.  Sugar House targeted development took almost 20 years.  Millcreek is competing with SLC's Station Center and Ballpark, South Salt Lake City and Murray.
(Although finding a way to create a special character that would attract mixed use would help.)
All development should be mixed use and mixed income or a road diet may increase problems.  ADT can double if all new buildings are apartments.  The projected apartments vrs commercial/retail space seem low.  Avoid zombie buildings with lack of ground floor retail/restaurants.
The Mountair proposal on the east side should really be a super wide sidewalk with ability to host food trucks (with power outlets) to encourage public engagement.  I don't think residents east of Mountair want to open their street to more pedestrian traffic.
During discussions at SLC RDA on the Richmond Street affordable apartments loan, RDA was asked to ensure that pedestrian and bicycle paths to Brickyard be addressed for safety.
Road diets should only be realistically considered for roads with maximum hourly traffic of less than 700 vehicles (750 from federal government).  Highland appears to be approaching that figure.  3300 South seems to have similar traffic volumes according to the Highland Drive Corridor Traffic Impact Study.  If so, a road diet should not be considered.  UDOT obviously should be providing feedback on this proposal.  What do they think??
Adding more right hand turn lanes on Highland (at cross streets) may help decrease potential backups.  Any curb cuts/entrances to businesses (right hand turn only exits) should have a right hand turn lane, even if it interferes with a bike lane.  The purpose is to decrease stop and go traffic and pollution.
No roundabouts should be considered since they appear to decrease walkability.  
Crosswalks should be fewer due to potential to increase traffic interference.
Raised center landscaped median is a maintenance nightmare and decreases valuable bike lane widths.
Curb extensions/bulbouts interfere with bicycling/lanes.  They tend to force bicyclists into traffic increasing danger.
Soren Simonsen had some ideas on this when he was on SLC Council and should be contacted for input if he hasn't been before.
Pedestrian access to and from adjacent neighborhoods is not inhibited.
Businesses should first be encouraged to allow long term parking, even for drivers that want to shop next door or down the street.  It ensures walkability.
Ensure that any road diet does not increase pollution with a full analysis of any lane reconfiguration.
I like "consolidating business accesses" but they should all have access from side streets.  I like closing driveways, especially near cross streets.  I like bus pull out lanes but note that UTA is having a Jekyl/Hyde moment - they are telling drivers to stay 1-4 feet from the curb so bus stop amenities are a waste of time.  All curbs should be vertical.
Wider shared sidewalks should allow for kids and families to bike safely with pedestrians on the sidewalks.  There is a difference between commuter bicyclists and recreational cyclists.
There should not be access to businesses near the intersections to allow for longer left hand turn lanes. (Highland/33rd and 1300E/33rd have these conflicts.)
Highland needs a right hand and left hand turn lane in both directions on 33rd South.  Too much traffic is turning left and right.  Any bike box or other bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure should not interfere with traffic or increase pollution.
Note that Fehr and Peers proposal to remove the Highland Drive 2100 South right hand turn lane significantly increased backups and pollution.
5 foot bike lanes are too small.  They should be 8 feet to allow side by side bicycling.
Miller Avenue from Brickyard Rd should be reconfigured to have one light and a straight connection to Brickyard Rd to decrease traffic accident potential.

ANTI CELLPHONE BILL DIES AFTER OPED PUBLISHED
  Rep. Moss's HB101 has been killed a couple of days after the Salt Lake Tribune published my opinion piece against decreasing the penalties for texting and driving and making all cell phone use (without hands free technology) while driving illegal.  The plan makes all cell phone use in hands while driving an infraction.  Now the law says that it is illegal to use a cellphone while driving and violating traffic laws.  The proposed bill was supposed to make all use of cell phones in drivers' hands illegal.
  During the first Legislative committee hearing, several law enforcement personnel said that they observed drivers violating traffic laws while using phones (and an IPAD!) but felt that they couldn't give a ticket since they couldn't prove that the violation was related to cell phone use!  They even mentioned that they observed a truck driver driving while talking on a hand held cell phone.  That is already a federal crime and that driver should have been ticketed and fired.  I know that UTA has fired several bus drivers for using a cellphone while stopped, parked and waiting for the next run!  This law is not needed.  We don't need more laws to force enforcement, we just need the laws we have enforced.
  Lee Davidson had a great story on it in the SLTrib.  But the opinion piece ran in Friday's paper and the bill was sent to Senate rules after the second reading vote to approve it (bills generally require 3 readings and votes) on Tuesday.  Since it had a fiscal note over $10,000, the last day that it could be considered was the next day.  It is my understanding that there was enough concern about the bill in the Legislature and by constituents, that there was no taste for a big argument about it and it died in Senate rules.
  The link to the Salt Lake Tribune commentary is:
https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2020/03/05/george-chapman-cell-phone/

LEG, UTA & SLC GIVE PRIORITY TO SPENDING TRANSIT MONEY TO BUILDINGS
  Senator Wayne Harper has had several great bills this session.  They include the anti-predatory towing bill (see below) and a public safety retirement bill that increases options to increase the retention of public safety personnel.  But Senator Harper's SB150 is not a good bill.  It gives UTA the ability to assist developers by spending money and providing land to developers for projects called transit oriented developments (TODs - are supposed to increase transit use and the federal government gave UTA money to buy property for transit use).  The Legislature previously limited TODs supported by UTA to 8.  SB150 removes the limit.
  The last audit of UTA, in 2014, and the reason that the federal government insisting on a federal monitor, was questionable deals between UTA and developers that utilized federal money used to purchase property.  
  UTA has given property in the past to developers for so called TODs that are really zombie buildings that do not encourage mass transit use.  They are apartments without any ground floor engagement which does not encourage walkability and the result is no encouragement to use mass transit.
  At the same time, UTA is limiting rail transit use because the parking lots of many FrontRunner and TRAX stations are full and UTA would rather save the land for projects with developers instead of expanding parking lots.  For instance, UTA's Roy FrontRunner station has acres of vacant property that could be used to expand the usually full parking lot.  But Roy and UTA want to encourage development of buildings.  This bill allows it and it passed the Legislature and awaits the Governor's signature.  There are many other stations that have parking lots that are usually full.
  SB150 also reinforces the increase in electric vehicle registration fees (see below) and it also allows Uber and Lyft vehicles at the SLC Airport to be stopped and inspected.  The early version also increased rental vehicle taxes but that was dropped in the enrolled version.  I put UTA's presentation in the TRANSPORTATION DOWNLOADS.  It makes the highest priority project SLC RDA's Station Center (used to be called Depot District) Rio Grande area.  Other area possible projects include the 1300 South Ballpark station (see last page for list of projects and priority).

EFFORT DIES TO GIVE DEVELOPERS MORE TRANSPORTATION MONEY FOR PARKING LOTS
  Senator Cullimore failed to pass SB108 which would have encouraged transportation funds to be used for parking lots in his Cottonwood Heights area (which already had parking lot funding for former Senate President Wayne Niederhauser's Canyon Center project).  This bill would have pulled together transportation project surplus funding (not needed for projects) and put it into a loan fund to encourage more developer parking lot projects.  It would have made Wayne Niederhauser and the Legislature look bad, in my opinion.  Despite SLCO Transportation's support, it died.  

LEGISLATURE CELEBRATES ELECTRIC VEHICLES WHILE NICKEL AND DIMEING THEM
  The Legislature celebrated their efforts to encourage electric vehicle use by allowing Rocky Mountain Power to use customer funding to support building more charging stations.  But at the same time, the Legislature repeated the plan to significantly increase electric and hybrid vehicle registration fees (with SB150) since electric vehicles do not pay their fair share of road use.  Big rigs pay over ten thousand dollars a year for road taxes and many in the Legislature feel that electric vehicles will take over the roads and Utah will not be able to pay for roads.  In my opinion, Utah will probably not get over 5% electric vehicle use.  Trucks and SUVs (according to Ford) will take over.  Essentially, the Legislature is on the fence on electric vehicles.  The road usage charge test has 500 signing up but it still seems unrealistic.  It will be interesting to see the result.  Oregon had 5000 sign up but the results weren't encouraging with a lot of extra tracking costs.

LEGISLATURE MAY PUSH SLCO 3 DISPATCHES TO COMBINE
  Senator Harper also sponsored SB130, which encourage the Utah Communications Authority to fix the issues that the 911 audit found last year in emergency dispatch centers.  In one case, a Park City heart attack victim call was routed to Salt Lake County VECC dispatch (cell phone towers switch calls to the dispatch center that takes the most calls).  But when VECC realized that the victim was in Park City, it was switched to the Park City Police.  But medical in Summit County and Park City is handled by Summit COunty and valuable time was lost in the process.  The House committee (Public Utilities) strongly recommended that the Legislative Audit Team return during interim and report on the resolution of the problems.  SB130 provides authority to the Utah Communications Authority to encourage solutions.  The best solution would be one 911/emergency dispatch in Salt Lake County (which has 3 emergency systems now).  Weber and Morgan County combined their 911 systems with great results.

SLC QUESTIONS ALLOWING 190 FOOT BUILDING IN RIO GRANDE AREA
  SLC RDA owns 7 of 15 acres in the Rio Grande area and is having an argument about allowing a developer to build a higher project than presently allowed in the area.  But much of the RDA owned property is vacant and has been for decades.  SLC should not be arguing with a developer about how high a building can be.  The present height limit is 120 feet.  The developer wants to build 190 feet.  SLC RDA seems to be waiting to develop the whole area with UTA instead of allowing piecemeal development.  Building anything would decrease the crime that comes with vacant buildings.

SLC MAYOR TEACHES COLD HEARTED A LESSON

  I have fought with Erin Mendenhall often over the last few years but I have to say that her recent actions have been amazing.  The homeless were recently faced with the Leonardo turning on the sprinklers to "test the system" when it was obviously an attempt to punish the homeless camping by the Leonardo and encourage them to move.  Despite denying that the decision was cold hearted, it was obvious that it was directed at the homeless.  Although the SLCPD were asked to warn the homeless campers before the sprinklers were turned on (in the dead of winter), when some didn't move, the new Mayor saw the sprinklers on and irrigating the homeless and ordered the sprinklers turned off.  She had City staff do it since it appeared that the Leonardo was unable to?  Way to go Mayor Mendenhall.  This is a great reason to throw out the Leonardo from the City owned building.

SLC POISED TO ALLOW DEVELOPERS NO PARKING REQUIREMENTS
  Peter Corroon is one of the good guy developers in the City.  I have known and worked with him (when he was County Mayor) for over 10 years.  But his plan to only provide 8 parking spaces for a property called Cleveland Court near 1350 South and 300 East when present zoning says that 13 spaces are required is wrong.  The request to rezone the property to FB-UN1, (which has no parking requirements and is meant to be for mixed use near rail stations - to encourage walkability), is wrong and makes this request a bad development.  The public hearing is on April 7.  The rezone should be denied.  Sometimes bad developments happen to good people.

SLC IGNORES SUGAR HOUSE PUSH FOR WIDER SIDEWALKS
  The Sugar House Business District Design Standards are in the process of being changed but several residents of the area argued against the changes since they do not include wider sidewalks that were in the Sugar House Circulation and Amenities Plan.  The new design standards do not force ground floor retail and restaurants and public engagement and therefore destroy the character of Sugar House which started with window shopping.

SLC PUSHES PROTECTED BIKE LANES
  Salt Lake City is applying for grants from the County Transportation funds to build more protected bike lanes.  But the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety reports that they can be unsafe when there are many driveways.  Unfortunately, they also cannot be maintained properly and regularly by the City.  They also limit emergency maneuvers by bicyclists when trying to avoid crashes.  There was one good plan, I thought, and it was for the Main Street going up to Capitol Hill from the Temple grounds.  That street needs a separated bike lane and there are few driveways.  Ensign Peak is a world-famous destination and the route needs a better safe cycling system.  The 45 degree angle parking on East Capitol Boulevard is dangerous for bicyclists.  Unfortunately, the separated bike lane only goes to the Capitol (high vehicle traffic during rush hours make it dangerous for cyclists past the Capitol.
  Priority to encourage more cycling in Salt Lake City should be given to a pedestrian/cycling bridge over the 900 South railroad tracks.  And the 9 Line Trail.  And what happened to the Mayor's pet project, the McClelland Trail to Brickyard.  Nothing so far in the grant applications.  SLC should not be applying for grants for projects that it cannot maintain properly.

BETTER ANTI GAMBLING BILL MAY HIT CRIME SLC MAGNET
  Senator Mayne's bill to expand the definition of gambling machines that are illegal in Utah passed the Legislature and may help stop the loitering around Wayne's Corner (13th South and State) that is protecting some of the drug dealing and crime in the area.  When police try to break up the loitering, they say they are waiting for the machines.  Hopefully, this bill will give the SLCPD more ammunition to fight the crime magnets of the State.

ANTI CATALYTIC AND MAIL THEFT BILLS DIE
  Several good bills died in this last Legislative session.  They include the bill that required anyone turning in a catalytic converter for scrap (and getting around a hundred dollars) to provide ID and proof that they owned a car it came from and a bill that increased penalties for identity theft by stealing mail.  Both died.

DOGS STILL BANNED IN CANYONS
  Rep. Acton's bill to allow dogs in the Wasatch Canyons if they stay in the car died due to the Forest Service insisting that it is enforcing the federal ban on dogs in the Canyons.  But Park City allows dogs on their trails, in the watershed.  The Forest Service is pressuring Park City to make all dogs illegal on their trails.  In addition, Park City has said that it is okay to travel with a dog from Park City, over Guardsman Pass and into Salt Lake City via the Canyon, but the Forest Service is telling Park City to stop saying that.  
  Interestingly, Salt Lake County allows a limited number of dog permits for $100 for property owners in the Canyons.  Ironically, sheep are allowed in the Canyons and dogs are usually with sheep.  
  Despite the bigger danger from lack of appropriate restrooms for the 6 million visitors a year in the Canyons and not enough law enforcement to stop the graffiti, Salt Lake City contends that it would be almost impossible to stop dogs in the Canyons unless they banned them in cars.

WHY USE SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETERS DURING EMERGENCIES
  If you have been watched elected officials making statements about our recent and continuing emergencies, you may have noticed a plethora of sign language interpreters.  But most hearing impaired would benefit more from digital displays of the text, like closed captioning systems on TV.  Why isn't that being used?

MORE SLC ALLEY VACATIONS
  Salt Lake City Council will take up several more alley vacations in the next few months.  It appears that the Ballpark Community is pushing one but a crime magnet motel is bordering the alleyway and may stop the effort.  One is Sugar House/East Liberty Park seems more likely since it is already encroached by individual property owners building fences.

HUNDREDS OF CARS STOLEN LAST YEAR WITH KEYS OR RUNNING
  The SLCPD is again reminding vehicle owners that they are getting hundreds of vehicles stolen every year with the keys in the car (running or parked)!  In the first two months of this year, the Police report almost 100 stolen.  Please do not leave keys in the car.

UTA STILL REFUSES TO PAY DRIVERS REASONABLE RESPECTFUL SALARY 
  As of March 18, UTA and the bus drivers' union have not reached agreement on a new salary contract.  Hope is dimming since the Covad 19 is actually cutting transit use by over 50% in some cases.  It may stay that way for a year.  So the plan to expand service seems to be put on the backburner.

SAFETY STOPS AUTONOMOUS SHUTTLE BUT ALLOWS SIMILAR BUSES
  UTA stopped operation of their autonomous shuttle after the federal government expressed concern about the danger to riders in a crash, even a low speed crash.  Unlike regular buses, a crash in these shuttles (and in the popular BRT vehicles) results in riders being thrown violently inside the bus.  If the federal government expressed concern about the shuttles, why is the federal government encouraging BRT vehicles with the same problem?

EASTSIDE SLC DOWN 17 COPS IN FEBRUARY
  SLCPD said that in January, the Eastside service precinct was down 17 police officers.  11 new police recruits were graduated from the Police Academy last month.  But that still leaves a big hole in the funded police officer ranks.  Despite years of attempts, SLC is still unable to increase police by 50 new officers.  The City is still losing 2 to 3 a month to retirement.

LEGISLATURE PUSHES PATCHWORK QUILT OF TIMEZONES
  Senator Harper's bill to make Utah a daylight savings timezone permanently passed the Legislature.  If Congress allows it and 4 of 8 surrounding Western states also agree to it, there will be a patchwork quilt of timezones in the West.  The reason we have time zones is to increase transportation efficiency of goods and people.  If there are several time zones to cross going through 3 states, each with their own timezone, it is a problem that should not happen.  Hopefully, Congress will not allow a patchwork quilt of timezones.

UTA SHOULD PROVIDE FREE FARES TO DECREASE DISEASE SPREAD
  Several transit agencies are decreasing the threat of Covad 19 spreading and risk by removing the fares for transit ridership.  The risk goes down significantly if money or punch cards is not used.  UTA should consider this use of free fare to counter the significant decrease in ridership on mass transit.  Otherwise it will increase use of cars and transit ridership will never increase.

17TH SOUTH ROAD DIET ON HOLD DUE TO COST
  The 17th South road diet is on hold due to the construction bids coming in too high.

ANTIDOMESTIC VIOLENCE BILL SB46 DIES IN LEGISLATURE

  Senator Iwamoto's bill to increase penalties for domestic violence and shift much of the prosecution to district courts (and decrease the repeat testimony required of victims) has died due to the CCJJ not supporting it.  But 42% of Utah homicides are due to domestic violence and the highest risk is if it is done in front of a child (which this bill would have covered).  But another big issue that resulted in the bill dying was the increased cost and need for more district court judges and the State has not agreed to pick up the cost.  Utah needs 7 new district court judges and the Legislature just added only 2 more.

LEGISLATURE FINALLY PASSES ANTI PREDATORY TOWING BILL
  Senator Harper and Rep. Maloy finally were able to pass an anti-predatory towing bill that makes signage for parking lots that allow towing standardized and visible.  Towing operators will provide the signs.  This bill has been tried for years and it has finally passed.  It helps protect businesses that impacted by adjacent businesses utilizing predatory towing tactics.

 

 

 

 

 

FEBRUARY 18, 2020
SLCO ROUSTS HOMELESS CAMPERS FOR PRESIDENT'S ADVISOR
PRESIDENT'S HOMELESS ADVISOR IN TOWN
LEGISLATURE WANTS LOANS FOR DEVELOPER PARKING
HOMELESS NEED CONVENIENT STORAGE OPED PUBLISHED
WORLD CLASS FOOTHILLS TRAIL SYSTEM POSSIBLE WITH FUNDING
TICKETING LITTLE DOGS IN CARS IN CANYONS QUESTIONABLE
HOMELESS NEED CONVENIENT STORAGE OPED PUBLISHED
UTA PRESENTATION TO LEGISLATURE
UTA STOPS TRAFFIC WITH SALT
SLC SPENDING ALL EXTRA MONEY ON UNSAFE CYCLE TRACKS
ANTI PREDATOR TOWING BILL ALMOST PASSED
LEGISLATURE ABOUT TO INCREASE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATING SCHOOL BUS LIGHTS 
UTA BUS STOP ISSUES DISCOURAGE RIDERSHIP
799DRUG
BLUETOOTH USED TO FIND COMPUTERS IN CARS
17 CARS STOLEN LAST MONTH WHILE IDLING
PALMER COURT MEDICAL CALLS STILL HIGH
900 EAST ROUNDABOUT PROBLEMS' PLAN


SLCO ROUSTS HOMELESS CAMPERS FOR PRESIDENT'S ADVISOR
  In the week before the U.S. Homeless czar, Dr. Marbut, visited Salt Lake City, there were around 50 campers around Taufer Park (300E 700S) and a couple of dozen near the Main Library.  In the next week, there were none.  The County Health Department took the blame but I suspect many government entities were involved in the effort to hide our homeless issue.  It is a sad commentary on our society and City when governments think that they have to hide the less desirable.

PRESIDENT'S HOMELESS ADVISOR IN TOWN
  The U.S. Homeless coordinator, Dr. Marbut, came into town to address the State Homeless Coordinating Council and the Pioneer Park Coalition.  During his presentations, he pointed out that when the federal government stopped funding social services along with housing, homeless numbers went up.  So, going forward, the federal government will restart funding social services along with housing to ensure that the homeless placed in housing get the social support that they seem to need when transitioning into housing.  Whether it is mental health issues or substance use disorders (SUDs), success at housing plummets after 2 years.  It can take 4 to 5 months to get people into housing  but the placement does not always work due to lack of social services support.  The HIPA privacy issues sometimes get in the way and often, the best players are not funded.  I agree that the best homeless service provider (considered by me and the homeless), the Weigand Center, is not always given priority in funding.  A few years ago, Salt Lake City (David Litvack) tried to cut Weigand Center funding and when the news found out and asked the Mayor about it, she reversed David’s decision and the Weigand Center got their funding.
  Dr. Marbut also said that homeless services decisions have to have a good relationship with the community, which has often been missing in Salt Lake City and County.  There have been too many backroom and secret decisions.  The recent emergency shelter in Sugar House decision was made without public engagement.
  Dr. Marbut also said that affordable housing construction costs and fees need to be reduced.  Ironically, over a year ago, the Salt Lake City Council punted a decision to lower impact fees for 20% affordable housing.  The proposal could have the lowered fees $500,000 for a 200 unit apartment with 20% affordable!  The decision is still tabled.
  Dr. Marbut also said that the predators issues need to be figured out but there are federal rules that have to be followed.  His proposal, now in place, to allow paying for social workers and therapists with housing requires a much higher and respectful salary.  A recent open position for a therapist for homeless paid about $20 an hour for a certified therapist (who can make double that in the market). 

LEGISLATURE WANTS LOANS FOR DEVELOPER PARKING
  On February 11, Senator Cullimore presented his SB108 that would essentially push funding for a parking garage from the County transportation funds.  The parking garage could and would theoretically go to the parking garage mentioned by and being constructed by the Canyon Center project (partially owned by the former Senate President).  Instead of funding more appropriate projects like 3 new east west freeways and desperate roadway maintenance, the Senate Committee passed through the SB108.  The last time the transportation funds were used for a parking garage was with the Block 67 project from Riches and Garn ($15).  I argued against the bill since there is not a lot of transparency and the person that will eventually get the millions, is known but not publicized.  Funding should have gone to weekend and daily year round canyon bus service.  Instead it is going to a private developer.

WORLD CLASS FOOTHILLS TRAIL SYSTEM POSSIBLE WITH FUNDING
  Salt Lake City just had a public hearing on the Foothills Trail system plan.  It is an almost 200 MB download (Google it).  But it is getting minimal funding and only for the first phase from Capitol Hill to the Avenues.  It deserves more and it could easily, with the available funding from the County TIF Transportation Funds, become a world class system that could also become world famous.  Riding or hiking in the foothills of Salt Lake County is awe inspiring due to the view.  The Trails deserve more funding, more than the cycle track grant applications below.

TICKETING LITTLE DOGS IN CARS IN CANYONS QUESTIONABLE
Representative Acton is sponsoring HB245 which restores common sense to protecting the watershed.  It just passed the House Committee and is being considered in the House.
  Salt Lake City Public Utilities has provided safe drinking water to many of the citizens of Salt Lake County for over a hundred years. But to provide that, the City received significant responsibility in extraterritorial jurisdiction over the watershed over several counties in Northern Utah. The justification was fighting diseases like cholera that were attributed to polluted water. 
  In the last hundred years, we have come a long way. We now regularly treat and test water for safety. We have significantly reduced e-coli bacteria in our watershed. This has been accomplished despite the 6 million visitors in our Wasatch Canyons that provide most of our drinking water. Those 6 million visitors have very few restrooms, although Salt Lake City Public Utilities does "budget operational funds to clean and maintain many of the restrooms in the canyons, including the USFS restrooms when they have budget shortfalls." (according to SLCPU Director Laura Briefer). 
  Despite the significant potential of e-coli from the millions of visitors, and diseases and parasites from the wildlife in the Wasatch Canyons, Salt Lake City has focused on enforcing its ban on domestic pets, especially dogs, in the Canyons. Their reasoning is that humans generally will seek privacy when they poop or pee in the watershed and would probably be almost impossible to stop with ticketing. But a blanket ban on dogs, even in cars, would seem to be more easily enforced. Their watershed protection regulations are enforced by the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office/Unified Police Department, SLC Public Utilities, the County Health Department, the U.S. Forest Service and Alta's Marshal's Office.
 The result is that anyone driving up the Wasatch Canyons that ban dogs, with a dog, can receive a citation or be arrested! Over 600 violations a year are given that can cost over $600. Having a dog in a car in Canyons that ban dogs constitutes a Class "B" misdemeanor. 
  I am sponsoring a bill, HB 245, that restores some good government sense to the situation and hopefully will redirect appropriate and respectful law enforcement to focus on the real problem, criminal behavior and unsafe activities in the Canyons. This bill says that: A political subdivision or state agency may not prohibit an individual from transporting a dog in a watershed area if the dog remains at all times in the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle (including in a motor home) used to travel in the watershed area and an individual who holds a valid driver license remains in the passenger compartment of the motor vehicle with the dog at all times the motor vehicle is in the watershed area. 
  The impetus of this bill is to stop the unreasonable enforcement of watershed rules that can result in arrests of law-abiding citizens that inadvertently have a dog in their car with no intention of letting the dog out during travel through the Canyons. We invite visitors from around the world and they sometimes bring campers and their pets with them. They sometimes even go over Guardsman Pass, which is allowed with a dog "as long as they don't stop and continue on through". Park City is much more amenable to dogs and has many hiking trails that allow dogs in their watershed (which also supplies SLC water).
  HB245 is a reasonable way to rein in over-zealous enforcement of a watershed law that was developed in the dark ages of disease fighting. Theoretically Salt Lake City could ban all motorized boats, vessels and use on reservoirs, including swimming. The next step would be to ban all fish in streams to stop all the fish pee and poo from contaminating the water.

HOMELESS NEED CONVENIENT STORAGE OPED PUBLISHED
  The Salt Lake Tribune published my opinion on questions for the U.S. Homeless Coordinating Committee Executive Director.  I essentially said that we still need convenient and secure storage for the homeless.  The present storage system is only open 4 hours a day which is almost impossible to use.  The opinion is at:
https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2020/02/08/george-chapman-questions/

UTA PRESENTATION TO LEGISLATURE 
  I put the UTA presentation to the Legislature in the TRANSPORTATION DOWNLOADS.  During the presentation, UTA gave another another push to double track FrontRunner, despite some runs that only have 60 passengers.  The report shows that ridership has essentially been a little down and Rep. Nelson asked why not improve bus service since it looks to be more cost effective than expanding rail.  The UTA Executive Director, Carolyn Gonot, said that she believed that we need a mix of bus and rail.  Rep. Nelson is right we need more service on buses before expanding rail.  UTA and Utah taxpayers do not have billions to spend on rail.

UTA STOPS TRAFFIC WITH SALT
  UTA admitted, during the Legislative presentation, that its trains were stopped by salting snow plows.  The salt made it appear that there was a train on the tracks when there wasn't one.  So it stopped all car and train traffic!  UTA has asked all snow plows to not salt around the rail lines.  This is Utah and that is almost impossible with all of the rails on streets!

SLC SPENDING ALL EXTRA MONEY ON UNSAFE CYCLE TRACKS
  The Salt Lake City Council had a public hearing today (February 18) to consider grants for the County Transportation Fund that is generated by the SB136 tax increase.  The City is applying for around $20 million in funding for bicycle/active transportation projects throughout the City (Listed below).
  But where are the projects that the communities have been pushing for including the 900 South Trail, the 900 South railroad pedestrian/bicycle bridge, the 700 East bicycle path and the McClelland Trail?  Salt Lake City should start a priority list with the community councils with their priorities to get a better more realistic and respectful list.
  Interestingly, the McClelland Trail was a pet project of Erin Mendenhall when she represented District 5 on the City Council.  But the City was supposed to use the million budgeted for the Trail from 900 South to the Brickyard.  The million was all spent on the alleyways north of 2100 South.  Salt Lake City should make the completion of the McClelland Trail, using the Jordan/Salt Lake Canal easement, a high priority.  There is no safe way for a bicyclist or pedestrian to safely go to Brickyard from Salt Lake City due to the Richmond St/1300 East road being above the sidewalk.
  Lost in the continuing effort by SLC to push separated bicycle lanes/cycle tracks on streets is the report last year from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety that pointed out that cycle tracks can be unsafe if there are a lot of driveways (there are in these proposals).  Cycle tracks limit emergency maneuvers of bicyclists during emergencies.  In addition, maintenance of cycle tracks is almost non-existent.  When the first one was put in on 300 South, the City was unable to maintain and clean it for a year until the City bought and modified equipment that could do the job.  Maintaining cycle tracks is almost impossible but should be done everyday.  Any debris can cause a danger for bicyclists.  In a wide bike lane on a street, the debris generally moves to the gutter.
  Children should be riding bikes on wider sidewalks, not in cycle tracks.
  Other issues that I have with the list of grant applications are:
  The proposed grant  applications would seem to be lower priority than safe wide bike lanes that are needed Citywide.  The Foothill Trails proposal should get the money before the separated bikelanes.
  I am generally against using valuable transportation funds for BRT and the required separated bus lane on 200 South.  I am also against the transit center ($400,000 alone) that the City, until today, was suggesting to be at 700 East 200 South.  The Transportation Director said today that UTA may want it a t 200 South and State.  But UTA should move all bus stops to corners (on State they are midblock and half a block away from bus transfers) first.  Bus riders should not have to work to use UTA.
  The Main Street project should have raised bike and pedestrian paths in accordance with completer streets (the report is due in a few weeks). 
  The Beck Street bicycle path will require daily maintenance to remove the significant gravel that accumulates from the many construction trucks that use Beck Street.
  The 600/700 North bulbouts endanger cyclists.
  The proposed 300 West cycle tracks are a problem for small businesses that utilize parking in front of their stores, sometimes perpendicular, and they will go out of business if their parking is removed.

$9 million for the 200 South dedicated transit lanes and upgraded bus stops and a transit center.

$3.5 million for a Main Street High Comfort Bikeway (Life on State Network) with a raised or separated bicycle lane from South Temple to 2100 South.
 
$3 million for the Grit and Gravel Trail (Beck Street Trail) that re-engineers the 2.5 mile multi-use paved trail between SLCO and Davis County.

$2.4 million for mid-block pedestrian crossings, curb extensions (bulbouts) and raised separated bicycle lanes on 600/700 North.

$2.1 million for the 300 West project for separated bicycle lanes(500 South to 2100 South).

$1.8 million for Surplus Canal Trail (Jordan River to I215) Improvements.

ANTI PREDATOR TOWING BILL ALMOST PASSED
  HB057, a bill to decrease surprise predator towing, sponsored by Rep. Maloy and Senator Harper (I mentioned it in an oped against SB136 a couple of years ago.) has passed both the House and the Senate Committees and is in the Senate for a final vote to pass it.  My area in Salt Lake City, the 9th and 9th area, has had many issues with predator towing.  A store next to a popular restaurant had a small parking lot and after it closed at 5pm, it had anyone parking there towed.  The signs warning of towing were not obvious.  It was a classic case of predator towing.  Rep. Maloy's bill would decrease the problem by requiring standard signage that would be provided by the towing companies and that would be very visible.  It has been a long time coming.  These bills have usually been stopped at the last minute at the Legislature, for years.

LEGISLATURE ABOUT TO INCREASE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATING SCHOOL BUS LIGHTS 
  Every year, the State reports the times in one day that motorists violate the red school bus lights that are supposed to stop motorists from passing stopped school buses.  The lights are supposed to protect kids getting on and off the bus.  But the number of times that are reported during the one day a year when the school bus drivers note the violations is usually around 1000 times a day Statewide.  It ranges from 900 to 1100 opportunities to lose a child's life.  Rep. Hall and Sen. Weiler has HB 084 that increases minimum fines for violating this law.  It is about to get a final vote in the Senate and be enrolled/passed to the Governor.

UTA BUS STOP ISSUES DISCOURAGE RIDERSHIP
  Bus ridership is not increasing and one of the reasons is the buses are increasingly staying one to four feet from the curb.  The reason is that they have been ordered to to protect the leased bus tires from being scuffed.  So bus riders have to work, or navigate snow and ice in the gutters or step up or down to get onto the bus from the street.  Spending millions on upgrading bus stops seems useless when bus drivers are ordered to ignore bus stops and stay away from them!  In addition, after spending ten thousand on brand new bus stops, ADA compliant, there are no no parking signs to keep cars 10 plus feet from the stops so buses cannot get close to the curb anyway.

799DRUG
  If you have been concerned about a lot of traffic going in and out of a house or building that is out of the ordinary, call 801 799 DRUG and report the address.  That is the SLCPD narcotics team.  They collect those addresses and start investigating this residence as a potential drug house.

BLUETOOTH USED TO FIND COMPUTERS IN CARS
  Recently, an app has showed up in the App Stores that allows a phone to be used to detect a nearby bluetooth computer or accessory.  It is allowing thieves to locate hidden computers in cars and quickly break in and steal the computer.  Please consider turning off bluetooth when not using your computer in standby mode.  Turning most computers off will turn off bluetooth but standby often still sends out bluetooth signals.

17 CARS STOLEN LAST MONTH WHILE IDLING
  17 cars were stolen in Salt Lake City in January while they were idling.  Please don't idle your cars.  They tend to encourage car thieves.  Do not encourage them.

PALMER COURT MEDICAL CALLS STILL HIGH
  Recent data shows that medical responses from the SLCFD to Palmer Court have consistently been high.  It is still the second highest medical response draw in Salt Lake City.  It is a 100% supportive housing facility and is the biggest argument against going over 20% affordable in housing.  It tends to encourage and enable substance abuse disorder. 

900 EAST ROUNDABOUT PROBLEMS' PLAN
  The problems of the 900 East roundabout have resulted in a plan to correct the problems.  One problem is trying to decrease the speed since it is possible for someone to speed downhill and launch over the roundabout (as has happened throughout the County in other cities).  The City's plan is:
"We’ve received several comments and questions after the project was completed last month, and we want to provide an update to address them.
This information was also previously shared during our visit at the East Liberty Park Community Council meeting last week, and it includes the tasks we’ll work on over the next few months. Most of these tasks will be completed once warmer temperatures are back in the spring:
The concrete medians at the McClelland Street crossing will be replaced with lower height medians that will be easily mountable by large vehicles making wide turns; this will help drivers avoid traveling over the landscaped bulb-outs and tracking mud onto the roadway. This task is expected to be completed during the second half of February.
Crews will also increase visibility of the concrete islands, so they are easier to spot in low light conditions.
Pavement striping will be redone with a more durable paint and thermoplastic material to increase durability and reflectivity.
The 1200 East crosswalk will be marked in the spring using this reflective material.
Crews will also be contacting property owners to inspect irrigation systems and make sure these are working properly. They will also check those installed at the roundabout.
Over the next couple of months, crews will be installing bike racks near businesses to increase the current number of bike parking facilities along the 9-Line Trail.
Once the Salt Lake City Arts Council selects an artist and this artist finishes the art piece, it will be placed at the center of the roundabout. We’ll provide updates about this effort to the East Liberty Park Community Council as we receive them. 
The red concrete ring around the roundabout is not recommended for walking activity. Please do not attempt to use it as a walking path; it is intended for larger vehicles, like semis and fire trucks, to drive over it if needed when making tight turns.
Parking studies along 900 South will be conducted soon around the 9th and 9th area, and the Central 9th area. The results will be released soon after they’re concluded.
*Construction activities are subject to change due to weather or unforeseen circumstances."

 

 

FEBRUARY 6, 2020

NEIGHBORHOOD TARGET COMING TO SUGAR HOUSE

DOWNTOWN ALLIANCE WANTS TAXPAYERS TO PAY FOR MARKET
INN BETWEEN STATUS
LEGISLATIVE INTERNS LIST AVAILABLE
DESERET NEWS STORY ON WORKING WITH THE LEGISLATURE
REP MALOY ANTI PREDATORY TOWING BILL
UTA GPS SYSTEM DOWN FOR WEEKEND
UDOT AVOIDS FREEWAYS TO WIDEN LANES
UTA PUSHES STUDY OF LIGHT RAIL
BALLPARK GETTING WEEKLY CLEAN TEAM
ALLEN PARK HEIRS WANT AREA TO STAY A PARK
SUGAR HOUSE DRUG USERS LEAVE NEEDLES IN PARKS
HOMELESS STORAGE ONLY 4 HOURS A DAY
COUNTY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS FACILITY BROKEN INTO
SHERIFF CAN'T HIRE ENOUGH DEPUTIES
TAUFER PARK AND ADJACENT SR CENTER HOSTS HOMELESS
EMERGENCY SHELTER STATS
PMA GUN RANGE CLOSED
UTA RIDERSHIP DATA ONLINE
JOURNALISM PROJECT INVESTIGATES STATE FUNDS TO SENATOR
BALLPARK'S DARIN MANO IS NEW SLC COUNCILMAN
UTA TRYING FOR MORE NON-TRANSIT PROJECTS
SLCO HAS DATA ON SOBER LIVING PROGRAM
SLC PRESENTATIONS ON STREETS AND WATER PIPES
 


NEIGHBORHOOD TARGET COMING TO SUGAR HOUSE
  Target is scheduled to open a 31,000 square foot Neighborhood Target store in the Sugar House Shopping Center by October.  Regular Targets are 141,000 square feet.
 
DOWNTOWN ALLIANCE WANTS TAXPAYERS TO PAY FOR MARKET
  The Downtown Alliance is continuing their efforts to get taxpayers to pay for a Downtown Market in the Rio Grande Deport or nearby.  Salt Lake City already reported on the 2018 study but the Alliance wants another study that taxpayers would pay $300,000 for.  They are asking the Legislature to fund the study.  The Depot is already undergoing a study to determine the best use and cost of a better use of the Depot.  To make the structure earthquake proof would cost millions.  Salt Lake City is still thinking of using $31 million of taxpayer money to build a market that would take the place of the Pioneer Park Farmers' Market.  I put the SLC study in the DOWNLOADS SECTION.
 
INN BETWEEN STATUS
  The Inn Between is well liked by the Legislature and it is asking for $500,000 to increase their beds to 50 a night.  They now have 30 to 35 homeless using their beds including several registered sex offenders.  The neighborhood is still polarized about the TIB. 
  One of the long-term residents is the homeless person that was hit in the head by a brick.  That was one of the incidents that forced Operation Rio Grande.  Two died in the TIB in a recent week.  The average stay is 3 months but sometimes it is only a couple of days. 
  The facility on 1300 South and 1216 East in Salt Lake City is zoned as an eleemosynary/congregate care facility which limits it to 25 beds.  Without the zoning limitations, it could handle 75 to 80 beds.  TIB needs $1.5 million a year funding if Medicaid is not allowed.  Medicaid usually does not allow housing to be funded and some of the work that they do is considered housing.  Now the TIB gets about $300,000 a year in government funding of some kind and the rest is donations. 
  TIB expects to serve 130 in the next year.  About 50 homeless die each year in a shelter of some kind which includes the TIB.  In the last fiscal year, TIB served 87 and 15 died.  Since life coaching is a big part of their service, they have succeeded in getting 8 into housing.  They are attempting to go to local foundations to help fund the TIB.  They are also trying to work with hospitals to fund and coordinate respite care.  It is important to note that hospitals DUMP patients at the Weigand Center in just a dressing gown and wheelchair.
  There is a Neighborhood Advisory Council Meeting scheduled for Tuesday April 14, 2020 at 6 PM.

LEGISLATIVE INTERNS LIST AVAILABLE
  For those interested in a closer contact with their legislators and they are willing to use their interns, the 2020 Legislature's Intern List is available from Ryan Hunter, the Intern Director at 801 538 1032 or at rhunter@le.utah.gov.
 
DESERET NEWS STORY ON WORKING WITH THE LEGISLATURE
  The Deseret News had a great comprehensive story on working with the Legislature at:
https://www.deseret.com/2019/1/27/20634345/utah-state-legislature-civic-involvement-bill-status-contact-representatives
  It is from the original 2019 story but it is updated.  I recommend reading it along with the upper left downloads of How to work the Legislature and How a bill works.
 
REP. MALOY ANTI PREDATORY TOWING BILL
  HB0057, a requirement to have respectful signage before towing an improperly parked car, is about to pass the House.  It is on the third reading.  Many of us have been pushing for this bill for years.  It would have stopped predatory towing that is still a problem in the 9th and 9th area.  Sen. Harper is co-sponsoring the bill.
 
UTA GPS SYSTEM DOWN FOR WEEKEND
  Last month the UTA GPS system that fed apps with locations of buses and TRAX was down for almost a week.  A vulnerability in UTA servers was identified and the servers were shut down until the problem was solved.  But when they were turned on, the GPS locations were not actively feeding the apps.  It took a few days for UTA to notice and restore the many transit apps.
 
UDOT AVOIDS FREEWAYS TO WIDEN LANES
  UDOT is planning on expanding several roads in the south of the Salt Lake Valley.  90th South and 106th South are scheduled to be enlarged from 5 lane roads to 7 lane roads.  They need to be freeways.  With 7 lanes, adjacent homeowners, residents and businesses will experience significantly more pollution.  The expansion is expected to be finished in 2022.
 
UTA PUSHES STUDY OF LIGHT RAIL
  I put the UTA study of light rail proposal in the TRANSPORTATION DOWNLOADS.  It is the result of pressure from developers that still think that rail is an efficient way to move people and pressure from construction companies that want more construction contracts and the millions of resulting profits.  Bus service is likely to suffer even more.
  Sen. Anderegg is also pushing SB92 which encourages a Utah statewide rail system with a study to base rail expansion plans on.  The effort is for materials and people.  I expect this to be folded into the oil and coal rail proposals.  Sen. Anderegg is trying to push a rail line down 5600 West.  He failed last year to convince truckers that rail is efficient over short distances.  This year he is just asking for UDOT to coordinate rail plans.  It passed the Senate Committee this week.
 
BALLPARK GETTING WEEKLY CLEAN TEAM
  Ballpark (1300 South between 300 West and Main Street) is about to get weekly clean team service to clean up feces, needles and other garbage in the area around the Miller Homeless Shelter.  This is due to the complaints from nearby residents and businesses.  The local homeless community outreach group also emphasized that grants are available for nearby residents and businesses for security, plantings and other upgrades.
 
ALLEN PARK HEIRS WANT AREA TO STAY A PARK
  During a recent discussion in Sugar House about the proposal to fill Allen Park (1300 East across from Westminster) with 63 new residences, it was pointed out that the heirs have been shut out of the selling of the property.  The heirs would like the area to stay a Park but the Probate Court turned the decision over to a fiduciary who has decided, questionably, to sell the property.  The only protection seems to be the Salt Lake City ordinances to protect riparian corridors like the Emigration Creek that runs through the property.  It could also limit construction due to the many septic tanks in the Park.  Some in attendance questioned if there was any collusion between the developer and the fiduciary.
  ABC 4 repeated a story about Allen Park that is very appropriate and shows the interesting area and why it deserves saving.  It is from the Wirth Watching program from a few years ago.  It is at:
https://www.abc4.com/news/top-stories/hobbitville-allen-park-a-curious-place/
 
SUGAR HOUSE DRUG USERS LEAVE NEEDLES IN PARKS
  The SLCPD has identified a group of homeless drug users that have been discarding needles around Fairmont Park.  Complaints about the sharps box, used to safely discard used needles, led to it being moved further north on 1100 East.  But discarded needle complaints are rising and the Police are asking anyone finding one to call 801 799 3000 and report it before discarding it (safely).
 
HOMELESS STORAGE ONLY 4 HOURS A DAY
  During this week's discussion at the Salt Lake City Council on the Emergency Shelter in Sugar House, storage was discussed but the staff was not sure about the amount and time limits.  The service providers cleared up the confusion.  The City set up a storage facility of bins that is open from 7 to 9 AM and from 5 to 7 PM.  Hundreds of bins are available but sometimes there are no open bins available.  The limited nature of the facility hours, in my opinion, has resulted in many homeless still carrying around or wheeling around shopping carts full of their belongings.  It discourages work and encourages staying homeless and camping in parks.

COUNTY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS FACILITY BROKEN INTO
  Despite warnings several years ago that the Salt Lake County Emergency Communications Facility is not secure, the County did nothing when the adjacent South Salt Lake Shelter was finished.  Homeless have been found in the facility after sleeping in it overnight.

SHERIFF CAN'T HIRE ENOUGH DEPUTIES
  The Sheriff still can't hire enough deputies to provide full service to the County Jail.  The Jail is still not able to provide jailers for 120 to 174 beds in the Oxbow Jail. 

TAUFER PARK AND ADJACENT SR CENTER HOSTS HOMELESS
  Taufer Park, 700 South and 300 East, next to the Liberty Senior Center, had about 50 homeless campers recently.  16 were camping at the Library Square recently.  The adjacent Senior Center is trying to be a good neighbor and allowing use of their facilities despite cleaning issues and overdoses.  Some homeless advocates are disappointed in what they are finding with the treatment that substance use abusers are undergoing.  The stats seem to show that out of 160 arrested, 68 chose to go into treatment and only 6 completed months of treatment.

EMERGENCY SHELTER STATS
  The Salt Lake City Council this week got a report on the use of the Sugar House emergency shelter.  It is averaging 118 per night and it ranges from 75 to 145 beds utilized for week 2 of its operation.  Men are averaging 84 and they have ranged from 53 to 100 beds used.  Women have averaged 32 and have averaged from 47 to 22 beds used.  There has not been a reduction in use of other shelters which are 96% utilized.
  They are having issues with transportation and are using the Weigand Center to coordinate transportation.  Cab vouchers are available.  They are using a bus to transport homeless that want shelter to the emergency shelter (which will close in April) once in the evening and bus them back to the Weigand Center (which has showers and amenities) twice in the morning. 
  There is private security and two additional officers.  The bike squad patrols all of the shelter areas and they can run until 1 AM.  The homeless service providers have weekly meetings with the City every Thursday.  They have used about 70 motel vouchers for women.  Only 4 have been used for men.  Outreach is continuous with VOA and SLCPD Community Connection Team.  The County Health Department does a separate homeless camp abatement.  The SLCPD discourages arresting homeless campers since they don't want to voucher every item they would have to confiscate if they are arrested.  Utah Community Action is the intake coordinator. 
  The SLCPD gives two days’ notice for curfew violations and the recent effort on Washington Square was a problem due to the local riot group.  The Police will only discard abandoned stuff.

  The City does not have the numbers of how many are refusing to go into shelters.  The shelters do a bed check at 8 to see if the workers come back.  I think that that is too early.  The City staff mentioned that they had 20 spots available for storing their gear but the individuals needed a case manager for the "a place for your stuff".  I double checked with the service providers and they told me that was incorrect.  See the story above.  There is no time limit.
  In November, there were 66 calls for service in a three block area around the Sugar House Emergency Shelter (before it opened).  It is too soon to know if there is a crime issue.  The calls went from 59 in December to 75 calls in January.  Seven of those calls were for service at the shelter, opened for a little over a week.
  Despite initial concerns from the community at the surprise decision to put the shelter in Sugar House, without a public hearing, the community seems to be okay with it.

PMA GUN RANGE CLOSED
  The famous east bench PMA Gun Range has closed.  The City was unable to find a suitable nonprofit to take over the insurance and other requirements to safely operate the gun range.

UTA RIDERSHIP DATA ONLINE
  Rideuta.com/data has the ridership data by route.  It is an important gage on how successful we are in encouraging mass transit use.  I am still disappointed that we don't have enough drivers to expand bus service and that the City doesn't use the million in unspent transit funding to encourage $1 fares.

JOURNALISM PROJECT INVESTIGATES STATE FUNDS TO SENATOR
  Eric Petersen of the Utah Investigative Organization (formerly worked for the City Weekly and has regular SLTRIB investigative stories) recently did a story on how former Senate President Wayne Niederhauser used his SB71 that encouraged toll roads on Little Cottonwood Canyon and on any new freeways, seems to be benefiting from his bill.  It was an open secret that he wanted the tolls to be used for a parking garage.  He admitted it in a Committee hearing.  Eric Petersen went into detail on how his bill benefits him directly.  His story is recommended reading and is at:
http://utahinvestigative.org/cash-canyon-former-lawmakers-bill-allow-canyon-tolling-benefit-development-project/

BALLPARK'S DARIN MANO IS NEW SLC COUNCILMAN
  Longtime Ballpark Community Council Board member has been appointed to fill the seat vacated for District 5 City Council.  He is an architect. 
 
UTA TRYING FOR MORE NON-TRANSIT PROJECTS
  I put the UTA proposal that is going to the Legislature to allow spending transit money on buildings instead of on service.  UTA is allowed to spend money on up to 8 Transit Oriented Developments.  Unfortunately, most do not have ground floor retail and restaurants that encourage walkability and use of mass transit.  Many have complained (like the last UTA Audit) that the money that UTA should be using for service is being used to benefit developers.  The list of proposed TODs is in the proposal in the TRANSPORTATION DOWNLOADS.

 

 SLCO HAS DATA ON SOBER LIVING PROGRAM
  I put the SLCO Sober Living Program study results in the upper right CRIME DOWNLOADS SECTION.  It shows a significant decrease in recidivism with the supportive housing of the program.
 
SLC PRESENTATIONS ON STREETS AND WATER PIPES
  I put the SLC presentation on Asphalt Maintenance and Water Infrastructure in the DOWNLOADS SECTION.

 

JANUARY 17, 2020

SLC WANTS TO LOCATE HOMELESS EXPANSION NEXT TO LIQUOR STORE
SLC STREETS PRESENTATION IN DOWNLOADS
9TH SOUTH ROUNDABOUT BROKEN DUE TO BAD DESIGN, BLOCK BUSES
EAST BENCH WATER PIPE BURSTING EPIDEMIC NOT SOLVED
BLASTING AT PARLEYS POINT IMPACTS HOMEOWNERS AND FUTURE BONNEVILLE SHORELINE TRAIL 
ONE MAN EAST BENCH CRIME WAVE
SLC DISTRICT 5 CANDIDATE SUMMARIES

 


SLC WANTS TO LOCATE HOMELESS EXPANSION NEXT TO LIQUOR STORE
  Salt Lake City, in another secret decision without public discussion, decided to locate the temporary emergency homeless overflow shelter in the old Deseret Industries Building owned by SLC RDA.  But there is a State liquor store a block away.  There is already a problem with homeless getting drunk and passing out at the adjacent Fairmont Park.  There was a brief discussion on the crime issues at the Park but David Litvack, the City's homeless coordinator for this project, felt that there shouldn't be much of a problem.
  The City is allowed to rezone property for an emergency for up to 6 months according to C10-9a-S504 Temporary Land Use Regulations (in the SLC DOWNLOADS).  Municipalities can rezone property for emergencies for up to 6 months, which in SLC's Attorney's opinion, allows the decision to be made without public comment.
  I disagree since locating the shelter next to a Park that already has had deaths of homeless due to alcohol and cold and is also next to the liquor store is a tragedy about to happen.
  Over 140 homeless would essentially be encouraged or enabled to obtain and utilize liquor from the State Liquor Store a block away because it is so convenient.  But if refused entrance to the shelter due to inebriation or if they just pass out in the Park, the death of homeless due to cold could significantly increase.
  The adjacent pocket library would need to have its security expanded since there is none now.  The Main Library has banned many homeless due to behavior that they can't control and I expect that the library will need more security, including police, to control any problems that develop.  There is not enough room for more than 4 computers.  That will create conflicts that cannot be easily resolved.  
  The adjacent construction site could be impacted without significantly more security.
  The real solution, that we have been trying to get SLC to implement, is to use the secret cots at the King Shelter to allow transferring the 40 women from the Miller Shelter and free up the 40 beds there for men.  Everyday 5-7 men are refused beds at the Miller Shelter AND THEY REFUSE TO BE DRIVEN TO THE SOUTH SALT LAKE SHELTER!  Women are the most victimized homeless and they should not be forced to or even allowed to sleep in the cold.  Going over the 200 bed limit should be allowed publicly.  I would also suggest a police walking patrol in the area that was often promised.  It would also help fight the parking garage drug shooting gallery across the street.
  We asked many times over the last 5 years to allow use of the many vacant buildings that SLC RDA owns near the Weigand Center.  Many of those buildings have been vacant for decades.  SLC RDA owns 7 of 15 acres near there.  One of those buildings was suggested and pushed by us and Stan Penfold but the SLC Fire Department refused since it did not have sprinklers.  It turns out that the Temporary Land Use Regulations, used for this project, allow ignoring fire regulations and it would be faster to locate the emergency overflow shelter next to the Weigand Center.  
  The Council did discuss the issue of moving the homeless between the shelter and the Weigand Center.  It should be relatively easy if UTA restores the Rio Grande 200 South bus stop.  Buses or the Blue Line connecting to the S-Line would get the homeless there quickly.  But it would be better if the overflow were located near the Weigand Center since it has all of the support services.  
  The City also needs a camping area since many homeless want to have their own piece of property even if it is in a tent.  The City also needs a car camping area.
  This decision is wrong and it could result in more homeless deaths.  Also, on February 12, Dr. Marbut, the President's Homeless Czar is coming to town.  I don't think that he will appreciate the problems with SLC Homeless.

SLC STREETS PRESENTATION IN DOWNLOADS
I put the discussion by Street Engineering for the SLC Council earlier this month in the SLC DOWNLOADS section (upper right).  It is called the Asphalt Maintenance.pptxIt has a map of the overlays and chip seal projects for the next year.

9TH SOUTH ROUNDABOUT BROKEN DUE TO BAD DESIGN, BLOCK BUSES
  At Yalecrest and East Bench Community meetings, there were complaints about the 9th South/11th East roundabout creating backups with large vehicles going east stopped.  The SLCFD is reviewing the problem since it could eventually impact emergency fire dispatch.  One comment at their frustration at being behind one of the buses was traffic calming works!  SLC Engineering is evaluating the issue and will discuss it at the next ELPCO meeting.

EAST BENCH WATER PIPE BURSTING EPIDEMIC NOT SOLVED
  During a discussion on water pipes bursting and causing significant costs to the homeowner, it was determined that the cause is still not clear.  It could be settling of the soil that cause the pipes to burst, or improper piping with the soil material or it could be a bad pressure regulator.  The recent burst pipes have been cleaned up but the bill is still at the City and they may decide that they are not at fault.  If not at fault, they would send the bill to the homeowner's insurance company.  So the homeowners won't know how much they will have to pay for a while.  
  The SLC Public Utilities gave a presentation on water pipes and where the water pipe bursting occurs.  I put the presentation in the SLC DOWNLOADS SECTION.

BLASTING AT PARLEYS POINT IMPACTS HOMEOWNERS AND FUTURE BONNEVILLE SHORELINE TRAIL 
  During discussion of the Parleys Point project northeast of Foothill and I80, there were complaints about the blasting impacting nearby homeowners!  But the project will also donate 300 acres to the City as open space and for the future path for the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.  Concern about the steep incline of the proposed Trail path resulted in a promise of an 8% grade which requires it to swing back and forth to keep in under 8% grade.  As mentioned in the last blog, the SLC Foothill Trails Plan is going to eventually be implemented to Parleys Canyon.  It is starting north of the Capitol.  There is more information at 
www.bonnevilleshorelinetrail.org

ONE MAN EAST BENCH CRIME WAVE
  Recently, the East Bench of Salt Lake City has had a spike in burglaries and larcenies/thefts.  It appears that one person has been responsible for the 70% of the crimes.  He was released in October from jail and after another spike in crime, he was arrested at the end of December.  The SLCPD would like to send him to the Federal Court system since there doesn't appear to be enough money to prosecute and keep him in County jail.  There have been 80 crimes that have mostly been perpetrated by one person although they often have connections to a group operating together.
  The East Bench also discussed whether the new management of the Skyline Inn is having results.  Years ago, there used to be over a 100 police dispatch calls a month within a block of the Inn.  In December 2019 there were just 12 calls and all were not related to the Inn.  The residents, mainly skiers, are not now a problem.  Before, State prisoners recommended the Inn which caused issues for the neighbors due to increased crimes.
  In another crime related discussion, the SLCPD recommended calling 799-3000 if they see a drug deal going down.  But I recommend that SLC Dispatch decide if a drug deal in progress should send a police response.  Calling 911 make take 5 minutes to get an officer to respond (dispatcher giving call to police officer on patrol) but at least the dispatcher decides the priority.  Calling 799-3000 in my opinion just provides a report, which doesn't stop the drug dealing, generally.

SLC DISTRICT 5 CANDIDATE SUMMARIES
Richard R. Graham 36 years in SLC Public Services Dept, including 19 years as Director.  Working for SLCO since 2016.  I know Rick and consider him to be the ultimate public servant.  Whenever there was a concern or problem, he would resolve it or explain what limits resolution.  He cares about the City and I would love to have Rick Graham to work for me again (I want it.)  I did an oped about him 4 years ago.

Amy Hawkins Has served as Ballpark Chair and Vice Chair since 2013.  She has a PhD in Human Genetics and teaches at the University of Utah.  I have seen a lot of leaders in my time in politics (since the 1970's) and consider Amy Hawkins to be one the best natural born leaders that I have seen.  I believe that it is in the best interest of the City and District 5 to encourage development of her talents and ability.

George Chapman is a local community activist (and writer of this blog) who ran for SLC mayor in 2015 and District 5 in 2017.  I have been going to all of the District 5 community councils, listened to or attending all UTA and SLC Council meetings and many other City community councils for over 7 years.  I write regular opinion pieces for the newspapers.

Jason Stevenson works for the ACLU as Strategic Communications Manager.  Before that he worked for the Utah Health Policy Project on Medicaid Expansion (Healthy Utah).  He is also Chair of ELPCO which manages the 9th and 9th Street Festival.  He ran for SLC School Board in 2016.  I have known and worked with Jason for several years.  I consider him to be an asset to Utah and ACLU.  Until he joined ACLU, I considered ACLU to be useless.  Before Jason, ACLU refused to fight an horrendous anti abortion bill and refused to question the Operation Rio Grande that dispersed the criminal element throughout the City.  Jason changed that and I believe that the City and Utah and ACLU would worse off if Jason leaves ACLU (He has said that he would resign from ACLU if he is appointed to the Council.).

Bill Davis has been Chair of the Ballpark Community Council, the Liberty Wells Community Council and Downtown/Rio Grande Community Council.  He also has been on the Historic Landmarks Commission.  He ran for City Council District 5 in 2013.  He also started the British Field Day vintage car show 28 years ago.  He also pushed for and developed the City's biggest downzone in the Ballpark neighborhood.

Grant Miller is a public interest lawyer and public defender.  He has volunteered at the Homeless Court and has "been on the front lines with Salt Lake's homeless population".

Steve Quinn is a firefighter in the County's Unified Fire Department.  Interestingly, he researched and reported on transport engine/ambulances for UFA.  80% of firefighter calls are for medical.

Shawn Teigen is a legislative advocate specializing in poverty and low income housing.  She is Vice President of the Utah Foundation and Research Director and she has authored many of their reports.  She also is on the boards of Envision Utah, the SLC Housing Authority and the Bicycle Collective.  She also has worked for the Peace Corps.

Zachary David Bartholomew is Vice Chair of the Liberty Wells Community Council and Chair of British Field Day Car Show.  He works as a training specialist for UHEALTH.

Murry Mullenax has been Chair of the East Liberty Park Community Organization (ELPCO), helped rekindle the 9th and 9th Street Fair and worked with UDOT and CDBG funding to plant trees in the median of 700 East.  Murry is working as a construction surety bond underwriter (reviewing finances and projects).

Darin Mano is on the SLC Planning Commission and RDA Advisory Committee.  He also is on the Ballpark Community Council Board.  He is an architect and owns Raw Design Studio.

Crystal Otterstrom has served on many boards including Planned Parenthood, Better Utah Institute, Alliance for a Better Utah and Utah Cultural Alliance.  She also has worked in marketing for the Utah Symphony and Utah Opera.  She also has been chair of her school's community council and former Treasurer of the Utah Democratic Party.

Earl Robert Comstock has been a community activist for decades.  He has run for City Council and Mayor in the past and teaches carpentry at several schools.  He is also an accomplished soloist in several choirs.  He 

Sarah Reale is Director of Digital Marketing at SLCC and teaches political science courses.  She has a Masters in Science, Politics and Policy and is on the SLCO Open Space Trust Committee.

Nancy Philipp is a human resources professional at Dominion Energy.  She has worked for Salt Lake City in the past in the SLCPD and SLCFD.

Enrique Arce-Larreta is a West High Physics Teacher who developed its award winning Robotics Program.  

Rebecca Bailey is a lawyer who also has a chemistry degree (they say chemistry and law are the two hardest degrees to earn).

Annastasia Kaessner is a Real Estate Agent, Sundance Film Festival Manager, and programs coordinator in the SLC Arts Council and Utah Arts Festival.  She is an advocate for women and was Chair of Women Run the City.

Clint Campbell is a student at the University of Utah and a University Planning intern.  He is also a bicycle mechanic and enthusiast.

Misty Snow made history as the Democratic candidate for the 2016 U.S. Senate election.

Joseph Quinton is a cost control engineer and owner of an engineering and retrofit firm making homes more energy efficient.

Jessica Gezon is an Editorial Content Manager at Western Governors University

Jenny Hobbs is a student at the University of Utah.  She works for a company that focuses on effective diversity training.
Karel McDonough is a Junior High School band teacher.

Carol Rogozinski worked for almost 20 years at Utah's Department of Workforce Services and managed client caseloads.  She also has worked for VOA providing youth support.  She is presently working for UTA managing over 100 active vanpools.

Michael Ramon Aguilar is Marketing Director at Mark Miller Subaru.  He has also been Program Director at Ronald McDonald House Charities.  He serves on the Board of Directors of Planned Parenthood and the Utah Pride Center.

Tammy McKelvie works as a virtual executive assistant Worxbee.  She has also worked as an executive assistant for CEOs of several large companies.

 

 

JANUARY 15, 2020

8 ACRE ALLEN PARK/HOBBITVILLE DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL
OFFSTREET PARKING MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS DECREASING
NEW UTA ROUTE DATA SHOWS SIGNIFICANT ROUTE 9 RIDERSHIP
UTA FINALIZES FREE FARE ON BAD AIR DAYS
CLUELESS RIOT 2.0 STILL THINKS HOMELESS DON'T GET FREE FARE NOT)
SLC FOOTHILL TRAILS EXPANSION WITH RANGER PROPOSED
LIST OF DISTRICT 5 CANDIDATES AND QUESTIONS ASKED
CLEVELAND COURT REZONE FOR NO PARKING PASSES COMMISSION


8 ACRE ALLEN PARK/HOBBITVILLE DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL
  Developer Rinaldo Hunt has offered to buy and develop Allen Park (1300-1500 East north of Westminster Drive and east of Westminster University) with 63 residential units and the offer is in escrow now.  It is theoretically possible for the offer to fall out of escrow or for the City to make another offer to keep the property continue as it essentially is now, an 8 acre park.
  The City offered about $12 million for the property which has 16 homes that are not being lived in now.  The developer is proposing that the main historic home be moved and the 63 units be spread out on the edges and internally around the property.  The riparian corridor around Emigration Creek would be kept open space and the property would have a public footpath through a portion of the property.
  The developer believes that some of the old growth trees are too unsafe to remain there and will have to be cut down.  Unfortunately, the SLC Tree Removal ordinance (in DOWNLOADS) only protects "specimen trees" that the City wants to keep.  So undesirable trees can be cut down without recourse.  Only so called important trees have to be replaced.  The replacement is to be a 2 inch diameter tree for every two inches of original tree diameter (a 24 inch tree would need 12 2" trees planted).
  Almost all of the over 100 attendees were against the loss of the Park and development of more density in the area.  This is the first step in a complicated dance that will include refining the development plans and a parallel effort to have governments buy the property and keep it a park.  The Sugar House Community Council has the plans (Google it) online.

OFFSTREET PARKING MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS DECREASING
  The new SLC Offstreet Parking Ordinance with reduced offstreet parking requirements passed the Planning Commission.  In one of the most important issues ever to go through the Planning Commission, only 5 people showed up to comment against the Ordinance.  My main objections, at length are in the January 10 blog entry but, again, my major concerns are:
  Despite averaging 1.6 stalls per unit for SLC multi-family residences, the Ordinance lowers those minimums.  Lowering off street parking minimums encourages driving/relocating or shopping to areas outside of Salt Lake City with a resultant increase in driving and pollution.  Studies show that limited parking near transit hurts transit ridership increases.  When parking is unobtainable on the street, residents tend to want to move to suburbs with less density.  Salt Lake City actually encourages car lots but, in this Ordinance, it is discouraging everyone else to have cars.  The City should go slow (unlike the Legislature's tax cut/increase) and not decrease parking minimums.  The best way to increase affordable housing is with inclusionary zoning or decreasing impact fees.
  Specifics in the Ordinance allow building built before 1944 to be redeveloped without added parking requirements (a warehouse converted to apartments could have no added parking) and lockable bicycle storage counts as a parking space.
  Other parts of the Ordinance proposal (it now goes to the City Council with a positive recommendation) with my comments include:
  "It is important to note that in Salt Lake City, "Typical multi-family developments in the general context are averaging about 1.6 stalls per unit."  That shows that parking requirements/minimums should not be reduced, especially in the Transit Context which has no minimum parking!!
  Lowering parking requirements for residential units will discourage car owners and shift the units to mostly low income which will defeat the SLC housing policy of mixed income. 
  Despite public comments to increase parking requirements, the Commission pushed Planning to reduce parking minimums.  The proposal ignores the large car lots that Salt Lake City encourages due to the large tax revenue that they generate.  I am against these proposals: 
  Building use or expansions of more than 25% would require new parking regulations with no additional parking in D1 D2 D3 and Urban Center context and Transit Context areas when there is a change of use.  Buildings older than 1944 do not require more parking for adaptive reuse.  All lots other than single or two family dwellings smaller than 5000 sq ft created prior to April 12, 1995 have exemptions to parking requirements   but any parking needs City approval.  Currently D2 and D3 less than 1000 sq ft is exempt from parking requirements.  There is a minimum parking of 3 per 1000 sq ft (now)adds 5 max per 1000 sq ft.  I disagree with these reductions in parking.
  "In many cases the minimum requirements have been reduced or eliminated altogether (Transit/Urban Center Contexts), but in a few cases (notably retail and restaurant uses) the exceptionally low standards in the current ordinance have been increased in order to reduce overflow parking in neighborhoods."
  "day cares, parks, warehouses, and several industrial uses, do not have maximum parking requirements in the revised chapter."
   I still disagree that parking requirements should be reduced.
  The parking proposal allows secure/enclosed bicycle parking to reduce parking in half; and the Planning Director can modify parking requirements, using approved adjustments to reduce requirements by up to 40%. I am against both of those.
  It increases shared parking from 500 ft away to up to 1200 ft.  All multi-family or commercial properties within a 1/4 mile of a fixed transit station can reduce parking minimums 25% (used to be decreased 50%) (changed to radial straight line) (Transit Context minimums not changed). I am against that.
  Income restricted and/or age restricted units minimum parking reduced to 25%, with a further 15% reduction within a quarter mile of a high frequency bust route stop (2, 9, 200, 205, 209, 217 220).  Developments with 100 or more parking spaces could reduce 7 spaces for each van pool space.  Valet stalls can reduce parking one for one.  Developers can submit parking studies to justify reducing parking.  I am against that.
  Salt Lake City should slow down this process until the public are fully informed with a more thorough outreach   Otherwise, this process will be less popular than the recent so called Utah tax cut/increase.

NEW UTA ROUTE DATA SHOWS SIGNIFICANT ROUTE 9 RIDERSHIP
  UTA has new data on ridership (in the TRANSPORTATION DOWNLOADS)at: 
https://data-rideuta.opendata.arcgis.com/
  It shows significant ridership increases on route 9 and a constant 1300 riders a weekday on the S-Line.  During the presentation by SLC Transportation last week at the Ballpark Community Council meeting, transit service increases were discussed and I took issue with the significant ridership increases that resulted from Salt Lake City using sales tax increase money for transit service increases.  I was under the impression that the weekday ridership increases were minimal (see UTA August change day in TRANSPORTATION DOWNLOADS, a presentation from the September 11 UTA Board meeting) and that there was no Sunday service on bus route 9 before August.  The big takeaway from UTA and SLC's statement that weekend bus service on route 9 increased 147% was that someone was trying to pull the wool over our eyes.
  But, despite the questionable 147% (in UTA and SLC documents), I reviewed the latest ridership data and found that I was wrong and the SLC Transportation Department was right that ridership on weekdays more than doubled (to 1300+)!
  I sometimes ride route 9 but have found it to be almost always empty.  I assume that the ridership increase is mostly on the west side and I urge SLC Transportation and UTA to determine where the doubling of ridership is coming from, and, if it is on the westside, it would show that the westside needs more transit options and service.
I apologize for my questioning of ridership increases and I am glad that SLC Transportation knows more than me, as it should.

UTA FINALIZES FREE FARE ON BAD AIR DAYS
  UTA has approved the contract with the State of Utah that will provide up to 7 days of free fare during bad air days to encourage mass transit ridership.  "Upon approval of this contract, UTA will work with the Division and provide up to seven free-fare days to specified riders on designated days. The program will cover a 25-month period from January 1, 2020 through February 28, 2022 with a maximum total of seven days spread over a 25-month period.  The services offered will include FrontRunner, TRAX, local bus, Express bus, streetcar and paratransit. UTA will offer ski service if it is feasible to include it. 
  I complained before about UTA's claim that ridership on mass transit increased before on free fare days but it really increased on FrontRunner due to parents taking their kids on an E ticket ride on a train.  The parking lots at the stations are still full and if they continue to be, you won't be able to pay people to take the train.

CLUELESS RIOT 2.0 STILL THINKS HOMELESS DON'T GET FREE FARE (NOT)
   The anarchists that are continuing to riot around the City Hall (2 get togethers/protests last week, including last Wednesday) are still insisting that there be more beds for the homeless and that they get free fares on transit.  The reality, lost on the protesters, is that Lt. Gov. Cox is in charge of the State Homeless Coordinating Committee and he made the decision to close the Road Home before there were enough beds to keep the homeless from freezing to death outside.  Lt. Gov. Cox is running for Governor and he is the person most likely to get more beds for the homeless (since the Council and every homeless service provider has been pushing for it). 
  In addition, and to show how clueless the protesters are, UTA already gives out free fare passes to the homeless through homeless service providers.  At today's meeting, they considered changing the system slightly but the homeless still can get free fares.  Protesting to get homeless free fares when they already get free fares is clueless, in my opinion.
  "Currently UTA has partnerships with several homeless service agencies to purchase discounted fare products. The agencies distribute fares free to the homeless population.  During fare policy discussions, the Board of Trustees has expressed an interest in developing a pilot program which would make discounted fare products available to all Human Service Agencies that provide assistance to low-income individuals.  A low-income pilot is being pursued in order to understand the needs of human service organizations and their clients, strengthen and expand our partnerships with these organizations, begin the transition towards electronic fare media, and provide feedback on administrative capabilities.  UTA will pilot a program by working directly with Human Service Agencies. UTA’s role is to administer a contract, provide discounted fare products, and receive payment. The Human Service Agency’s role is to determine client elegibility, purchase fare products, administer the transit program, and distribute the fares at no cost to the client."

SLC FOOTHILL TRAILS EXPANSION WITH RANGER PROPOSED
  The full Foothill Trails Plan is online (130-190MB) at
 https://www.slc.gov/parks/TrailsPlan
  The City Council is interested in expanding the Trails system along the foothills of Salt Lake City, focusing on the area above Capitol Hill and the Avenues to Emigration Canyon.  Later the system will be expanded to Parleys Canyon.  Of note, the City is planning on decommissioning 25 miles of existing trails that are "unsustainable".  The City is also proposing an $80,000 park ranger for the foothill trails.  The system would need $3 million for the trail improvements and $2-5 million in trailhead improvements.  Maintenance would be $400,000 annually.  Dog use and restrooms will need further idscussion.  Parleys Pointe (just north of Parleys Canyon will provide 300 acres for the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.
  "Decommissioning Plan: Both “passive” and “active” decommissioning is recommended for about 25 miles of existing trails that are unsustainable because of their environmental impact, safety risks or topography. Passive decommissioning is much less expensive and is recommended for about 80% of these undesirable trail-miles.
  The Plan acknowledges that access to the Foothills Trails system is “problematic,” in part because there is little trailhead infrastructure, even in areas where easements were retained by the City during residential development in the 1980s and 1990s. The Plan’s section on trailheads and access points (pages 62 to 66) includes references to suggested trailhead and access improvements that would require substantial expense for installation and maintenance. Depending on the site, they include new parking areas; curbs and gutters; pedestrian and bicycle “undercrossings” at major streets; high quality signage; fencing and gates; tree and turf planting; restrooms; and new property acquisition. The cost for these items has not yet be estimated and so is not included in the budget."

LIST OF DISTRICT 5 CANDIDATES AND QUESTIONS ASKED
  The list of candidates that are applying for the vacant District 5 City Council seat has been finalized.  The citizens applying are:
Murry Mullenax
Amy J. Hawkins
Shawn Teigen
Alexander Zaharoff
Tammy McKelvie
George Chapman
Zachary David Bartholomew
Annastasia Lisa Kaessner
Joseph Blake Quinton
Steve Quinn
Richard Graham
Carol Rogozinski
Sarah Elizabeth Reale
Darin Masao Mano
Carlos Enrique Arce-Larreta
Jason Stevenson
Misty K. Snow
Earl Robert Norman-Comstock
William (Bill) Davis
Crystal Young-Otterstrom
Grant Amjad Miller
Jessica Gezon
Michael Ramon Aguilar
Clint Campbell
Jenny Hobbs
Nancy Philipp
Karel Joy McDonough

  The City Council will give candidates 5 minutes for a presentation on January 21.  Although the Council did not decide on a real interview or asking candidates questions verbally, they did give the candidates these questions which need to be turned in by Friday at 3PM:

1.    What do you think are the top issues facing District 5 and how would you approach each of them?

2.    With limited budget resources and unlimited wants, prioritize what you see as the top three infrastructure needs for Salt Lake City over the next five years and explain your choices.

3.    What do you believe your role is as a City Council Member?

4.    What is an example of a City project or program that you think was a success, and why do you think it was successful?

5.    What are the most important values you will bring to your time on the City Council?

6.    What else would you like the Council to know that you have not had a chance to share?

CLEVELAND COURT REZONE FOR NO PARKING PASSES COMMISSION
  The Planning Commission has forwarded a positive recommendation to the City Council on the 1430 S. 400 East project called Cleveland Court.  Eleven neighbors spoke against the project (3 spoke for the project) and mainly objected to the minimal offstreet parking.  Unfortunately, they did not go to the Liberty Wells Community Council meeting that discussed this issue, even though the Council meets just a few blocks away (second Wednesday of the month at Tracy Aviary).  So the Council attendees almost unanimously endorsed the project and the Planning Commission gave that great weight.  ATTEND YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY COUNCIL MEETINGS!
  The neighbors intend to object to the project at the City Council meeting.  The big issue to me is the rezoning to FB-UN1 which is supposed to be next to rail transit stations (Sugar House and 9th South TRAX).  There are no parking minimums.  Although this project has 7 parking spaces off street, there are 15 bedrooms and neighbors believe that over 10 cars will be using the residences.  The City has said that the average multi family residence uses 1.6 parking spaces.  So this development should have over 10 parking spaces. 

   The zone meant for transit stations should not be allowed for anyplace else since it will impact the community negatively, in my opinion.  I do not like on street parking.  Off street parking should be encouraged.  For those bicyclists that are reading this, the less parking on street, the safer it is for bicyclists.

 

JANUARY 7, 2020
AIR QUALITY AFFORDABLE HOUSING HOMELESS WISH LIST PUBLISHED
SLC PLANNING COMMISSION PUSHING NEW LOWER OFF STREET PARKING LIMITS
NEW PROJECT ASKS FOR NO OFF STREET PARKING REQUIREMENTS
UTA BUS STOP HELL KILLS PEOPLE
BEST SUGAR HOUSE NEWS IN YEARS
MARIJUANA PHARMACIES LIST
NEW SLC MAYOR WANTS TO EXTEND S-LINE
SLC DISTRICT 5 VACANCY HAS 14 APPLICANTS 
SHELTER TURNS AWAY SLC HOMELESS WHO WANT TO STAY IN SLC
FORCING ANYONE TO STAY AWAKE IS TORTURE
SLCPD STILL DOWN 40 POLICE
1100 EAST ROAD PROJECT WILL BANKRUPT SUGAR HOUSE BUSINESSES
SOUTH SLC DEVELOPMENT DISCOURAGES MASS TRANSIT USE
MAYOR'S 130 PAGE PRIORITY LIST AVAILABLE
STATE 911 AUDIT SHOWS THAT 911 DOES NOT WORK IN SLCO
UTA STILL DOWN 100 DRIVERS AND WON'T BUDGE ON UNDERPAYING DRIVERS


AIR QUALITY AFFORDABLE HOUSING HOMELESS WISH LIST PUBLISHED
  The Salt Lake Tribune published my wish list for SLC on this past Sunday.  I suggested that the City focus on discouraging idling diesel trucks which can pollute hundreds of times more than cars.  I have complained about the many road projects that have many dump trucks idling for hours.  SLC needs to update their idling ordinance, which is now allowed due to recent Legislative changes, to allow citiations for idling diesel trucks after one warning.  It is my understanding that SLC's present ordinance has only been used once to cite a driver in the last few years.  I still think that it is wrong and a waste of police resources to go after idling cars.
  As I mentioned over the last few months, Salt Lake City has not spent about $1 million of the prison tax increase that was to go to mass transit expansion.  The bus routes that SLC paid to expand (2, 9, 21) have had minimal weekday ridership increases.  A better use of the money would be to have UTA lower the fare to a dollar.  I do not agree with the rioters who demand free bus service for the homeless (see below).  Studies show that increasing so called undesirables on mass transit discourages long term ridership increases by those with cars.  Do we want to encourage fewer cars on the road or do we want to solve the homeless problem with free bus service. 
  Another issue is the lack of a robust bus service recommended by the last UTA audit in 2014.  UTA bus service is still cut 30% from 12 years ago (due to spending money on rail).  A robust bus system/service increase was promised by UTA if they got a tax increase.  They did not keep their promise.
  Salt Lake City should speed up the effort to encourage redevelopment of State Street since it has the best potential to provide affordable housing (thousands of new residential units predicted) in a mixed income, mixed use setting.  The City's (and the new Mayor's) plan is to expand Single Room Occupancy citywide, including in single family home areas!  I disagree since low cost housing is not as useful as mixed income housing.  When a high percentage of housing is low cost/affordable (like the motels on State Street and North Temple), there is a tendency to enable/encourage criminal or addictive behavior.  That is why Palmer Court (run by the Road Home) is the second biggest draw for SLCFD for medical response.
  The Mayor's transition team included a recommendation for a safe camping area with toilet and washing facilities.  Many of us have been pushing that for years.
  The link to the SLTRIB story is: https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2020/01/03/george-chapman-wish-list/

 

SLC PLANNING COMMISSION PUSHING NEW LOWER OFF STREET PARKING LIMITS
  On January 8th (Wednesday) at 530PM, at City Hall, the SLC Planning Commission (last item on the agenda) will hear a proposed change to the SLC parking ordinance.  Based on previous Planning Commission work sessions, the Commission pushed Planning to reduce parking minimums.  The proposal ignores the large car lots that Salt Lake City encourages due to the large tax revenue that they generate.  So, with the exception of car lots, the reduced parking minimums are:  
  Building use or expansions of more than 25% would require new parking regulations with no additional parking in D1 D2 D3 and Urban Center context and Transit Context areas when there is a change of use.  Buildings older than 1944 do not require more parking for adaptive reuse.  All lots other than single or two family dwellings smaller than 5000 sq ft created prior to April 12, 1995 have exemptions to parking requirements   but any parking needs City approval.  Currently D2 and D3 less than 1000 sq ft is exempt from parking requirements.  There is a minimum parking of 3 per 1000 sq ft (now)adds 5 max per 1000 sq ft.  
  There are 4 different areas that the City is categorizing as General Context, Neighborhood Center (not well served by transit like 9th & 9th and 15th & 15th), Urban Center (dense pedestrian oriented like the Sugar House Business District and areas adjacent to downtown), and Transit Context (downtown core, surrounding mass transit facilities which may be exempt from minimum parking like Central 9th, North Temple and 400 South).
  "In many cases the minimum requirements have been reduced or eliminated altogether (Transit/Urban Center Contexts), but in a few cases (notably retail and restaurant uses) the exceptionally low standards in the current ordinance have been increased in order to reduce overflow parking in neighborhoods."
  "day cares, parks, warehouses, and several industrial uses, do not have maximum parking requirements in the revised chapter."
  The parking proposal encourages parking garages for multiple properties; multifamily developments must provide Electric Vehicle ready parking stalls (which increase costs); ADA - parking with 4 or fewer spaces do not require ADA space with signs but require 1 space with appropriate dimensions; secure/enclosed bicycle parking reduces parking in half; and the Planning Director can modify parking requirements, using approved adjustments to reduce requirements by up to 40%.
  It does remove on street parking credits ( used for a 900 E. 27th S. project), pedestrian amenities credits, and use of excess parking in a park and ride lot.  It increases shared parking from 500 ft away to up to 1200 ft.  All multi-family or commercial properties within a 1/4 mile of a fixed transit station can reduce parking minimums 25% (used to be decreased 50%) (changed to radial straight line) (Transit Context minimums not changed).
  Income restricted and/or age restricted units minimum parking reduced to 25%, with a further 15% reduction within a quarter mile of a high frequency bust route stop (2, 9, 200, 205, 209, 217 220).  Developments with 100 or more parking spaces could reduce 7 spaces for each van pool space.  Valet stalls can reduce parking one for one.  Developers can submit parking studies to justify reducing parking.  
  During public engagement, the public wanted 2 spaces per unit.  Planning Staff, under pressure from Planning Commission, reduced it to 1 per studio and 1 bedroom and 1.25 for more than 1 bedroom.  
  It is important to note that in Salt Lake City, "Typical multi-family developments in the general context are averaging about 1.6 stalls per unit."  That shows that parking requirements/minimums should not be reduced, especially in the Transit Context which has no minimum!!
  Lowering parking requirements will actually encourage residents to relocate to the suburbs, and, if done for stores, it will encourage driving to nearby cities to spend money and increase pollution.  In addition, the pre-eminent study on fare elasticities (Booz Allen Hamilton) show that lack of parking at transit stations discourage mass transit ridership.  And lowering parking requirements for residential units will discourage car owners and shift the units to mostly low income which will defeat the SLC housing policy of mixed income.  Salt Lake City should slow down this process until the public are fully informed with a more thorough outreach.  Otherwise, this process will be less popular than the recent so called Utah tax cut.
  I put the new parking proposal in the upper right downloads section.

 

NEW PROJECT ASKS FOR NO OFF STREET PARKING REQUIREMENTS
  The Planning Commission on January 8, at their regular Wednesday meeting, will also consider rezoning a proposed new development at 400 East and 1430 South.  Cleveland Court is asking to remove all parking requirements for their 7 unit row house project. The property is now zoned RMF35 and they want to rezone it to FB-UN1 zoning which has no parking requirements.  The developer would then provide 8 parking spaces for the 7 units which include 2 three bedrooms, 4 two bedrooms and 1 one bedroom apartments!  Form based zoning was the zoning next to rail stations and deliberately (we protested) had no parking requirements. 

 

UTA BUS STOP HELL KILLS PEOPLE
  UTA has constantly removed bus stops from convenient corners to allow easy transfer to other buses.  Instead of convenient bus stop locations to allow easy transfers between 2nd S. and 900 E. buses, UTA places two stops hundreds of feet away from the corners.  The same with many other corners like 39th S. and 900 E. and 3300 South and 950 West.  
  The bus stop at 3300 South and 950 West is half a block away from the 900 West light and effectively across the street from the 1000 West Mens Homeless Shelter!  It should have been obvious that an obviously questionable bus stop location would end up killing someone.  It did, kill, two so far.  Since the Homeless Shelter was also concerned, for some odd reason, they painted a crosswalk across the street to the bus stop without telling anyone!!!  UDOT had them remove it.  
  A month after we pointed out that the bus stop would obviously kill homeless, they have agreed, under pressure from UDOT (which may takeover UTA after a study that the Legislature asked for is finished), to move the bus stop.  I hope that it won't take more deaths to move bus stops to more reasonable stops.  It shouldn't take half a block to transfer to another bus, unless UTA is actually trying to discourage transit ridership.

 

BEST SUGAR HOUSE NEWS IN YEARS
  Despite being ignored by many news organizations (except for a couple of TV stations), the Sugar House Boys and Girls Club is finally going to get a remodel and expansion and it was announced by the outgoing Mayor in her last week in office.  (From a previous blog entry) Dell Loy Hansen, owner of Real Salt Lake and a head of a real estate company, is going to pay for the expansion of the Sugar House Girls and Boys Club.  The plan is to provide several more large indoor and outdoor courts that could also be used by the public.  It could expand the building to 27000 Square Feet with 127 to 305 parking spots underground (the $5 million cost of the parking garage would not be covered and other funds would be necessary - but SLCO and SLC gave another developer $15 for an underground parking garage).
  The recent survey of the tennis courts that Salt Lake City has allowed to remain decrepit for over 10 years resulted in 1100 responses.  The only  question that received an overwhelming agreement was that housing should not be an option and that it should stay as open space.  The plan to expand the Girls and Boys Club will still need to obtain funds for the parking garage and an agreement from the City (that is assumed to be done deal) to allow shared access with the public and several hearings to allow building on the open space tennis courts that would result some restrictions on access.  When it happens, it will be another major destination in Sugar House.

 

MARIJUANA PHARMACIES LIST 
  The Salt Lake City marijuana pharmacy list is out (it covers all of Salt Lake County) and the companies and pharmacy locations are: 
Beehive's Own at 1991 S. 3600 W.
Justice Grown Utah at 242 East Broadway (300 S.)
Dragonfly Wellness at 711 S State Street
  The Salt Lake City ordinance for marijuana is supposed to allow the pharmacies in commercial areas.  

 

NEW SLC MAYOR WANTS TO EXTEND S-LINE
  During a discussion with the Deseret News Editorial Board, Erin Mendenhall, the new SLC Mayor, said that "She wants to lead the development of a new transportation master plan that includes extensions of the S-line trolleys that currently connect TRAX to Sugarhouse."  Erin has often said that Salt Lake "needs to put a head on the snake" when referring to extending the S-Line up 1100 East.  That will bankrupt even more local businesses than the upcoming road work.  Note that the recommended width for a TRAX/S-Line is 14 feet (which requires at least 28 feet street width for two rail lines up and down the street) would require removing all parking and trees and stop most bicycling (rail lines should not be around bike lanes).  It will also cost $100 million local funding to get to 17th S. which is what Westminster has been pushing for.  If the line is extended, it should go east towards Sugar House Park which is the greatest destination in the area.  The line gets 1300 riders a day (not an increase due to the double tracking) on weekdays and up to 1600 riders a day on weekends.  
  On a side note, the UTA ridership dashboard is offline due to embarrassing data.  But the definitions for the dashboard are still online.

 

SLC DISTRICT 5 VACANCY HAS 14 APPLICANTS 
  This is from the City Recorder's Office (which is now under the City Attorney's Office) regarding the process to replace Erin Mendenhall on the City Council.  The deadline is January 14th at 5PM.
"SALT LAKE CITY CORPORATION
NOTICE OF MIDTERM CITY COUNCIL VACANCY
REQUEST FOR APPLICATION OF APPOINTMENT 
CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT FIVE
PUBLIC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that, as of January 5, 2020, there will be a Midterm Vacancy in Salt Lake City Council District Five. Any person interested in serving as City Council Member in District Five, who meets the following eligibility and residency requirements is hereby invited to submit an application of interest to the City Recorder. The appointed City Council Member will serve through the vacated term ending the first Monday of January 2022.
Eligibility and Residency Requirements:
Be a registered voter of the Municipality.
Have resided in Council District Five for 12 consecutive months immediately before the date of the appointment and remain a resident of District Five throughout the term of office.
In accordance with Utah Constitution Article IV, Section 6, a mentally incompetent individual, an individual convicted of a felony, or an individual convicted of treason or a crime against the elective franchise may not hold office in this state until the right to hold elective office is restored under Sections 20A-2-101.3 and 20A-2-101.5.
Application of Appointment:
Applications shall be submitted, in person, to the City Recorder, Cindi Mansell, 451 S. State St., Room 415, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111 and received by the deadline, January 14, 2020 by 5:00 p.m.
Applicants are encouraged to include a letter of interest and resume to highlight their qualifications for the position. Applicants are reminded that all information provided will become part of the public record. Applicants may not be employed by Salt Lake City if selected for the vacancy. Applications are available beginning Monday, December 16th online at:  www.slcdocs.com/recorder/application.pdf.
Public Meetings:
The City Council will hold a regular public meeting January 21, 2020 to interview applicants. If needed, applicants should also be available for additional meetings to continue interviews January 23, 28, 30 or February 4, 2020. The City Council could appoint an applicant as the Council Member to represent District Five at any of those meeting dates. Meetings will take place at the City & County Building, 451 S. State St., Room 315, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111. For further information, contact the City Recorder’s Office at 801-535-7671, elections@slcgov.com.
Timeline:
1/14/2020 – Deadline to submit application to City Recorder (5pm)
1/21/2020 – City Council meeting to interview applicants
1/23, 1/28, 1/30, 2/4/20 – Potential added meeting dates for interviews
1/21, 1/23, 1/28, 1/30 or 2/4/20 – Council appointment of New City Council Member by majority vote, City Recorder swears in new Council Member.
Salt Lake City Code 2.06.050 Vacancy Filling
In the event of a vacancy in the council, it shall within thirty (30) days of the occurrence and declaration of such vacancy, by majority vote of the remaining council members, appoint a qualified elector of the city to fill the unexpired term. The appointee shall serve with all of the rights and powers of a duly elected council member, until the next election and the date a successor is duly elected, qualified and sworn into office. A vacancy shall occur if a council member shall die, resign, terminate legal domicile within the corporate limits of the city and the appropriate council district boundaries, or be judicially removed from office.
See also, Utah State Code 20A-1-510 Midterm Vacancies in Municipal Offices
Applicant List as of 1/3/2020 4 p.m.
Darin Masao Mano
Carlos Enrique Arce-Larreta
Jason Stevenson
Misty K. Snow
Earl Robert Norman-Comstock
William (Bill) Davis
Crystal Young-Otterstrom
Grant Amjad Miller
Jessica Gezon
Michael Ramon Aguilar
Clint Campbell
Jenny Hobbs
Nancy Philipp
Karel Joy McDonough

 

SHELTER TURNS AWAY SLC HOMELESS WHO WANT TO STAY IN SLC
  Despite the claims that the homeless campers could move into the shelters which have open beds, the reality is that when men go to the Gail Miller Shelter on Paramont, last night seven homeless were refused beds but offered transportation to the South Salt Lake Shelter in the middle of nowhere (which required a death defying walk to the bus stop if they want to get a snack).  The homeless refused the transportation (effectively saying that they would rather face deadly cold than go to the South Salt Lake Shelter).  
  A confusing note is that the City said two months ago (noted in a previous blog entry) that the City would not roust homeless during the cold weather.  The previous Mayor repeated that but the Police are participating in the homeless rousting which the Mayor said was being handled by the County Health Department.
FORCING ANYONE TO STAY AWAKE IS TORTURE
  During the last City Council meeting of the year, one comment made to the Council pointed out that forcing anyone to stay awake is effectively torture.  He was referring to the Weigand Center that opens their doors at 9 PM to those who can't find a mat at the adjacent Vincent De Paul Center.  The homeless who avail themselves of the "torture" need to be around the Center so that they can go to work.  They are willing to stand in line before the 9 PM opening.  Homeless should not have to stand in line in the cold; they shouldn't have to worry about where they will stay overnight; shouldn't have to be forced to stay awake all night.

 

SLCPD STILL DOWN 40 POLICE
  In case anyone cares, Salt Lake City is down 40 cops.  For years, the City has been trying to expand their police force by 50 cops.  Despite all of the efforts, the City has failed.

 

1100 EAST ROAD PROJECT WILL BANKRUPT SUGAR HOUSE BUSINESSES
  Salt Lake City will reconstruct 1100 East around the 2000 South Post Office (across from Hollywood) this year (despite the fact that the 1300 East project is still not finished and the two projects will result in significant congestion and pollution).  The biggesst loss will be the businesses on 11th that are an eclectic group of shops but may and will go bankrupt without City help.

 

SOUTH SLC DEVELOPMENT DISCOURAGES MASS TRANSIT USE
  The Salt Lake Tribune recently ran a story that implied that the significant number of new developments on the S-Line in South Salt Lake City were due to the rail line.  But the City has been trying to develop the area west of State Street and south of 2100 South for decades.  The City refused to support the Market Street proposal then and the area has been underutilized since.  When the WinCo moved in, there was new hope.  Grocery stores encourage development, more than rail lines.  But UTA moved the S-Line station a half block away from the State Street bus (typical) and the new development actually blocked access to the WinCo grocery store!  And the new developments are not ground floor retail, just apartments and offices.  South Salt Lake also closed a street east of State Street for a car lot expansion.  In other words, South Salt Lake is NOT good at encouraging walkability, mixed use and encouraging mass transit use.  

 

STATE 911 AUDIT SHOWS THAT 911 DOES NOT WORK IN SLCO
  The State Legislature had an audit performed on the 911 system in Utah.  It found that there were major problems with the system that included mainly the inability to have the calls handled in an appropriate municipal organization whether police or fire.  When the Legislature passed the last two significant 911/phone tax increases, there were complaints that giving a tax increase before the Salt Lake County's three 911 systems are combined, is an unwise and irresponsible action.  The audit proved that when calls are made to the wrong 911 system, which often happens when the caller is near a cell tower located in another area, it takes too much time to transfer calls to the appropriate 911 dispatch.  SLCO 911 systems need to combine into one system Countywide like the Morgan Weber Dispatch system. 

 

UTA STILL DOWN 100 DRIVERS AND WON'T BUDGE ON UNDERPAYING DRIVERS

  As of this last weekend, UTA is still refusing a reasonable salary for its bus drivers.  The result is that UTA is down over 100 drivers and it will be impossible to expand service in 2020.

 


DECEMBER 10, 2019
UTA MAY NOT INCREASE SERVICE UNTIL 2021!!!!!

 


UTA MAY NOT INCREASE SERVICE UNTIL 2021!!!!!
  UTA is considering not increasing service until 2021!  Claiming that the UTA does not have enough space for buses (in a garage), Commissioner Christensen said that the UTA is considering not increasing bus service until 2021.  The UTA Draft Service Plan is going to be discussed at the December 10 UTA Board of Trustees meeting.  I put the Plan in the upper righthand corner (I am in the process of relocating downloads to another page to make the website easier to navigate.).  The Plan has the list of bus routes and the proposals.  Tier 1 is 15 minutes service.  But the proposal is ignoring the best routes for increasing ridership, those with the most riders and those which often are standing room only.  Bus 200 State Street and bus 217 Redwood Road, and several others that can efficiently operate with 10 minute frequency, are still limited to 15 minutes.  
  But UTA is planning on providing 10 minutes service when spending $40 million on a Bus Rapid Transit System on 48th South instead of  increasing frequency now!  A BRT is not needed to increase frequency.  Drivers and mechanics (and buses) are needed.  I consider UTA's explanation of why they can't increase service now or possibly until 2021 to be covering up the lack of drivers and mechanics.  Every bus does not need, or shouldn't need, a complete bus garage overhaul facility like the $100 million project being built in the Depot District.
  Some examples of important service priorities are 200, 217, 33, 4, 209, 220, and possibly the Draper/Lehi bus which should be more used before even thinking of a billion dollar TRAX to Lehi from Draper.
  Please tell the UTA Board of Trustees to increase service now and not wait until 2021.  The email is boardoftrustees@rideuta.com.  UTA only gets one comment each meeting, if any.  More riders need to step up and demand more service, especially after UTA promised that bus service would need to be increased within a year if sales taxes were raised in Prop One (which SB136 did to overrule the voters).  I also put the UTA final draft budget in the upper right.  UTA only received 4 comments on it!  Those comments are at the end of the document (My comments were cut off.)  
  I would like to remind readers that bus 9 service expansion, paid for by SLC with 1/4 of the prison tax increase, is providing minimal service increases that seems to cost over $100 per rider!  UTA needs to consider the cost per rider to provide a realistic cost benefit analysis.  
  During the last Tax Restructuring Task Force public hearing, one speaker complained about the 1996 bus ridership that, if that service was continued, would provide a larger ridership than is now riding UTA.
  UTA is also going to be providing bike racks that can handle 3 bikes on all buses with a long predicted service life.  UTA is also planning on spending $7 million on a parking garage at SLC Central Station to assist SLC RDA in developing the Depot District area!  It's too bad since $7 million would provide almost all of the service increases in the attached 2020 Draft Service Plan (since a robust bus system will increase fare revenues systemwide).

 

 

DECEMBER 8, 201

CUTTING TAXES BY INCREASING TAXES DOES NOT MAKE SENSE

 

Cutting taxes by increasing taxes does not make sense
   The Utah Legislature's attempt to justify a large income tax cut seems to be running out of reasonable arguments. Despite claims that the goal is to cut taxes, the last meeting of the Legislature’s Tax Restructuring and Equalization Task Force provided predictions that their efforts may increase taxes for individuals with less than 2 exemptions. 
  The Task Force staff also admitted that the proposal was “a little complicated”. Most Utahns would have said that the proposals are super duper complicated. They are so complicated that the Utah Tax Commission will have to hire hundreds of high caliber and professionally capable government staff to wade through the rules and determine appropriate taxes. Even some of the Task Force members indicated that the proposal to tax services will require a lot of tweaking since the proposal raises more questions than settles questions. 
  The final list of taxable services is still in flux and will probably only be revealed a few minutes before the Legislature votes on it in a special session. But it is possible that hair braiding, lemonade stands, lawn mowing (by the neighbor’s kid) and piano teaching may end up being taxed. Ironically, two of those were recently made legal by the Legislature! The goal of taxes should not be make it legal then tax the heck out of it (like marijuana). 
  Lost in the rush to tax services is the fact that product oriented companies generally have up to 10 times the valuation of service oriented companies. Companies that provide services are valued at up to 2 times the annual revenue versus valuation of 2 to 10 times the annual revenue for companies that provide products. Taxing services, is not only unfair, but if they are taxed, it will have a negative impact on some of Utah’s fastest growing companies.
  During discussion, data on internet taxes were not available. The numbers are now available and they show that internet sales tax revenue is growing exponentially!  The number of accounts have almost doubled in the first 3 quarters with tax revenue increasing about 50% in the first three quarters. The last quarter is predicted to have a much larger tax revenue due to the major shift to internet sales and year end/Christmas sales. It would be reasonable to assume that taxable revenue from internet sales should double this year. Internet taxes may provide $50 million in State sales taxes (local taxes would be about half of that) this year and many experts believe that internet sales will increase at least 50% each year. Justifying a tax increase on services by claiming a large reduction in sales tax revenue seems wishful thinking.
  One of the Task Force members, a respected expert, expressed support for consumption taxes since we have a choice. I know him and his reasoning but he energized opposition by ignoring the fact that food is not a choice. And the proposed fuel tax (over 10 cents a gallon), would hurt rural drivers more since they often have to drive farther for necessities. Cars make our families more efficient. An increase in gasoline taxes argued due to reduced gasoline sales is countered by the shift to larger and more fuel burning SUVs and trucks! But the Legislature should give counties the option to increase gasoline taxes to provide more specific highway projects.
  The biggest and scariest proposal is to cut the Utah State income tax which would automatically decrease education funding. The Legislature has said before that reducing income taxes (to a flat tax) would not decrease education funding but it has. The education of the rising generation should be the second highest priority of society (after worship of God). Cutting education funding, even with promises to restore funding, would seem to throw priorities out the window.
  Legislators should acknowledge that cutting taxes by increasing taxes does not make sense, decreases respect for government and increases government bureaucracy. A tax cut with a tax increase is still a tax increase.

 

 


DECEMBER 3, 2019
HOMELESS RESOURCE CENTERS INSTALLING COTS
SLCPD WILL NOT ROUST HOMELESS BELOW 35 DEGREES
DOES SOMEONE WANT MICHAEL CLARA DEAD
SLC WANTS YOUR OPINION EXCEPT WHEN GIVING DEVELOPERS MONEY
HOMELESS DEATH DUE TO BAD BUS STOP
COUNTY BUDGET APPROVED WITH TAX INCREASE JAIL BEDS NOT USED
TAX INCREASES WHILE CLAIMING TO CUT TAXES IS SADLY LAUGHABLE BUT USUAL
DOWNLOADS HAVE REPORTS ON INTERNET TAXES, SLCPD PARKS, SLC HOUSING, HOMELESSNESS, STREETS TRAFFIC CALMING, DUI, SCOOTERS, SRO AND BOARDED UP BUILDINGS


HOMELESS RESOURCE CENTERS INSTALLING COTS
  The new Homeless Resource Centers model may be working sort of.  They filled up so fast that the Centers are bringing in cots to use for semi overflow.  Although the Centers promised to limit residents to 200 (300 in South Salt Lake City), many of the new residents don't spend every night in the Centers.  But they keep their bed reserved.  That is one way to encourage homeless to stabilize.  But due to the open beds that are reserved for specific homeless, the number of homeless in each center is below the limit set in the law, ordinances and agreements.  So to allow more individuals to access the facilities, and attempt to keep the limits, the Centers are bringing in cots.  If it is for a few days to figure out what happened to the person not using the empty bed, that can make sense.  But without a plan, and acknowledgement with the neighbors, the cots could end up being permanent and the Centers' population could significantly increase.
 
SLCPD WILL NOT ROUST HOMELESS BELOW 35 DEGREES
  During discussions at the SLC Council, the City has decided to stop rousting/pushing out homeless campers.  "For example, based on discussions last week in two separate levels of meetings, it was determined that if the temperature falls consistently below 35 degrees Fahrenheit at night, (law encampment) cleanup crews will not take tents, coats, waterproof sleeping bags or items that protect unsheltered campers from winter weather. It also was determined that cleanup crews will not clean up encampments if is it raining or snowing or when daytime temperatures fall below 25 degrees Fahrenheit with wind chill."  I put the rules in the DOWNLOADS section.

DOES SOMEONE WANT MICHAEL CLARA DEAD
  In one of the strangest stories this year, Michael Clara, a community activist and advocate for the Poplar Grove Neighborhood Alliance, was driving around his neighborhood (900 West and 200 South) and someone in a stolen vehicle with a front snow plow started ramming into him from behind.  It appeared that the driver was trying to get Michael to pull over (like in movies where the bad guy tries to get the victim to stop and get out of their vehicle so they will be defenseless).  Michael pulled over and the stolen vehicle turned around and looked like it was coming back for him!  Michael took out his concealed carry permit gun and started firing at the vehicle!  Unfortunately, a couple of shots went awry and hit another vehicle.  The stolen vehicle ended up being abandoned on property owned by Erin Mendenhall (soon to be mayor) and Kyle LaMalfa!  And, even more surprising, Michael Clara has been asking questions about their property that is being developed with Salt Lake City giving up alleyway property to assist in the development!  I find it hard to believe that someone wants Michael Clara dead but....

SLC WANTS YOUR OPINION EXCEPT WHEN GIVING DEVELOPERS MONEY
  Salt Lake City has been taking a lot of surveys lately.  It is asking for citizen feedback on garbage fee increases (does anybody really want higher taxes), scooters (does anybody want scooters on downtown sidewalks), and several street projects.  Salt Lake City seems to want to ask which is better than they have done before when they went ahead and just did the project and asked when it was too late, what citizens thought.  The City increased many taxes this year and allowed scooters on sidewalks without surveys.  So the City should be thanked for asking before but.... The City is not running surveys on what people think of SROs (soon to be allowed Citywide, not just in commercial areas), rail projects (millions for more TRAX stations), and giving developers sweetheart deals worth millions of property for free (just today the $4+ million Utah Theater property).  Maybe next year they will ask before they give developers millions if property for free.  And the $4+ million could be used to build 40 apartments for affordable housing but the developer will now get so called affordable rent.

HOMELESS DEATH DUE TO BAD BUS STOP
  Nine years ago, I started getting involved in the issues regarding homeless.  A homeless man, with all of his belongings in a shopping cart, had bought some eggnog to celebrate Thanksgiving Eve but was killed crossing the street by a UTA 455 bus (455 route can fry a driver's brain so that they just follow lights and don't always see someone too slow to cross the street in time for the pedestrian lights).  The death resulted in a small paragraph in the Deseret News (and a mass for the man) and I wrote that it was a sad commentary on our society that a man's death on Thanksgiving Eve got just a little note.  I found that there were a lot of other issues that were being ignored by the City Administration despite claims that they solved the homeless problem!  
  This last week, a homeless man was killed on 33rd South around the new South Salt Lake Homeless Resource Center.  The problem appears to be that the nearest bus stop going west is halfway down the block from the lighted intersection with a pedestrian light.  To cross efficiently, but unsafely, to and from the shelter, to the bus stop requires crossing a dangerous high speed 6 lane road without any street lights.  It is really dark and dangerous.  Due to the placement of the Shelter in the middle of nowhere, if homeless want something, anything, they need to use the bus.  It seems that the bus stop actually encourages dangerous and deadly behavior.  That bus stop (all bus stops) should be moved to the corner to encourage safe crossing of streets.
  On a separate note, Salt Lake City Police have been using jaywalking violations to stop and frisk homeless to confiscate drugs and illegal items.  That has almost always been the way it works.  The philosophy of disruption is the police term to discourage illegal behavior.  But a few years ago, the police stopped enforcing jaywalking laws, partly due to the high cost and the complaints from SLC visitors and tourists.  But the enforcement never really went away.  The SLCPD is using the jaywalking violations like drug stops.  It should be noted that drug users do not usually commit victimless crimes.  But until there is a system to settle the issue with one person with treatment or jail, ticketing and arresting homeless and/or drug users is a waste of time and valuable police resources.  Some homeless/drug users/criminals have been arrested over 100 times!

COUNTY BUDGET APPROVED WITH TAX INCREASE BUT STILL JAIL BEDS NOT USED
  The Salt Lake County Council approved the County's tax increase but there are still 120 beds unused at Oxbow Jail due to underfunding and the DA is still only getting a third of the personnel he needs to prosecute and lock up the threats to society, the real criminals.

TAX INCREASES WHILE CLAIMING TO CUT TAXES IS SADLY LAUGHABLE BUT USUAL
  The Legislature is scheduled to have one more Tax Task Force meeting Monday, December 9 with an attempt/push/forced special session on the 12th of December to cut taxes by increasing taxes.  The claim that sales taxes are decreasing is false when you factor in the special exemptions that Utah keeps giving to special interests and the internet sales tax revenue.  I put the internet sales tax data (Wayfair) in the DOWNLOADS section.  It looks like internet sales tax revenue will double this year and is predicted to increase a minimum of 50% each subsequent year.  Utah may get around $50 million in internet related/remote sales tax revenue this year when all quarters are counted.  Local governments would get about half of that.

DOWNLOADS HAVE REPORTS ON INTERNET TAXES, SLCPD PARKS, SLC HOUSING, HOMELESSNESS, STREETS, TRAFFIC CALMING, DUI, SCOOTERS, SRO AND BOARDED UP BUILDINGS
  I put lots of interesting downloads in the downloads section of this blog.  It includes: up to date data on internet sales taxes (Wayfair Remote Sales 2019), the SLCPD parks patrol proposals, the latest SLC housing Funding Our Future data, the City's homelessness facts, the latest street reconstruction lists, a Traffic Calming 2.0 proposal, the DUI data for the State, the latest SLC Scooter ordinance proposal, the SRO expansion areas (not limited to just a few areas) and the SLC Boarded Up Buildings data (as a prelude to changing the demolition ordinance to decrease vacant buildings that are crime magnets). Interestingly, SLC RDA owns 7 of 15 acres in the Depot District, of which many buildings are vacant and have been for decades.  The City has ignored the philosophy that vacant buildings encourage criminal behavior and thinks that the Rio Grande area is proof.  Not.

 


NOVEMBER 21, 2019
WAR ON CARS WINS BATTLE FOR 500E
900 EAST RECONSTRUCTION DESIGNS COLLECTING COMMUNITY INPUT
CLUELESS RIOT
COUNTY DA FOCUSES ON SPECIAL VICTIMS
SUGAR HOUSE BOYS/GIRLS PLANS TO EXPAND
FOOTHILL SAFETY FOR PEDESTRIANS GOING DOWNHILL
HOMELESS SHELTER PROBLEMS
LIBRARY WANTS BETTER SECURITY NOT COPS
NEW DOWNTOWN SUPPORTIVE SHELTER LIKE PALMER COURT
BUDGET AMENDMENT 2 WITH SLCPD POLICE PATROLS
SROS ABOUT TO TAKEOVER SLC
UTAH AUTOMOBILE CRASH AND DUI ARRESTS, INJURIES FATALITIES
STOP TRYING TO CUT TAXES BY INCREASING TAXES
SAFECAM SLC STOPS, SLC ACCEPTS RING NEIGHBORS
UTA BUDGET HEARING RESET FOR NOVEMBER 19 TUESDAY
UTAH CREATES A MOBILE MENTAL CRISIS SYSTEM BUT RUINS IT

 

 

WAR ON CARS WINS BATTLE FOR 500E
 Salt Lake City has just about finished their design for the 500 East reconstruction from 1700 South to 2100 South.  The project will have southbound shared bicycle lane that will require vehicle traffic to follow bicyclists.  If the vehicle traffic is unable to pass (with at least 3 feet clearance), cars and buses will be forced to drive at around 10 MPH!  The shared lanes on Sunnyside and 17th South going downhill effectively give bicyclists an easy way to go 20 MPH and minimally impact vehicle traffic.  The shared lanes on South Temple and Sunnyside have 2 travel lanes so passing bicyclists is relatively easy. 
  But Salt Lake City has decided that after spending a lot of money on the 600 East bicycle boulevard and the 300 East bicycle lanes (way too skinny for encouraging cycling), that a major bus, public safety and vehicle route needs to give priority to bicycles over vehicles.
  The plan is also to consolidate bus stops for "faster service" but if a bus has to go 10 MPH behind a bicyclist, it is not going to be faster service.  In addition, moving or eliminating stops should not be expected to improve ridership since many people do not want to walk more than a block.  Salt Lake City recognizes that when it puts crosswalks and lights at half block intervals downtown and on State Street (recently).  
  There will be reaised crosswalks on 500 East at "Downington, Ramona and Hollywood which will be designed for 30 MPH travel, fire trucks, buses and snow plows.  I want to see snow plows trying to drive 5 MPH behind a biyclist going south on 500 East!  The final draft drawings are now at www.slc.gov/mystreet.
  The City will also be replacing a 42 inch aqueduct pipe on Downington to Coatsville, water mains and storm drains.  The City presently claims that they haven't found any trees that are definitely going to removed.  The City recognizes that the large mature trees are important to the community and will try to minimize removal.  Parking on the east side will be removed which appears to be a big issue with residents.  Removing parking will concentrate parking on the west side which will cause safety concerns for residents trying to back out of their driveways and trying to see past cars and trucks parked near their driveways.  I expect that this project will decrease respect for the City.  The 900 South and 2700 South projects are still not finished but are expected to finish before Thanksgiving.  The 1300 East project is going to take a year longer than expected and will effectively take three years.
900 EAST RECONSTRUCTION DESIGNS COLLECTING COMMUNITY INPUT
  Also at www.slc.gov/mystreet is preliminary designs for the 900 East reconstruction plan.  Please provide your comments.  Some of the comments (that the City is seriously considering) include removing/moving the east west crosswalks on Sugarmont and Simpson.  There are 3 crosswalks that could be made safer by moving the 2 southernmost crosswalks to south of the Simpson road that goes west.  That would decrease the left hand turning safety concerns affecting pedestrians.  Other concerns are trying to increase the left hand turning lanes near 2100 South so that the backups do not interfere with through traffic.  That would also limit left hand turns into the Walgreens parking lot near the light (allowing left hand turns north of the building).  There is a design proposal to have a raised shared path under the I80 overpass between Ashton and Parkway.  I have asked that the center turn lane be removed and the space used to provide 9+ wide bike lanes.  If SLC really wants to increase bicyling, it should plan for wide bikelanes since bicyclist really like to ride side by side, not tandem.  But citizens need to emphasize that, if you agree, when providing comments to the City.  
CLUELESS RIOT
  Last week, at the Salt Lake City Council formal meeting, a large group of activists disrupted a meeting of the Council in an attempt to keep The Road Home homeless shelter open.
  It seemed that the group wanted to create a riot and force the City to do something about the sad state of affairs in the homeless community. But the group was preaching to the choir. When they demanded answers on keeping The Road Home open, the Council would not answer. The Council normally doesn't try to answer or engage in debate during public hearings. Their goal is to hear comments and opinions from the citizens of the City. When the group started shouting demands, the Council walked out.
  Ironically, the last time the Council walked out was when homeless advocate Bernie Hart wouldn't stop speaking about the sad state of affairs in the homeless community last year! Bernie and his wife Marita are famous nationwide for organizing a homeless Tai Chi program. https://www.msn.com/en-sg/lifestyle/lifestyle-news-feature/homeless-people-find-friends-ease-stress-in-tai-chi-class/ar-AAJgocT?li=BBr8OIU#image=AAJgocT_1
  It recently received State funding in recognition of their successful work. Bernie also provided the Legislature's Road Home Audit personnel with a three day education of the homeless issues that needed solving. It is even more ironic that Bernie forced the Council to walk out by himself when it took a hundred to force the Council to walk out this week.
  The group that were trying to disrupt the Council meeting seemed to be clueless about the Council's attitude towards the homeless. Three of the 5 Councilmembers at the hearing this week are involved daily with working with the homeless as part of their job. One works for VOA. Another works for nonprofit community services. And another worked as a legal aid attorney helping homeless navigate the legal system everyday. Another tries to help the homeless while operating her business. Their disruption of the meeting would seem to actually do the opposite of what they wanted.  
  The riot seemed to start when citizens commenting on a Budget Amendment that would increase overtime for police officers to patrol parks.  The proposal was first presented to the Council in May but the Council balked at sending SLPD personnel into parks while in uniform saying that "certain demographics are intimidated by uniformed police officers" and can't enjoy parks.  The Council agreed to allow police bicycle patrols in the "less intimidating" bicycle cop uniforms in parks but did not fund the proposal until Budget Amendment 2.
  The prime driver for the Police Chief's proposal was the many community councils that were asking for uniformed police patrols of parks.  The parks in Salt Lake City were deteriorating, according to nearby residents, with drug and criminal behavior significantly increasing.  Part of the reason was Operation Rio Grande, called Operation Leaf Blower by the County police chiefs, which caused much criminal activity to be displaced to the City's parks.  The County Jail aggravates the situation since criminal behavior, even if it threatens others, does not usually get booked into jail and the mental health and drug issues usually don't get treated.  So parks are getting the homeless that don't feel comfortable in the Rio Grande area due to the drugs and criminal activities in that area along with the criminals that are pushed out due to the Operation Rio Grande.
  Residents deserve to get walking police patrols, in uniform, of parks.  It is a sad commentary on our society if the first time someone is exposed to a police officer is during a criminal investigation.  Citizens, especially children, should be exposed to police in parks to show them that cops are approachable and are good.  When I suggested that Budget Amendmment 2 should be approved to allow police patrols in parks with overtime, not just to increase safety for people in parks but also for the homeless in the parks (2 homeless were killed which gave the excuse for Operation Rio Grande), the audience in the Council hearing yelled out that "homeless are people too".  
  It went downhill fast.  The activists demanded that the the Council answer their demands and when they didn't they kept yelling out "what will you do", louder and all at once.  They jumped on a table in front of the Council after the Council walked out and yelled demands for about 10 minutes then left.  A few of the activists stayed behind.  
  I reminded those that stayed, during a subsequent grant proposal hearing, that some of us have been trying to keep the Road Home open for years.  And I asked for part of the grant application to be used for a clean team that could clean the areas around the new homeless shelter.  Some of those that congregate around the shelters, leave the shelter grounds to party and they leave everything from needles to piles of feces.  Neighbors of the shelters need clean team more than neighborhood outreach/public relations people.
  At the public comment section, I asked that the Council allow uniformed police patrols in parks on electric scooters.  Despite the arguments against it, Sandy places uniformed cops in parks and the County pays SLC to have cops patrol the Jordan River Parkway.
  For those interested, HB441 in 2017 set the plan to close the Road Home in motion by setting up a process to choose the last homeless shelter site.  Only one person argued against HB441.  
COUNTY DA FOCUSES ON SPECIAL VICTIMS
  During the Salt Lake County Council discussion on the budget for the District Attorney, there was a long discussion on the lack of prosecution of rapes.  The DA is asking for an increase in personnel to create a special victims section that will focus on and help prosecute rapes and domestic violence cases.  Up to 50% of domestic violence cases used to be dismissed.  Over the last year, in Salt Lake County, around 20% have been dismissed.
  The DA estimated that out of 100 rapes, 88 are not reported.  Out of 12 rapes that are reported, with the expectation that they will help prosecute, the DA is only able to bring charges against 4.  Part of the problem is that prosecution victimizes the victim more due to being in an environment that may not be safe. 
  (The military recognizes that reporting rape can result in retribution against the victim.  The military places rape reports in a restricted file until the perpetrator is arrested and charged.  The civilian world should implement a similar system to protect victims and encourage rape reports.)
  DA Sim Gill said that we can do more on the victim side.  Although the Rape Recovery Center used to have maybe one referral a day, they now get two a day and Councilwoman Ghorbani is on board with the effort to expand discovery and prosecution of rapes and domestic violence(County Councilwoman Shireen Ghorbani is on the Rape Recovery Center Board).  
  Although the DA is only asking for less than 10 new investigators and prosecutors to create the special victims task force, he says that he needs 30 more to do what he should like to do.  Mayor Jennie Wilson gave an emotional plea to support the DA expansion.
  Councilman DeBry, a good friend of the DA, again questioned some of the DA's budget requests for more personnel.  This year he questioned the DA's hiring of former Sheriff Jim Winder as the Chief Investigator supervisor.  DeBry questioned why the investigators needed a supervisor.  DA Gill responded that investigators needed to have priorities set and coordinate with prosecutors and Jim Winder had the experience to understand the important priorities.  DeBry complained that the DA is not a police department and that we have too many police departments.  I agree that there are too many police departments in the County and that Salt Lake County law enforcement should all be under the County Sheriff, including the UofU police (along with one DA and 911 system).
  Another important effort of the DA was his plan to decrease cash bail and he believes that the 30-35% of non violent offenders could get out of jail with just text notification of court hearings (about 300 fewer beds would be used).  He believes that his pilot program will help 10,000 people in 18 months (the DA has about 20,000 prosecutions a year)
SUGAR HOUSE BOYS/GIRLS PLANS TO EXPAND
  Dell Loy Hansen, owner of Real Salt Lake and a head of a real estate company, is considering helping to pay for the expansion of the Sugar House Girls and Boys Club.  The plan is to provide several more large indoor and outdoor courts that could also be used by the public.  It could expand the building to 27000 Square Feet with 127 to 305 parking spots underground (the $5 million cost of the parking garage would not be covered and other funds would be necessary - but SLCO and SLC gave another developer $15 for an underground parking garage).
  The recent survey of the tennis courts that Salt Lake City has allowed to remain decrepit for over 10 years resulted in 1100 responses.  The only  question that received an overwhelming agreement was that housing should not be an option and that it should stay as open space.  The plan to expand the Girls and Boys Club will depend on further fundraising and an agreement from the City to allow shared access with the public and several hearings to allow building on the open space tennis courts that would result some restrictions on access.  If it happens, it will be another major destination in Sugar House.
FOOTHILL SAFETY FOR PEDESTRIANS GOING DOWNHILL
  During a discussion at the East Bench Community Council, the sorry state of Foothill Boulevard was discussed.  Decades of complaints have been ignored and many studies have been undertaken.  The biggest complaint has been due to traffic increasing (much due to the 1300 East reconstruction/closing) and the University of Utah's efforts to increase density and building and use of their property which increases vehicles.  
  Pedestrians (and bicyclists) are significantly threatened by left hand turning vehicles which often back up traffic behind them.  One school near Foothill has stopped providing crossing guards (the principal tries to function as one).  There are several schools near Foothill and parents almost always try to drive their kids to school due to safety concerns.  One proposal is to implement no left hand turns going east west on an intersection by intersection basis.  UDOT has said that that requires more study!
  There is also the concern that snowplows throw snow onto Foothill sidewalks.  It is almost impossible for residents to clear that snow.  The principals are going to try to be certified as crossing guards to help increase safety.  The community is actively going to push for better amenities and solutions and expects to have a follow up meeting in the new year.
  And finally, UTA has just one major full service route, Route 4 that is 45 minutes to 30 minutes weekday service!  Despite that fact, UTA and WFRC (at WFRC.org) has put a $600 million plus BRT (TRAX on wheels) in the future plans for the corridor.  Just a few million a year would provide a 10 minute frequency bus but UTA would rather do projects.  They are spending a lot of money to try to increase ridership of the BRT 35 MAX on 35th South (with a poor 3200 passengers a day ridership).  If you take away a lane of traffic for a bus, it should get more than 5000 riders a day (2 lanes should get 10,000 riders) since a lane of roadway can easily handle 5000 vehicles a day.
  For those drivers who seem to think that the Foothill/East Bench areas are lawless areas, traffic citation more than doubled in the last few months for the area.  Due to many complaints from residents, the SLCPD seems to focusing on the streets that are near Foothill.  Be forewarned.
HOMELESS SHELTER PROBLEMS
  The homeless resource center on Paramont (15th South and 300 West) has been causing a lot of problems with neighbors.  Although the center allows the homeless to park in their parking lot, many homeless who park in the neighborhood say that they are not allowed to park in the lot and therefore park nearby (the shelter is supposedly full since homeless reserve a bed and they keep it even if they don't show up).  Neighbors are upset about the intimidation from "friends" that party nearby.  They defecate on the sidewalk and the police and homeless security personnel will not rouste the sidewalk loiterers.  Part of the problem is the Jail booking restrictions.  Neighbors have been attacked and the cop cam trailer that was supposed to increase neighborhood security was busted temporarily with a baseball bat (SLC needs more cop cams).  Despite promises to place on site police, the security is operated by a private company, much like The Road Home.
  The City is planning on two neighborhood outreach coordinators to help neighbors find solutions to the problems that the new shelters may (and do) bring.  One of those positions should go to actual clean up teams (like the Rio Grande clean team that cleans sidewalks).  The Ballpark community is upset that the neighborhood is getting a coordinator instead of someone who can actually do something instead of talking.
  The City is providing grants to individual residents and businesses between 17th South and 13th South to mitigate any problems that the shelters may cause.  Grants can be used for things like security cameras and systems.  Unfortunately the residents within a block of the borders are also impacted but are unable to get the grants.  Rawleigh.Greenhalgh@slcgov.com is the coordinator and should be contacted with questions.
LIBRARY WANTS BETTER SECURITY NOT COPS
  The SLC Public Library has decided that they want better security but they don't want cops to provide security, despite calling and using police response regularly.  The increased cost will be $221,000 for 4 more security personnel whihc is close to the cost of the present 5 contract personnel.  "The Library System already has a security supervisor and two full-time in-house security personnel.  The advantages to hiring the four personnel include more cohesive security operations and potentially less turnover than among contract security personnel, according to Library System administrators. The four would be trained to work with the varied fabric of people who use the Library System.  The four also would not carry firearms."  But it seems cops, are too intimidating for library patrons?!
NEW DOWNTOWN SUPPORTIVE SHELTER LIKE PALMER COURT
  Dan Lofgren of Cowboy Partners is asking the City to allow "65 furnished studio units of permanent supportive housing for transitioning from chronic homelessness.  Potential tenants will be drawn from current residents of the Homeless Resource Centers (HRCs) and will qualify for this housing only if their incomes are 25% AMI or less, and they otherwise meet Salt Lake City Housing Authority and Federal Section 8 requirements. The Road Home will be the service provider of onsite case management during business hours, as well as manager of the facility, which will include 1,200 square feet of common areas, clinical and counseling areas, and space for other organizations that provide addition services for tenants."  
  The developer, who has a good reputation of building mixed income and affordable housing is asking for the property behind the old SLCPD building (Pipeline Building) to build the housing in addition to a loan.  
  The Palmer Court supportive housing has a bad reputation as the second biggest medical response draw (after Rio Grande) due to drug and alcohol problems.  It will be interesting to see how this new housing works.
  "The Administration has indicated they are happy to provide an update on
these negotiations (about developing the rest of the Pipeline Building property) to Council Members in a small group meeting format (a secret meeting that the SL Council is regularly having, much like many of the elected governments in Utah).
BUDGET AMENDMENT 2 WITH SLCPD POLICE PATROLS
  SLC Budget Amendment 2 with the SLCPD overtime budget has this in the Council packet:  "The Council may wish to discuss which problem(s) the funding is intended to solve.  Staff heard the following mentioned during previous briefings: (1) increase patrols on Washington Square and in the City & County Building, (2) officers assist Parks employees with closing restrooms at night, (3) increase patrols in City parks and urban trails and (4) officers spend more time in identified crime hotspots which could include parks but is flexible to respond to changing crime intelligence, reports and community perceptions. The Council may wish to clarify the intent of funds added."
  The Police do not specify where in a park the crimes are occurring.  So, for instance, there is a large number of reported crimes shown at 600 East and 9th South since that is the address of Liberty Park.
  An interesting admission by the Administration is "for overtime to help with homeless mitigation in City Parks. The Police Department will be providing 35 hours of overtime in City Parks. This will help with the increased homeless activity seen in City Parks."
  Funding Our Future Neighborhood Safety will also provide funds for:
* Police Salary Adjustments and Police Salary increases for other police officers so the City can be more competitive in hiring and retention.
* Enhanced Body Cameras that activate when the gun is removed from a holster.  The City is evaluating whether to go through the State or by itself.
* The SLCPD is still scheduled to buy 100 new miniature hybrid police vehicles (according to police officers who would rather drive e-scooters).  20 vehicles have been received so far.
  The City redefined Neighborhood Safety so that the funds could be sued for dispatcher and fire fighter salary increases.
  On a side note, the City Parks restrooms closing schedule is:
"These parks are being closed until winterized fall of 2019:
- Liberty Park
- Fairmont Park
- Memory Grove
- Riverside Park
- Cottonwood Park
- Jordan Park
- 1700 South River
- Glendale Park
These parks will be added for closing in the 2020 summer closing:
- 9th South River
- West Point
- Warm Springs
- Rosewood
- Herman Franks
Tentative dates when these restrooms will be closed. All other restrooms in the parks have been
- Liberty Park- 12 doors- will shut down Oct 3
- Fairmont Park- 4 doors, will shut down Oct 31
- Memory Grove, 4 doors- shut down middle of November
- Riverside Park, 12 doors- shut down middle of November
- Cottonwood Park, 2 doors- will be locked during the week and opened on weekends, shut down
October 31
- Jordan Park, 2 doors - shut down middle of November
- 1700 South River Park - shut down middle of November
- Glendale Park, - shut down middle of November
In total there are:
- 81 SLC City Parks
- 1,694 acres of Natural Lands
- 47 miles of paved and unpaved trails"
SROS ABOUT TO TAKEOVER SLC
  Salt Lake City is pushing to allow SROs in more than commercial areas.  SROs have had a bad reputation (since I got involved in community activism in the 1980s) since they tend to devolve into crime magnets that especially attract prostitution and drug use.  The City policy to encourage mixed income seems to be going out the window and we could see a large number of crime magnet motels and mini Cabrini Greens.  Even the best managers, like at the Skyline Inn on Foothill Boulevard, were not able to stop the criminal activity.  North Temple and State Street should show that caution is warranted with SROs.  But the Council has asked that the Planning staff expand the area to more residential areas.  The implied promise of single family home neighborhoods may be at risk
UTAH AUTOMOBILE CRASH AND DUI ARRESTS, INJURIES AND FATALITIES
  "It is too soon to assess the impact of changing the statutory level to .05, though there did not appear to be a significant change in arrests after the implementation date."  There were 9,995 DUI related arrests in FY2019, 388 fewer than in FY2018.  But "the numbers of DUI/alcohol-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities all increased this year, particularly fatalities, after several years of stability or decline."
  The dispositions resulted in about 5500 substance use disorder screening and assessment orders, substance use disorder treatment (SUD) in about 4,400 cases and about 3200 educational interventions.
  There were 3,835 drivers license hearings in FY 2019 to determine if there was sufficient information to warrant the suspension or revocation of the individual’s driver license.  2,905 (76%) involved at least one of the parties calling in for the hearing.  In 1,293 cases (34%) no action could be taken!
  "The most common drug types found in drug-positive driver fatalities in CY 2018 were marijuana/THC; stimulants (e.g., methamphetamine); depressants (e.g., sedatives); and opioids (e.g., oxycodone)."
  There were 64,340 automobile crashes in the year 2018 and only 1968 were alcohol related with 1057 drug related.  Drug related crashed are increasing quickly while alcohol related crashes have been slightly decreasing (but up 8% this last year)
  There were 18,141 injuries in automobile crash in 2018 and only 1,223 crash injuries were alcohol related and 774 were drug related.
  There were 48 DUI related fatalities in 2018 which were 33% more than 2017.  There were 97 drug positive driver fatalities in 2018 (2017 had 88) which is three times more than in 2010.
STOP TRYING TO CUT TAXES BY INCREASING TAXES
  SLTRIB just published my opinion piece on "Promises to cut taxes usually end up increasing our taxes".  Despite significantly increasing taxes in the last few years, the Utah Legislature is pushing on cutting taxes by increasing taxes.  Utah seemed to think that internet taxes would provide over $200 million in new State revenue a couple of years ago and "promised" to cut taxes so that Utah wouldn't use the windfall that the new taxes would provide for new State spending.  Now the Legislature is saying that sales taxes are not expanding fast enough to provide enough general fund revenue!  But internet taxes are expanding, or should be expanding 20 to 50% a year!
  Utah should not be saying that we need to increase sales tax revenue when we supposedly just did with internet sales taxes!  The bureaucracy required to manage new services taxes like lemonade stands and piano teachers and braiding services will overtax even the very capable Tax Commissioner Valentine.
  I think that the proposed gasoline tax increase makes sense but it should be up to county councils.  If Salt Lake County wants to increase gasoline taxes 20 cents a gallon for 3 new east west freeways, they should have the authority.  I don't think that rural counties want higher gas prices.  I also would advocate for a simple 5% income tax to properly fund Utah education.  The Legislature changed the final day for comments from the 21st of November to the 25th of November.  I submitted the oped before the changed date so the Trib's oped had the 21st date.  You can also submit comments at strongerfutures.utah.gov.  The oped is at:
https://wwww.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2019/11/20/george-chapman-promises/  
SAFECAM SLC STOPS, SLC ACCEPTS RING NEIGHBORS
  The attempt by SLCPD to use Safecam to access neighborhood internet connected cameras, has been stopped.  The City and SLCPD are now using Ring Neighbors.  "Anyone can download the Ring Neighbors app to see what's going on in their neighborhoods, and other areas, by viewing surveillance clips, alerts and other information those with Ring doorbells are sharing on the site.  Although the system has privacy issues, if you know what you are doing, you can restrict access and increase security while optionally providing the neighborhood with access to the video.  Please set up the system with care.  There has been talk in other cities that has given out rebates to encourage buying the Amazon Ring doorbell cameras (that usually cost over $150).

UTA BUDGET HEARING RESET FOR NOVEMBER 19 TUESDAY (NOT WEDNESDAY)
   Almost no one showed up to comment on the UTA budget.  UTA originally had the hearing set for Wednesday November 19, which is a Tuesday.  UTA changed it a few day beforehand to Tuesday November 19.  Again, my comments on UTA budget proposal:
  I am against using the new increased taxes for anything other than service increases. Salary of drivers needs to be increased and is not in the budget. A 50% turnover of first year drivers is poor management! 
UTA should not be cancelling many of their bus buys but actually increasing buses if they really want to increase service. 
The Depot Garage project (going over $100 million) should be scaled back and the outlying garages proposed for later should be rushed forward to decrease the large number of empty deadhead buses. 
UTA should be spending a lot of money on increasing parking lots which are limiting ridership increases (see Booz Allen Hamilton reports/studies).  Vineyard needs a big parking lot before double tracking.
UTA should be negotiating with SLCO to decrease fares or implement a $25 a month pass to increase local bus ridership. Proposals to lower fare to zero will increase the use of UTA by so called undesirables and studies show that that decreases ridership increases.
UTA's data shows that frequency needs to be increased on the most used routes like Redwood Road and State Street now.  The 1-3% increase in ridership on weekdays with the new service is almost nothing! UTA should be providing direction to SLC on how to appropriately spend their transit dollars instead of wasting them. 
(UTA should analyze the $4 million that Salt Lake City is spending on new route 2, 9, 21 service increases as the cost per rider to give a better view of the use of the money.  So if the $4 million added 100 new riders (weekend and weekday) a day, then the cost per rider would be about $100!)
Efforts to buy electric buses should be cut back until their reliability is better.
UTA should return to the simple bus stop signs with the time the bus will be scheduled to be at the stop.  UTA used to do it.  Telling riders to work to find out the time is not service oriented.
UTA should not be spending money on bus stop amenity improvements until UTA stops telling drivers to stay 1-4 feet from the curb.
Despite ad revenue, putting window wraps on the buses, decreases ridership. The second biggest reason people like buses (after a pleasant driver) is clean windows.
The budget includes $1.4 milion for a Clearfield Station trail.  But the Station needs parking desperately!  
Other questionable expenditures includes end of line projects on North Temple and at the University of Utah at $2.5 million each. Think of the service that $2.5 million could bring! A more robust bus system does not just increase fare revenue on the new services but also systemwide.
There is also a budget line item for a 33/35th South optimization but those funds should be used to expand regular bus service.  The 35Max BRT has not increased ridership much over 3200 daily passengers since it started.  In my opinion, UTA does not know how to do BRTs.  The free BRT in Provo is not comparable.  To be considered successful, a BRT should be carrying a minimum of 5000 passengers a day since it is taking up 2 lanes of traffic that could be used for 10,000 daily vehicles!  The same goes for the 48th South BRT (despite promises to legislators to build it.
UTA is giving the credit of ski bus service to the Central Wasatch Commission, with an add on layer and cost of bureaucracy. Again, the complaints about lack of parking at the mouths of the canyons are going to limit their use for skiing.  
Note that UTA's bus stop amenity improvements on 500 East are despite the raised crosswalks and shared street (with bicycles) will decrease the effective speed of the buses.  And the buses will stop all traffic which will significantly increase pollution.  Some of the stops now are at bulbouts (which effectively stop traffic).  UTA should use bus pullouts at their bus stops to decrease pollution increases which would be more cost effective than so called ADA compliant bus stops.`
UTAH CREATES A MOBILE MENTAL CRISIS SYSTEM BUT RUINS IT
  Utah's attempt to create an effect mobile mental crisis system that is on call (sponsored by Senator Eliason) is an important effort to create a cost effective and better system for handling mental health issues, especially suicide and depression patients.  When police are called, the large response can make the situation worse due to the noise and massing of personnel.  In addition, the police say that they sometimes wait at the jail for hours to book a patient!  It puts patients in crisis in a "deeper and darker hole".
  A 23 hour short term observation at a hospital costs $1,250.  A one time MCOT (Mobile Crisis Outreach Team) visit that allows the patient to be treated at home costs $380.  The call center costs $40 for a call.  But, in Utah, the system is not completely implemented so MCOT must use an ambulance with disturbing, to a patient, sirens and an overwhelming personnel response, which often aggravates the patient's condition.  The service providers also need more certification.
  It is a partnership with Salt Lake County and OptumHealth providing crisis services to County residents. UNI MCOT is an interdisciplinary team of licensed professionals and certified peer specialists available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Services include: crisis resolution services for anyone experiencing, or at risk of, a mental health crisis, and who requires mental health intervention; rapid response-face to face assessment and crisis intervention anywhere in Salt Lake County; consultation and support to individuals of any age, families, and treatment providers; and follow-up services including information and referrals, linkage with appropriate community based mental health services for ongoing treatment. UNI accepts most major insurance providers.  The Receiving Center at UNI is a short-term (up to 23 hours) secure center providing:
therapeutic crisis management,
an assessment based on strengths and psychiatric needs,
medication intervention, and
wellness recovery/discharge planning.
  The service can provide free crisis response and hospital diversion programs that aim to keep all our family members, friends, and neighbors safe. The community crisis service programs are designed to provide community members with a full range of options to help solve the crisis in the best setting possible.
  The crisis number is 801 587 3000.  Unfortunately many 911 systems are not passing callers to this number and service.  Police response, as mentioned above, can make the situation worse.  It can result in a major fight with significant injuries and in some cases, death due to poor training and a stressful situation.  
  Other contact numbers for similar issues:
WARMLINE: 801-587-1055 For residents in Salt Lake County who are not in Crisis but are seeking support in: support, engagement, and encouragement.
Services are available 24/7 both locally and statewide as the Utah affiliate for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255
Callers may speak with peer specialists daily from 8 am to 11 pm

 

 

NOVEMBER 6, 2019
UTA BUDGET STILL DOES NOT INCREASE SERVICE & NEEDS COMMENTS
BRENT TAYLOR LETTER ON DISCOUNT PASSES
EMPTY JAIL BEDS, SSLC SHELTER JAIL OVERFLOW, SLCO TAX INCREASE
ACLU SUGGESTS THAT OPERATION RIO GRANDE WAS NOT THAT SUCCESSFUL
HOMELESS TAI CHI GETS NATIONAL NEWS ATTENTION
INLAND PORT STARTED WITH RALPH BECKER
SLC PUBLIC HEARING COPS IN PARKS UNIFORMS NOV. 12 7PM
LAWSUIT AGAINST SLC PRIORITY DISPATCH
SUGAR HOUSE JUST LOST MOST PUBLIC ON STREET PARKING
NEW ESCOOTER PROPOSAL NEEDS COMMENTS
UNIVERSITY OF UTAH PROVIDING FREE AIR SENSORS FOR POLLUTION
WALK WITH A FLASHLIGHT
GRANITE SCHOOLS MAY CLOSE ROOSEVELT ELEM 800 EAST 3300 SOUTH
BILL DAVIS CALLS SLTRIB FAKE NEWS
REASONS TO READ NEWSPAPERS, EVEN DESERET NEWS


UTA BUDGET STILL DOES NOT INCREASE SERVICE & NEEDS YOUR COMMENTS
  The UTA Budget is out (and I put it in the TRANSPORTATION Downloads in the upper right).  There will be a public hearing on November 19th at 6PM at the HQ on 669W 2nd South supposedly on a Wednesday.  But the 19th is a Tuesday so I expect that they will change it.  You can and should comment on the UTA budget by emailing boardoftrustees@rideuta.com.  Or you submit a comment at:
https://www.rideuta.co/about-UTA/Public-Hearings/UTA-2020-Tentative-Budget/Tentative-2020-Budget-Comment-Form
I hope that you complain about the lack of service increases, the focus on projects not service, the lack of parking, the lack of lower fares and the administrative costs that seem to be increasing.  The most important takeaway is that it does not really increase service although there is a proposed plan to increase service in August 2020.  But there is a minimal salary increase for drivers in the budget.  There will probably be an amendment after the negotiations with the Union which is taking place now.  It is important to recognize that there is a 50% turnover of new bus drivers in the first year.  The split shifts are part of the problem but the minimal wage is also a big factor.  UTA pays drivers $17.76 an hour to start.  Interestingly, the wage to pay no more than the recommended 30% of wages for housing in SLC a few years ago is $17.77!  I would expect the wage recommended now is over $20/hour.  Even new drivers at services at the University of Utah make a starting wage of $15/hour.  But drivers are responsible for the safety of their passengers which can number over 50.  That should be the focus of the next budget.
  I am also concerned about the perception that is being pushed (by SLC and UTA) that the SLC bus service expansions are exceptional.  One to 3% increase in ridership for weekdays is not exceptional.  Weekend increases for route 9 (Sunday is listed  as 145%) is a percentage instead of a number and that is important since route 9 did not used to have Sunday service.  It is like saying DUIs in Sugar House are up 900%.  That statement means nothing without the real numbers (DUIs in Sugar House used to average about 2 a month but recently it has been around 18 per month).  The $4 million that Salt Lake City is spending on new route 2, 9, 21 service increases should be listed as the cost per rider to give a better view of the use of the money.  So if the $4 million added 100 new riders (weekend and weekday) a day, then the cost per rider would be about $100!
  There also needs to be increased funding to attract and keep more maintenance workers since UTA cancelled buying many new buses saying that they can keep up their buses.  But they have been having trouble keeping buses serviced which resulted in some well used routes getting the 28 seat ski buses (which will have more seats added for ski service - see below) instead of the 55 seat regular buses.  I know that UTA is trying to buy electric buses (the first ones went to Park City and the University of Utah) but there is a 5 year backlog to buy or lease electric buses.  The effort to increase production of electric buses has stalled since they have been having maintenance issues.  One big transit district had to return all of their buses due to breakdowns.  They are a new technology and it will take a while to make them reliable.
  UTA is starting to place new signs on their bus stops but they make riders work.  They are not simple and do not really tell riders much other than service is good and text a number to find out when the bus is going to show up.  UTA Transit Tracker (free with ads) tells a smartphone where the bus is.  UTA used to have simple signs with a list of when the bus would be at the stop.  But UTA is getting fancy (and spending a lot of money on signs that make riders work.
  UTA is also forcing riders to work harder to get onto the buses.  Drivers are still told to stay 1-4 feet from the curb so riders have to step into the street then up onto the bus!  So UTA spending $2.5 million on bus stop improvements in Salt Lake County seems to be misplaced.  UTA should just tell drivers to get next to the curb to minimize the step up onto the bus.  When that is done, studies show that bus service and rail service is equivalent.  In other words, riders do not like to step  up onto buses.  Interestingly, the fast buses that have fancy reclining seating and 5-10 minute ADA wheelchair loading require step ups, lots of step ups.
  The budget includes double tracking of FrontRunner near Utah County's Vineyard but without more parking, it seems to be a waste.  There does not seem to be much in the proposed budget for more parking.  So even if the fares go to zero, it will be frustratingly impossible to actually increase mass transit use while decreasing vehicle travel.  The Booz Allen Hamilton study showed that lack of parking (and ticket machine throughput) limits mass transit ridership increases when fares decrease.  The standard is now at -.40 so cutting fares in half would be predicted to increase ridership 20%.  Also, except for the rush hours, FrontRunner usually runs with 60 passengers.  That is not sustainable.  Again, the important takeaway is the proposed UTA budget does not significantly increase parking at parking lots that are already full!  
  Proposals to decrease fares to $1 also were not considered but they should be tested.  Unfortunately, the UTA budget is not suggesting that.  Salt Lake City has been trying to increase mass transit ridership with the HIVE UTA pass which is about $40 a month.  But that is about the same as a senior pass and the attempt to sell 6000 has been a failure.  Only about 2000 have been sold.  Spending hundreds of thousands on marketing did not really increase the use.  If Salt Lake City negotiated like BYU and UVU, they could provide their residents with free or almost free passes for the $4 million.  UTA and Salt Lake County should set up some tests to see what will actually increase ridership with lower bus fares (not TRAX since their parking lots are full) with a free TRAX transfer or a lower monthly pass.
  The bond refunding is in process and should decrease some of the future interest plus principal payments (That were going to increase 50% in the next 6 years!).  But the bonds are also going to be used for the Depot District garage with the explanation that the increased efficiencies will compensate for the deadhead buses that will continue to go to outlying areas empty in the morning (to bring in workers from the suburbs) and return at night empty (after taking workers to the suburbs after work).  I disagree that the deadhead increases will be compensated with increased efficiencies.  The plan was to build garages in the southwest and southeast areas to decrease deadhead/empty buses.  And so UTA is actually making its workers drive more to get to the central garage!  I think that UTA will have to eventually build those outlying garages.  UTA is counting on a total cost of over $100 million with $17 million already spent.  22% of the capital budget is being proposed for the Depot garage.  UTA expects the federal government to provide a 50% match to their $40 million but the last TIGER grant from the federal government gave us $20 million if we matched it with $80 million in local funding.
  I still think that putting ads on windows, decreasing outside views, discourages ridership but UTA is getting about $4 million from these ads and they think that they are more important than riders (in my opinion).
  The budget also includes $1.4 million for a Clearfield Station trail.  But the Station needs parking desperately!  Other questionable expenditures includes end of line projects on North Temple and at the University of Utah at $2.5 million each.  I think that the $5 million should be used for service increases.  There is also a budget line item for a 33/35th South optimization but those funds should be used to expand regular bus service.  The 35Max BRT has not increased ridership much over 3200 daily passengers since it started.  In my opinion, UTA does not know how to do BRTs.  The free BRT in Provo is not comparable.  To be considered successful, a BRT should be carrying a minimum of 5000 passengers a day since it is taking up 2 lanes of traffic that could be used for 10,000 daily vehicles!
  Also, UTA is going to give the credit of ski bus service to the Central Wasatch Commission.  Another layer of bureaucracy adds to the cost of providing service!  The CWC is nothing more than an attempt to give ski resorts more of what they want to expand and to make taxpayers fund a rail line up the canyons to benefit the resorts.  Before the CWC, UTA provided annual ski bus service.  So the $120,000 for the CWC's Ralph Becker added to the staff cost and the new UTA executives actually increases the cost of administration to provide mass transit service in UTah!  Surprise!  The biggest complaints about the ski bus service includes 28 seat buses but UTA has agreed to increase the seating.  UTA should have increased seating when they were using the ski buses on regular crowded UTA routes!  Again, the complaints about lack of parking at the mouths of the canyons are going to limit their use for skiing.  The potential of sitting on a bus for up to 3 hours is a big turnoff (It only takes about an hour to go to the ski resorts from the canyon mouth if traffic is flowing well.).  
  The service will be as much as 15 minute service with ski bus routes 972 going from 61 to 79 runs everyday (eliminating Bingham Junction stop - starting at Midvale TRAX) and route 953 going from 17 to 35 runs everyday.  There will be no change in route 994.
  I also put the UTA microtransit proposal in the TRANSPORTATION downloads.  The proposal will provide $2.50 fares to access rides to the nearest operating bus or rail stops mainly in the southwest corner of Salt Lake County.

BRENT TAYLOR LETTER ON DISCOUNT PASSES
  I am disappointed that Salt Lake County elected leaders are not negotiating with UTA as well as BYU and UVU.  A summary of the questionable passes that UTA is giving to BYU and UVU was laid out in a complaint by Brent Taylor (before he was killed in Afghanistan).  I put the letter in the upper right TRANSPORTATION downloads.  Salt Lake County citizens deserve at least as much but I agree with Brent Taylor in UVU and BYU got a sweetheart deal.

EMPTY JAIL BEDS, SSLC SHELTER JAIL OVERFLOW AND SLCO TAX INCREASE
  Salt Lake County still has unused beds at Oxbow Jail (mainly due to lack of staff), the County Jail still functions as a revolving door jail which will result in the South Salt Lake Shelter being used as a jail overflow and the County is proposing a tax increase while still playing a shell game with the $9.4 million repurposed jail bond.  The tax increase will have a public hearing on December 3rd, probably at 6PM along with the hearing on the proposed budget.  I encourage everyone to provide comments to (cut and paste all together if you want):
shireen@slco.org,arbradshaw@slco.org,agranato@slco.org,anewton@slco.org,mburdick@slco.org,jbradley@slco.org,sdebry@updsl.org,mhjensen@slco.org,mayor@slco.org,
  My main comments include the County is still ignoring the promise made several years ago when the Mayor and Council repurposed the $9.4 million jail bond for the Pay For Success program meant to reduce jail use.  But the maximum that the County will pay out if the PFS program is successful is $11.4 million!  So what happened to the rest of the over $50 million (so far) of funding for public safety?  The DA workload is still 30% more than recommended.  At least they got 3 new investigators last year (too late to save SSLC Officer David Romrell, who was killed by a criminal who would have, should have been in jail for manslaughter except for the lack of DA investigators to provide evidence about the manslaughter).  But the jail dashboard (Google slco.org and Jail Dashboard there are 5 pages updated daily) shows that the average previous bookings of inmates is 11!  And some inmates have been arrested hundreds of times!  In other words, the police are being used as mental health professionals and wasting their time since anyone they take to jail is almost immediately released.  There have been several recent situations where an arrest for rape would have been justified, but the rapist of underage girls was not arrested!
  So the SLCO Jail still has booking restrictions.  The 300 beds provided by other counties (at about $55/bed/night versus a cost of $101 per night at the SLCO Metro Jail) have been decreased to less than 100 (I put the Sheriff's presentation in the CRIME/HOMELESS downloads column.).  And Oxbow Jail still does not have enough jailers to man and open up 128 beds that are available at the Jail!  The Sheriff admitted that staffing is still a problem, mainly due to compensation.  UPD Millcreek Captain DeBry, who is also a Councilman, said "jail is a hellhole".  The Jail is authorized to have 560 allocations but 94 are unfilled.  The plan is to have 87 hired this year (while 46 were hired last year).
  Tooele County Jail stopped providing 48 beds.  Two counties still provide some beds.  SLCounty had 2276 operational beds last year and they have 2231 beds now.  184 beds at Oxbow Jail are available but 120 beds are still not open.  Personnel are being lost to local law enforcement.  Part of the problem is the JRI which is dumping prisoners into the county jails without financial help.  Without adequate jail space, the South Salt Lake City Shelter will function as a jail overflow since it is only a few blocks away.  Drug addicts do not generally commit victimless crimes and that shows the importance of adequate funding for jail space.  In addition mental health treatment does not generally work on the street.  Giving a person in need of mental health treatment a bottle of pills and sending them on their way just results in most selling the pills for money to buy heroin.
  The public safety bureau (not UPD) has 135 allocations and 18 are unfilled.  But recruitment is ramping up with 35 in process (passing initial investigation) this year while 6 were in process at this time last year.  Some will get a 2.57% salary increase but most will get a 5.56% raise.  There is also an increase in uniform allowance from 900 at hiring to 1100.  Since the County requires all uniforms to be bought from one supplier, a shirt can be $60 and a vest can be over $600.  In the jail environment, replacement is needed more often (Firemen get $1200.).
  In my opinion, there still is no adequate reasonable respectful public safety funding.  The $9.4 million jail bond that was to be used for public safety/Pay For Success has disappeared into a black hole and the tax increase will result in a $369,000 residence paying $34 more a year and a $368,000 business paying $61 more a year.  Property owners have been getting tax increases of hundreds a year recently and this is another insult.  If you care, one way or another, comment to the emails above or at the public hearing.

ACLU SUGGESTS THAT OPERATION RIO GRANDE WAS NOT THAT SUCCESSFUL
  ACLU released a report that questions the damage that arresting and/or ticketing the same person hundreds of times.  The report, that I agree with, is at:
https://www.acluutah.org/images/aclu_uT_ORG_Endgame-final-public.pdf
  I also think that the report should point to the waste of resources when the same person is requiring hundreds of hours of public safety resources.  Part of the issue is the jail booking restrictions and revolving door jail.  Essentially, it comes down to inadequate public safety funding in Salt Lake County.

HOMELESS TAI CHI GETS NATIONAL NEWS ATTENTION
  Bernie and Marita Hart have been providing Tai Chi to homeless at Pioneer Park and the Main Library for several years.  They have become respected by the homeless community and have provided important information on the homeless problems.  They provided education and direction to the Road Home Audit personnel.  The article is at:
https://www.msn.com/en-sg/lifestyle/lifestyle-news-feature/homeless-people-find-friends-ease-stress-in-tai-chi-class/ar-AAJgocT?li=BBr8OIU#image=AAJgocT_1

INLAND PORT STARTED WITH RALPH BECKER
  I was reminded that former Mayor Ralph Becker started the proposal to create an inland port in Salt Lake City.  His website is at:
http://www.ralphbecker.com/a-jobs-economic-development-blueprint-for-a-great-american-city

SLC PUBLIC HEARING ON COPS IN PARKS OVERTIME AND UNIFORMS ON NOV. 12 7PM
  The SLC Council will have a public hearing on Budget Amendment 2 which will authorize SLCPD overtime to provide police patrols of parks (they do it now).  Tentatively, the Council believes that the police patrols in parks should be in less intimidating bicycle cop uniforms.  I feel that this is wrong.  If the first experience with a cop is during a criminal investigation, especially with a child present, society is losing.  Kids and people should feel that cops are not intimidating and can be approachable.  Patrolling parks in regular uniforms would help.  I am repeating the blog entry from last month:
  A recent SLC Council discussion took place regarding the controversy of using SLCPD in uniforms as park rangers.  When the Council balked due to uniforms being intimidating for a certain demographic, the proposal stalled.  Although it could have been implemented by October of 2019 with the help of a new graduating class from the Police Academy,  the Council now says that the soonest that police functioning as park rangers would take a year.  If Salt Lake City allows overtime to be used, park rangers can start by November.  The City is tentatively having a hearing on the proposal on November 12 at the SLC evening 7 PM formal meeting.  Although the discussion is still up in the air about how Budget Amendment 2 "relates to the upcoming park rangers program".  Please tell the City Council that we want SLCPD patrolling the parks in uniform.  The Council discussion included these notes:
"The Administration is recommending an increase in the Police Department overtime budget to accommodate requested
changes in staffing....for overtime to help with homeless mitigation in City Parks. The Police Department will be providing 35 hours of overtime in City Parks. This will help with the increased homeless activity seen in City Parks."
  But the important issue is would you like cops patrolling in bicycle cop uniforms or regular uniforms?  Please email the Council with your comments at: council.comments@slcgov.com or show up and comment at the November 12 public hearing.

LAWSUIT AGAINST SLC PRIORITY DISPATCH
  There are lots of issues with Salt Lake County emergency dispatch services.  There are three separate organizations and numbers!  And each gets calls from areas that should be for another area due to cell phone systems.  And if the dispatch operator is not sufficiently trained and is not knowledgeable enough to understand an emergency and send the police to the correct address, people die.  A person who almost died at the hands of a criminal (who never should have been released from prison) tried 3 times to get police but the dispatch operator did not understand the emergency or address (they should have recognized the emergency and sent cops).  The recent audit confirmed that part of the problem is the Priority Dispatch script that is more useful for fire department and medical professionals.  The Fire Department likes it.  The police hate it.  I was quoted in a Salt Lake Tribune article 5 years ago about a caller reporting a robbery in progress who was ordered to walk through the script!  That has continued until recently when the Matrix 911 Audit of SLC's system suggested changes that the administration agreed with.  My blog entry from May 29 2019 summarizes the report (in the CRIME/HOMELESS downloads column):
911 AUDIT SHOWS TIME TO DISPATCH CAN BE OVER 700 SECONDS
  Matrix has submitted an audit of Salt Lake City's Dispatch Center.  The data is not good.  The average time to queue a call is 41 seconds and the time to send a call to dispatch is 139 seconds.  There is a big difference depending on the priority.  SLC 911 Dispatch "does not meet the secondary NENA standard of 99% of calls answered within 40 seconds" (in SLC it is 96.7%).  The elapsed time from the call to dispatch of field units is excessive in some cases.  
  The median time a call is received to queue /to dispatch is:
       priority 1 35/183 seconds
       priority 3 44/700 seconds!
       priority 4 47/2036 seconds
average is 41 seconds/139 seconds
  The 90% of the time a call is received to queue/to dispatch
       priority 1 146/519 seconds
       priority 3 146/4,634 seconds
       priority 4 151/13,928 seconds
average is 452 seconds/4,777 seconds
  What the statistics show is that it can take almost 10 minutes for 10% of the priority one calls to be sent to officers on patrol by dispatch!  "10% of calls (even Priority 1 calls) take more than 2 minutes and 19 seconds for call takers to code them for a dispatcher.  A review of the data showed that 66% of calls are coded within one minute."  The audit showed that the times for Sandy 911 calls were better and the median call to queue versus to dispatch was 30 vrs 103 seconds.
  Part of the problem was the Priority Dispatch system that SLC Dispatch has used.  "some dispatch staff and many (patrol) field staff believe that the Priority Dispatch ProQA system hinders the level of service.... to officers in the field and.... to the emergency requestor....Those who hold this sentiment believe that the rigidity of ProQA inhibits call takers' ability to interact with callers using common sense, quickly obtain and relay the most vital information and correctly determine the level of priority for calls".  Salt Lake City agrees with that assessment.  It has decided to move away from Priority Dispatch and has committed to work with UPD to use their system.  There was a 2010 story in the Salt Lake Tribune about the problems with Priority Dispatch.  In one case, it took several minutes for a dispatcher to acknowledge a robbery in progress since the caller did not recognize the script and the questions from dispatch did not make sense.  
  The audit recommended that "the 911 Center should prepare citizens to use 911 and enhance public relations and recruitment efforts by continuing to build its public education program."  Several years ago, the SLCPD Community Intelligence Officers did go through the long script priority list in an effort to educate the public about how to get higher priority responses.  For instance saying skateboard in progress will get a faster response than skateboard.  Or saying breakin means slower response than breakin in progress.  Also saying homeless will put you on the bottom of the priority list while saying prowler in progress/now will put you at the top of the priority list.
  The audit recommended eliminating the PBX Operator jobs which are taking the non emergency calls.  But the PBX operators cannot take incident reports since they are not fully certified dispatchers.  PBX operators are paid 13.69/hour ($139,500 annual funding) while certified dispatchers are at $15.20 per hour.  It is important to note that some starting positions at some McDonalds in this State pay more!  The audit recommended that the City "reformulate how it handles non emergency call volume".  As of April 2019, all PBX operator positions have been moved to dispatchers.  There is also a goal of 22% limit to turnover but it is questionable that that can be met in this labor market.
  The audit also recommended 20 new positions to handle the call volume.  SLC Dispatch recommended 9 new dispatchers but the Mayor suggested 6 in her budget proposal.  The "majority of residents believe 911 dispatch is doing a good to excellent job overall" but they are more satisfied with dispatchers than with the time to respond.  The audit recommended that dispatch tell callers the estimated arrival time and also tell callers what the estimated hold time is if they are put on hold.  The City has also adopted the recommendation that the system "allow responders to view calls to optimize level of required support".
  The bottom line is that the 911 system in SLC has not been as effective as possible, even though the vast majority (82%)of callers are satisfied with the service.  The non-emergency calls are now being taken by better trained personnel and 911 Dispatch has a goal of answering 95% of calls within 15 seconds.  13% of callers are being put on hold for a median of 2 minutes.  They are answering 93.5% of calls within 20 seconds.
  Interestingly, 10 minutes was the median reported wait time for services (Fire/EMS/Police) to arrive while average was one hour (page 59 of 911 audit)!  "SLC customers reported a median wait time of 15 minutes for officers to arrive, compared to 10 minutes for Sandy City customers."
  SLC 911 admits that police dispatcher positions should be 79 while currently at 58.  "But 21 additional employees would be a significant financial burden to the City so the City converted most shifts to 12 hours from 10 hours."

  I recently confirmed that SLC Dispatch is not using the Priority Dispatch for law enforcement calls but is using it for fire/medical calls.  The County's Valley Emergency Communications is also using Priority Dispatch.  The Priority Dispatch system was developed in Salt Lake City and promoted by SLC Dispatch Director.  I still think that it is a waste of time and endangers the public.

SUGAR HOUSE JUST LOST MOST PUBLIC ON STREET PARKING
  Due to the pending construction of the Fairmont on the southwest corner of ELm and McClelland, both sides of McClelland south of Elm/Wilmington are closed to parking.  Local businesses are significantly negatively impacted.  38 to 50 parking spots are lost until construction is finished!  The Boulder Ventures project on the east side of McClelland is also stalled due to funding (supposedly they are suggesting that UTA get the Legislature to allow UTA to give more money to the project to finish it as a TOD even though is not mixed use that TODs are supposed to be - this was the company that got $10 million for not building a parking garage and was one of the big issues with the last UTA audit).  SLC should make McClelland one way going south and allow parking on both sides with just one travel lane and pedestrian lanes.  Otherwise up to 10 more businesses will fail in the next year.  Local small businesses need parking to survive.
  
NEW ESCOOTER PROPOSAL NEEDS COMMENTS
  I put the new SLC E Scooter proposal in the TRANSPORTATION downloads column in the upper right.  I still think that they don't belong on sidewalks.  I do think that bicycles should be allowed on all sidewalks including downtown.  15mph vehicles should not be creating hazards on sidewalks.  Email dockless@slcgov.com with comments or to file a complaint and take the survey at:
https://www.slc.gov/transportation/sharedmobility/

UNIVERSITY OF UTAH PROVIDING FREE AIR SENSORS FOR POLLUTION
  The University of Utah is providing free air sensors to those interested in allowing them to be mounted on the outside of their homes.  The sensors will be used to monitor pollution.  Those interested in being considered for an air sensor station, email kerry.kelly@utah.edu.  This is part of a study by Ayana Amaechi and Danny Bae for AirU to measure air quality around the Salt Lake valley.  WiFi is needed and a sheltered location along with 5V power.

WALK WITH A FLASHLIGHT
  With the time change, it is getting dark fast.  Please consider carrying a flashlight when walking and turning it on when crossing streets.  Kids should always carry and use a flashlight when crossing the street.  Walk safely.

GRANITE SCHOOLS MAY CLOSE ROOSEVELT ELEMENTARY ON 800 EAST 3300 SOUTH
  Granite School District is considering closing Roosevelt Elementary on 800 East and 3300 South in the near future.  They may discuss it at their next meeting on November 12 at 7 PM (at their offices on 2500 S. State Street).  The present Roosevelt Elementary is between 800 and 850 East and between 3200 and 3300 South.  It mainly serves the refugee community since local attendance is down significantly due to the demographics of the local neighborhood.  The District is building a new Roosevelt Elementary west of I15.  I mentioned several months ago that Ivory Homes has expressed interest in building homes on the property.  It will be an interesting meeting.  The notice is not up yet but the Superintendent's Office confirmed that the Board may hear the plan at the November 12th meeting. 

BILL DAVIS CALLS SLTRIB FAKE NEWS
  In an effort to support Erin Mendenhall's campaign for mayor of SLC, Bill Davis, a community leader and someone who I respect, called me a lier in his op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune for listing some news stories of Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall's efforts to increase taxes, secret meetings and increase her salary. The Trib also questioned my so called facts until I provided them with links from Trib stories that supported my facts.  That is the only reason they published my oped explaining why I felt that Senator Luz Escamilla would be a great mayor for Salt Lake City.  Interestingly  Bill and I agreed that Erin could hit the ground running with her knowledge of the City.  Bill Davis, I still love you but calling me a lier is like calling the Salt Lake Tribune fake news.

REASONS TO READ NEWSPAPERS, EVEN DESERET NEWS
  Salt Lake City is in the process of electing a new mayor. The decision of voters, hopefully, will depend on the facts and issues and stories that the Deseret News and other newspapers have published in the last few years. There has never been a more important time to encourage regular readership of newspapers. (I did not create clickable links below for Deseret News, FYI.)
  Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall has a lot of knowledge on the workings of the City since she has served on the Council since being elected in 2013. She served as Chair of the Council last year and led the negotiations with the Legislature on accepting the Inland Port. Senator Luz Escamilla has experience working in business, finance, in banking, in business development and working successfully with the Legislature to find common ground and solutions. She has passed over 50 bills. 
  I have been attacked recently for pointing out that Senator Escamilla’s history seems to predict a very successful mayoral administration if she is elected mayor of Salt Lake City. I also said that Councilwoman Mendenhall can hit the ground running due to her experience on the City Council. I acknowledge that I encouraged voting for Senator Escamilla due to several important Deseret News articles that have discussed City Council actions since 2013. They include many tax increases, secret meetings and a Council salary increase. 
  The Deseret News has had several articles and opinion pieces that justify my concern about the homeless shelter sites’ decision process. The articles include:
https://www.deseret.com/2017/3/2/20607343/in-our-opinion-new-homeless-plan-shows-important-lesson-for-government, https://www.deseret.com/2017/1/7/20603627/inside-the-newsroom-the-homeless-debate-is-different-on-the-street-corner, and https://www.deseret.com/2017/1/5/20603437/salt-lake-city-went-about-homeless-site-selection-all-wrong#file-salt-lake-city-council-members-and-mayor-jackie-biskupski-listen-to-public-comment-during-a-council-meeting-at-the-city-and-county-building-in-salt-lake-city-on-tuesday-jan-03-2017. The importance of newspapers in a good and public decision by elected leaders is shown by the lack of public involvement in the process.  The Deseret News said “If there’s a lesson to be learned, it’s about whether or not it’s wise to go ahead with these kinds of projects without encouraging and respecting input from the public most affected.... That decision backfired.” Jay Evensen pointed out that “This has not been the city’s finest hour….Salt Lake City’s leaders ought to have announced the sites under consideration, listened to the people, then made the case and announced a decision. Holding a hearing before a decision becomes final gives the public at least a fighting chance to influence the outcome or provide important information.”
  Over the last year, there have been Salt Lake City tax increases on sales taxes (used for streets, police, affordable housing and transit) and on water, sewer and storm water fees. The sewer rates have been set to more than double since 2017. The Deseret News stories are at:
https://www.deseret.com/2019/6/2/20674715/salt-lake-city-water-sewer-bills-will-keep-getting-more-expensive-for-years-to-come-in-proposed-plan and  https://www.deseret.com/2017/4/22/20610819/salt-lake-city-officials-proposing-water-sewer-rate-increases-over-next-five-years. 
  Interestingly, the last big property tax increase in Salt Lake City was in 2013 when the City Council approved a 13.8% tax hike mainly for streets’ maintenance. The Deseret News articles are at: https://www.deseret.com/2013/6/18/20453872/salt-lake-city-approves-13-8-percent-tax-hike-despite-mayor-s-threat-to-veto and https://www.deseret.com/2013/6/22/20521531/a-rocky-road-funding-salt-lake-street-repairs-after-a-recession#barry-jacobsen-picks-up-construction-cones-off-400-south-in-salt-lake-city-on-friday-june-21-2013. The City rescinded the increased streets’ maintenance funding the next year. Ironically, Bill Davis, who has expressed concern about publicizing these tax increases, was quoted in the Deseret News complaining about a $500 car repair caused by a pothole in 2013.
  The Salt Lake City Council, with Chair Erin Mendenhall’s leadership, voted to give themselves almost a $10,000 pay increase last year. That story is at: 
 https://www.deseret.com/2018/12/11/20660952/salt-lake-city-council-votes-to-give-themselves-a-nearly-10-000-pay-bump.  
  I know most of these stories since I was at the meetings mentioned in the stories. A concerned citizen does not have to go to all of these meetings. We have newspapers to cover these issues. My main point is that newspapers are important to provide a better analysis and decision by elected leaders and citizens. I have my opinions but I encourage others to learn about the issues from our newspapers and express their opinions and vote. Our free press helps in the success of this Country, our State and our cities

 

 

 


OCTOBER 23, 2019

DUELING OPEDS FOR LUZ AND FOR ERIN
3 PLUS VAPING BILLS COMING AT LEGISLATURE
SLC PARK RANGERS/BIKE PATROL OVERTIME DISCUSSION
SLC SCHOOLS ENCOURAGE LOWER ENROLLMENT
27TH SOUTH STREET PROJECT PROBLEMS WITH WATER LINES
9TH SOUTH STREET PROJECT FINISHES OCT 31?
IIHS DESTROYS CYCLE TRACK SAFETY MYTH
SUGAR HOUSE WANTS TRAX TO SUGAR HOUSE PARK
NEW SHOPPING CART PHONE NUMBER
25MPH DECREASES SPEEDING BUT MAY INCREASE POLLUTION
SUGAR HOUSE PARK RESTAURANT NOT LIKELY AND ROSE GARDEN STILL DEAD
SUGAR HOUSE PARK EFFORTS TO DETER ILLEGAL ACTIVITY
UNLICENSED APARTMENT FOR EX PRISONERS GIVEN LICENSE APPLICATION
TELL SLC AND SLCO TO LOWER BUS/TRAX PASS TO $25/MONTH
9TH SOUTH 1100 EAST ROUNDABOUT NEED BIG SCULPTURE
DEVELOPER TRIES TO IGNORE PARKING REQUIREMENTS
SLC PUSHES RIGHT HAND ONLY TURNS WHILE ENCOURAGING LEFT HAND TURNS
MENDENHALL STILL PUSHING SRO CRIME MAGNETS IN ALL NEIGHBORHOODS
1100 EAST PROJECT TO ADD TO 1300 EAST PROJECT TRAFFIC DELAYS
SLC MAY DECREASE BILLBOARDS BUT INCREASE RAIL POWER LINES  
SLC RDA OWNS 7 OF 15 ACRES IN DEPOT DISTRICT NORTH OF 600S
UTA DESTROYS HAMBLIN FURNITURE FOR $500,000 
UTA TRYING TO NOT PROVIDE BETTER BUS SERVICE
UTA NEW BOND BUY $540 MILLION FOR PROJECTS
UTA FRONTRUNNER ALMOST KILLS 100
NOISE COMPLAINTS 
WHY ISN'T SLC TICKETING IDLING TRUCKS (ESPECIALLY AT INLAND PORT)
SLC CAN'T STOP EVICTIONS OF LOW INCOME SENIOR


DUELING OPEDS FOR LUZ AND FOR ERIN
  I still think Luz would be a better mayor for SLC
  I had an oped Saturday explaining why I thought that Luz Escamilla could be a great mayor of Salt Lake City at https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2019/10/20/george-chapman-escamillas/
  Yesterday, Bill Davis, who I have a lot of respect for as a community leader, had an oped that said my oped "contained, in my opinion, some outright lies".  It is ironic that the Tribune also questioned some of my statements and only published my oped after I provided links to SLTRIB.COM stories that proved my statements to be true.  I have listened to almost all of the City Council meetings in the last 8 years and have attended most of the community council meetings (I write a news blog at georgechapman.net that provides a lot of news that local newspapers miss.).  I know this stuff.  
  I still think that Bill Davis would be a better Councilmember than Erin Mendenhall and when anyone, Bill or Ralph Becker or anyone calls me a lier, I laugh because it is laughably dumb to call someone who knows this stuff a lier.  (Ralph called me a lier for passing out a flyer that I agreed to change to his language before I passed it out!  He must have forgot when he sent thousands of letters to my friends and neighbors up to a mile away, calling me a lier.  I laugh everytime I think of it.) I still love you Bill.  You make me laugh.
  Bill claimed that the secret meetings setting the homeless shelter sites were not Erin Mendenhall's fault but she and the Council did go into closed sessions many times to unanimously agree to four sites.  I was watching at the Council when they did it!
  This year, the Council voted for many tax increases (sales, water, sewer, transit) and a 40% Council salary increases.  The Council also voted for a Transit Master Plan with a local cost of over a billion dollars of projects.  Erin led the effort to try to get a $125 million parks bond and, at several recent meetings, has seemed excited at the potential for SLC being able to borrow more money for projects.  
  Erin also has defended her support of her fellow Councilmembers' concern that some "demographics" are intimidated by cops in uniform functioning as park rangers.  She reiterated that support at the June Liberty Wells Community Council meeting.  I watched the May 2019 meeting where Chief Brown made the proposal.  After his presentation, Erin said that she was excited (since most of her District 5 community councils wanted park rangers or more police patrols).  But she backed off when most of her other colleagues expressed concern about intimidating park users.  The Council is submitting a Budget Amendment 2 in November to arrange for overtime for cops to provide patrols (The Council wants them to be in "nonintimidating bicycle cop uniforms".) in parks.
  Erin also has admitted to secret Inland Port meetings and led the effort to try to stop funding of a City lawsuit against the State.  The Mayor filed before Erin succeeded. 

  The secret meetings on the shelters' sites resulted in (according to several Councilmembers) unanimous agreement that sited 4 shelters, including one in Sugar House.  Erin backtracked after she saw the backlash and refused to agree to the agreement.  Her leadership as Chair of the Council led to the Council trying to stop funding of a lawsuit against the State's Inland Port efforts.  The Mayor filed a lawsuit before Erin's efforts were in place.  Most of these facts can be seen by Googling the words and sltrib.com or deseretnews.com.
  I have listened to most of the SLC Council meetings and have attended many of the community council meetings in the last 8 years.  The news, in the past, has used me for referrals to City employees to develop stories and I try to provide information that is not put in the news that is important for the citizens of the City.  I know the facts and I know this stuff.  
  I do it because I love Salt Lake City and the individuals, like Bill Davis, who try to make the City a better place.  Bill and I may disagree but I still respect him and have to laugh at his attempt at an insult.  I still think that he would have been a better City Councilmember than Erin. 

The links are:
  On the $8.4 million tax increase (done before Erin took office) over Becker's veto, she and the rest of the Council voted to repurpose it (take it away) the next year.  Charlie Luke often expresses regret at allowing Becker to do that:
Parks, streets still hurting in tight Salt Lake City budget May 2016 Christopher Smart.
https://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=3940271&itype=CMSID
and 
https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2017/02/23/salt-lake-city-council-wants-to-pay-for-street-improvements-but-how/

  The adopted SLC Transit Master Plan, adopted a couple of years ago, has rail lines on 1st S/2nd S streetcar, 400 S to Central Station (the Black line TRAX), and a 400 W streetcar.  Each will cost local taxpayers about $100 million (if the feds match 50/50 but last fed grant was 20% for bicycle infrastructure).  The S Line TRAX/Streetcar (Erin has said several times that "we have to put a head on the snake") in the Transit Master Plan is to go north on 1100 E to 17th S then to 900 E to 400 S (note we tore up 900 E twice in the last 10 years to take out rails and ties- SLC did not do it right the first time).  That will cost local taxpayers as much as $400 million.  (Utah's RTP set TRAX costs at $75 million per mile for just rail not including stations and power).      
  Interestingly, I got my start as a mass transit activist in the 80s, in San Diego fighting a similar proposal that we stopped.  The Transit Plan also has  South Davis BRT on 200 S ($67 million), and a Foothill Drive BRT ($200 million).  The cost of the rail lines and BRTs is in the Utah 2015 RTP at WFRC.org under the transit list, Salt Lake County.

  The sewer rates were agreed to double in 5 years by the Council (and a recent new story explained that the doubling was to construct a new plant) and a good story link is:
SLC sewer rates may double, officials say your waste is worth it
https://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=5217220&itype=CMSID
  
  The $125 million Parks Bond proposal from a few years ago (with Kyle LaMalfa) was to be used to convert Glendale Golf Course to a regional park and for other SLC park upgrades.  Erin was the Council proponent of the so called compromise.  The link is:
https://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=2850828&itype=CMSID&fullpage=1

  The million for the McClelland Trail (alleyways) was driven by Erin as her pet project.  It was to go to Brickyard.  I tried to support the effort to provide a safe link to Brickyard.  But the money ran out after the alleyways were done north of 21st S.  That's why Lisa Adams, when she left the Council, gave Erin a plaque with LOVES ALLEYWAYS.

  The secret meetings link can be found at:
https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2016/11/04/slc-residents-won-t-get-a-say-on-homeless-shelter-sites-until-after-theyre-picked/

  Her secret meetings continue, not just with the homeless shelters and the Inland Port, but also with so called small group meetings that are out of sight of the public.  The Council calls fewer than 4 Councilmembers a small group meeting and they are given reports outside of the public eye (like the list of thousands of properties that SLC owns).
  And, SLC taxpayers continue to fund her emails with her news of Council accomplishments that continue up to elections (3 sent in the month before the Primary).
  My opinion piece, I thought was done respectfully and Bill Davis and I agreed when I said Erin can hit the ground running (Bill said she can hit the deck running.).  But my concerns about Erin as SLC mayor continue.  Her election could result in much higher taxes, questionable projects and impact many citizens and will further hurt affordable housing (housing taxes went up hundreds of dollars a year this year).  

3 PLUS VAPING BILLS COMING AT LEGISLATURE
  In the last few weeks, Utah has clamped down on vaping amid the many new instances of vaping related, serious lung problems.  My opinion piece from August in the Trib listed many of the concerns about vaping.  It is at:
https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2019/08/31/george-chapman-vaping/
  Utah is removing the ability of vape shops to carry flavored vaping materials which will only leave tobacco licensed facilities (I put the SLC new cannabis related zoning restrictions in the downloads section.  Only agricultural and manufacturing zones will be able to do cannabis related businesses.) that can carry flavored vaping liquids.  The industry, nationwide, is suing to stop the efforts of many states to to limit access to vaping liquids that are attracting use by kids.  In Utah, vaping companies have claimed that there is "no scientific evidence that vaping flavored electronic cigarette products is the cause of the recent illnesses that underpins the reason for the emergency rule".  Utah's Health Department have said "While we won’t speak directly to the claims made by the plaintiffs in their lawsuit, we can say protecting the public’s health by stopping the outbreak of vaping-related lung injuries is our top priority."
  I put the presentation from last month's Interim hearing on vaping in the downloads (ctrl f ecig).  This month 3 bills were introduced and appear to be headed for quick passing in the 2020 General Session.  Rep. Lisonbee is sponsoring a bill to remove the tobacco license of any vaping store that sells vaping materials to underage customers.  There is no leeway and one time could result in removal of the license.
  Although THC and CBD vaping liquids (due to mislabeling and contamination) have been implicated in many vaping related medical incidents, and the American Association of poison control centers considers CBD to be an emerging hazard, only individual states have taken action to reduce the risks.  The federal government is almost clueless or not able to decide on how to proceed.
  I think that this all started when the Legislature, forced by a small majority of voters, labeled marijuana a medicine.  Remember that old joke about military intelligence (George Carlin).  That is what the term medical marijuana reminds me of.  Medical professionals have been warning of the "potential for addiction and abuse".  
  Any claims that marijuana has been considered to be safe for thousands of years reminds me of the claim that tobacco has been claimed by Americans to be safe for thousands of years (medicine pipe) and by Europeans for hundreds of years.  Even when it was proven to cause many types of cancer, not just lung cancer, and it was proven to cause heart disease, people kept saying that it has been proven to be safe for hundreds of years!  What part of don't put crap in your lungs don't you get!  Utah needs more education on the potential health risks of vaping and marijuana.  It needs more laws to discourage use.  It needs more data to determine how many are using medical marijuana with a doctor's permission.  And it needs real, not theoretical, studies on the safety of THC, vaping and CBD use.

SLC PARK RANGERS/BIKE PATROL OVERTIME DISCUSSION
  A recent SLC Council discussion took place regarding the controversy of using SLCPD in uniforms as park rangers.  When the Council balked due to uniforms being intimidating for a certain demographic, the proposal stalled.  Although it could have been implemented by October of 2019 with the help of a new graduating class from the Police Academy,  the Council now says that the soonest that police functioning as park rangers would take a year.  If Salt Lake City allows overtime to be used, park rangers can start by November.  The City is tentatively having a hearing on the proposal on November 12 at the SLC evening 7 PM formal meeting.  Although the discussion is still up in the air about how Budget Amendment 2 "relates to the upcoming park rangers program".  Please tell the City Council that we want SLCPD patrolling the parks in uniform.  The Council discussion included these notes:
"A-10: Police Overtime
The Administration is recommending an increase in the Police Department overtime budget to accommodate requested changes in staffing.
The first change is to accommodate enhanced security staffing at the City and County building. The Police Department will staff an officer each day from 8:00- 12:00 and an officer each day from 15:00- 19:00. The officer will support the CBI security team and provide Police presence at the City County Building. The staffing for this will be done via overtime. This will result in an additional overtime costs for the Department.
The second change is for overtime to help with homeless mitigation in City Parks. The Police Department will be providing 35 hours of overtime in City Parks. This will help with the increased homeless activity seen in City Parks.
? Policy Question –The Council may wish to request a closed session with the Administration to discuss how the additional police officer patrols fit into the security systems for the City & County Building.
? Policy Question –The Council may wish to ask the Administration if this funding is approved, then which City parks will see additional officer patrols? The Council could also ask how this relates to the upcoming park rangers program, and if the voluntary overtime shifts could go unfilled.

SLC SCHOOLS ENCOURAGE LOWER ENROLLMENT
  SLC Board of Education is concerned about the lowered enrollment of students in the School District.  A good example is Bennion Elementary on 8th East between 4th and 5th South.  Bennion's enrollment is about 200 with a goal to reach 300 within a few years in order to justify keeping it open.  But the after school program at Bennion only pays $7.50 to $10 an hour to after school employees!  Many have quit for better paying jobs and parents that need daycare are sending their kids/students to schools that have openings for after school programs.  Which discourages enrollment at Bennion!  The Board of Education needs to recognize this instead of ignoring it.

27TH SOUTH STREET PROJECT PROBLEMS WITH WATER LINES
  The 27th South reconstruction project is almost complete.  It's completion was delayed due to finding many water lines to houses on the street that were significantly deteriorated.  Many of the pipes had to be replaced.  Other street projects should expect the same problems.

9TH SOUTH STREET PROJECT FINISHES OCT 31?
  The City is claiming that the 9th South project between 1300 East and 1050 East will be completed by October 31.  We will see.  Then the 9 bus route detour will be removed.  It took a couple of months, but UTA eventually put a Route 9 bus stop on 8th South and 900 East to allow picking up passengers next to Smith's, since it detoured past there anyway.  The only way to know when the Route 9 detour will be removed is to watch the bus path on UTA Tracker or subscribe to UTA Twitter.

IIHS DESTROYS CYCLE TRACK SAFETY MYTH
  The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety recently did a study on separated bicycle paths/cycle tracks and found that they are not necessarily safe.  If they cross a lot of driveways, there are safety concerns.  That is what we have been trying to tell Salt Lake City for years.  The City creates skinny bike lanes and cycle tracks that do not allow safe escape from dangers like road debris, car doors and vehicles exiting the driveways.  In addition, on 300 South, the cycle track collects water and is used by delivery trucks with ramps crossing the cycle track!  The best cycle tracks are where there are few driveways crossing them.  One of the best places is 700 East between 9th South and 21st South.  Unfortunately, UDOT and SLC is not planning on a raised shared use path like on the 9 Line (which will be completed to Liberty Park in a couple of years).  The next story suggests a better plan in Sugar House with a shared use path.

SUGAR HOUSE WANTS TRAX TO SUGAR HOUSE PARK
  The County has given millions for a study that will determine transportation amenities and plans from Sugar House (13th East and 2100 South) through Millcreek and South Salt Lake City to Holladay.  Millcreek wants the S-Line to go south on Highland, despite SLC's Transit Master Plan calling for the S-Line to go north on 1100 East.
  The Sugar House Community Council's Transportation Committee heard a presentation about the study and provided initial input on what the community wanted.  Soren Simonsen said that the S-Line should go two blocks to the east to 1300 East since the Sugar House Park is the greatest destination in the area and on weekends, thousands use it.  This was his argument during the public outcry on the plan to send the S-Line north on 1100 East.  I agree.  Hopefully, this will happen in the next few years.  The cost would be less than the $15 million given to the Ritchie's Project on Block 67.  
  The Transportation Committee also suggested preference for wider sidewalks that can function as shared use paths for bicycles and pedestrians.  They would be at least 10 feet wide and similar to the 9-Line raised Trail.
  During the meeting, Soren reminded the City's Project Manager that the Sugar Plans included a road diet on 2100 South with bike lanes (going from 4 lanes to 2 travel lanes).  He believes that traffic would not be negatively impacted with such a road diet.  He pointed to 900 East.  But the 900 East road diet took place after Hwy 15 was reconstructed and that took traffic off of 700 East and 900 East and 700 East could take traffic from a road diet on 900 East.  Without proper planning, a 2100 South road diet on a road around 20,000 ADT could create a lot of congestion, pollution and encourage more traffic to go through neighborhoods already impacted by increases in traffic.
  Road diets should also allow for buses to pull out of traffic lanes so as not to block traffic and increase pollution from backed up automobiles.  The other side of the argument is that it can be difficult for buses to reenter traffic after stopping.

NEW SHOPPING CART PHONE NUMBER
  The Good Neighbor Handout for SLC has a bad number for shopping cart pickup.  The correct number is 801 403 0564.  He will only pickup empty carts.

25MPH DECREASES SPEEDING BUT MAY INCREASE POLLUTION
  The plan to reduce speeds on many roads in Salt Lake City (including State Street and 900 South) is being pushed by studies that show that a speed limit reduction reduces potential pedestrian and bicyclist injuries, but also can reduce speeding above 35 MPH.  Studies show that there is a reduction of 29% of speeding above 35 MPH when speed limit is reduced to 25 MPH.  But it should also include potential impacts to adjacent neighborhood streets that often get the rerouted traffic that does not want to travel on 25 MPH roads.

SUGAR HOUSE PARK RESTAURANT NOT LIKELY AND ROSE GARDEN STILL DEAD
  The proposal to put a restaurant in Sugar House Park is dead because the Conservation Easement does not allow it.  The destruction of the rose garden was essentially useless.  There is still a proposal for using the land behind the garden center for a community garden.  Salt Lake City should not be removing old plants and trees without replacing an equivalent plant.  If a 24 inch diameter tree is cut, 100 small 2 inch trees should be planted to replace it.  The City now allows for 12 2 inch trees to replace a 24 inch cut down tree.  Removing an old rose bush should be countered with planting 10 new roses.
  Salt Lake City is reconstructing the Fairmont Park Stream and has said that it could cut down a 24 inch tree adjacent to the stream.  After an outcry, they now say that they won't.  But sometimes, the trees are not protected.  The original plan was to cut it down and replace it with 4 2" trees.

SUGAR HOUSE PARK EFFORTS TO DETER ILLEGAL ACTIVITY
  The SLCPD is redoubling its efforts to deter illegal activity in Sugar House Park and Fairmont Park.  The Sugar House Park is trying to remove shrubbery that is hiding some of the activity.  
  Fairmont Park's Skate Park has become a great place to pickup THC, Spice and other vaping materials.  That is one reason why the SLCPD have placed Fairmont Park, Liberty Park and Sugar House Park on the top 3 priorities for patrol by police.

UNLICENSED APARTMENT FOR EX PRISONERS GIVEN LICENSE APPLICATION
  1612 and 1614 South 500 East appear to be apartments that now focus on serving ex prisoners.  When the City received complaints, zoning enforcement agreed that it was illegal since it did not have a business license.  So zoning enforcement gave them a business application license!  This is a failure of Utah's Adult Probation and Parole.  This is functioning as a halfway house and ex prisoners should not be housed together without more supervision.

TELL SLC AND SLCO TO LOWER BUS/TRAX PASS TO $25/MONTH
  Universities in Utah, specifically UVU and BYU have agreed to give $1 million a year to UTA for 10 years of up to 100,000 free bus passes annually.  Salt Lake City has not spent about 
one million of the tax increase slated for transit in the City.  If universities in Utah County can get such a deal, why can't Salt Lake City citizens?  I would expect that UTA could benefit from more mass transit ridership if the County and SLC got together and provided citizens with the opportunity of a $25 a month bus and TRAX pass.  Contact your elected leaders (email addresses on the left) and demand equal rights as the Utah County citizens and provide a $25 a month bus and TRAX pass.  With UTA extremely large sales tax increase, UTA would not really lose money.

9TH SOUTH 1100 EAST ROUNDABOUT NEED BIG SCULPTURE
  East Liberty Park Community Council was told last month that the City is going to offer artists a chance to submit plans for art for the roundabout on 900 South and 1100 East.  The artist call is fall of 2019.  The City's art plans include 9-Line Bike Park Murals.
  I personnally think that the symbol of ELPCO, big tree, should be the sculpture.  A sculpture of wood in the form of a beautiful tree would be very appropriate.
  In another matter of art, the City Council intends to give $35,000 to an artist to paint a picture of the Mayor to be placed in the 3rd Floor City Building hallway.

DEVELOPER TRIES TO IGNORE PARKING REQUIREMENTS
  A respected developer is trying to reduce parking requirements for a 7 unit complex on 400 East and Cleveland.  The property is now zoned RMF35 and he wants to rezone it to form based zoning which has no parking requirements.  He would then provide 8 parking spaces for the 7 units which include 2 three bedrooms, 4 two bedrooms and 1 one bedroom apartments!  Form based zoning was the zoning next to rail stations and deliberately (we protested) had no parking requirements.  

SLC PUSHES RIGHT HAND ONLY TURNS WHILE ENCOURAGING LEFT HAND TURNS
  SLC biking infrastructure plans recommends putting right hand only turns for vehicles on neighborhood byways that are to increase safety for bicyclists.  Kensington Avenue is scheduled for a neighborhood byway with a CIP application being submitted to the City.  
  At the same time, the City is encouraging left hand turns with road diets that have a center turn lane allowing for MORE left hand turns.  That does not make sense.  I am against right hand only barriers at intersections.  They increase pollution and traffic in quiet neighborhood streets.  I am against center turn lanes except at intersections and at lights in order to decrease the turns that injure so many bicyclists and pedestrians.

MENDENHALL STILL PUSHING SRO CRIME MAGNETS IN ALL NEIGHBORHOODS
  Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall has confirmed that she and the rest of the Council intend to allow SRO (like crime magnet motels) in most areas of the City, after the election.  We thought that the Council was going to stop the effort when the last public hearing went nowhere.  But Erin confirmed that the proposal is not dead and she agrees that they should be allowed Citywide.  This is despite the fact that she, and the City, have not removed the crime magnet motels on State Street (and North Temple).

1100 EAST PROJECT TO ADD TO 1300 EAST PROJECT TRAFFIC DELAYS
  The 1300 East project was supposed to be finished this year but it looks like it will take another year.  But the City postponed the 1100 East resurfacing project (around 1900 South) so as not to impact traffic detours.  So the citizens of the area will have to traverse work areas on two important adjacent streets that were supposed to function as detours.

SLC MAY DECREASE BILLBOARDS BUT INCREASE RAIL POWER LINES   
  SLC is suggesting that the billboards on 600 South offramp into Salt Lake City from Hwy 15 are a blight to the area.  Their plan is to remove the billboards and make the area's "gateway to the City" more beautiful, much like the Chamber's efforts a couple of years ago to make 600 South a grand boulevard like the 28 foot wide sidewalks around Paris' Champs Elysees.  When this was floated at the Legislature, we reminded the Committee that when adjacent landowners agree to give up 28 feet of their property, then we could realistically consider making 600 South a grand boulevard.  
  But SLC owns almost half of the area and has allowed it to deteriorate (see story below).  It also has allowed a bunch of tax generating car lots (block wide in some cases) that discourages walkability and should stop all consideration of a grand boulevard.  
  So the attempt to blame billboards for the blight, in my opinion, is misplaced.  The City is more responsible for allowing the so called blight with allowing buildings to sit unused (without an adequate demolition ordinance - used to discourage more surface parking lots); allowing block wide car lots and for encouraging more power lines for TRAX (which destroys our views of the mountains).

SLC RDA OWNS 7 OF 15 ACRES IN DEPOT DISTRICT NORTH OF 600S
  SLC RDA has a report that indicates that it owns 7 of 15 acres in the depot district.  It has allowed many of the buildings that it owns to be vacant.  Vacant building encourage criminal behavior and, in my opinion, has allowed the Rio Grande area to go downhill, despite promises, assurances and plans to build a research park between 600 South and North Temple and between 400 West and the railroad tracks.  One of the reasons for UTA building a new $100 million bus garage is to repurpose their bus garage for the research park.

UTA AGREES DESTROYS HAMBLIN FURNITURE FOR $500,000 
  Since 2010, UTA has pushed eminent domain on the small business Hamblin Furniture.  The Hamblin's have spent their whole savings on trying to defend themselves against this government taking without compensation.  UTA originally offered a $100,000 for the old building that was allowed to continue to make furniture due to being grandfathered out of new expensive safety equipment (fire suppression by decreasing dust).  UTA destroyed their equipment when they moved it (UTA leased a building next to the new homeless shelter!) and the business is essentially bust.  UTA and the Hamblins, in a mediation led by the Utah Property Ombudsman, have agreed to have UTA give the Hamblins almost $500,000 to release all claims.  The Hamblins still lost their business and have to pay out much of the money to lawyers.  Another eminent domain tragedy.

UTA TRYING TO NOT PROVIDE BETTER BUS SERVICE
  In the UTA trying to not provide better bus service column for this week/month, UTA has cut the number of buses scheduled to be bought/leased from 45 to 10!  UTA thinks that they can maintain the buses that they have.  But UTA does not have enough maintenance personnel!  This is similar to the lack of drivers due to the lack of adequate pay and split shifts (in addition to the daily problem with homeless and criminals causing problems (A recent drug addict on spice tried to take control of a bus!  Why was he on the street?  Due to lack of enough jail beds.)
  Two years ago, we asked why UTA couldn't participate in the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Funding Assistance Program for Replacement of Diesel Buses.  We were told that UTA would have to shoot the engines of buses to permanently disable them and they didn't want to do that.  UTA has now decided to consider accepting $13,079,240 for permanently disabling up to 20 older diesel buses!  But UTA also thinks that they can maintain them??

UTA NEW BOND BUY $540 MILLION FOR PROJECTS
  On October 30, UTA will have a hearing on a $540 million bond buy.  The State Bonding Commission is only allowing it to decrease the interest and interest payments (if the interest rates go up, the authorization cancels).  Some of the funding will be used for a bunch of construction projects that Commissioner Christiansen has said are the first phase of increasing service, which is capital intensive.  More projects, less service.
  During the last interim, John Dougall, the State Auditor, pointed out that the last bill that changed the governance of UTA did not explicitly detail whether UTA was a State entity or a local district.  The intent of Harper's SB136 was to keep it a local district since the Legislature did not want to take on the significant UTA debt.  But if the Governor can remove the trustees, it is under the State.  But the trustee nominees come from the cities and the counties.  Senator Harper is going to sponsor another bill, the second to tweak SB136, to emphasize that UTA is a local district so that Utah taxpayers do not have to pay for UTA projects and borrowing (as if).  We asked the State Treasurer, several years ago, if the lower interest rates that apply to Utah would help the significant bind that UTA finds itself in with the 50% increase in payments over the next 5 years for the bonds.  The Treasurer felt that taxpayers would not want that burden.  Again, I have to emphasize that the bond buy will decrease the higher interest rate bonds but also place the tax increase from SB136 into stone.

UTA FRONTRUNNER ALMOST KILLS 100
  UTA has killed around 100 in the last 30 years (report is in the Transportation downloads but is 2 years old).  It recently escaped another death due to the heroic efforts of a Utah Highway Patrolman.  They save lives.  They put themselves in harm's way.  They get hit doing their job.  When you see a Highway Patrolman, thank them for their service and sacrifice.
  The proof of how bad it is is a quote from the driver of the FrontRunner train that hit the vehicle on the tracks a second after the driver was removed by the Patrolman:  "My first day of training, I was told, ‘Welcome to FrontRunner. You’re going to hit something".  And in another important note, the FrontRunner train carried 60 passengers!  Is it really cost effective to run a train with 60 passengers?

NOISE COMPLAINTS 
  I was recently asked how to complain about loud vehicles in a Salt Lake City neighborhood.  UTAH Code 41-6a-1626 states:
  Mufflers -- Prevention of noise, smoke, and fumes -- Air pollution control devices 
(1) (a) A vehicle shall be equipped, maintained, and operated to prevent excessive or unusual noise.
(b) A motor vehicle shall be equipped with a muffler or other effective noise suppressing system in good working order and in constant operation.
(c) A person may not use a muffler cut-out, bypass, or similar device on a vehicle
  
  In Salt Lake County, noise complaints are handled by the Health Department at 385-468-8888 or online here:
  https://slco.org/health/noise/

  If you want to report a loud or polluting vehicle, call the SLCPD non emergency number at 801 799 3000.

WHY ISN'T SLC TICKETING IDLING TRUCKS (ESPECIALLY AT INLAND PORT)
  Most of the backlash against the Inland Port is due to the concern of air pollution increasing with a big increase in high polluting big trucks.  They are allowed to emit the pollution equivalent of over a 100 new cars!  So why isn't SLC getting some leverage by using Rep. Arent and Sen. Bramble's bill from last year that allows cities to pass laws allowing ticketing of idling vehicles, after one warning, to actually pass that law.  
  SLC now has an essentially educational bill and, although I don't agree with the Legislature's bill, SLC should ticket idling trucks that won't stop idling.
  And SLCO residents should also acknowledge that the airport is also providing a lot of pollution of the increase in jet traffic.

SLC CAN'T STOP EVICTIONS OF LOW INCOME SENIORS
  The Ballpark Apartments on 1300 South and West Temple was built with the help of State funds, and with considerations from SLC that provided more flexibility for design and parking.  But, it recently started evicting low income seniors with just a three day notice, during a three day holiday!  So much for government handouts being misused.  Salt Lake City says that they can't do anything about it. 

 

 

SLC MAYORAL ELECTION OPINION 

 

ERIN WON MONDAY'S DEBATE BUT I AM STILL VOTING FOR LUZ

  The SLC Tribune/Fox13 mayoral debate took place earlier this week and it introduced a new system that was original and very informative.  The moderators gave a subject or issue and asked for comments or arguments from the two candidates, Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall and Senator Luz Escamilla.  That format allowed a free and vigorous back and forth that other debates lacked.
  The first subject was "what would you drop" which led to Erin saying that she would drop impact fees in return for more affordable housing.  When Salt Lake City placed a temporary moratorium on impact fees, housing starts significantly increased.  But last year, when she was Council Chair, the Council discussed reducing impact fees in return for more affordable housing.  If 20% of the units were affordable in a 200 unit project, impact fees would be removed, saving the developer a half a million dollars!  But the discussion went nowhere and nothing has been accomplished since!  Salt Lake City may be getting thousands of luxery apartments but affordable units are lacking.
  On transit, Erin said that she was responsible for three new circulator buses and is supporting a proposal to provide free transit with downtown event tickets.  But the three so called circulator buses that the City Council and Administration put money into already existed (2, 9 21) but had very limited weekend and night service.  The latest UTA ridership figures show minimal ridership increases on weekdays, and significant gains on weekends (which show that a robust bus system is most effective at increasing mass transit ridership).  Luz was concerned about the inequities in the transit system with 8 north south bus routes on the east and 3 north south routes in the west (with several milk run zig zags of routes).  The City provided twice as much increased service on the east side as on the west side with the higher frequency.
  The moderators took Twitter questions including from Crossroads' Bill Tibbetts, low income activist.  Bill asked what will be done about the shelters that are already full.  The City Council, including Erin, have claimed until recently, that the three new shelters will be enough to house the homeless.  But homeless women are being turned away already!  The original City Council proposal was for four 150 person shelters.  The reality now is that there will be many left on the street this winter to camp out.  They will camp out at the Library, downtown, alleys and parks.  And due to the full shelters, they won't be able to be stopped from camping (due to many court decisions).  Despite the reality of full shelters, the State and downtown developers are insisting in tearing down the Road Home.  Even Luz believes that it needs to be torn down due to the drug problems.  The new shelters already have drug problems!  
   But Luz said that the women with kids, and the women who are pregnant should have housing and not be in shelters.  "No kid or mom should be in a shelter.  They should be in a home".  That would be a better solution but what would the Midvale family shelter then accept?  Erin said that she championed the 700 S women's shelter (and originally, until the significant backlash, the Simpson Avenue shelter) and without adequate shelter facilities, we should look at keeping the Road Home open.  That statement got a big applause.  Luz correctly pointed out that the homeless crime problem is worse than it was 5 years ago.
  The discussion then turned to camping at the Main Library and will you (candidates) allow overnight camping.  Erin said that we need to look at what the camping ordinance should be and that it is not as simple as getting rid of camping.  Moderator Ben Winslow asked several times of Erin, is that a yes or no.  He finally, in frustration, said that he would take it as no.
  On the Inland Port, Erin said that "we both support litigation".  Erin continued, saying we don't trust the State to do our taxes and zoning.  That also got plenty of applause.  She effectively parried anyone focusing on her leading the City Council vote to eliminate funding for litigation.  She also slammed Luz with a "Surprised you don't know this already" statement!
  E-scooters were the next subject and Erin said that the City should install red light cameras to catch sidewalk scooters riding on the sidewalk and bill the companies when caught!  But that seems very unrealistic.  Enforcing no scooters on the sidewalks would also negatively impact the present ban on bicycles on downtown sidewalks which the SLCPD is not enforcing.  
  Erin is a big bicycle proponent and has pushed full implementation of the 4 year old Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan (with just a couple of pages on pedestrians).  The plan includes lowering many street speeds to 25 MPH and putting in more east west 700 East bicycle and pedestrian crossings.  
  The next subject was air quality, not regarding transportation.  Both candidates were able to claim many accomplishments on air quality from Erin's getting involved in politics due to air quality concerns and Luz's many environmental accomplishments in the Legislature.  Luz was able to double fines for environmental crimes and doubled the statute of limitations.  Luz also passed a bill to study and set a baseline for Inland Port environmental standards.
  Both expressed concern for attracting families.  Erin suggested more after school programs.  Ironically, Luz is the expert and has successfully passed bills that increased after school programs' quality and grants.
  Towards the end, Erin said that she is helping to increase westside property values with the 9-Line and 9th S. 9th W. RDA expansion areas.  The State Street RDA expansion area is part of the proposal.  But, like the City's inability to figure out what to do with the 7 acres in the Depot District/Rio Grande area (out of 15 acres) for decades (resulting in vacant buildings and increased crime), the City's RDA is slow.  It took 20+ years to start development of Sugar House and North Temple and Central 9th.  It has taken 5 years to get the 9th and 9th and State Street expansion area approved by the Board of Education.
  Erin also claimed that the City will invest in catalytic projects to encourage development (like the 650 S. Main Street TRAX station?!).  She also pointed to the 900 W. road diet project that has created dissension and a court case due to the community being against it and the 300% increase in accidents!  Bicyclists seem to like it but everyone else seems to hate it.  The 35 MPH speed seems to be too high and there have been several rollover accidents. 
  Erin was more polished and provided an effective delivery but she seemed determined to ignore the past 5 years of her time on the Council.  If she wins the general election, she will be able to hit the ground running.  But I am still voting for Luz Escamilla for mayor of Salt Lake City.  I feel that her executive experience as a community development banker and her efforts in the Legislature show that she will help Salt Lake City more than Erin Mendenhall.  
  I admit that part of the reason that I am voting for Luz is because of Erin's constant secret meetings (on homeless shelters and the Inland Port and many secret small group meetings with 3 or fewer Councilmembers), her efforts to increase taxes (including water, sewer, lighting, sales taxes and bonds) and her plans to spend hundreds of millions on projects are a concern to me.  Her efforts to increase taxes will result in higher housing costs and a decrease in affordable housing.
  The next mayoral debate is October 21 from noon to 1 PM on KSL TV and sponsored by KSL and the Pioneer Park Coalition.   Whatever your opinion, please vote.

 

 

 

 


OCTOBER 9, 2019
9TH SOUTH SPEED TO BE REDUCED TO 25 MPH FOR 9-LINE
MAYORAL DEBATES SCHEDULED
PARAMONT HOMELESS SHELTER BECOMES RIO GRANDE
GIANT FAIRMONT PARK TREE TO BE REPLACED BY 4 MICRO TREES
SUGAR HOUSE 9TH EAST TENNIS COURTS PROPOSED TO BE BIGGER GIRLS BOYS CLUB
DISTRICT 7 COUNCIL DEBATE
UTA CEMENTING SALES TAX INCREASE WITH BONDING
OVER 30% OF TEENS VAPED
SLC SPENDING TAX INCREMENT ON NEW DOWNTOWN TRAX 
SUGAR HOUSE DUI INCREASING 900%
SLC HOUSING STILL REFUSED PERMIT TO DEMOLISH BALLPARK VACANT HOMES
TREES ON HIGHLAND AT RISK
SLC COUNCIL EMAILS PROMOTE CANDIDATES UNINTENTIONALLY
REASONS FOR IDLING FIRE TRUCKS
UTA IN ERROR PUTTING SKI BUSES ON POPULAR ROUTES
ACE MONEY FROM SLC AVAILABLE FOR COMMUNITY EVENTS


9TH SOUTH SPEED TO BE REDUCED TO 25 MPH FOR 9-LINE
  Salt Lake City, which received millions from Salt Lake County transportation funds (from the SB136 sales tax increase) to continue construction of the 9-Line from 1050 East to 900 West, is planning to decrease the speed on 9th South to 25 MPH and add a separated bike lane from 1050 East to State Street.  The path for the shared pedestrian/runner/bicycle trail will be on the south side of the road.  The plan will start being implemented after a parking study for the area that will start in January at community councils.  The link to the reduced 9mb version and the 54mb version is: 
https://www.slcdocs.com/transportation/Studies/9Line/9LineStudyFinal
http://www.slcdocs.com/planning/masterplansmaps/9lcmp.pdf
 http://www.9linecorridor.com 

MAYORAL DEBATES SCHEDULED
  The Salt Lake City mayoral candidate debates seem to be flying under the radar.  Greater Avenues had a meet and greet on the 7th.  Almost no one knows about the Impact Hub debate proposal and I am not sure that it will happen.  The Community Network is hosting a 7AM meeting! featuring Erin and Luz on October 10th at VOA 888 South and 400 West in the very small upstairs meeting room.  Sometimes just 5 attend the meeting which is for the chairs of the Salt Lake City community councils.  The Salt Lake Tribune and FOX 13 News are hosting a Salt Lake City mayoral debate on Monday, October 14 at 7pm at the SLC Main Library auditorium for an hour.  The debate will be broadcast on TV at 12pm on Tuesday, October 15 on FOX13.  The candidates have totally different plans, in my opinion, and these debates are important.  The new mayor of Salt Lake City will determine the future of the City and whether taxes will increase and what projects are going to be prioritized.

PARAMONT HOMELESS SHELTER BECOMES RIO GRANDE
  Despite all of the congratulations about the opening of the new homeless shelters and the news that adjacent residents and businesses are happy, the reality is neighbors are upset about the open use of alcohol in front of their businesses and homes by the homeless friends of the new shelter residents.  There is also no community advisory committees set up which were promised.  The contact for the coordinator for Salt Lake City is Zoe Morgan (zoe.morgan@slcgov.com).  She has indicated that the shelters are low barrier shelters and that there will be regular disinfecting of nearby sidewalks (which will panic adjacent residents and businesses).
  There is an increase in public defecation near the shelters and downtown.  That is partly due to Salt Lake City removing th downtown toilets.  Homeless have to go to the Weigand Center or Vincent De Paul and Fourth Street Clinic to relieve themselves.  There is an effort to threaten the homeless to move to the new shelters, including banning some homeless from the Main Library for years.  There is also a problem with drugs in the shelters and reports of regular sweeps to decrease the drugs.  But it is difficult to stop the homeless from bringing drugs into the shelters.  Matt Minkovitz has tried for decades.  How do you search for drugs when the women regularly bring them in in their bras.  
  The shelters are becoming like the Rio Grande area and neighbors are complaining and pointing out that nothing seems to be working.

GIANT FAIRMONT PARK TREE TO BE REPLACED BY 4 MICRO TREES
  The City is planning to refurbish the stream that runs through Fairmont Park (east of the Girls and Boys Club) and they contend that a big 24+ inch diameter tree needs to b cut down.  Instead of the regular 12 micro trees to replace the big tree (2" diameter trees are supposed to replace the diameter of the cut tree.), the City is proposing to plant just 4 new 2" trees!  There will be a meeting next week to finalize the plan.

SUGAR HOUSE 9TH EAST TENNIS COURTS PROPOSED TO BE BIGGER GIRLS BOYS CLUB
  There is a proposal to allow the Girls and Boys Club in Sugar House (on Sugarmont Drive and east of 900 East) to expand onto the tennis courts and allow the community access to the new courts that are proposed to be indoors.  It is early in the process and the community will be involved in the planning.

DISTRICT 7 COUNCIL DEBATE
  This week, there was a debate with the District 7 Council candidates, incumbent Charlie Luke and Dan Dugan.  The small group at the Anderson Foothill Library submitted questions that were answered by the candidates.  
  The first question was regarding the University of Utah Police.  Charlie Luke discussed taking over the UofU Police with SLC Chief Brown since several recent incidents were close to the east bench/District 6 neighborhoods.  The Fire and emergency services already cover the University.  In addition, the SLC Police were not contacted on the trailside shooting last year, according to Charlie.  The reason for the separate police force has generally been due to the student body being given more leeway than regular citizens (that's why the SLC Drug Court was closed - they didn't want 
"hard drug users" to mix with marijuana smoking students).  But Charlie is right.  The UofU Police force, in my opinion, has exhibited some very unprofessional actions, that has led to the death of a student.  Dan Dugan expressed support for the Eastside Precinct proposal.
  There was also a question about zoning and the lack of protection of single family zoned neighborhoods.  Charlie explained that he fought the ADUs but lost.
  Dan Dugan took a hard line completely against the Inland Port and pushed for more clean air initiatives.  Charlie explained that the City was going to lose in a fight with the Legislature and the Council negotiated a better deal, not perfect, but better.
  Both were against the Call2Haul program.
  Although not publicized, 2100 South is planned in a couple of years for a reconstruction and many in the Sugar House Community Council are pushing for a road diet to take the street down to two travel lanes from four.  Charlie pointed out that he fought the Sunnyside proposed road diet and will fight against the 21st South proposed road diet.  Dan expressed concern that the road diet will increase traffic on overloaded Foothill.
  Both expressed support for ADA wheelchair access.

UTA CEMENTING SALES TAX INCREASE WITH BONDING
  UTA is planning on a bond refinancing plan that will cement the SB136 sales tax.  If there is no bond involved, the sales tax, which gives 40% of the tax increase to UTA (and which voters turned down but the Legislature with SB136 passed) will never go away and UTA will have a regular revenue source to develop more projects.  Fasten your seatbelt.

OVER 30% OF TEENS VAPED
  During the Legislature's Interim meeting last month, data was given (in the downloads) that showed that over 30% of high school students had tried vaping!  Former Senator Shiozawa also recommended an educational program to decrease the number of underage vaping.  The American Medical Association found that 70% of CBD products were mislabeled.
  A statement was made that for thousands of years, marijuana was shown to be safe.  For thousands of years, Americans thought tobacco was safe (hundreds of years for Europeans).  Even when it was proven to cause cancer and heart disease, many claimed that the hundreds of years of so called safe use overrode science!  
  It appears that there will be many new proposed bills that try to reduce vaping and especially marijuana use.  Utah needs more educational outreach, more laws, more data to see how many doctors are seeing patients without hospitalization and also more studies.  What part of don't put crap in your lungs don't you get.

SLC SPENDING TAX INCREMENT ON NEW DOWNTOWN TRAX 
  Salt Lake City expects to get about $20 million in tax increment increases can be generated by the new State Street and 9-Line CRA over 20 years.  The Council, sitting as the RDA Board, is pushing to use several million of that to build a 650 S. Main Street station for TRAX!  This is almost end any chance of new parks and bicycle infrastructure around the Ballpark area.  And this will also end the 17th South proposed station that Ballpark wanted.  The City Council is still thinking of how they can convince UDOT to close the 9th South ramp (costing over $20 million).  The COuncil is spending money it does not have!

SUGAR HOUSE DUI INCREASING 900%
  Sugar House is developing a reputation as a great bar entertainment district.  The SLCPD reports that the usual 2 to 3 DUIs caught in the area a month are now 18 a month which is about a 900% increase!  But buses/transit stops at midnight, still.  So expect more DUI blitzes in the area.

SLC HOUSING STILL REFUSED PERMIT TO DEMOLISH 
  There was a story in the Salt Lake Tribune recently that blamed the Salt Lake City Housing Authority for not demolishing some vacant homes that they own and have been trying to demolish for years.  The Ballpark Community Council has expressed anger at the lack of progress.  The issue is the Salt Lake City Council is not allowing a demolition ordinance change (they heard a report on it a few months ago).  The City has been discouraging demolitions without an approved permit for a replacement building!  The City does not want to encourage parking lots.  So the Salt Lake City Housing Authority, which has money for demolition but not for a new building, has again been refused a permit to demolish the vacant buildings, after the story was published!

TREES ON HIGHLAND AT RISK
  There are several projects on Highland between 2100 South and the I80 Freeway overpass that appear to threaten many of the trees on the street.  There is a canal underneath Highland that will be reconstructed (at the same time as 1300 East project is completing - at the same time as the 1100 East Post Office street reconstruction!!) next year and the trees on the west side of the street may not be able to be saved!  There is a project called Sugar Alley south of Buffalo Wings that will also probably destroy the trees on the west side of the street.  Oh well, Sugar House trees were nice while they lasted.

SLC COUNCIL EMAILS PROMOTE CANDIDATES UNINTENTIONALLY
  In the last few years, the City Council has collected email addresses from various individuals (usually at community council meetings) that the Council uses to send out emails of news about Council actions and meetings.  Although the emails from the Council are not supposed to be campaigning, because they are sent out so often and they are so positive about the work of the Councilmembers, they can appear to be campaigning.  For instance, in the month before the primary, Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall sent out 3 emails explaining what she and the Council did and she included valuable information.  The Council is trying to fill a void caused by the lack of news coverage of the important work of the Council.  And all emails are sent to individuals who have asked for it.  But, in my opinion, the large number of emails could skew an election.  Congress restricts mailers, paid for by taxpayers from being sent within 90 days of an election.  
  The City Council should reevaluate the policies on sending out taxpayer funded emails before an election.  The Council could send out a general Council news but now each Councilmember gets their own email with photo sent out, sometimes weekly.  Much of the information is valuable, especially if you don't sit through the meetings.  But the number of emails may result in unfair advantage of incumbents.
  The number of emails sent are: District 1: 487, D2: 532, D3: 505, D4: 763, D5: 923, D6: 1,414, D7: 780

REASONS FOR IDLING FOR TRUCKS
  Last blog pointed out that 80% of nationwide emergency calls are for medical emergencies.  Many have complained about the idling of big fire trucks while answering medical calls.  The reason for the idling of the big trucks is often due to the turbos in the engine need to continue to be cooled and if they shut of the engine when they are hot, the engine turbos could be damaged by lack of oil for cooling.  In addition, idling fire trucks provide much needed electricity for the many electronics in today's fire trucks.
  As I mentioned in a previous blog, the Salt Lake City Council is asking for a report on expanding the medical SUVs that are used downtown in the homeless areas (that get 10 or more calls a day).  But the medical response team often finds that they need four or more individuals to help with the medical response.  It could be a loose dog or a very upset companion of the patient.  Fire Department personnel often find that all four (standard manning of an engine) are needed during a medical emergency.

UTA IN ERROR PUTTING SKI BUSES ON POPULAR ROUTES
  UTA erred when they put some ski buses on a popular route that is usually full and standing room only.  They are only supposed to use the 28 seat buses, which get better gas mileage (and need to be regularly run to maintain them) on "circulator" routes with short trip times and fewer passengers.  But UTA "found an error in 2 of the 10 bus block assignments that service the 209. These two blocks were incorrectly labeled as ‘circulators’.  We are changing their designated label now so that our morning sign out team correctly assigns them to the lower ridership circulator routes." 
  I give credit to UTA for responding to the complaint.  The complaint was given to th Board of Trustees and to rideuta@rideuta.com.  If you see a problem, complain.

ACE MONEY FROM SLC AVAILABLE FOR COMMUNITY EVENTS
  "The ACE Fund application for the 2020 event year is now open! This funding opportunity is administered by my office (Mayor of SLC) to promote and support neighborhood and community events across our City.
  Events supported by ACE ultimately help support Salt Lake City's goals which include city-wide economic development, bringing arts to all communities, and promoting diversity and inclusion. With awards ranging from $100 to $10,000, both large and small events are encouraged to apply!
  Applications for the 2020 event year are open until October 31, 2019
https://www.slc.gov/mayor/ace-fund/

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER 25, 2019
NEW UTA SLC SERVICE INCREASES RIDERSHIP ON WEEKENDS
WASTEFUL SLC TRANSIT PROJECTS INSTEAD OF MORE SERVICE
COPS ARE TOO SCARY IN UNIFORM
900 S OFFRAMP COULD TAKE UP ALL RDA FUNDING
SLC GOING TO TEMP CONTRACTOR TO PROVIDE CROSSING GUARDS
3 CREEKS CONFLUENCE PARK COMING TO 1300 S JORDAN RIVER
SLC HOMELESS SHELTER PROBLEMS AHEAD
ROOFTOP BAR QUESTIONS
SLC CHANGING TRAFFIC SIGNALS TO DECREASE IDLING
SLC APARTMENT/RENTALS REPORT WE CAN'T BUILD OUR WAY OUT
LIBERTY PARK CRIME CONCERNS
TREES REALITY
CCS MAY BE KICKED OUT OF DOWNTOWN
MCCLELLAND CLOSED TO PEDESTRIANS?!
ROCKY MOUNTAIN POWER WANTS TO CHARGE ACCORDING HOURLY USE
900 EAST STREET RECONSTRUCTION BEFORE UTILITY DIGS
SHOPPING CARTS NO LONGER CONFISCATED
I LOVE ROCKY BUT
SLC SCHOOLS SHAFT AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMS


NEW UTA SLC SERVICE INCREASES RIDERSHIP ON WEEKENDS
  UTA is providing data on the ridership on buses and other transit at rideuta.com/data.  One month after the August 11 Change Day, the results on the SLC service increases show minimal increases in ridership (1-3%) on routes that were changed (I put the sheet with the data from UTA in the downloads.).  That is one reason that SLC is considering a free fare for some of the routes.  
  Unfortunately, the Council does not want to benefit the other cities' residents, even though they provide the most ridership for buses and TRAX and that results in the greatest decrease in pollution (use of transit for a 2 mile trip saves a fraction of pollution compared to a non SLC resident traveling 10 miles).  Redwood Road and State Street are some of the most crowded and well used buses in the system but SLC does not want non SLC residents to benefit (and pollution therefore is increased). 
  But the big news is the significant increase in ridership on the 200 S., the 2100 S. and the 900 S. bus routes on weekends.  I believe that that shows that service increases are more important than projects.  The weekend bus route ridership increases are:
200 S. +35% Sat, +48% Sun.
2100 S. +34% Sat, +90% Sun.
900 S. +138% Sat, +145% Sun.
  In addition, UTA is funding a $925,000 micro transit pilot program with a $800,000 service funding.  I also put the Future of FrontRunner presentation in the downloads.  There are proposals for electrifying the line (to increase speeds/throughput faster than diesel) and double tracking to get 15 minute frequency during the rush hour when the trains are standing room only.  But lost in the excitement of potentially expanding the service, is the fact that most FrontRunner parking lots are full (same with most TRAX stations' parking lots).  That is the limiting factor in trying to increase ridership according to the industry standard Booz, Allen, Hamilton study.  That is where UTA should spend money before any big projects like rail, bus stations (200 S. 700 E.), BRTs or extending TRAX to Lehi.  Who needs TRAX to Lehi if FrontRunner will have 15 minute service.

WASTEFUL SLC TRANSIT PROJECTS INSTEAD OF MORE SERVICE
  The Salt Lake City Council has agreed to use SB136 funds ($4.3 million) from the County for the design and construction of the 9-Line Trail from 940 East to 600 West.  The City is completing the Trail from Sunnyside to 940 East and is expected to be finished in a few months (although contractors are having serious problems).  But the railroad tracks that have killed several pedestrians and bikeriders on 900 South are being ignored.  Those railroad tracks, under I15,  divide the east and west side of Salt Lake City.
  The City is also going to use $2.8 million for "mobility and safety improvements" on State Street from 600 South to 900 South.  The plan is to widen sidewalks, improve transit stops (which are unfortunately not at corners but require a little walking - missing a bus by a minute due to the distance of inconvenient bus stops will discourage ridership), and slowing speed (to 20 MPH according to one plan if UDOT agrees), putting in bulbouts (inconvenient for bicyclists), removing driveways, installing street furniture and trees (obstacles for pedestrians, bicyclists and scooters - note that bicycles are not to ride on sidewalks north of 500 South downtown) and mid block crossings.  The plan is also to work with South Salt Lake to create "high-comfort bike routes" on streets on both sides of State Street from 900 South to 3300 South Street.
  The City also is going to spend $942,500 of the County funds to develop a "multi-modal circulation plan, preliminary engineering of selected street and trail corridors, and the completion of a transit alternatives analysis for an extension of the S-Line streetcar line or other Sugar House to Millcreek transit."  This, in my opinion, is Millcreek's effort to get the S-Line/Streetcar/TRAX to go south on Highland to 39th South.  He believes the claim that the S-Line resulted in billions of new development in Sugar House.  He ignores the reality, in my opinion, that Sugar House development is due to the large concentration of open space and parks in the area, unmatched anywhere in Utah cities (except for the new Draper park).
  Salt Lake City is also using $400,000 of the funding to design 200 South between 600 West and 900 East to "function as a transit corridor and a transit hub incorporating walking, bicycling, shared mobility, private automobiles and freight. It should be noted that the Transit Master Plan identified the “East Downtown,” vicinity of 200 South and 700 East as a location that would “provide additional layover capacity to support implementation of the FTN (Frequent Transit Network).  Potentially, the location would be in the 200 South Street right of way."  (UTA, Davis County and Salt Lake City are planning a $67 million BRT since they have so much new funding for projects.)  The original plan, from the SLC Transit Master Plan, was to put in a $400,000 transit hub on 200 South and 700 East.  This is the start of the process.
  "The final study involves using a $300,000 allocation to identify a site for a multi-modal hub facility and develop a preliminary facility and cost estimates for a multi-modal bus hub near North Temple and Redwood Road."

COPS ARE TOO SCARY IN UNIFORM
  The Salt Lake City Council adopted several "intentions" which are plans that they want to implement.  These are the intentions from the adopted Legislative Intent followed by my opinions/analysis.
"1. Park Ranger Program. It is the intent of the Council that the Administration develop a proposal for Council consideration that addresses the overall goal of increasing the perception of safety in parks, including the concerns raised by community and Council Members that uniformed police officers could cause fear or uncertainty among minority and at-risk populations, interfering with their enjoyment of these public spaces."
  But people should not be afraid of police officers in uniform but they could become so if their first interactions with police are during criminal complaints.  Police in uniforms in parks are what communities want and they believe, as Chief Brown said, a visible cop is a great deterrent to criminal behavior.  Police in regular uniforms in parks decrease the perceived fear of cops.
  Parks already asks for the SLCPD to close the restrooms in the parks at night due to their perceived danger from transients and drug users.  The City Council later agreed to allow police to patrol in bicycle uniforms, which are not as intimidating!  And due to the lack of personnel (down 40), the Council intends to support a Budget Amendment 2 that would allow those bicycle patrol police to be paid overtime.  That budget amendment may be done in a few months but bicycling in wintertime is not realistic when it snows.  That is why the Chief wanted to use regular uniformed cops in vehicles, bicycles and on foot.  But the "uniformed cops are scary",  group of City Council members decided to only use bicycle cop uniforms.  Fairmont Park (spice and THC sales market for kids), Sugar House Park and Liberty Park are the highest priority.  The Jordan River Parkway is being patrolled with police paid for by the County.

"2. Funding Our Future - New Sales Tax Funds for Public Safety. It is the intent of the Council that the definition of “public safety” include the Police Department, Fire Department, and 911 Dispatch for
allocation of Funding Our Future revenue."
  What happened was the 911 Audit indicated that the PBX operators that were used to answer 799-3000 non-emergency calls to cut costs (they weren't paid much more than regular operators, much less than dispatchers) were causing problems with not taking crime reports so the City agreed to make them all trained dispatchers which is now being funded by the new prison sales tax funds that were to go to police staffing increases.  And the SLCFD firemen and women were not being paid much, having to work other jobs during off days, so they needed a salary increase too.  The effect is SLCPD is still losing a lot of trained and experienced cops with institutional knowledge due to not being paid as much as other jurisdictions in the County.  SLCPD should have all of the funding from the sales tax increase and the SLC General Fund should pay a decent salary to 911 dispatchers and SLCFD personnel.

"3. Green Team Metrics. It is the intent of the Council that the Administration work with its Green Team partners to develop metrics that track tangible improvements in job-related skills among participants, in addition to graduate employment rates."

"4. Sustainability – Rate Increase. It is the intent of the Council that the Administration conduct public engagement on various options for a waste collection rate increase, in time for an updated proposal to be considered in the FY21 budget."
  So the City Council is preparing the groundwork for a waste collection rate increase, another tax increase like the 4 from last year (prison, SB136, water, stormwater).

"5. Complete Streets Definition. It is the intent of the Council to ask the Administration to clarify the components of the “complete streets” concept and evaluate whether there are additional opportunities to include pedestrian and neighborhood safety as it relates to any future CIP project and, specifically, to consider how pedestrian and neighborhood safety can build on the current ordinance." 
  The City is going to get the results of the Transportation Department's "completer streets study" next year that, I think, will result in lowering speed limits.

"6. Golf Food and Beverage Options. It is the intent of the Council to ask the Administration to examine the open space zone ordinance, with the goal of removing barriers to providing flexible food and beverage options in golf courses. To the extent that barriers exist in State law the Council requests an analysis of those, and that changing them be identified as a future legislative priority"
  In other words, the City Council wants to have more public use of the City's golf courses.  They want to encourage use of drinks on the golf courses and encourage liquor licenses for contracted service providers and create a more inviting facility for the neighborhood.  They want to use more social media promotions to encourage luncheons with the Council on the golf courses.

"7. Fire Department Medical Response Team. It is the intent of the Council to ask the Administration to continue to evaluate call volume over the next 12-18 months to determine the cost/benefit of a
Medical Response Team approach for other areas of the City with a high volume of medical calls."
  This makes a lot of sense since running big rigs with high volume screaming sirens to respond to a medical emergency seems questionable.  80% of fire department calls, according to national statistics, are for medical response.  Although the SLCFD contends that they need staff to be ready for all emergencies while responding to medical, the success of the downtown medical response team should justify expanding that system.

900 S OFFRAMP COULD TAKE UP ALL RDA FUNDING
  I put the 900 S. Offramp study by Salt Lake City Transportation in the downloads section.  Many in the Ballpark Community still have bad memories of the UDOT/SLC construction of the 900 S. Peoples Freeway Offramp that divided a neighborhood.  The study was to provide reasons and a plan to cut back the offramp and put it onto 300 West and reclaim the property for more "beneficial uses".  But the traffic using the offramp for access to downtown is significant and the 300 West redesign create problems.  In addition, UDOT does not seem to be interested in moving the offrampl.  If the offramp is moved, SLC was thinking that the 
RDA for the State Street area tax increment could pay the cost.  Unfortunately, that would leave almost nothing for parks and other amenity improvements for the area. 

SLC GOING TO TEMP CONTRACTOR TO PROVIDE CROSSING GUARDS
  SLC needs crossing guards and has been unable to pay them enough.  So it is going to a temp contractor/temp agency to provide crossing guards.  But the cost for a temp agency to provide the crossing guards is much more (usually 30-50% more) than paying them a better salary to attract them.  In addition, the crossing guards, working for a temp agency, may not be as vetted (despite assurances) as te guards are now.  The City needs a reality check on appropriate and respectful salaries, for cops, dispatchers, fire department personnel, and crossing guards.

3 CREEKS CONFLUENCE PARK COMING TO 1300 S JORDAN RIVER
  I put the Three Creeks Confluence Park map in the downloads section.  It is expected to be open in two years after the City buys the towing/automobile service station in 2020.  It will eventually cost about $4 million.

SLC HOMELESS SHELTER PROBLEMS AHEAD
  The Paramont Homeless shelter is open and accepting women.  The problems that are still obvious include putting women on the top floor which will be difficult to evacuate in a fire; the staff are not trained on and have access to opioid overdose systems like Narcan; there is still a lice contamination problem without resolution (testing, detecting, and treating); not many trees outside for pets and people; no cat facilities; minimal pet cages; and no petfood.  I realize that this is a work in progress but these are concerns that need addressing now.  Women are no longer allowed at the Road Home but they do not want to go to the shelters.  So they will increase the camping out on the sidewalks in the downtown area.  
  Other areas are also affected.  In Sugar House, by the S-Line, an old homeless women camps out and refuses all offers to move to a shelter.  She wants to stay outside with a man she is attached to.  I think that it needs more social services personnel.

ROOFTOP BAR QUESTIONS
  2166 S. 900 E. is a remodeling project that is proposed to be  bar and restaurants.  Although the neighborhood is concerned about the parking limitations in the area (Many patrons of the nearby restaurants park at Smiths.), during the community meeting, concern was also expressed for the potential of noise that the tenant, a proposed rooftop bar, will cause.  Sugar House continues with supergentrification.

SLC CHANGING TRAFFIC SIGNALS TO DECREASE IDLING
  SLC Transportation has a new traffic signal analysis and presentation that I put in the downloads section.  The City, along with UDOT (building on their Cottonwood Heights Purdue Study from last year) reset the timing in several areas, mainly in the Downtown Area (DA).  The result was a decrease of time traveling downtown by almost a minute and for almost half a minute time saving for the other areas reset (1300 S., 1300 E., 2100 S.).  This technology/software/data driven decision making is the future and will significantly reduce idling.  The impact of this will eventually be greater than almost anything else that we do to decrease pollution.  Unfortunately, the Utah Regional Transportation Plan and Utah Transportation Plan have minimal funding proposed for these resettings.

SLC APARTMENT/RENTALS REPORT WE CAN'T BUILD OUR WAY OUT
  The Salt Lake City Council was given a report on the state of rentals and the rental market in Salt Lake City.  I put the report along with the 2018 report in the downloads section.  The bottom line is that we cannot build enough apartments to meet demand.  This year, to June, 2200 new apartment units came online.  Last year there were 3000.  
  And the remodeling that has been happening is part of the affordability crisis for housing in Salt Lake City.  The presenters pointed out the case of an $800 a month apartment complex on 27th South that was bought by a California company and remodeled and it was charging $1800 a month after remodeling. 
  The presenters suggested that "we can't build our way out of this but we may be able to rehab our way out of this".  They pointed out that ADUs are the low hanging fruit (but the cost is over $90,000 and out of reach or uninteresting to 90% of the population).  In addition, they asked, how do you stop ADUs from using AirBnb.  The problem is to keep housing affordable and not lose it.  Now may be a cheaper time to build and opportunity zones may help (but the New York Times pointed out that the projects are for high end apartments and units and are not redeveloping the needed areas).
  During the 2014 moratorium on impact fees, Salt Lake City gave out, at most, 1693 permits in a quarter.  In June 2019, Salt Lake City almost hit that peak.  Interestingly, the City Council buried the proposal to decrease impact fees for inclusionary zoning projects with 20% affordable units.  
  The City is also under the mis-impression that rail lines, like the S-Line, increases development.  But the park next to the S-Line ges more use than the S-Line and is the big draw.  Only one building has affordable units out of all of the new projects!
  The recommendation that Salt Lake City use ADUs and SROs to increase housing should not be followed until Salt Lake City gets their act together regarding unsafe property owners.  State Street still has the best potential for significantly increasing housing that is mixed income and mixed use.  But that project has been going around in circles for five years.  I also put the City's housing permits and affordable units built in the downloads section.  Although the City has helped build thousands of affordable units, that is a drop in the bucket of housing needs.  We needed 7500 four years ago.  We are not building enough to decrease our housing needs.
  An interesting side note is that part of the reason that the Rio Grande area has become so run down is that Salt Lake City owns 7 acres out of about 15 acres in that area, called the Depot District.  For decades, the City refused to develop or sell the properties and they sat vacant and they increased blight and crime and drug use.  I guess that I am trying to make the point that the City is part of the problem.  Although the City Council took the housing funds away from the Administration and put them into the RDA, the RDA is the problem if they refuse to develop property or sell it to developers for appropriate development.  
  The RDA did recommend loans for developers to rehabilitate the senior housing at 1962 S and 200 East (managed by SLCO and SLC), a loan for building 10 units at 1700 S. and 501 E., and the big 242 unit project on 1700 S. and 204 W. was not recommended for a loan but it probably will still be built.

LIBERTY PARK CRIME CONCERNS
  The Liberty Wells neighborhood (west of Liberty Park between 900 S. and 2100 S.) had a public safety meeting (like the meeting the same week in Ballpark).  I put the notes from the meeting in the downloads/crime column.  The community wants more police patrols in Liberty Park.  Also, the Tracy Aviary has had issues with people jumping the east gate and cutting cages (3-4 times in the last year but it could be happening everyday).  In August 2019, there were 71 calls to the SLCPD about criminal activities in Liberty Park.  The community wants police patrols now, in uniform.
  There are homeless drug addicts walking around committing crimes with victims.  90% of homeless drug addicts do not commit victimless crimes.  The cause is not enough cops (a visible cop is the most effective deterrent to crime), not enough jailspace (the revolving door jail with booking restrictions does not allow cops to arrest and jail threats to society) and not enough funding for the DA to prosecute even so called victimless crimes that still involve victims.

TREES REALITY
  Recently, Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall, running for Mayor, promised to plant thousands of trees on the westside of Salt Lake City if she  is elected.  But she is capable of doing that now but hasn't.  She did increase the funding for Urban Forestry a couple of years ago (I think it was $500,000.) to increase tree planting.  I give her credit for that.  That would give about a thousand new trees planted (see the Tree Removal information in downloads).  As I pointed out in a recent blog entry (CTRL F Cory Davis), the City charges $172 per caliper inch for "important trees" that are removed for development.  The City is losing about 3000 trees a year and replacing a thousand a year is not keeping up our urban forest or canopy.  This has been a consistent problem for over 10 years.  Back when Miller Park was remodeled after the oil spill to make it more beautiful?!, Salt Lake City cut around 200 old trees down and has been using Roundup to try to kill the sprouts!  But the label on Roundup says that it "should not be used in or near freshwater to protect amphibians and other wildlife".  So if anyone is wondering why the birds haven't returned to the Miller Park Bird Sanctuary, blame the City and Roundup.  Also the hundreds of thousands spent on new plants were a waste of time since most died because they use inadequate tubing for watering and, in one year, they didn't turn on the water to save water!

CCS MAY BE KICKED OUT OF DOWNTOWN
  The Salt Lake City Council is considering a business improvement district (BID) for the Rio Grande area to make everyone pay for the improvements that they want to make in the area to attract development (which they have not allowed since they owned almost half of the acreage in the area and it has been vacant for years).   This could be a way to force homeless service providers out of the area.  Although the St. Vincent De Paul kitchen and the Weigand Center and Fourth Street Clinic are not supposed to go anywhere after their big remodeling investments, this BID could result in pressure to move to a less costly area.

MCLELLAND CLOSED TO PEDESTRIANS?!
  Despite all of the efforts to ensure that Sugar House remain friendly and inviting to pedestrians (with weekly calls to the City to insist on it when new permits are scheduled), last week, the City gave a permit to tear up the west side sidewalk on McClelland on the site of the future Fairmont office and residential building.  So pedestrians had to fight the cars and walk in the street.  The Boulder Ventures project shut down and they do not have pedestrian facilities on the east side.  After many complaints, the City admitted that the permit was wrong and pedestrian access should have been protected.  But the project is supposed to be finished for now.  The City has promised to work with Transportation and Permits to not have this happen again.  Note that it took a year to get the City to force Boulder Ventures to return the planters to the Parleys Trail to protect pedestrians from the speeding cars.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN POWER WANTS TO CHARGE ACCORDING HOURLY USE
  Rocky Mountain Power is considering changing power meters to allow new "pricing options".  What that means is that they want to charge more for power when the renewable and lower cost power providers are not producing enough power.  This is part of the plan to combine the 38 plus Independent Service Providers under California ISO to "harden the grid" but really to stop Utah from burning coal.  Large customers already have hourly rates according to time of day.  Customers who supposedly opt in will be charged lower fees when power is plentiful from renewables but will pay more when renewable power is not available.  Recently, in Texas, the cost went to $9000 per kilowatt hour due to renewable power not generating much power!  "Fasten your seatbelts.  It's going to be a bumpy ride!"

900 EAST STREET RECONSTRUCTION BEFORE UTILITY DIGS
  The 900 East reconstruction project from Hollywood to 27th South is going to end up a waste of time since the area around 2100 South is undergoing a significant building boom.  So, after putting in a brand new pavement, the road will have to be torn up for all of the new buildings' utilities (sewer, water, gas) and the road will look as bad as it does now.  Street reconstruction should not be on streets that are undergoing supergentrification.

SHOPPING CARTS NO LONGER CONFISCATED
  During the crime meeting in Ballpark, it was pointed out that police won't take shopping carts (unless there is a big pressure put on them like at the Library last year) since the stores won't prosecute them.  The City provided a phone number (on the Good Neighbor Handout) to call about shopping carts but it doesn't work.  And the Mayor's office does not have a working number for reporting shopping carts!

I LOVE ROCKY BUT
  A recent column by former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson in the Salt Lake Tribune expressed concern about "control of our government by special interests, contrary to the public interest." He explained that, "Now, we're threatened with the prospect of a Mormon mayor...My obvious concern was not about religion. It was about continued domination of our government."
  I find arguments for the concern questionable. The concern about overly influential religion is valid but I would rather have religion having influence in our society than living in a Karl Marx invented communist country where religion is treated as useless. In such societies, the people at the top tend to think that they are gods and basic ethics and respect seem to be missing. Although organized religion has had many instances of horrible large scale murders of millions, their evils are nothing compared to the godless communist genocides in China, Russia, Ukraine and Cambodia. Belief in God and the ethics that it entails makes society in general better.
  I agree that religion should be more compassionate but calling out one religion when many religions could use more compassion seems to be questionable. Rocky's concern about "legislators who blindly toed the line drawn by the Mormon Church on Prop. 2" also raises questions. I know many legislators and find them to be reasonable and respectful, even if I don’t agree with them. Although I am against the medical marijuana compromise (and any legalization of drugs) that most of the backers and opponents agreed to, both sides seemed to be working with and agreeing with the compromise, even if some people like Rocky Anderson don't agree with it.  
  The big issue in this State really comes down to whether the citizens can enact policies that may be detrimental to society. Many religions want the laws of our society to create a better society, even if we always don't agree with them. For instance, many Utahns believe gambling, euthanasia and recreational drugs should be legal; hard liquor should be in grocery stores; and cars should be able to drive without a speed limit. Some limits are good for society. We may not always agree but it is important that we have a reasoned analysis of some laws before citizens pass laws.   
  One of the advantages of our Republican form of government is that we can decrease the influence of the tyranny of the majority. So a citizen's initiative that could legalize prostitution is not going to pass the Legislature. Rocky's concern about special interests of a religion seem to ignore the worst case scenario of the tyranny of the majority. I would rather have a reasoned debate with our elected representatives than a mass of initiatives like California keeps pushing.
  Rocky's concern about the Inland Port is partially valid but inappropriately directed at just one of the two candidates for mayor of Salt Lake City. The other candidate for mayor of Salt Lake City pushed for agreeing to an Inland Port that gave a little back to the City while agreeing to give up a quarter of our property! Senator Escamilla supported the lawsuit against the State from the beginning while her opponent, who led the push for the so called compromise with the State, questionably pledged to continue the lawsuit. Complaining that Senator Escamilla was unable to stop the funding of the Inland Port Commission is unrealistic.
  If Rocky really was concerned about undue influence, he should focus on the City Council sending out 3 emails promoting Erin Mendenhall in the month before the election. 
  Rocky Anderson was a great mayor in my opinion. He left the City in great financial shape with a 17% financial cushion. He hired Chris Burbank as Police Chief. He cares about the underdog.  But his attempt to blame a religion for not agreeing with him is wrong. But good ole Rocky, I think I'll still love him.
  Note Erin Mendenhall pledged to continue the lawsuit in the Deseret News  (Erin Mendenhall’s ‘strong ground game’ helped her clinch Salt Lake City mayoral primary, August 14, 2019), but the reality is that she and the rest of the Council ordered the Mayor to stop the lawsuit!

SLC SCHOOLS SHAFT AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMS
  The Salt Lake City Schools was warned that this was coming.  The low pay for after school program caregivers (starting at $7.50 per hour but averaging $10 per hour) is the problem.  Many quit because you can make more at McDonalds and the responsibility is a tenth of the responsibility of taking care of kids.  Some more education is needed at the Salt Lake City School Board.  Also lost is the potential for increasing enrollment in the regular school (that could be planned for closing) if there is an afterschool program that is open.  Parents are more likely to have their children enrolled in that school if there is an afterschool program. 

 


SEPTEMBER 11, 2019
SLC LIBRARY NEW PLANS FOR NON UNI-SEX BATHROOM
SLTRIB OPED FOR VAPING TAXES & BANNING THC VAPING
SLCPD STILL DOWN 40 BUT PARK BICYCLE COPS WITH OVERTIME
2 KINDS OF HOMELESS AND POLICE CAN'T TAKE SHOPPING CARTS
UOFU TOBACCO FREE BUT MARIJUANA OK?
FORT DOUGLAS SHOULD BE RENAMED FOR BRENT TAYLOR

SLC LIBRARY NEW PLANS FOR NON UNI-SEX BATHROOM
  The SLC Library, earlier this year, suggested a remodeling of Sprague Library in Sugar House that included a universal/uni-sex bathroom.  It allowed for "direct entry from a public space into toilet rooms".  The design was "deemed by the City's Code Examiner to be out of compliance with current building code".  
  The Library has submitted a compromise that divides the men and women's area and provides more of a private area for both (in the SLC DOWNLOADS).  Although the universal washroom design is still available, the "plans include multiple washroom options for patrons including a single handicapped accessible stall upstairs as well as a separate bathroom for children/families downstairs". 
  Although the Library felt that the original design enhanced safety, many in the community disagreed.  They felt that privacy was more important and the original design did not respect privacy (in their opinion - which I agreed with). 
  But since the International Code Council (ICC) adopted a new International Building and Plumbing Code to "explicitly allow for universal washroom design".  The Code is expected to be officially published in 2021.
  The community seems to have accepted the new proposal but it will be interesting to see if the design is actually accepted and built.

SLTRIB OPED FOR VAPING TAXES & BANNING THC VAPING
  The Salt Lake Tribune published my oped on vaping at 
https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2019/08/31/george-chapman-vaping/
  I reminded readers that, for several years, many of us have tried to warn of the dangers of vaping that involves putting chemicals, untested for safety, into lungs.  Rep. Ray and Sen. Christensen are resubmitting a bill to tax vaping materials.  It has failed for many years.  I also suggested that it does not make sense to legalize THC vaping when it appears to be harmful.  The special session of the Legislature should remove the legalization of THC vaping.

SLCPD STILL DOWN 40 BUT PARK BICYCLE COPS WITH OVERTIME
  During a special joint meeting of the Ballpark Community Council and the Central 9th Community Council, Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall mentioned that there will be bicycle cops patrolling parks when they adopt a budget amendment (nr 2 in the next month or two) that allows overtime for park patrols with bicycle cops.  Again, the Council decided that the Chief's suggestion to use regular police in cars to patrol parks was too intimidating for some in the City!  They felt that the police bicycle uniforms were less intimidating!
  Lost in the announcement is the fact that the Police Chief suggested starting police patrols as park rangers in parks by October of this year.  But with the Councils stall, the bicycle patrols won't start until spring of next year at the earliest.  The Council also repurposed the sales tax increase (from the SLC Prison "accommodation") that was to go to SLC Police to cover the budget problems with 911 SLC Dispatch and SLCFD.  So the SLCPD only got $4 million worth of new hybrid vehicles and a 2% pay raise for police (a 6% raise for over 10 years of service) and that is why we are down 40 police that are funded but aren't available.  
  Admittedly, a large issue with the lack of police, is the poor retirement system that causes SLC to lose double the average loss per year of police in the U.S. due to retirement.  Utah law enforcement has an unfunded actuarial liability of $57 million which is the impediment to changing the retirement system to stop the encouragement of law enforcement professionals to leave Utah and law enforcement jobs.

2 KINDS OF HOMELESS AND POLICE CAN'T TAKE SHOPPING CARTS
  During the joint meeting mentioned above, a young girl explained the situation with the homeless in very intelligent, reasoned and realistic terms.  Half of the homeless seem to be down on their luck and don't have housing.  The other half are drug addicts that don't care and will use drugs even next to school children waiting for their schoolbus.  She explained the issue better than anyone else that night.  
  Those who use drugs and are drug addicts do not commit victimless crimes.  But due to the repurposing of the $9.4 million County Jail bond annually, there is not enough jail space to keep those drug addicts that keep committing crimes with victims.  There is not enough jail space; not enough DA funding to prosecute criminals and keep them in jail; and not enough police (see story above) to stop the criminal homeless that have spread throughout the area from Operation Leaf Blower. 
  During the meeting, the SLC Police said that they couldn't confiscate the many shopping carts that are proliferating throughout the neighborhood.  Walmart and the other stores refuse to prosecute for shopping cart theft and they even refuse to prosecute for shoplifting since the same individuals keep doing it and they are never kept in jail.

UOFU TOBACCO FREE BUT MARIJUANA OK?
  The University of Utah has announced that the University campus is officially tobacco free.  Smoking has been banned for a year with warnings issued when caught but now it is official.  Unannounced, but obvious to everyone, is the fact that marijuana is used/smoked/vaped regularly and campus wide.  In fact, it is so prevalent that the Salt Lake City Justice Court was disbanded because the judges that ran it felt that it was a bad idea to have students who were caught smoking pot in the same room with addicts caught with cocaine or heroin.  One of the complaints about the UofU Police Department, and one of the reasons that they are a separate force, is the prevailing philosophy of the University that students should be given a "little" leeway.  
  Of course, they recently changed the free access that visitors had to spend the night on campus with residents of the on campus housing.  Visitors are limited in how many nights they can spend and they have to be signed in and tracked by residence hall managers.  That should have been changed a long time ago.  It shouldn't have taken a murder to provide the impetus to actually make it safer for students.

FORT DOUGLAS SHOULD BE RENAMED FOR BRENT TAYLOR
  A recent letter in a newspaper suggested that Fort Douglas, named for Lincoln's opponent in the 1860 Presidential election, be renamed.
  I agree.  It should be renamed for Major Brent Taylor to remind everyone in this State that there are citizens of our society that are willing to fight for our freedom and to risk their lives,and lose their lives, in the process.  Fighting for freedom is not easy.
  The State does not want Fort Douglas to be renamed.  The State wants it turned over to the University of Utah.

 

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER 4, 2019
SLC BD OF ED DOES NOT LIKE RDA PROJECTS
48TH SOUTH ABOUT TO BECOME SUPER CONGESTED
SLCO CLOSING TWO POPULAR NEIGHBORHOOD LIBRARIES
MILLCREEK/SLC LAND TRANSFER MAPS
GREENBIKE PLAN FOR NW CORNER 9TH AND 9TH
SLC NEW TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS
SLC UTA SERVICE NEEDED 50 NEW EMPLOYEES
SLC MAY USE SALES TAX MONEY FOR FREE FARES
IS UTA REALLY SERVICE ORIENTED WHILE SPENDING ON PROJECTS
UTA SERVICE CHOICES REPORT BY JARRETT WALKER
SLC HOUSING FUNDING RESULTS IN 458 AFFORDABLE UNITS IN 7 YEARS
SLC SPENDING $250,000 TO REMOVE BILLBOARD AT 400 S 200 E


SLC BD OF ED DOES NOT LIKE RDA PROJECTS
  During the Board of Education meeting on Sept 3, SLC's RDA gave a report to the Board on their proposal (submitted almost 2 years ago to the Board) to expand the Salt Lake City RDA areas to State Street from about 600 South to 21st South and from about 200 East to 300 West (see report and map in the SLC DOWNLOADS SECTION) and surrounding the 9 Line west of I15.  The project prediction would provide millions more to the School District that they would not have otherwise but the SLC RDA is going to get several times more than that to use for providing amenities that encourage development in those areas.  The amenities could be parks, plazas, transportation amenities and infrastructure.  The State Street area was chosen by the SLC Council, sitting as the RDA Board, almost 5 years ago due to the potential for new housing, especially affordable housing.  SLC RDA expects at least 1800 new units are possible in the area with RDA encouragement.  The plan is to run 20 years which is down from the original 25 year plan.  There is some argument about when to start the 20 year countdown, when the Board and other taxing entities approve or from 5 years ago (which would give SLC RDA immediate tax increment funding to spend.
  The SLC Board of Education has held up the proposal since it is concerned that not enough kids will be provided with the plans.  SLC RDA is emphasizing the potential for ADUs in the area and has said that they will prioritize 3 bedroom or more apartments.  Most Board of Education members expressed concern that the plans do not include homes since homes are what families want.  I agree that most families want single family homes with a yard for their kids to safely play in.  Unfortunately, most infill homes have minimal yards that can only barely fit in a trampoline!  Several Board members said that even with all of the new developments in Salt Lake City, no extra students turned up!  That is one of the reasons that there is a concern about closing Bennion on 800 East between 4th and 5th South.  It presently has 211 students and is trying to attract 300 students.  Washington Elementary also has low enrollment (in the 400 North area).  Ironically, Bennion has an after school program that could attract more students, if it could hire enough student child care workers.  But the base salary is only $7.50 an hour and students can get $15/hour with on campus jobs.  (I put the SLC Bd of Ed salaries in the SLC DOWNLOADS SECTION.)  So the afterschool program, that is full, if it paid a fair and attractive salary (watching kids should attract the best who should be paid more than minimum wage), could attract more workers, open up more slots for afterschool care and those kids would be enrolled, usually, in Bennion for the school day.  But the Board of Education does not seem to get that reality.
  Back to the SLC RDA proposal to expand RDA areas (now called Community Reinvestment Areas) about which the Board of Education has concerns.  Only one Board member, Nate Salazar pushed for adoption of the proposal.  Lost in the discussion is the fact, the most important fact, is that the RDA tax increments can be used to provide amenities like parks (like the linear park along the S-Line) that attract families to an area.  One of the reasons for the hyper development of Sugar House is the incredible concentration of open space with Forest Dale Golf Course, Fairmont Park, Sugar House Park and the Parleys Trail (going to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail and eventually to the Jordan River Trail).  RDA can fund those parks and amenities like pocket parks and playgrounds that attract families.  When new apartments in an area become enticing to local single-family home owners, they encourage those owners to sell their homes that are often too big for just one or two and move into a nearby apartment.  The result should be, if done right, a large increase in families with young kids to the area.  AMENITIES ATTRACT FAMILIES!  SLC residents should email the SLC Board of Education members (Google SLC Bd of Ed) and tell them to help increase affordable housing in SLC by allowing expansion of the SLC RDA areas.

48TH SOUTH ABOUT TO BECOME SUPER CONGESTED
  I put an updated map of the expensive BRT plan for 48th South on the TRANSPORTATION DOWNLOADS.  The UTA Board is continuing to prioritize the plan.  In my opinion, it will make a super congested road more congested.  UDOT says that the road often is in a failure category (F).  But many legislators believe that it will save the day and they are pressuring UTA to complete it.  I still believe that UTA does not know how to do BRT.  The BRT on 35 South is not successful since it only saves 15 minutes on a 70 minute regular bus run.  People do not like to walk more than a block and 4 blocks is too much.  Which brings me to the effort of Salt Lake County to encourage more driving, to libraries!

SLCO CLOSING TWO POPULAR NEIGHBORHOOD LIBRARIES
  Salt Lake County has approved closing two popular and well used libraries in order to build a brand new eye candy library on the site of the former Granite High School.  It will be 30,000 square feet and the County believes that libraries need to be bigger to fulfill their expanded mission to encourage business development (by providing incubating business services).  But the libraries scheduled to close, Smith on 33rd and 800 East and Columbus on 25th and 500 East are considered to be amenities for the area and walkable.  Millcreek has an eastside library that was recently expanded and remodeled (Evergreen) but the westside only has Smith.  Millcreek's Economic Development Director, Mike Winder, seems to back the plan.  But the Millcreek Community Council has been pushing for a library to be around 10th East and 44th South at the site of a closed school.  And the plans for a Millcreek downtown around 33rd South and Highland Drive would seem to be a better place for a new library that serves Millcreek residents.  The preferred method of crossing 700 East is by car.  And so the plan is going to encourage driving!
  I believe in pocket libraries with meeting space for local community councils and lots of computers for kids (and adults) and students to use.  The Smith Library computers are well used and there is a school a block away.  Many areas of the County need a library and the County should not be encouraging driving but should be encouraging local neighborhood libraries that provide character and stability in the neighborhoods.  Walkability should be more encouraged.

MILLCREEK/SLC LAND TRANSFER MAPS
  I put the Millcreek SLC land transfer maps and report in the SLC DOWNLOADS COLUMN.  The transfer allows Millcreek to better plan their new downtown and wide linear park along the earthquake fault between Highland and 1300 East.  (I wonder why Questar Gas/Dominion Energy put in a big natural gas pipeline from 33rd South to 1300 East when an earthquake fault is a block away?  I would think that a concentration of new development should be away from a natural gas pipeline.)  (Of course, maybe the County should not be building libraries on the street with a natural gas pipeline that runs on 33rd South by Granite High block.)  The transfer also allows Millcreek to beautify the 2300 East roundabouts that are entrances from I80 to Millcreek.  SLC didn't seem to be interested in beautifying anything, including the 1300 East I80 exit (which is still being complained about by the community).

GREENBIKE PLAN FOR NW CORNER 9TH AND 9TH
  I put the GreenBike site plan for the 9th and 9th corner in the SLC DOWNLOADS (SLC free fares transit expansion personnel GreenBike 9th 9th).  I combined the downloads for the next 3 stories in one DOWNLOAD in SLC DOWNLOADS.  The GreenBike Station still needs a site at the McClelland S-Line Station since the area between 9th South and Sugarmont is very walkable (800 East and 1000 East) and bikeable.

SLC NEW TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS
  Salt Lake City is pushing 5 new transportation projects that include the 9 Line Trail and a bus hub at 700 East and 200 South (I still do not get the reasoning on the bus hub.)  There is also a grant that SLC is applying for to pay the majority of a 300 West street reconstruction.  Due to the new homeless shelter on 300 West (around 1400 South), the City is going to install sidewalks on that area of 300 West (which will need to be partially redone when the street is reconstructed).  I put the projects in the combined file in the SLC DOWNLOADS.

SLC UTA SERVICE NEEDED 50 NEW EMPLOYEES
  Salt Lake City's new service for the 2, 9 and 21 bus routes is requiring 50 new employees.  UTA is still down almost a 100 drivers and UTA is still unable conveniently meet all of the service demands.  I put the note in the combined file in the SLC DOWNLOADS.

SLC MAY USE SALES TAX MONEY FOR FREE FARES
  It appears that the new service on the 9th South bus route is lacking except for the morning and evening rush of students going to East High and Judge.  Students go to East High from the 5600 West! but the bus only goes to Redwood Road.  It is a problem that is not totally solved by the 9th South bus service expansion.  So Salt Lake City Council is discussing using some of the money still available and unspent ($999,000) for free fares on the 2, 9 and 21 routes!  SLC still has not fixed the homeless situation and the biggest complaint by riders in the free fare zone is the large number of homeless riding TRAX and buses in the free fare zone.  UTA has to spend a lot of time and effort to "delouse" buses (that is the insecticide smell that is noticeable in some of the buses).  Free fare does not work unless the City, County and State have solved the homeless situation.  I put the combined file (with the above stories) in the SLC DOWNLOADS.

IS UTA REALLY SERVICE ORIENTED WHILE SPENDING ON PROJECTS
  UTA has acknowledged that they are spending a lot of money on the "first phase of mobilization which is capital intensive".  What that means is that the "implementation phase with new and improved bus service" will come later.  The later is planned for August of 2020 but it may be pushed back since UTA wants to finish their $100 million "gold plated" (in my opinion) bus garage (actually pushed by legislators) being built by Big D.  So the promise of UTA executives (and former Mayor Becker) that new taxes, especially Prop One funds that are now provided by SB136, that all new funds would be spent on service was thrown out.
  Again the explanation is that this is the "first phase of mobilization".  Nod, nod, wink, wink, say no more, say no more.
  UTA did say that they are using 16 vehicles to test (with Flex buses) microtransit which will run from 6am to 9pm mainly in the southwest area of the County.
  UTA and Salt Lake City, are still planning on spending money on bus stops (before service is increased) with the explanation that better bus stops are an increase in service!  But UTA orders their drivers to stay one to four feet from the curb!  So, even if you spend millions as proposed on bus stop improvements, it won't get the bus closer to the curb and make it more convenient!  Is UTA really service oriented?  You tell me (at gechapman2@gmail.com).

UTA SERVICE CHOICES REPORT BY JARRETT WALKER
  I put the Jarrett Walker Service Choices report in the TRANPORTATION DOWNLOADS SECTION (upper right).  It has some interesting information but it really is saying we want more service.

SLC HOUSING FUNDING RESULTS IN 458 AFFORDABLE UNITS IN 7 YEARS
  I put the latest housing report from RDA and SLC (as of January 2019) in the SLC DOWNLOADS SECTION.  It shows that, since 2011, Salt Lake City has encouraged and completed 458 affordable units (2011 to 2018) and a total of 840 units (not just affordable).  Salt Lake City has 566 affordable units in process with a total of 954 units in process.  The workforce and market rate (mainly market rate) completed units from 2011 to 2018 are 903 and there are 378 in process.  Four years ago, Matt Minkovich said that he and experts believed that Salt Lake City needed 7500 affordable units.  It is probably 25,000 now and we are building about 60 affordable units a year!!!!

SLC SPENDING $250,000 TO REMOVE BILLBOARD AT 400 S 200 E
  How much does the Salt Lake City Council hate billboards?  It is willing to spend $250,000 to pay Reagan Billboards to move their billboard at 400 South and 200 East (on Dunkin' Donuts property) if they can't find a better place for their billboard.

 

 

 

 

AUGUST 20, 2019
CONTRACTOR REFUSES TO BUILD UNIVERSAL BATHROOM AT SPRAGUE 
SLC LOSES GEORGIA APARTMENTS BY TWO DAYS DUE TO COUNCIL INACTION
UTA GAINS NEW EXPERIENCE CEO BUT LOSES HOW TO RUN COMPANY
NEW UTA DATA PORTAL OPENS UP UTA ALMOST ALL OF THE WAY
WHY PROTECTED BIKE LANES MAY NOT MAKE SENSE
2000 EAST PROJECT PROPOSALS SOUTH OF 2100 SOUTH
OPERATION RIO GRANDE NEW STATS
JAIL DASHBOARD FINALLY UPDATED
SLCO GANG PROJECT STATS
SLC IGNORES ORDER TO RELEASE DOCUMENTS 
WARM SPRINGS, SUGAR HOUSE, 7 CANYONS, PUBLIC UTILITIES IMPACT FEE RULES CIP PROJECTS VOTES DELAYED
S-LINE RIDERSHIP GAINS 5%, FREE AUG 31 FOR SUGAR HOUSE BACKYARD BASH
SLC ADA DOORS DON'T WORK SORRY WHEELCHAIRS
2700 S PIPELINES DELAY ROAD PROJECT INTERFERE WITH SCHOOL
SUICIDE HOTLINE DELAYED TO PUSH 999
OVER 4 BUSINESSES HAVE NOW BEEN DESTROYED BY 9-LINE CONSTRUCTION
INN BETWEEN SLAMS NEIGHBORS AGAIN
STATE HOMELESS REPORT 2019 PROBLEMS AND STATS


CONTRACTOR REFUSES TO BUILD UNIVERSAL BATHROOM AT SPRAGUE 
  The plan to build and install a universal men and women's bathroom in the new Sprague Library hit a snag.  The contractor refused to build it so it is off the table.

SLC LOSES GEORGIA APARTMENTS BY TWO DAYS DUE TO COUNCIL INACTION
  Salt Lake City Housing Authority tried to buy the Georgia Apartments but lost to a private company two days before the City Council approved the money!  The City Council recently complained that they are faster, sitting as the RDA Board, than the City Council and Mayor.  But this shows that all of the City still needs to be more flexible when trying to build or obtain affordable housing.  

UTA GAINS NEW EXPERIENCE CEO BUT LOSES HOW TO RUN COMPANY
  I forgot to add that the UTA Federal Monitor Report expressed concern over the significant loss of institutional knowledge from UTA.  Many executives and mid level managers have left UTA.  UTA is a very complicated system that is hard to manage.  Steve Meyer should be thanked for staying on after his retirement out of State.  His knowledge was invaluable to provide effective management of UTA during the transition, that is still in process.

NEW UTA DATA PORTAL OPENS UP UTA ALMOST ALL OF THE WAY
  UTA just set up a dashboard that shows ridership and other data (for those of us who are ridership dataset junkies) and trends.  For years, it took a lot of time and effort to get UTA to provide ridership numbers by route.  This new tool doesn't go as deep as specific routes but it does show trends on overall bus and rail.  There are also helpful videos that show how to use the system.  For instance, it shows that the S-Line ridership decreased a little over the last two years but the double tracking (and maybe more apartment buildings in Sugar House and South Salt Lake) seem to trend up (see story below on S-Line ridership).  This is a big deal.  This shows that UTA IS changing for the better.  But I still want more.
  The UTA data portal is at:
https://utadata-ut-transit.opendata.arcgis.com/

 

WHY PROTECTED BIKE LANES MAY NOT MAKE SENSE

  Sugar House 900 East from Hollywood to 27th South is scheduled to be reconstructed and resurfaced in 2021.  The SHCC Transportation Committee is discussing the plans and making suggestions over the next few months on how to reconfigure the lanes to provide bicycle lanes.  In my opinion, center turn lanes, except at high traffic turn areas (like 2100 S, 2700 S, Forest Dale Golf Course and Simpson) are not as necessary as wider bicycle lanes along the street.   Bicyclists, if they are together, prefer to ride side by side and 900 East is a popular bicycling route.  The street does need to be resurfaced since even buses bounce constantly.  Bicyclists are even more impacted.  There are many streets without center turn lanes at 30 mph (2100 East, 1100 East) that operate well. 
  Despite the interest in bicyclists to build more protected bike lanes, their cost almost depletes annual bicycle infrastructure funding.  The argument is would you rather have 20 miles of well design and wide bike lanes that can be regularly maintained or would you prefer one mile of a protected bike lane that is almost never maintained, swept for bicycle threats daily?  I think that non protected bicycle lanes would be safer since they allow bicyclists a little leeway to turn out of danger when vehicles turn into them or exit driveways or broken glass is in their path.  I remember a picture of the new 300 South cycle track that was flooded during a rain.  Not really safe to bicycle in a flooded cycle track.

2000 EAST PROJECT PROPOSALS SOUTH OF 2100 SOUTH
  The Sugar House community had a meeting earlier this week to provide comments and concerns about the proposal to reconstruct and resurface 2000 East from Parleys Canyon Boulevard (just north of I80) to the City limits south of 27th South.  The proposed plans are at:
https://www.slc.gov/mystreet/2019/04/17/2000-east-parleys-canyon-boulevard-to-city-limits/

OPERATION RIO GRANDE NEW STATS
  The new statistics on Operation Rio Grande are out and I put the 6 pages In the download section (HOMELESS/CRIME).  The Operation, that the County police chiefs call Operation Leaf Blower due to the County Jail booking restrictions and revolving door (see next story), seems to keep doing the same thing, trying to discourage crime and criminal activity.  But the same people are being arrested for the same crimes again and again.

JAIL DASHBOARD FINALLY UPDATED
  The new updated County Jail Dashboard that shows the same people being arrested for the same crimes again and again is at: 
https://slsheriff.org/page_jail_dashboard.php
  It is finally public although it shows about the same as last year when it was first revealed.  The year old version is in the downloads section.

SLCO GANG PROJECT STATS
  I put the SLCO Gang Project stats in the downloads section.  The results show 158 federal gang indictments in 2018 along with confiscation (in 2 years) of 109 pounds of methamphetamine, 10 pounds of heroin and 384 firearms.  1,163 arrests were made over the last 2 years.

SLC IGNORES ORDER TO RELEASE DOCUMENTS 
  Michael Clara and the Poplar Grove Neighborhood Alliance have been trying to get Salt Lake City to justify the 900 West road diet that has resulted in a big increase in accidents.  The State Records Committee ordered the City, after a December 2018 hearing, to provide the documents requested.  But the City has refused to comply.  The City has contended, several times, that only the Third District Court has the ability to order release of public documents.  The State's GRAMA law has been ignored many times by SLC.  
  When I asked the City to release the Council's discussion of site locations of the homeless shelters (modified by the State), the City refused with the same argument.  I lost the case at the State Records Committee.  I asked for the the recordings of the meetings because the Council Members said that they all agreed unanimously on the sites, including the Simpson Avenue site.  But after the backlash, Council Member Erin Mendenhall said that she was against it.  She tried to defend the selection at the community meeting the next day.  She backed up quickly.
  Michael Clara is right to push to make the City more transparent in its operations.  Ironically, the City Administration is finally asking communities what they want before they push new projects and road diets (going from 4 travel lanes to two.  The 9-Line project proposed a road diet on 9th South from 1300 East to 1000 East.  The City spent almost a year trying to get the community to understand and agree on a plan.  It constructed popups to see if a roundabout made sense.  It had many public and well attended meetings.  The only problem developed towards the end when the parking loss went from a couple of spaces to over 30 in the last month.  After discussing the issue with businesses and nearby residents, the City changed the plans to decrease parking impacts and proposed a more acceptable solution.  In other words, the City is now trying to be more interested in public engagement.
  The City also had many meetings on the 2700 South road project and was very interested in public feedback on the 500 East and 2000 East projects.  The City is doing better.

WARM SPRINGS, SUGAR HOUSE, 7 CANYONS, PUBLIC UTILITIES IMPACT FEE RULES CIP PROJECTS VOTES DELAYED
  I put the Warm Springs Amenity Plan, the many Sugar House CIP projects, the 7 Canyons Fountain CIP project, the Public Utilities CIP projects and the Impact Fee Rules of Thumb in one document in the SLC downloads section.  The CIP vote scheduled for August 20 by the City Council was delayed due to the RDA meeting public comments running over the predicted time.  The City will vote on these proposals in the next week.

S-LINE RIDERSHIP GAINS 5%, FREE AUG 31 FOR SUGAR HOUSE BACKYARD BASH
  I put the new updated S-Line ridership data timeline and specific data points in the TRANSPORTATION DOWNLOADS.  The ridership on weekdays was about 1200 riders per day before the $6 million double tracking proposal and project.  Originally, the project was predicted to increase ridership about 10%.  After we objected to the cost for a 10% ridership increase, UTA changed the prediction to 20%.  The figures available today indicate that the slow increase is going to end up around 10%.  It is about 1300 a day now.  
  The original prediction was 5000 a day.  UTA and SLC decreased the predicted ridership after 5 years to 3000, claiming that the calculations were updated.  But, if you look at the parking lots of the new residential buildings, they are starting to fill up  which indicates that most new residents want to drive.  
  One of the reasons for the slow growth in the parking lots filling up is many new renters are taking advantage of the first month or so free and they leave after so they don't really put down roots and get a car.  Those who stay tend to buy a car after a few months.  But cars are still the preferred means of transportation, especially for the high cost rentals that are proliferating along the S-Line.
  The community is discussing the potential of a GreenBike station at the end of the S-Line at McClelland.  One advantage is that the bicycle rental station will increase ridership since the riders will be able to get on a bike and continue their trip (the S-Line does not look like it will extend for many years).

SLC ADA DOORS DON'T WORK SORRY WHEELCHAIRS
  Salt Lake City had a federal complaint by Michael Barnes about the lack of adequate ADA compliance at the Salt Lake City County Building.  The City, after mediation, agreed to several important changes to increase accessibility to the building.  It installed a new entrance button that opened the door at the ADA entrance.  It added a phone for calling departments at the entrance.  It modified restrooms on the first floor.  The City only refused to change the elevators due to the cost.
  But recently, the super fancy new entrance button stopped working and the doors do not open when the button is pushed.  A strong guard has to come to the first floor, after being called, and open the heavy door (heavy since it is attached to a motor to open it).  It seems that the new system was so complicated that it keeps breaking.

2700 S PIPELINES DELAY ROAD PROJECT INTERFERE WITH SCHOOL
  The 2700 South street resurfacing project was supposed to be finished before school started but a bunch of pipelines in the street complicated the project completion.  It is still being worked on.

SUICIDE HOTLINE DELAYED TO PUSH 999
  Senator Dan Thatcher sponsored a bill in the Utah Legislature to provide one easy three digit number to help those who were under pressure and thinking of suicide.  Congressman Stewart took his idea and passed a bill in Congress to provide one three digit number nationally.  The FCC recently recommended 988.  Congressman Stewart has asked that it be 999 (only used for a few places in Mexico).  So 999 is probably going to be the national suicide hotline number.

OVER 4 BUSINESSES HAVE NOW BEEN DESTROYED BY 9-LINE CONSTRUCTION
  Although the City promised that there would be minimal impact on 9th South for construction of the 9-Line, businesses are being pushed out of business.  The street reconstruction is decreasing shoppers to the point that over four locally owned businesses have closed due to the construction.  The City needs more outreach to protect locally owned businesses.

INN BETWEEN SLAMS NEIGHBORS AGAIN
  During a Tuesday hearing of the Social Services Appropriations Committee, several speakers from the public expressed concern about the INN Between.  In a recent SLTRIB story, several homeless providers indicated that they were considering and planning for overflow if and when the homeless shelters are not able to provide enough beds for the homeless.  One of the plans suggested using the INN Between for overflow!  The INN Between was used by the Fourth Street Clinic and VOA to provide overflow beds to homeless that could have died on the street this last winter.  Although it was a stretch that they needed the INN Between beyond its claimed hospice and respite care, it accepted some homeless that could have died on the street.  Almost 100 homeless do die on the street every year.  The INN Between also provides beds for the many homeless who are dumped every year by local hospitals at the Weigand Center (and now directly at the INN Between) with just a dressing gown and walker or wheelchair.  
  During the Committee meeting, Rep. Ray expressed disagreement and frustration with the two speakers complaining about the INN Between saying that they will not compromise.  And another person said, as part of the presentation of the INN Between, that only 4 or 5 in the neighborhood were against the INN Between.
  I admit that there are several that have been so upset about the misrepresentations from the INN Between that they want nothing less than to have it closed.  But it is a necessary service for hospice, respite care and those who are being kicked out by assisted living centers due to non payment (despite the Legislature trying to stop it).  Over the last year, the Inn Between has provided beds to 15 who died at the facility.  It has 35 beds that are now being used and 20% are hospice clients that are expected to die soon.  In the last year, it has served 84 terminally or acutely ill homeless.  29% have been women and 9% have been veterans.  32% were aged 60 or older.  The cost to serve this population was $150 per night versus a 911 call that could cost $2000.
  The reality is that the one local public hearing on the issue (with ELPCO) had around a hundred and about half expressed concerns.  I know many in the neighborhood and they are good people who are concerned but they are afraid to express their concerns due to their worry that they will be labeled uncompassionate.  Several legislators had a meeting on the INN Between at the Capitol and only a couple spoke against it.  But the meeting was organized by the INN Between on Facebook and most came to defend it.  The INN Between was asked to create an advisory group that would include a cross section of the neighbors to help compromise and communication.  But the INN Between threatened some with legal action (in a letter from an attorney!) for Facebook comments that it deemed wrong and inflammatory.  In my opinion, Facebook postings should not be acted on.  They tend to be overdone and Facebook should be called turn around and bend over book.  Do not believe everything or act on Facebook postings!  They are inner thoughts of people, not gospel.  
  The INN Between has a value in our society.  The workers there do saintly work.  But the neighbors are concerned due to the more than a handful of registered sex offenders there, the residents' drug deals on the street (the INN Between tries to stop drugs), individuals who seem to be too healthy (as if) and refusal of the INN Between to accept concerns in a respectful manner.  The INN Between says that we don't want people dying on the street or in jail.  I think that most would agree with that but add that if a person should be in jail, if they are a threat to society, should they be released to die?  It still is not clear what effect that the new homeless shelters will have on the INN Between.  My big problem with the facility is that it is in a single family home neighborhood that does not have any stores for fast food restaurants that residents can go to.  When the high point in a person's life, whether they are homeless, or in an assisted living center, or in a shelter, is to go into a fast food joint for a hamburger and fries or to go into 7-11 to buy a candy bar, it is sad.  Except for the Ballpark/300 West shelter, all of the other shelters, including the Road Home are a ways away from regular stores and fast food restaurants.  Some are near transit but that is inconvenient.

STATE HOMELESS REPORT 2019 PROBLEMS AND STATS
   I put the State Homeless Report for 2019 along with several related reports under the HOMELESS downloads column.  They include the CDC proposals and a summary of the efforts (pass or fail) of homeless service providers.  Not much has really changed over the last few years, despite spending over a hundred million on homeless services.  There seems to be plenty of beds available but not enough homeless are taking advantage of it (due to drug issues at the Road Home maybe? or pets).  The State Workforce Services manager said that there is an alignment issue with putting the homeless in beds.  He also said that they can't, at present, track more than one person being placed in housing (which is less than 300) and there may be more but they didn't follow through and track clients past initial housing assignment!  The State believes that there are around 500 chronically homeless (for more than 12 months).  The HB437 that was approved by the federal government in 2017 to provide treatment to chronically homeless and/or involved with justice system and/or needing mental health or substance abuse treatment to obtain Medicaid coverage has not seemed to change the statistics (see the Operation Rio Grande Report in the downloads section.



AUGUST 7, 2019
SLC TAXPAYERS PAY FOR INCUMBENT CANDIDATES' EMAILS
DISTRICT 4 DEBATE SUMMARY
SOUTH SALT LAKE SHELTER MAY BECOME JAIL OVERFLOW
UTA AIRPORT $15 MILLION TRAX STATION COMPLETION IN 2021
BUS STOP MASTER PLAN IGNORES PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT
SLC BIKE SHARE EXPANDS TO CENTRAL POINT, 9TH AND 9TH
FEDERAL MONITOR CONCERNED ABOUT NEW BOARD
UDOT WALKING STUDY ENCOURAGES FASTER WALKING
FIREWORKS POLLUTION VERSUS BRINGING US TOGETHER
SLC PROTECTION OF TREES
UTA EQUITY OF NEW ROUTES QUESTIONABLE
UTA ADOPTS $45 MIL 45TH S. BRT ALIGNMENT AND REQUIRES FEES FOR REPORTS
SUGAR HOUSE DEVELOPMENT ENCOURAGED BY PARKS OR S-LINE


SLC TAXPAYERS PAY FOR INCUMBENT CANDIDATES' EMAILS
  The Salt Lake City Council, over the last few years, has increased their outreach to the citizens with regular emails on how much work they are doing and important information on their Council agendas.  This outreach is important to encourage public engagement on many of the issues that they take on.  But, during elections, incumbent elected candidates benefit from this regular exposure, paid for by taxpayers.  Since July first, several Council candidates have had three emails sent out to their constituents that helped, in my opinion, their candidacy.  Councilmembers Valdemoros and Mendenhall both have had three emails, including one each in the last week.
  A recent study found that Congressmembers, running for office, were sending out much more mail (regular snail mail), paid for by taxpayers, than those not running for reelection.  For that reason, Congress increased the ban on sending mass mail before elections from 60 to 90 days.  The premise is to increase the fairness of elections and to not have taxpayers pay for candidate publicity.
  I like the ideas that the emails, opted in by citizens, are helping tell about Council actions and issues, even if they are one sided.  They provide much needed local news that should be more a part of newspapers.  So even during elections, they should continue.
  But, to make the elections fair, the incumbents' opponents should have access to the same email list that the incumbents have access to.  I am suggesting that the Salt Lake City Council provide the email list for each District to candidates running in that District.  It is probably too late to make much difference for the Primary next week, but the email list for all Council Districts should be made available to all SLC mayoral candidates.  
  And since the emails that are being sent out are "one sided" and often contain opinions of the Council (even if justified), anyone should be able to ask for and get the list.  This issue is similar to the Aaron Jones lawsuit that required the City Council to adopt a new social media policy last month in order to meet requirements of a court case back east that found that a taxpayer funded use of a social media site, that allowed comments (like Facebook) could not ban comments that it found "problematic" without justification and rules and appeal processes.  

DISTRICT 4 DEBATE SUMMARY
  A couple of weeks ago, the Salt Lake City Council District 4 candidates had a debate, sponsored by the Ballpark Community Council and moderated by Chair Amy Hawkins.  This is a summary of that debate.
  The three candidates are Michael Iverson, Ana Valdemoros, and Leo Rodgers.  Michael Iverson became chair of the Central City Neighborhood Council about 6 years ago and increased attendance from the regular three attendees (including me - there were usually more elected politicians attending than residents) to over 20 at times.  He encouraged more engagement and eventually was appointed to the SLC Human Rights Commission where he helped to change policy to quickly release police bodycam recordings.  He also was Chair of the Community Council Chairs for two years.  He also pushed for the reconstruction of Artesian Well Park.
  Ana Valdemoros has been a planner for SLC RDA where she worked on the SLC Downtown Plan.  She also is a small business owner.  She was appointed earlier this year by the Salt Lake City Council to replace Derek Kitchen who was elected to the State Senate.
  Leo Rodgers was frank about his efforts and said that he relocated to Salt Lake City when he fell in love with the City.  His goal is to push for a minimum wage law.  Leo was able to communicate very well with very similar policies with the other two.
  The first question was will the new shelter plan work?  Valdemoros and Rodgers were optimistic.  Iverson had pushed for a community advisory board (that was agreed to by the City Council) but had not seen it created yet!
  The next question was about harm reduction policies (like safe injection sites).  Rodgers likes the idea of safe injection sites as does Iverson.  Valdemoros expressed hope that the Downtown Ambassador Program will work and the new shelters will create a better and safer environment for homeless.
  On the question of how to encourage downtown companies to have employees living downtown, Iverson said the City needs to encourage more affordable housing (using inclusionary zoning that would require a certain percentage of new apartments to be affordable).  Valdemoros recommends economic development funding of startups and other incentives.  Rodgers is interested in tax incentives and wants more of an entertainment area.
  On how to address single family hoarders, Valdemoros would work with the Mayor for more effectiveness. Rodgers would use empathy to encourage selling the property and provide dumsters.  Iverson recommended working with the community.
  On how to encourage more homes, Rodgers would give priority to affordable housing and encourage minimum wage.  Iverson recommended inclusionary zoning, taller building heights, decrease parking requirements.  He expressed disappointment that his mother couldn't afford to continue to live in Salt Lake City due to being priced out of her own City.  He also was concerned about gentrification and related that it took him months to get an affordable rental while 700 were on the waiting list. Valdemoros expressed similar sentiments and complained that people can't afford to own a home.  She is pushing for more affordable housing.
  On the question of what to do with a spike in violent crime in an area, Iverson recommended strengthening community connections and encouraging community council engagement, putting the Police Chief under a community board and said that he has been advocating for the police community board for several years.  Valdemoros said that we need to be watchful and involve community members.
  On the question of how is air quality and transportation justice connected, valdemoros suggested more resources for transit. Rodgers recommended cycle tracks on every major road and longer pedestrian walk lights to make it safer to cross streets.  Iverson recommended encouraging more mass transit use, supports bike lanes and traffic calming and the downtown streetcar.
  On the vision for Pioneer Park, Rodgers is concerned about the shelters.  Iverson would encourage private public partnership.  Valdemoros would encourage more regular daily activities.
  If the Mayor's lawsuit fails to stop the Inland Port, what will the candidates do?  Rodgers said that he would chain himself to a tree.  Iverson said that we have to stop the ecological disaster and supports the lawsuit but we have to have a separate path. 
  All expressed resolve to be an aggressive advocate for the community.  Iverson also expressed concern for the watershed and Brickyard issue (Millcreek's attempt to pull Brickyard out of Salt Lake City - Note that the County had a lawsuit just after the Brickyard annexation that was settled by Salt Lake dividing sales tax revenue temporarily.)


SOUTH SALT LAKE SHELTER MAY BECOME JAIL OVERFLOW
  The South Salt Lake City Mayor has been insisting that the new South Salt Lake City Homeless Resource Center, next to the County Jail, have rules that will not allow homeless to be accepted just by walking up to the facility.  The SSLC Mayor is right to require referrals from legitimate homeless services.  Otherwise the nearby County Jail, with booking restrictions, will refuse to accept arrested criminals and they will walk to the shelter!  So that shelter will have an unusually high number of criminals that SHOULD BE IN JAIL, NOT IN A HOMELESS SHELTER!
  All shelters should have SSLC suggested rules.  Checking for outstanding warrants would have stopped the problems with the Road Home and Rio Grande area that were exacerbated by essentially allowing dealers to hide out in the shelter with REAL homeless.  The criminals were good at mixing with the homeless and that should not be allowed. 
  The requirement that drug addicts be referred to treatment also makes sense since allowing addicts into the shelter allows drugs since the Road Home DID SEARCH FOR DRUGS AND WEAPONS but they are not like a jail which does a thorough search but still doesn't catch all of the drugs and weapons.  Note that allowing drug addicts will end up with cases of on site overdoses and the Road Home had a problem treating those overdoses since they didn't allow the use of needles with Norcan due to safety concerns.  So there were cases where there was an addict overdosing on site and staff would not allow anyone to help and they had to wait for emergency services.
  The South Salt Lake City Council did not do anything when they met but just listened to the report and focused on the letter from Lt Gov. Cox that expressed concern that the limiting factor regarding the South Salt Lake Homeless Resource Center was the lack of paying contractors that are building the new shelter.  Shelter the Homeless was supposed to provide enough funds to pay the construction company but their fundraising goals fell short.  The South Salt Lake Shelter will be lucky to open by winter.

UTA AIRPORT $15 MILLION TRAX STATION COMPLETION IN 2021
  UTA has signed a contract to relocate and reconstruct the Airport TRAX station.  The cost will be about $15 million (but may go up with changes) and the project will start in "early 2020 and be completed and operational in the summer of 2021".  Despite the efforts of many to create a flying bridge, elevated rail system to the Airport (costing over $60 million), the station and rail will be a simple extension into the new Terminal.  The reason that the flying bridge was not accepted (opposed by many of us for over 5 years) was finally settled with the acting Airport Director deciding that the flying bridge would hide the new terminal building (an architectural eye candy vision) and if there were maintenance issues, vehicle traffic to the Airport would have to be stopped below the rail line!  The City Council had no choice but to accept the cheap but cost effective plan.

BUS STOP MASTER PLAN IGNORES PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT
  The UTA Bus Stop Master Plan is out.  I put it in the TRANSPORTATION DOWNLOADS.  It includes a portion on the frequency of riders at each stop (that I separated out and put in the DOWNLOADS section separately) at the end of the report.  My comments and concerns about the Master Plan include:
  Buses need to get within a foot from the curb to make it easier for riders to get on the bus, but UTA policy directs drivers to stay one to 3 feet from the curb to decrease tire wear/scuffing and potential mirror hits from adjacent trees/posts!
  Providing electricity/lighting at stops should be discouraged since power has been cannibalized by individuals at other public facilities that are not locked down.
  The UTA standard for bus stops indicates that they will be decreasing bus stops and encouraging more walking.  But forcing more walking encourages private vehicle use!  Bus stops should be every block (600 ft) for urban and suburban and rural, despite what recommendations say.
  Bus stops should be on corners so transferring riders don't have to rush a long distance to catch a bus or watch themselves miss the transfer by 30 seconds!
  Shelter roofs should not be 5 feet wide.  This is Utah and shelter roofs should be much wider, even over the sidewalk so that heavy rain does not have to be "enjoyed" going from the shelter to the bus.  Those in wheelchairs, during inclement weather are significantly impacted if they have to endure heavy downpours going from the shelter to the bus.  A simple canopy would be/should be required on ADA capable stops.
  Before any bus stop is removed, community councils and the City elected leaders should know and agree or have a chance to argue against it.  When the Fairmont Park bus stop (going south) on 900 East was removed, it took years for the community to encourage UTA to restore the stop.
  Some bus stops are privately owned for advertising (39th S. and 300 East) and although the Master Plan recommends (and makes sense) removing a permanent stop, when service is eliminated, immediately, what about stops owned by others for advertising?

SLC BIKE SHARE EXPANDS TO CENTRAL POINT, 9TH AND 9TH
  UTA has agreed to support and partially fund (with the $20 million contribution from the federal government - matched by the $80 million local funding for active transportation TIGER grant award) a new Green Bike station at the end of the S-Line at Central Pointe.  UTA also agreed to a BikeShare station at the SLCO Governmment offices at 21st South and State.  But BikeShare needs a station at the end of the S-Line to make sense of the station at Central Pointe!  In addition, it would help popularize the Parleys Trail that connects to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.  Developers in Sugar House are paying funds to SLC for BikeShare (to reduce parking requirements!) and those funds should be used to help construct a BikeShare station at McClelland and the S-Line.  9th South and 9th East is also going to get a station.

FEDERAL MONITOR CONCERNED ABOUT NEW BOARD
  The UTA Federal Monitor submitted their first report that mostly said that they are starting out to monitor UTA.  One big takeaway from the report is that they were concerned that the Advisory Committee, that has the ability theoretically to approve projects is "largely identical to the prior Board of Trustees".  They also pointed out that, in many cases, UTA is still not providing cost benefit analysis' on all projects  I put the report in the TRANSPORTATION DOWNLOADS in the upper right.

UDOT WALKING STUDY ENCOURAGES FASTER WALKING
  UDOT is continuing to use a 4 ft per second walking speed for pedestrian signal lights.  Although our ageing population should suggest a 2.8 ft per second speed, UDOT recently completed a study with BYU that indicated that the 4 ft per second speed was appropriate with 3-3.5 ft per second for special cases, school crossings or where there are heavy concentrations of elderly or children.  I put the report in the TRANSPORTATION DOWNLOADS (there is also a link below).  Robert Miles, P.E., the Director of Traffic and Safety at UDOT, summarized the report this way:
  "UDOT supported and hired BYU to conduct this in-state research to look at current state guidance with regard to pedestrian walking speeds and evaluate it for any needed changes. The report was recently completed March 2019 (4 months ago) and can be found at: https://www.udot.utah.gov/main/uconowner.gf?n=7113716195001151. 
  To evaluate pedestrian walking speeds at signalized intersections, 15 sites throughout the state of Utah were studied, producing a total of 2,061 observations of pedestrian crossing events. These crossing events were evaluated to calculate walking speeds in relation to pedestrian demographics at each location. Evaluated demographics included pedestrian group size, gender, mobility status, age category, alertness, and potential distractions. 
  Pedestrian safety is one of several areas that the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) Traffic and Safety Division focuses on as part of their goal toward Zero Fatalities.  Pedestrian safety is taken seriously and is a consideration in any design that is done.
  To promote roadway safety and efficiency by providing for the orderly movement of all road users, current practice for UDOT is to use engineering judgement in determining the walking speeds to use for timing of signalized intersection crossings, with the speed never exceeding 4.0 feet per second. The UDOT guidelines recommend pedestrian walking speeds of 3.0 feet per second and 3.5 feet per second for special case, school crossings or areas where there are heavy concentrations of elderly persons or children, and 4.0 feet per second for normal circumstances, unless engineering judgement dictates otherwise (UDOT 2017).  The data from this study suggest that Utah continue to maintain its guidance of 4.0 feet per second walking speeds at most signalized intersections, while exercising engineering judgement at locations containing high pedestrian volumes or locations containing high percentages of elderly or disabled pedestrians. We are a firm believer in engineering judgement, the requirements in the Utah MUTCD are met at a minimum level and quite often we will exceed those requirements.
  There are solutions highlighted in the study that UDOT has implemented and are continuing to look at that provide additional crossing time only when needed so the intersections can maintain a high level of efficiency. One solution that UDOT has developed and implemented is a procedure at various school crosswalk locations throughout Utah that allows crossing guards to add 10-15 seconds of extra walk time via a special key that connects to the traffic signal box. This key is used to add additional walk time during hours before and after school so that students can have additional time to safely cross the streets at their own pace. This implementation is especially useful at locations that have large pedestrian groups of students crossing during the same cycle. 
  Another solution that has not fully been implemented but UDOT is studying at select high pedestrian crossings as a pilot, is the use of extended push-button features.  Push-buttons can be adapted to manually increase pedestrian clearance intervals for those that need more time to cross at an intersection. The 2009 MUTCD mentions these devices in paragraph 09 of section 4E.06: “the additional time provided by an extended push-button press to satisfy pedestrian clearance time needs may be added to either the walk interval or the pedestrian change interval” (FHWA 2009). Typically, the push-buttons are pressed for 2 seconds in order to activate the extended crossing interval. The MUTCD has also designated specific signage for such push-buttons and UDOT is also looking at other sign options to make clear the intent of this added functionality and how to use it.  UDOT is also exploring the use of intelligent crossings that are able to detect pedestrians through the use of infrared sensor in the crossing area.  These crossings may be able to utilize these sensors in order to detect pedestrians in the crosswalk and to extend the signal phase should the pedestrian need more time to cross."

FIREWORKS POLLUTION VERSUS BRINGING US TOGETHER
  A few years ago, a Salt Lake City Councilman, Kyle LaMalfa, tried to get the Poplar Grove Community Council to back banning fireworks on July Fourth and 24th.  He spent a long time showing the pollution levels of the Ogden Utah Air Quality monitoring trailer during July Fourth.  The Community Council decided that celebrating the Fourth with fireworks, since it essentially brought us together, was too important to ban.  They did say that maybe celebrating the 24th with fireworks could be banned but didn't necessarily support the ban.  Over the years, the Salt Lake City Council has been able to cut back support of fireworks, essentially leading to the elimination of the Sugar House fireworks show (part of the issue was no business was willing to fund the whole thing).
  A few weeks ago, in the Salt Lake Tribune, there was an interesting story from Yue Stella Yu about the pollution of fireworks that went into detail about the pollution and quoted from the Ogden study.  "In Ogden, where the highest PM 2.5 level was recorded, PM 2.5 concentration skyrocketed to 900.5 µg/m³ at 10 p.m. on July Fourth in 2014, almost 70 times higher than daytime levels." (https://www.sltrib.com/news/2019/07/24/pollution-problem-utahs/) 
  But the real story was that the DEQ trailer that monitored air pollution was near the area where people were setting off their fireworks!  But when there are large fireworks displays, they generally are going high up enough to quickly dissipate.  In addition, most of the pollution is in particulate matter, not the ozone that is the main problem in the summer.
  When Kyle LaMalfa tried using the data from the Ogden trailer in 2014, I asked Utah DEQ why the levels were so high.  In response, Bryce Bird, from Utah DEQ (now Director) explained:
  "The Ogden Monitor (O2) is located on the campus of the Community Action Partnership (228 East 32nd Street) which operates a pre-school and other community services.  The property is adjacent to 2 apartment complexes where we have determined in the past that the apartment residents have used their parking areas to light the available consumer fireworks. The monitor is about 100 ft from the nearest parking lot.  In addition, the adjacent neighborhoods have many residents who use consumer fireworks (see the attached map).
  I would characterize the levels at the monitor as representing the actual exposure from many neighborhoods with large volumes of consumer fireworks.  We see similar elevated concentrations at other monitors but the location of the other monitors are at a greater distance from the local fireworks (see the attached monitoring graphs).  I would expect the levels within feet of the displays to be much higher than the 900 ug/m3 maximum hourly value at the monitor.  I could still smell the sulfur in my neighborhood when I mowed the lawn on Saturday.
  Our public message is that the exposure from personal fireworks is very high and that the public should take this into account when children or other sensitive individuals are exposed to the smoke.
  Fireworks are a source of air pollution, but the elevated concentrations are limited to a few hours on a few days each year.  At this point there have been no efforts to solve our air pollution challenges by eliminating fireworks."

SLC PROTECTION OF TREES
  The project to reconstruct 500 East next year will include digging down into the roadway and probably removing some of the roots of the big sycamores on 500 East.  Many in the community were concerned about the potential loss of those beautiful trees that make walking the area so enjoyable.  In response to the concerns, Salt Lake City's Urban Forestry Group has indicated that they are working closely with various entities involved in the 500 E. street reconstruction project to preserve as many trees as possible.  During the project, they will be involved in regular construction meetings.
  Urban Forestry also indicated that Rocky Mountain Power would be paying required tree removal mitigation fees and new trees will be planted on the streets.  They also explained the City Policy regarding tree replacement during redevelopment projects.  Only if the tree(s) has been "deemed significant due to size, species, historic significance or other outstanding qualities" will the developer be required to provide replacement value.  All trees on park strips, if removed, have to be replaced, with a mitigation fee.  I put the City Urban Forestry Policy in the downloads section.
  Cory Davis, the Salt Lake City Urban Forestry Department's Forest Area Service Coordinator had this explanation:
  "We are working closely with SLC Engineering, SLC Transportation, UTA and the other relevant entities involved in the 500 E street reconstruction project. It is always our goal to preserve as many trees and vacant planting locations as possible during any development. We’ll be evaluating all trees in the construction area and will prescribe any needed service in advance of the project. During the project, I’ll be involved in the regular construction meetings to insure that our requirements are met. Once the project nears completion, any vacant tree planting site with an adjacent homeowner willing to water will get new trees.
  I have also been working with Rocky Mountain Power regarding the upcoming Beck St. project. They will be paying the required tree removal mitigation fees (the same fees that other development projects are subject to when tree removal is required) and this money goes towards our fund which will be used for reforestation and other SLC Urban Forestry needs. Additionally, replacement trees will be planted in the locations of the removed trees when possible as well as on the opposite side of the street wherever planting vacancies have been identified.
  I feel that I need to correct your statement that reads “The City only requires "specimen" trees to be replaced to replace the diameter of the tree cut, that is only if they are considered important?” The specimen tree designation only comes into play during commercial or multifamily developments where a tree located on private property has been deemed significant due to size, species, historic significance or other outstanding qualities. In this case, SLCUF would have jurisdiction, if you will, over this tree and would require its replacement value to be paid in the form of a tree removal mitigation fee. At no other time does the city code allow SLCUF involvement with trees located on private property.
  During property development, be it commercial or residential, trees located in the park strip or public right of way that are proposed for removal are subject to our public right of way tree removal mitigation process. In a nutshell, if a tree is removed then it is required to be replaced and/or its value paid to the City. Public right of way tree removals are subject to replacement mitigation fees that are calculated at $172 per caliper inch. For example, if a development requires the removal of a 20” dbh park strip tree, then $3440.00 in mitigation fees must be paid and this money goes towards our fund which will be used for reforestation. This is applied to every project where tree removal is required. During the plan review process, it is our primary goal to work with developers to explore alternative options to tree removal. For example, sometimes a driveway can be shifted or moved in order to preserve the root zone of a nearby tree. In addition to the above, the SLC Zoning code requires a tree to be planted every 30 feet."

UTA EQUITY OF NEW ROUTES QUESTIONABLE
  UTA is required to study the equity of new routes or expansion of service and the new report shows that the new routes/service provides an equitable effort that does not discriminate against so called lower income areas, according to the UTA report.  I disagree.  Instead of the analysis of UTA, I suggest that time to go to downtown should be listed and analyzed.  Many of the eastside routes go almost directly downtown with just one turn.  But there are relatively few westside routes that go downtown efficiently.  They make lots of turns.  Westside of SLC is not getting timely service that the Eastside gets due to zig zags, turns and going around in circles.

UTA ADOPTS $45 MIL 45TH S. BRT ALIGNMENT AND REQUIRES FEES FOR REPORTS
  UTA has adopted the $45 million BRT on 45th47th/48th South preferred alignment.  But the UDOT study already shows that the road is failing due to congestion.  The BRT project may remove lanes of traffic that oculd handle 10,000 vehicles a day from a road that is already congested!  
  On a separate UTA issue, the Board of Trustees adopted a policy of charging fees for basic information.  We used to get reports for free.  Now, UTA could charge for a simple one page report.  I believe that the policy discourages public engagement.

SUGAR HOUSE DEVELOPMENT ENCOURAGED BY PARKS OR S-LINE
  During the tour of the Sugar House area, hosted by the SLC Planning Department and its Director Nick Norris, it was pointed out that the parks and open space in the Sugar House area (including Sugar House Park, Fairmont Park, Forest Dale Golf Course and the S-Line Parleys Trail) create an unusually large portion of the area devoted to greenery and urban forest.  That is a large part of what creates the character for the Sugar House area.  
  But when the tour got to the S-Line, the end of the tour, several participants claimed that much of the development in the area, almost a billion dollars, was due to the S-Line!  I, again, have to make the argument that the S-Line linear park (the Parleys Trail) and the nearby parks, and all of the open space, were more influential in encouraging development than the TRAX line streetcar.  The streetcar ridership has been essentially flat since it started, between 1000 to 1600 passengers a day.  The data for ridership after the $7 million double tracking construction that increased frequency to 15 minutes is still not available (despite many requests for the ridership numbers and promises to create an online dashboard with those numbers).  
  Around 80% still use cars and since the area still is constructing zombie buildings with no ground floor retail (dead on ground floor for public engagement), this area is still losing its walkability from supergentrification.  A new proposal for the Sugar House business district is supposed to require ground floor retail but it has not been to the City Council for adoption.  In addition, the new parking proposal decreased parking requirements in the business district!  If you go by Fairmont Park in the afternoons, parking is often overflowing onto streets from the parking lot.  

 

 

JULY 21, 2019
2 SLC MAYORAL DEBATES' SUMMARY
DISTRICT 6 DEBATE SUMMARY
ALLEYWAY CLOSURE IN SUGAR HOUSE DIES WITH TIE
RAZORSHARE ELECTRIC SCOOTER WITH SEAT IN SLC
SUGAR HOUSE PLANNING TOUR JULY 29
FULL SLC CANDIDATES ELECTIONS SUMMARY


2 SLC MAYORAL DEBATES' SUMMARY
  On January 15th on KSL and other TV stations, the Salt Lake City mayoral candidates had a one hour "debate" that appeared to be nothing more than a summary of their opinions (which I put in the candidate summaries in the downloads section and also at the end of this day's blog - which is a lot of information but does effectively summarize their opinions).  Goldberger and Huck again reiterated their opinions on putting all homeless in a camp (a concentration camp in NWQ?) and stopping the Inland Port lawsuit.  Penfold and Dabakis pushed their free fare proposal.  Garbett kept pushing his unrealistic refinery closing proposal (which will significantly increase gasoline costs for families and workers but will increase profits for the other refineries).  It would cost Salt Lake taxpayers hundreds of millions to buy the refinery (if not a billion).  Ibarra pushed prioritizing affordable housing in the City to decrease commuters (ignoring the fact that families want big homes and yards and are willing to drive an hour to get them - ask Lt. Gov. Cox).
  The January 16th debate is on YouTube via this link (after a temporary glitch): 
https://youtu.be/97Mw63jTp8M
  This debate was hosted by the local community councils and had questions focusing on community council concerns.  The biggest takeaway from the debate is Goldberger is definitely extreme (in my opinion) and called gangbangers a dirtier version of scatalogical geographic.  He piled on his description by claiming that the kid next door could be the enemy.  (Rainer Huck did not attend this debate)  The debate did not change my mind from my opinion piece in the Salt Lake Tribune https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2019/07/13/george-chapman-time/
  The specific answers by the candidates (if you don't want to watch the almost 2 hours of YouTube are:
Jason Stevenson started off by mentioning the concerns of the community councils, including in his area, parking, and explained that the questions were coming from the local community councils that were hosting the event.  The questions included: homeless, the east west divide, Pioneer Park, property crime, protecting neighborhood character, affordable housing and police protection versus complaints.
  On the subject of how to mitigate the impacts of the new shelters on neighborhoods, 
On the subject of how to mitigate the impacts of the new shelters on neighborhoods, Penfold expressed concern about the reduced number of beds.  Ibarra was concerned about Operation Rio Grande's effect that pushed homelesss to other areas, making other areas more unsafe and he wants police walking patrols.  Mendenhall said she was making sure that sidewalks are available on 300 West to help homeless get to transit and she is pushing the organizing of a community advisory board.  Ironically unsaid were her efforts (unanimously pushed by all City Council members) to put a homeless shelter in a Sugar House single family home area.  That impact organized a resistance that led to Speaker Greg Hughes pulling it back (along with the one in the Rio Grande area).  Goldberger again explained that he wouldn't allow any camping in the City and called them American refugees.  He would put a triage center for homeless at the Main Library.  Dabakis complained that Seattle allowed defecating on the street but Salt Lake City and Utah should be proud to be doing something to solve the homeless problem.  He doesn't know if it will work but at least we have a plan.
  On the question of how to overcome the east west divide in Salt Lake City, Penfold said that there is a lack of infrastructure compared to the east side of Salt Lake City.  He wants to have all neighborhoods like 9th and 9th with services and a maximum of 5 minutes walking distance to centralized hubs or transit.  In other words every block should have stores or services or a transit stop.  He wanted more connections like the Folsom Trail.  Garbett explained his successful efforts to get the homeless out of the Rio Grande area and his efforts to work for upgrading Pioneer Park and the Warm Springs Park.  Dabakis explained his work with schoolchildren and was worried about hungry schoolchildren.  Ibarra talked about Salt Lake's 87,000 trees and complained that the westside doesn't have as many trees despite room for 20,000 more.  He wants more plans for the westside since the eastside seems to have many more plans.  He would put which area is getting money spent on it in regular reports on the internet.  Mendenhall said that the City is engaged now in trying to fix the inequities with the westside food deserts, working on affordable housing (including pushing for $4.5 million of $20 million from two years ago to be spent on the westside).  She also wants to build out bus service, especially on the westside.  Escamilla agreed that there are inequities and mentioned the difficulties of parents needing to take their kids to different daycares.  She also complained about the proposed closing of Bennion Elementary on 8th East.  But, as of last week, the School District said that it is not closing (we asked about using the closed school for a daycare) and is being fully utilized.
  On the vision for Pioneer Park, Garbett suggested a private public partnership and making the Road Home property a history museum since kids already go to the Gateway children's facilities.  Dabakis wanted a more broad vision with better paying jobs and opportunities for advancement for the area.  Ibarra complained about the same questions keep coming up for 20 plus years.  He recommended doing what Houston did which built a Discovery Green Park with 600 events a year on an eyesore property.  Mendenhall said that with our City's growing population, we should be investing in streets, transit and private public parks.  Goldberger wants a permanent police station at the Park.  Escamilla is committed to providing green space for children and quality of life requires a nice, safe and clean park.  The SLC Council as RDA recently decided that their efforts to build another park were too costly due to the increase in land values so they are moving millions scheduled for the new park into Pioneer Park - expect to see many more new amenities there.  Penfold likes the idea of encouraging events like the weekly food market which is also great for meetings with friends.  He wants to encourage affordable housing around the Park.
  On the question of how to encourage neighborhood development without compromising community character (using 9th and 9th as an example), Dabakis said that he hasn't done homework on the issue but they say that they can do it but have to be open and be able to explain it.  Ibarra said that the 9th and 9th area is the heart and soul of Salt Lake City.  The development in Sugar House is probably not the way we want to go.  Zoning should keep the neighborhood character and 9th and 9th maintains the walkable neighborhood that is the way we have to go.  Mendenhalll said that that is her home neighborhood and she said that she worked on a moratorium of building when the Mutual Beauty Supply building was supposed to have minimal parking when it was proposed to be reconstructed to residences (I was involved and I don't remember her moratorium.).  There are 5 zones in the neighborhood and it is not a simple zoning issue.  Goldberger suggested micro police stations and selected fun activities for neighborhoods.  Escamilla said that it is difficult to live in Salt Lake City and gentrification is real.  She recommended inclusionary zoning (new construction has to have 10% of the units affordable).  Penfold reminded the audience that he was involved in the nonprofit that helped recover neighborhood housing around Liberty Park.  He wants more 9th and 9th areas and wants the City to support and invest in those areas.  Garbett recommended form based zoing to allow growth to happen regardless of what will happen in those areas.  Form based zoning makes it easier for developers to build if they meet basic standards, instead of going to the City with each new project.  State Street would be a good area for a form based zoning overlay with mixed income and mixed use building.  But the Sugar House area did not result in a lot of new ground floor retail (yet; but more is coming).
  On the question (by Liberty Wells Community Council), how will you address rising property crime, Ibarra repeated his interest in walking police patrols.  Mendenhall said that she worked with community councils and safety was a big concern.  She wanted a park ranger program for years but the recent police proposal was for police in regular uniforms (which she has previously said deters certain demographics from feeling comfortable in the parks).  She and the Council allowed the program to continue as cops in bicycle patrol uniforms to function as park rangers.  She also said that she pushed for hiring 52 new officers several years ago.  But Salt Lake has not been able to compete with salaries and competition from other agencies and is effectively down 23 cops that we are trying to hire.  The point was made during the debate the day before with the question: Salt Lake City hired 80 police last year and lost about 80, how do we hire more police?  
  The property crime question resulted in Golberger saying that gang bangers are domestic terrorists... (scatalogical geographics) the enemy can be the kids next door who are very dangerous with the weapons that they have.  Ibarra tried to rebut his claims but didn't really focus on how extreme his language and claim was.  Ibarra said "categorizing kids as...."  He said that targeting kids is not a way to solve this problem.  Escamilla said that we cannot have that type of language from anyone.  She said that we need more police; we need an eastside police precinct and that we need to work harder to focus on the 10% of homeless who are chronically homeless.  Penfold said that he was there when the initiative to hire 52 new officers were started (Erin and Charlie, I believe, pushed the Becker administration to add more police with a federal grant, against a significant pushback from the administration that gave in when Cindy Gust Jensen called the administration on their false claim that they couldn't do it.).  Penfold pointed out that half of all calls during the day are from non residents.  He is glad to see the park rangers proposal which he pushed for years ago (so did all community councils).  Garbett said that homeless puts a strain on Salt Lake City and the Legislature did not fully fund Salt Lake City's efforts.  He would spend more money on education, not just on police and would also push for more lively neighborhoods.  Dabakis said that it is difficult to be a police officer, going to work everyday not knowing if they'll come home.  He pointed out that they start at $21.50 and hour and the City is not doing enough to attract more law enforcement.  (The recent IACP SLCPD Study said that the major problem with turnover and retention is the retirement system in Utah.)
  The next question was from the Sugar House Community Council which complained that development in Sugar House did not include much affordable housing (Dan Lofgren's Cowboy Partners was the sole development in the last 10 years with an affordable component.) and how would candidates solve the issue?  Mendenhall said that SLC RDA (the Council) just closed 27 years of investment in Sugar House and the RDA is one of the greatest tools that they have to buy up  property to give to developers.  She wants to encourage more affordable housing and specifically a spectrum of housing for families and singles.  The City needs someone who knows how to use the tools.  Escamilla recommended inclusionary zoning (which Salt Lake City Council has been arguing about for 5 years).  It would require all new developments to have at least 10% of their units as affordable.  Penfold said that affordability is a crisis for all of us.  He believes that we need 10,000 units now.  He complains that the current administration has failed working with developers (the Council has also refused to approve many new projects).  Garbett praised his father's company that is a homebuilder (and owner of a building next to Pioneer Park).  He said that he recently was living in the Bay Area with a great rent control plan and he decried the fighting with the City Council and Mayor in Salt Lake City.  Dabakis would like to use the streets bond for affordable housing.  Ibarra believe that the solution is in the tech sector with modular homes and container homes.
  The last question was how would you work to reduce police brutality while supporting a higher police presence?  Escamilla said that we have a great police force and that we should be encouraging relationships with kids and police starting in school.  She said that she was offended with the City Council's position that police in parks should not be in uniform (Mendenhall's position)!  Penfold would increase training and try to recruit from other demographics.  Ibarra pointed out that he almost become a policeman in Sacramento (but chose Marriott).  He recommended a civil review board with subpoena power.  Mendenhall said that she agreed with everyone on the dais except for Goldberger regarding police.
  Summarizing their candidacy, Mendenhall pointed out her background in air quality.  She pointed out that for the last two administrations, 12  years, Salt Lake City has had former legislators but the State is not going to help Salt Lake City.  Ibarra reminded people of his many appointments and said that he understood government.  He also decried the disrespectful language.  Dabakis said he wants to give a voice to the people but don't alienate people (he really said that) and he has learned how to represent you.  Garbett said that the City has terrible air quality and the refineries did not have operation permits until sued.  He want to control our air quality and not wait for the government, State or federal, to act.  Escamilla asked voters to look at her record of results in the Legislature.  Penfold asked to focus more on neighborhoods.  

DISTRICT 6 DEBATE SUMMARY
  This last week also had a debate for the District 6 candidates.  J T Martin and Charlie Luke are having a rematch from 8 years ago and Dan Dugan, a retired Navy pilot (flew one of the most dangerous planes to land on a ship at sea, the A6) is joining the fight.  
  J T Martin said that he loved the job as Councilman and was deeply upset by losing but he has used the free time to lead the Airport Board and be Austria's vice counsel.  He said that he is most proud of always returning emails, the new public safety building and the 4th South Corridor.  He also complained about his efforts to restore Miller Park after the oil spill and got a million for it but the money was repurposed after he left.  His priorities are neighborhoods.  
  Dugan said that his priorities are clean air, stopping the inland port, affordable housing, the Master Transit Plan and working on solving the 80,000 cars a day Foothill traffic.
  Luke said that he is focusing on infrastructure, public safety and air quality. 
  On the question of how to work with conflicts between the Mayor and Council, Luke said that it is an "interesting relationship" and is looking forward to working with the new mayor.  Martin said that he has worked with many legislators successfully but he complained about the Council signing the Inland Port surrender/peace treaty.  Dugan suggested that arguments should be behind closed doors and not out in the open.
  Regarding the Inland Port, Martin expressed concern about the old garbage dump in the area.  Dugan opposes the Inland Port and the loss of tax money that could be used for affordable housing, better police pay, infrastructure and he opposes heavy traffic on all roads.  Luke said that the Council's efforts resulted in a plan that was only 60% bad for Salt Lake versus 100% before negotiation.  The City retained taxes on Amazon and UPS facilities.
  Discussing increasing police presence in the area, Dugan supports the eastside police precinct and more police presence on the street.  Luke supports the eastside precinct that Burbank opposed and Biskupski supports.  One negotiation fell through and the City is trying on another site.  Martin reminded attendees that he was against the 1500 East police precinct proposal (property was a closed school eventually taken over by Westminster).
  On the question of will you commit to no new tax, fee or bond increases, Luke said no but that he would require vigorous public outreach and it has happened so far.  The garbage fee increase was opposed by the Council due to no public outreach.  Luke also pointed out that the SL Police Association has endorsed him.  Martin also will not commit to not raising taxes or fees since the City is not appropriately compensated for the doubling of our population during the day.  Dugan said that we need to be efficient with our money.
  On the question of the S-Line and 2100 South, Martin pointed out that the federal funding people want unity and he doesn't see it (which is how we fought several efforts by the Becker administration and UTA to extend the S-Line up 1100 East - pointing out the fight on the issue).  Martin suggested a 1500 East streetcar since that is where is went before and it should go to the UofU.  Dugan pointed out that the density required for efficient use of rail is not there.  Luke agreed that density is not there and that this administration is against rail but has been able to work with UTA.  He said that rail on Foothill would need increased density.
  On how to involve young kids, Dugan said go to college and create a vibrant walking neighborhood to get people outside with pockets for play.  Luke said that politics is important and that we need more community council attendance.  Martin said that he went through a lot of kids at the Emigration Market (his old business) and that he wants to support our local businesses who hire our kids.
  On how to work with a hostile Legislature, Luke pointed out the State's attempts to take over the Airport and watershed.  He said some legislators want to swim in our creeks but we have to work with them.  Martin said the Inland Port sets a bad precedence and the City needs someone who has worked well with them in the past.  Dugan said the City needs a new fresh perspective (like him).
  The question of how do you contribute to our community resulted in Martin explaining how he helped Gardner buy Church property to give to Stadler Rail to locate in Salt Lake City rather than Clearfield.  Dugan said that he has spent a lot of time coaching and supporting lacrosse in Salt Lake City.  He is also involved in Utah Clean Energy.  Luke said that he has no other life than community service.
  On whether to increase lanes on Foothill Boulevard, Dugan said that adding lanes does not decrease congestion (I disagree since filling up new freeways is caused by drivers able to buy housing further out and live the American Dream.  Again, ask Lt. Gov. Cox.).  He suggested better flow via lights and roundabouts.  He said no one wants a bus because it take twice as long to get somewhere (but the UofU is pushing BRT by taking a couple of lanes from Foothill).  Luke said that we need to increase capacity but not more lanes.  He thought better transit would help but didn't think residents are ready for increased density required for TRAX.  Martin said that we can't keep adding lanes and can't understand why counties won't increase taxes for mass transit.
  Summing up their candidacies, Martin said that he was in a dark place after his loss and apologized to Luke if he was too negative about it.  They then hugged.  Dugan also asked for a hug from both, and got it.  He finished by saying that he is good at problem solving.

ALLEYWAY CLOSURE IN SUGAR HOUSE DIES WITH TIE
  A controversial effort to close an alleyway in Sugar House which divided the community with half for it and half against it failed at the City Council.  The efforts to close it were pushed by residents who were concerned about the increased illegal activities from homeless in the alleyways and their concern for their safety.  But other landowners along the alleyway were concerned that their access and neighborhood was being threatened by efforts to criminalize homeless.  The proposal, which required City Council approval failed in a three to three vote with Councilwoman Mendenhall at her mayoral debate and not at the meeting.  Councilmember Wharton said that he is always against alleyway closures and Councilwoman Valdemoros said she was against it due to the Planning Commission against it.  Chair Luke said that the Council needs to have a bigger discussion on this issue.

RAZORSHARE ELECTRIC SCOOTER WITH SEAT IN SLC
  RazorShare has new electric scooters with seats and a basket!  The cost is still $1 to start and .15 per mile.  These should be safer and be more popular since they allow for shopping and not just going to bars and getting around.  There are a large number of them in the Sugar House area.

SUGAR HOUSE DEVELOPERS SUPPORT BIKE SHARE BUT NOT IN SUGAR HOUSE
  The SLC Council has laid out plans for BikeShare expansion that limit new stations to the 1100 East and 900 South boundaries.  But developers in other areas pay BikeShare to lower their parking requirements!  So when a developer in Sugar House (2700 South and 900 East) pays the City BikeShare contributions, Sugar House does not benefit since the City is not allowing BikeShare in Sugar House (like on the Parleys Trail at McClelland and the S-Line).  The City should be using developer contributions of BikeShare funds in the neighborhoods that have the developments!

NEW BUILDINGSALTLAKE.COM FILLS NEWS NEED IN SLC
  Buildingsaltlake.com, an old website with interesting building news has two new owners, former Councilman Luke Garrott and former Tribune reporter Taylor Anderson.  They are both advocates for bicyclists and their website is a great read.  I encourage going to their site and enjoying all of the pictures that Luke is taking on Sugar House and other area developments.  It fulfills the lack of news available from newspapers and TV.

SUGAR HOUSE PLANNING TOUR JULY 29
  On July 29, the SLC Planning Department will have a tour of the Sugar House area, starting from the Sego Lily in Sugar House Park (next to 1300 East).  The Tour starts at 6 PM and goes to 730 PM.  Registration is free and recommended.  The theme is Walking to the Beet: Creating a 24/7 District in Sugar House.  "The area has seen a dramatic change is over the last 10 years.  The Tour will discuss the goals of the Sugar House Community Master Plan and the unique public spaces that help make the neighborhood one of the most desirable and livable in Utah."  For more information, go to
 https://www.slc.gov/planning/2019/07/15/summer-planning-series-walking-to-the-beet/

FULL SLC CANDIDATES ELECTIONS SUMMARY
  I pulled this from the various candidates information from the City Recorder.  I also put the text in the downloads section.

Candidate for City Council District 4
Michael Iverson

Address
210 S 300 E #116
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Phone
801-413-3167

City of Residence: Salt Lake City
Resident For: 31 years
Occupation: Communications Specialist
Age: 31
Contact Email: michael@iversonforcouncil.com

Message:
Michael is a lifelong resident of District 4, running on his experience and progressive vision for Salt Lake City. He served for six years as chair of the Central City Neighborhood Council, representing residents and business owners in District 4. He also spent four years on the Salt Lake City Human Rights Commission advocating for issues affecting marginalized communities downtown and across the city.

It’s time for Salt Lake City to set a progressive standard throughout the state. Michael believes that the city must be a leader in affordable housing, public transportation, environmental protection, and social justice. If elected, his top priorities will be to fund affordable housing developments, tackle the homelessness crisis downtown, ban discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, implement ranked-choice voting, and stop the ecological disaster surrounding the Inland Port.

Michael is proud of his work advocating for the community over the last six years. He isn’t afraid to stand up for what’s right, either, and that’s why he called a public meeting to hold Mayor Biskupski to task for firing the city’s diversity director in late 2017. He’ll always stand up for his constituents, whether it’s standing up to the mayor or to the state legislature.





Candidate for City Council District 4
Ana Valdemoros

Address
357 S 200 E #108
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Phone
801-410-0824

City of Residence: Salt Lake City
Resident For: 19 years
Occupation: Small Business Owner
Age: 37
Contact Email: vote@ana4council.com

Message:
Building our community is my passion. I started my career in city planning with Salt Lake City. I later opened Argentina’s Best Empanadas and co-founded Square Kitchen, a culinary incubator.

Out of 21 applicants, the Salt Lake City Council unanimously appointed me to replace Derek Kitchen in January 2019. My experience in the public and private sectors, and my extensive knowledge of Salt Lake City is what set me apart from the other applicants. I understand city planning, small business, and sustainability practices that lead to a better city. I am somebody that rolls up their sleeves and works to bring practical solutions.

Through my education, professional skills, and experience, I will continue to ensure the residents of District 4 have an energetic advocate; a partner that knows and appreciates the work of the many citizen groups that are part of the solution to our everyday issues. As a negotiator and mediator, I will build consensus among different groups.

When I’m not busy at the City and County Building, campaigning, or running either one of my businesses, you can find me happily spending time with my husband, our three amazing children, and our extremely curious cat, Alexander Kittyton.

 

Leo Rodgers

Candidate for City Council District 4
Leo Rodgers

Address
611 S Park St #14
Salt Lake City, UT 84102

Phone
719-334-2695

City of Residence: Salt Lake City
Resident For: 3 years
Occupation: Grocery Clerk
Age: 22
Contact Email: rodgersw3@gmail.com

Message:
Leo is a resident of the Trolley Square area of Salt Lake City, having lived in the area for the past three years with his fiancé, dog, and cat. He is dedicated to strong progressive ideals and believes the city can do more to increase the standard of living for all city residents across all walks of life. In his spare time, he is a social media manager for several progressive groups as well as the founder of his own group called Blue Utah.

His vision for the future of the city is of a city that works for all residents and does so with vigor. Increased accountability and presence of social programs



Dan Dugan

Candidate for City Council District 6
Dan Dugan

Address
2508 E Kensington Ave
Salt Lake City, UT 84108

Phone
801-791-1971

City of Residence: Salt Lake City
Resident For: 15 years
Occupation: Manufacturing manager
Age: 57
Contact Email: dan.dugan@votefordugan.com

Message:
After serving 20 years in the Navy as an Officer and Pilot, my wife and I chose Salt Lake City to raise our daughters. We’ve spent the last 15 years enjoying this unparalleled environment. I’ve spent my post-Navy career leading teams in a manufacturing environment, where we continually strive to improve quality and efficiency in production. I have a passion for problem-solving and helping the local community. My connection to the community grew when I began coaching lacrosse. Over the last decade I have coached and mentored hundreds of kids. I’m currently serving my second term as Chair of the board of the state lacrosse league. While coaching, I noticed my players suffering from the bad air. This lead me to volunteering with Utah Clean Energy, and then with Utah Community Action on renewable energy grants. My community involvement led me to this race. District 6 needs a representative to protect our kids’ health by focusing on clean air, traffic congestion on Foothill, and making sure the City controls all the land under its jurisdiction. I can’t sit idle and complain about what others are not doing. I am excited to get involved, help make a positive impact, and lead.


Candidate for City Council District 6
JT Martin

Address
201 S Main St #2025
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Phone
801-597-9529

Salt Lake City Resident for: 22 years
Occupation: Managing Director of Integrated Energy Companies
Age: 61
Contact email: jt@jt4slc6.com

Message:
JT Martin has always been committed to his family, friends, and colleagues. When he is not with one or all his four children, JT spends his time to contributing to the community he loves. JT serves on the Salt Lake City Airport Authority Board. As board chair JT and his fellow board members oversaw the initial stages of the expansion of the Salt Lake International Airport. Together they are better equipping Salt Lake City residents with an airport that can handle the traffic expected in the future and increase the number of flights international and domestic arriving and departing our city.

Today JT is the managing director of Integrated Energy Companies (IEC). IEC operates a portfolio of companies which provides services to the energy production industry in the state of Utah and the Inter-mountain West.

In his previous term representing District 6, JT initiated policies focused on environmental quality, sustainable development and preservation of our distinct neighborhoods. Additionally, JT was passionate about the preservation of riparian environments within District six as well as maintaining and improving the quality of green space in our community. He will continue that commitment as your next Councilman.

“I ask for your Vote!”

 
Candidate for City Council District 6
Charlie Luke

Address
2228 Wilson Ave
Salt Lake City, UT 84108

Phone
801-554-5442

City of Residence: Salt Lake City
Resident For: 21 years
Occupation: Executive Director, Utah Association of Community Services
Age: 46
Contact Email: charlieluke@gmail.com

Message:
Thank you for your continued support. It’s an exciting time in Salt Lake City and District 6. As I have served as your Salt Lake City Council Member, I’ve made it a point to listen closely to your ideas and concerns. I’ve also worked hard to represent your views on making Salt Lake City an even better place to live.

What matters to you, matters to me. I’ve listened to you and advocated on your behalf. The following four issues are priorities that I will be carrying forward:

Priority: Public Safety
Priority: Infrastructure
Priority: Quality of Life
Priority: Transparency
To find out more about our campaign, visit www.votecharlieluke.com.

Now it is time to ask you to allow me to continue as your representative with City Hall for another four years. Each re-election campaign is a great opportunity. It gives me the chance to hear from you and to share my view of the progress we have achieved, how we can improve, and how we can continue to thrive as a city.

To do that, I thank you and respectfully ask for your continued support. Please contact me directly via email at charlie@votecharlieluke.com, or you can text or call 801-554-5442


Candidate for City Council District 2
Andrew Johnston

Address
1188 Jeremy St
Salt Lake City, UT 84104

Phone
801-440-7822

Email
andrewforsaltlake@gmail.com



Candidate for City Council District 2
Moroni Benally

Address
480 S 900 W
Salt Lake City, UT 84104

Phone
N/A

Email
moroni4citycouncil@gmail.com

 


Candidate for Salt Lake City Mayor
David Ibarra

Address
438 E 200 S #300
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Phone
801-997-9057

City of Residence: Salt Lake City
Resident For: 20 years
Occupation: Community leader and business owner
Age: 67
Contact Email: david@ibarra4mayor.com

Message:
David is the son of a Mexican immigrant farm worker. David and his brother Mickey spent nearly the first 14 years of their lives in the Utah foster care system. David started his first business at age 28.

David’s business background spans highly successful careers in the hospitality, automotive, and the self-improvement industries.

Through David’s foundation he has assisted 89 students to obtain a college education. Because of the challenges David faced, he gained a passion for compassion, inclusion and fairness for all members
of our community. David is leader ready now and ready to serve SLC.


Candidate for Salt Lake City Mayor
Jim Dabakis

Address
602 S 700 E #D211
Salt Lake City, UT 84102

Phone
435-632-9462

City of Residence: Salt Lake City
Resident For: 46 years
Occupation: Retired
Age: 65
Contact Email: jim@dabakisformayor.com

Message:
Jim Dabakis is uniquely positioned to serve Salt Lake City. His experience, existing relationships, and love of people will allow him to accomplish a great deal.

He knows business. Over 30 years, his small business grew into a big business. That experience, along with a lifelong knack for hiring and developing an adept, diverse, non-partisan team will enable him to lead Salt Lake City with efficiency and aplomb.

He represented Salt Lake City in the Utah Senate for six years where he delved into the gritty details of government.

As a bridge-builder Jim will be a great ambassador for Salt Lake City and its citizens. He understands our city cannot solve the big issues of our time alone. Salt Lake City must work cordially with the State, County and other public stakeholders. Additionally, he believes success will only come as businesses, neighborhoods, religious, and civic groups unite for the common good.

Jim will serve with energy, humor, enthusiasm, and a huge heart.


Candidate for Salt Lake City Mayor
Stan Penfold

Address
P.O. Box 522437
Salt Lake City, UT 84152

Phone
801-209-3401

City of Residence: Salt Lake City
Resident For: 38 years
Occupation: Nonprofit Management
Age: 62
Contact Email: stan@stanpenfold.com

Message:
Stan Penfold is a two-term City Councilman for the Avenues, Capitol Hill, Marmalade, and Guadalupe neighborhoods and he’s running to be your neighborhood mayor.

Through his experience in leadership on the City Council, two decades of managing a non-profit, and a foundation in neighborhood activism, Stan has nurtured the relationships necessary to bring people of diverse backgrounds together to achieve common goals. He’s got a plan for Salt Lake City, involving:

No fare for clean air. Give every Salt Lake resident a no-cost Hive Pass for UTA.

Planning for a Net-Zero Inland Port that generates its own power.

Accelerating Salt Lake City’s plan to be powered 100% by renewable energy so we can be carbon free by 2023.

10,000 doors to address affordable housing and using a housing-first model to address homelessness.

Neighborhood grants to give residents funding to further enhance the character of the place they call home.

Stan has the vision, skill, patience, empathy, boldness, and experience to be Salt Lake City’s next mayor. To learn more about Stan’s Plan, please visit stanformayor.com.

 

Candidate for Salt Lake City Mayor
David Garbett

Address
1801 S Elizabeth St
Salt Lake City, UT 84105

Phone
801-678-9885

City of Residence: Salt Lake City
Resident For: 12 years
Occupation: Attorney, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance; Exec. Director, Pioneer Park Coalition; Special Projects, Garbett Homes
Age: 40
Contact Email: info@garbettformayor.com

Message:
As a father of two young girls, I’m constantly reminded of the extreme challenges our city faces. In the coming years, Salt Lake City will have an opportunity to lead the way in providing clean air, a stable climate, affordable housing, and resources for those in need. As an attorney for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, I dedicated 10 years of my life to fighting for our environment and public lands; as the executive director of the Pioneer Park Coalition, I worked on the ground with those experiencing homelessness to provide greater resources. My career has been built around these challenges, and as mayor I’ll use my experiences to address our most important concerns.

As mayor, I’ll tackle air quality issues by incentivizing the closure of our largest pollution sources in the city, pursue air quality violators, and switch our electricity to supply to 100% renewables within my first term without raising rates. We’ll also be a pro-housing city where I’ll lower your cost of living by fighting to lower property taxes. Finally, we’ll help our most vulnerable populations get off the streets by ensuring we have enough shelter beds for those experiencing homelessness.

I hope to earn your vote.



Candidate for Salt Lake City Mayor
Richard N. Goldberger

Address
255 N 400 W
Salt Lake City, UT 84103

Phone
801-661-9966

City of Residence: Salt Lake City
Resident for: 55 years
Occupation: Journalist
Age: 75
Contact Email: rng2@utah.edu

Message:
Richard Goldberger was born in New York City in 1943. He attended Salt Lake Community College and the University of Utah. He is a journalist with Federated News and senior consultant for “Have Brain, Will Think”. Mr. Goldberger represents Government by Objectives. He is a commonsensecrat. He works strictly for the people to make a difference and be the difference. He believes in service to others. Regarding Salt Lake City’s homeless problem, his solution is to establish a fast, full service triage reception campus, and a massive outreach program in SLC open 24/7, 365 days a year, including a hotline number, and outlawing illegal camping 100%. Regarding the Inland Port, Mr. Goldberger believes the litigation should be put on hold and an intermodal site, park, or Utah Export Expo Center be placed on the proposed site. Mr. Goldberger would like to see more free fare on UTA and several connections and lines extended. Regarding crime, Mr. Goldberger would establish more precincts in the City like the Pioneer Precinct. Mr. Goldberger would have a mobile Mayor’s with a liaison to the University of Utah. He would like to see more grants offered for entrepreneurs, neighborhood recycling fair’s and pay raises for SLC’s public safety personnel.



Candidate for Salt Lake City Mayor
Rainer Huck

Address
Protected pursuant to Utah State Code §63G-2-305(52)

Phone
801-467-3795

City of Residence: Salt Lake City
Resident For: 70 years
Occupation: Retired
Age: 72
Contact Email: rfhuck@yahoo.com

Message:
I’m asking to be your Mayor because I see the American Dream slipping away due to ever expanding government and crushing taxation and regulation. Most of the “issues” being discussed have little or no relevance to the people who live and work in our town. As an immigrant I greatly appreciated the opportunities America provided for each person to pursue happiness and fulfillment in their own way. These opportunities are now rapidly diminishing due to government intrusion in every aspect our lives.

As your Mayor I will:

Stop police shootings and killings. Last year 19 people were killed by police bullets, more than were killed by criminal bullets.

Restore annual cleanup program

Build a homeless campus that will allow people to live with some dignity and safety. The current shelters only accommodate 700 costing $86,000 /person and will be overrun the day they open, doing little to solve the problem

Reduce water/sewer rates and prevent future increases

Save Airport parking structure and terminals

Prevent raids on illegal immigrants living and working here

Eliminate secret police

Stop arrests for victim-less crimes

Rescind sales tax increase

Roll back recent 10% budget increase

My focus is to benefit the working people of SLC

 


Candidate for Salt Lake City Mayor
Luz Escamilla

Address
1004 North Morton Dr
Salt Lake City, UT 84116

Phone
801-556-1029

City of Residence: Salt Lake City
Resident For: 21 years
Occupation: Banker/State Senator
Age: 41
Contact Email: luz@luzformayor.com

Message:
Luz Escamilla has nearly twenty years of leadership experience in the private and nonprofit sectors as well as the executive and legislative branches of state government. Luz considers herself extraordinarily fortunate to have had these opportunities as part of the American Dream. She has earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business and Master in Public Administration from the University of Utah.

For the past 12 years, Luz’s work with Zions Bank has focused on developing small and local businesses.

In 2008, Luz was elected to her first of three terms to the Utah State Senate, which represents the westside of Salt Lake City and part of West Valley City. Luz has worked tirelessly to pass meaningful legislation around issues of clean air, healthcare, public education, after school programs, licensing and many other issues that improve the lives of working families and residents of Salt Lake City.

Luz has been an effective Democrat in the GOP-controlled legislature because of her ability to find effective solutions, find common ground, and build bridges among those with different interests. Luz will bring her unique breadth and depth of experience and skills to the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office.

 

Candidate for Salt Lake City Mayor
Erin Mendenhall

Address
P.O. Box 521385
Salt Lake City, UT 84152

Phone
216-973-4412

City of Residence: Salt Lake City
Resident for:  20 years
Occupation: Salt Lake City Councilwoman
Age: 39
Contact Email: info@erinforslcmayor.com

Message:
Erin Mendenhall is a Salt Lake City Councilwoman, now serving the 5th district in her second term. Erin graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah with a degree in Gender Studies and just recently graduated from the University of Utah with a Professional Master in Science and Technology. Prior to joining City Council, she co-founded Breathe Utah, helping to create their curriculum, which as of today, has educated tens of thousands of Utah schoolchildren on air quality issues. In addition to co-founding Breathe Utah, she currently serves as the Chair of the State Air Quality Board. She and her husband, Kyle, are the proud parents of three young children.

 

 

JULY 13
SLC SAVES WATER BUT STILL ORDERS RESIDENTS TO WATER MORE
7 CANYONS RECOMMENDED FOR WATER PURIFICATION
MCCLELLAND IN SUGAR HOUSE MISSES OUT ON ALLEYWAY MILLION
SLC 6 YEAR STREETS PLAN
ROCKY MT POWER OVERRUNS COMMUNITY FOR REFINERY POWER POLES
RECYCLING FEES DOUBLE REGULAR GARBAGE FEES
HOMELESS SHELTERS' OPENING MAY BE FURTHER DELAYED


SLC SAVES WATER BUT STILL ORDERS RESIDENTS TO WATER MORE
  Salt Lake City residents have decreased their water use since 2001 from 25 gallons er capita per day to 193 gallons per capita per day.  Those figures are for all uses including industrial, commercial and institutional uses.  Residential water use has been lowered from 154 gallons per day to 106 gallons per day (per capita).
  As pointed out by the Salt Lake Tribune's Gehrke recently, putting green carpet or not planting at least one third of a front yard will cause, upon complaint, a citation.  In other words, although our Mayor and the City is proud at our low water use, especially compared to most other cities in the State, the City is pushing residents to water more.
  Although the City recommends plantings that require little or no water (after establishment - which is a problem with SLC Parks' plantings which have a tendency to die within a year of planting due, in general, to lack of watering - Fairmont Park, the McClelland Alleyway Trail, and Miller Park are good examples), the City is not providing much flexibility now.  Last year, the Water Conservation Manager of Salt Lake City, Stephanie Duer, told a community council that if there are complaints about not enough greenery in a front yard, to call her and she would try to negotiate a compromise or solution.
  She is now saying "Current code only requires that 1/3 of a front yard be planted. A bit of a compromise, certainly, but the concern was to maintain some greenspace, as it promotes walkability and adds certain environmental values. Fortunately, there is a plethora of plants that thrive in our area that require little or no water on establishment. These options create a broad palette of design choices that do enable property owners to reduce their water footprint significantly.
We are in the process of updating our Water Conservation Master Plan, and as a part of that process are exploring a portfolio of conservation programing (sic) options to further assist both our residential and commercial customers. By this fall, we should have a draft on line for review and comment. Please won’t you help us grow and improve our program by providing your comments? When posted, you’ll find the document at www.slc.gov/utilities/conservation . For landscape information, visit www.slcgardenwise.com."
  I walk the sidewalk trails of Salt Lake City and see many beautiful yards with less than the 33% greenery required.  Salt Lake City should be flexible and allow other ways of making a yard beautiful.  I see yards with sculptures, rock art, and I even see green carpet.  They can be beautiful.  Walkability does not depend on greenery.  It depends on ground floor interesting activation of the yard or windows of businesses.  Salt Lake City does not require greenery on all of the new buildings in Sugar House so it seems the City is giving up on making Sugar House walkable?  
  Citizens should tell the City that walkable neighborhoods do not need plants as much as they need a City that pushes wider sidewalks, allows flexible ground floor activities or vision or art and all new buildings should have ground floor public amenities/stores/restaurants, not just apartments.
  Salt Lake City should allow beautiful art, sculptures and yards that are nice to look at.  Grass and greenery should not be pushed.  That actually encourages watering.  The new Water Conservation Master Plan should allow decorative rocks, carpet, and bark.  

7 CANYONS RECOMMENDED FOR WATER PURIFICATION
  The Mayor is recommending an ultraviolet disinfection system to remove harmful bacteria from the Liberty Park 7 Canyons Fountain and sculpture (for less than a million).  ABut the City Council is also going to discuss this Tuesday, whether it should fund the $2 million to tear down the sculpture and remove the sharp edges from the mountains.  The reason is the concern that children would harm themselves by climbing the mountains unless they are ground down and "blunted"!  The next you know, they will stop children from riding bikes which is 1000 times more dangerous if you look at accident numbers.

MCCLELLAND IN SUGAR HOUSE MISSES OUT ON ALLEYWAY MILLION
  When Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall got the Council to agree to a million to construct the McClelland Trail from about 1100 South to Brickyard, the money was all spent on alleyways (which is why people keep asking how do you spend a million on alleyways!?) and the money ran out at 2100 South.  So the McClelland Trail that was supposed to go from 2100 South to Sugarmont did not have any money for the last few years.  The City CIP plans are going to give a little this next year to upgrade the street to a shared street to Elm (halfway to Sugarmont) but the $500,000 asked for to make a real shared street is not recommended for funding!  It is time that Salt Lake City give the Sugar House Business District something to really encourage walkability by fully funding the shared street (a concept developed by Soren Simonsen).

SLC 6 YEAR STREETS PLAN
  I put the 6 year Salt Lake City planned streets' projects list in the downloads section.  500 East from 1700 South to 2100 South is scheduled for next year reconstruction.  2000 East from Parley's Way to Millcreek (City limit) and 700 West from 1600 South to 2100 South are scheduled for work in 2020.
  In 2021, the streets scheduled for work are 300 West from 900 South to 1300 South, 900 East from Hollywood (about 2000 S.) to 2700 South, 100 South from North Campus to 900 East and 1700 East from 1700 South to 2700 South.
  I put the list of local street projects (pages from 5 to 7) in the downloads under 6 yr pavement plan.pdf.
  "Every fall, the staff will revisit the plan."  Please tell the City what you think and get involved with your local community councils which will be helping plan new street projects.

ROCKY MT POWER OVERRUNS COMMUNITY FOR REFINERY POWER POLES
  A few weeks ago, I put the Rocky Mountain power project in the downloads section and I assumed that it would eventually result in a lot of angry people in the Rose Park and Beck Street area.  The big 60 foot power pole (used for a T-Mobile antenna but it will eventually be used by Rocky Mountain Power) that created such a big issue in the nearby area is just one pole.  The new Rocky Mountain Proposal will place many new poles and even cut down trees in the path!  The goal is to provide the refinery in Salt Lake City with more power that they say is needed for the new Tier III low sulfur gasoline that is going to be refined.  Salt Lake City should have encouraged Rocky Mountain Power to work with the community instead of having the plan be approved without public participation.  All that is happening now is telling the community that it is happening, no matter what.  That is a great way to gain the trust of a community.  Maybe the community should go to the Legislature and demand more tax credits for solar panels and require Rocky Mountain Power to pay more for net metering.

RECYCLING FEES DOUBLE REGULAR GARBAGE FEES
  Many cities in Utah are feeling the reality of recycling.  Up until a few years ago, China provided a market for our recyclables.  But the Chinese government thought that the U.S. recyclables were too contaminated so they cut back allowing our recyclables into China.  So now the recycling fees are as much as $68 per ton.  The landfill presently charges $32.85 per ton but their fees are predicted to increase.  The question for local governments is do we continue with recycling which will require a one or two dollar a month increase in fees (or taxes) or stop the recycling program.  Governments are asking if they would pay the extra one or two dollars to recycle but the reality is that the extra cost is much more for a separate pickup of recyclables. SLC just increased the trash fees but the question will keep coming up since the recycling companies seem to be desperate to continue operating and need a big increase in fees to make even a small profit.  

HOMELESS SHELTERS' OPENING MAY BE FURTHER DELAYED
  It appears that the new homeless shelter's service providers have not received their contracts so they can't hire and train staff to accept and work with the new homeless as they go to the new shelters!  So Salt Lake City shelters will be lucky if they actually open by winter!  And the Pioneer Park Coalition still says that there will be plenty of space at the new shelters.  I do not think that many homeless men will want to go to the South Salt Lake Shelter for men since it will essentially be in the middle of nowhere (except for the Maverick station on 3300 South (which already has regular robberies since it is across the street from the jail and many arrested criminals are released within a few hours).  That shelter is next to the Jordan River Park which will cause other issues.  Homeless are not dumb and do not want to be in the middle of nowhere.  It is like, as some want, putting the homeless in the west desert.  
  Bottom line is that the Road Home is still going to be needed and the developers and property owners should stop complaining about the homeless in the Rio Grande area since that is where almost all of the service providers are!  The Weigand Center, St Vincent DePaul's, the Rescue Mission, Workforce Services and Fourth Street Clinic are supposed to stay in the area.  Landowners should be telling the City's RDA Board (the City Council) to stop holding vacant property buildings in the area for decades and get developers to build something on them!
  My prediction is that there will be a lot of homeless sleeping in the downtown area this winter and many will die.  The Road Home will still be needed.  Transporting a couple of hundred to the shelters each night from the area that they frequent (downtown) is going to be a logistical nightmare.

 


JULY 9, 2019
SECRET SUGAR HOUSE PARKING STUDY REVEALED
PAY FOR SUCCESS WORKING
OPPORTUNITY ZONE PROSPECTUS FOR SLC RELEASED
SLC CIP PROJECTS
DOWNLOADS UPDATED WITH MANY NEW DOWNLOADS
SALT LAKE COUNTY UTA AUGUST CHANGE DAY ROUTE CHANGES


SECRET SUGAR HOUSE PARKING STUDY REVEALED
  The super secret Sugar House and Downtown Parking study has been released.  It is 32MB so I put it in two parts in the TRANSPORTATION DOWNLOADS columns in the upper far right with Recommendations as a separate file.
  The recommendations include "Design, pilot and implement a performance based parking management program"; "Revise the Residential Parking Permit program to better manage spillover parking"; "Coordinate on and off street prices"; revise zoning for parking; create a parking communications plan; require consistent parking information; update meters' system; unify parking system management; and "Coordinate transportation policy decisions across modes to support parking management".
  The main takeaway is that Downtown SLC and Sugar House has enough housing but that information is not available to drivers wanting to park in the area.  The report recommends coordinating between SLC and private sectors to address parking issues (with a parking manager that could be someone like the Downtown Alliance).  The meter technology provider (now changed due to non fulfillment of the original contract - SLC bought the system to keep operating it and recently increased parking fees).  
  There is a good recommendation to modify signage ordinance to require consistent parking information.  Senator Harper tried two years ago to require it to stop onerous towing on parking lots but failed.  A good example of onerous parking surprises is the Vue on 2100 S and Highland which charges a minimum of $10 with telling drivers before they enter the underground parking lot (that SLC paid for - as a loan but the developer paid off to decrease public parking)!  
  The real issue is the fact that SLC/Sugar House used to be a nice walkable area that you could drive to and park in then walk the area for hours.  Now, since the Vue project, the parking lots are limited to 2 hours which discourages walking the area.  It now forces people to drive from stores or restaurants instead of walking.  The good news is that the Park Avenue/University of Utah will allow free unlimited parking after 5 PM (at least proposed now).
  So, thanks to the Administration for releasing the study.

PAY FOR SUCCESS WORKING
  I put the proposal for the Salt Lake County's Pay for Success Program presentation in the HOMELESS/CRIME/JAIL downloads.  The program was generated with $11.7 million in private capitol and the County will provide $11.5 million to the private lenders if the program reaches the agreed upon outcome.  So far, the program is succeeding.   The program is managed by a community foundation and tested/studied/analyzed by the Sorenson Impact Center.  All performance metrics have been met.  The program focuses on rapid rehousing (of 315 persistently homeless) individuals that have a large number of arrests.  The REACH program focuses on decreasing recidivism first on 225 high risk criminals with a large number of arrests.  Both the housing and REACH programs passed pilot projects.  All performance metrics have been met.  The program has also provided nonchronic housing needs.  This program is the only project like it in the United States.  (If you want to listen to the presentation, it is on the June 25 Salt Lake County Committee of the Whole meeting at about 44 minutes.)
  The systems show how rapid rehousing works.  In some cases the program has roommates that essentially is shared housing.  There have been 22 roommate pairings and they have provided a lot of learning and developing of tools.  They provide mental health assessments and the recent Medicaid expansions have helped provide some of the assessments and treatments.  The program has 115 permanent supportive housing online now.  They try to only focus on high risk individuals.  Therapies target the needs that include showing how to have fun without drugs by socializing with friend and families.  But substance abuse is just one of the needs of these individuals.
  The effectiveness of a case manager that helped provide help for housing and employment was important.  A problem at work can create a rapid reversion for an individual and the case manager that intercede to keep the person in work and in housing.  The program also provides for renters insurance that landlords are starting to require.  The flexible funding has been helpful.
  Other programs that have been helpful include the Bicycle Collective (helps provide bicycles for individuals in the program), and affordable housing tax credits (for 2 projects) and First Step House (which is provide 2 of the supportive housing and 115 units).  Also the Sorenson Impact Center quality checks have helped ensure that quality drives the efforts.
  The data shows that the program has about a 50% cut in arrests and increased housing.  There is a chance that the lower arrest/incarceration rate could be from interceding of the program to stop jailing of an individual that was in the program and return them to the program instead of going to jail.  The program does not give up on an individual.
  This is a good program but the funding has come from the County's jail bond program ($9.4 million) that was repurposed to Pay for Success, despite the significant need for more jail space to provide the stick to work with the carrot of treatment and vigorous case management.

OPPORTUNITY ZONE PROSPECTUS FOR SLC RELEASED
 The Economic Development Department of Salt Lake City has prepared a Prospectus for potential interested parties to invest in the 8 Salt Lake City areas that are Opportunity Zones that allow investors to decrease capitol gains taxes (Millcreek has an area that is shared by Salt Lake City.)  The City is focusing on life sciences industry since Salt Lake City area is number 26 out of 383 life science clusters in the Country (Salt Lake City is rated number 4 in STEM careers.)
  The Granary District is considered by the Economic Development Director to have the best potential for development.  It includes the Fleet Block and the Sears Block and goes to 900 South.  I put the Prospectus in the Downloads Salt Lake City area.

SLC CIP PROJECTS
  The CIP list of Mayor's recommendations has been released and is in two parts in the downloads section.  The Facilities Index, part of the CIP presentation is separated out of the PDF to allow easy download.  The CIP minimized version has everything else including the GOLF, RDA, and unfunded projects.
  The recommendations includes providing for $730,000 for the Liberty Park Seven Canyons Fountain Redevelopment.  $850,000 was asked for.  But the City is also suggesting giving $127,000 to help the Redevelopment.
  The Pioneer Park Playground Replacement recommendation was $246,000 instead of the $400,000. But Pioneer Park is getting $3.4 million from the downtown park proposal that the City is giving up on trying to construct. 
  About a million is budgeted for transit infrastructure for bus stop creation and improvements, transit signal upgrades and first/last mile enhancements.
  The Council notes indicate that there may be questions on Projects #5 (full mayoral funding recommendation) and #41 (no mayoral funding recommendation) –McClelland Trail Improvements – The Council may wish to ask the Administration for an update on plans to implement the southern portion of the McClelland Trail from Fairmont Park to Brickyard/3300 South. The Council may also wish to discuss how to prioritize funding for improvements to the existing trail or implementing the southern portion of the trail. The Council approved slightly over $1 million in 2014 and another $203,000 in 2016 for implementing the McClelland Trail from 900 South to Fairmont Park.
  The Hidden Hollow Natural Area Waterwise Enhancements project is recommended to get $419,000 for:
The project scope includes: *Replace failing irrigation system in Hidden Hollow to support central lawn areas, native planting beds (including native gardens in NE corner), tree plantings, and habitat demonstration areas, and replace native turf and shrubs killed from lack of water. *Remove invasive trees creating hiding places for transient camps. *Complete the trail lighting project started in 2016, by installing remaining light bollards on south trail alignment. *Replace power hookup to amphitheater for Hidden Hollow concerts and events. *Refurbish damaged stone monuments and interpretive plaques.
*Replace destroyed drinking fountain and damaged benches.
*Refurbish boardwalk on north side trail. Replace native grasses and landscape plants in central meadow areas and habitat demonstration areas following irrigation
system replacement.
  The McClelland Trail and Neighborhood Street Livability Improvements project is recommended for $349,500 for:
Local residents and business owners have two desired project outcomes, based on many hours of outreach, petitioning, and collecting letters of support: (1) increase the livability near homes and businesses by slowing automobile traffic to below 25 mph, the maximum ideal design speed; and (2) improve the comfort of the six at grade McClelland Trail crossings in the neighborhood. Motorists on many of the six avenues from Harrison to Bryan, inclusive, between 1100 East and 1300 East, drive at speeds that are excessive for the residential nature of the area (35 mph is typical in some of these 25 mph zones). The recent McClelland Trail improvements, which created a comfortable trail experience between avenues, did not address high east‐west vehicular speeds. As a recent amenity, the trail compounds the need for improved roadway crossings, which are currently perceived as comfortable extensions of the trail, but do not function as such. Support for this project is found in
the Jordan and Salt Lake Canal (McClelland) Trail Implementation Plan. This section of the trail would cross seven east‐west cross streets [including Milton, if the trail had continued north‐south] in mid‐block locations. This may necessitate mid‐block crossings which increase driver awareness of the trail and its users. Options could include raised crosswalks, neckdowns, or bulbouts that also calms traffic (p. 27‐28).At each loca
􀆟on where the trail intersects with cross streets, Salt Lake City may want to consider crossing enhancements to increase trail visibility and calm traffic on the streets (p. 44). Roadway design dictates transportation behavior more than any other (less effective) intervention, such as signing, speed feedback signs, or enforcement. The six avenues differ in width: either 29 (Roosevelt), 35 (Emerson, Kensington), or 39 (Harrison, Browning, Bryan) feet wide (curb to curb). Relatively narrow avenues like Roosevelt only need an improved trail crossing, while Harrison, Browning, or Bryan will likely need more changes. The City will implement context‐appropriate interventions in order to achieve the desired results. The overall goal is a low design and user speed on all six avenues. The project elements will be chosen based on community feedback (trade‐offs, constraints, opportunities), pop‐up test periods in 2020, and data collection, and will be located where the maximum return on investment can be realized without redesigning the entire two‐block length of each avenue.  Project funding will be used to analyze existing conditions and green infrastructure feasibility; perform community engagement (including a pop‐up test period); and design, prepare construction documents for, and implement the right‐of‐way elements that will lower motor vehicle speeds and improve comfort for all users of the six avenues and the McClelland Trail.
  The 1100 East Curb and Gutter project around Hollywood Ave. will remove a park strip tree and:
This project includes removal and replacement of the post office drive approach and 1000 linear feet of curb and gutter, asphalt tie‐ins, and possible removal and
replacement of a park strip tree.  This project was postponed to allow the 1300 East road reconstruction project to move further along before the 1100 East project starts.
  The Liberty Park Maintenance Yard will be paved with $193,000.
  Sugar House West Neighborhood 600 East Traffic Calming project is recommended to get $150,000 for:
The funding requested will be used to develop and implement two projects: 1) a neighborhood‐wide traffic calming plan to address vehicle speeding and excessive cut‐through issues in the West Sugar House neighborhood, and 2) improvements to the successful 600 East Neighborhood Byway.  The goal of the neighborhood‐wide traffic calming plan is to increase the livability in the West Sugar House neighborhood by slowing traffic and installing neighborhood gateway and identity features. Slowing traffic will be achieved using traffic calming measures, designed to fit seamlessly into the existing local roadway network. Reducing the speed of motorists will allow residents to more comfortably walk and bicycle around their neighborhood, to local shops and restaurants, and to the nearby S Line. In addition, lower vehicle travel speeds can lead to safer neighborhood roadways as they decrease the stopping distance of motorists and drastically increase the survival rate in the instance of a crash.  The neighbors have been working together as a group to draft a traffic calming plan. They understand that due to their location, cut‐through traffic uses local roads to
avoid the congestion on 700 E, 2100 S, and 2700 S. The residents know that not all traffic can be eliminated, rather they would like to curb the negative impacts of vehicles speeding through their neighborhood and in turn increase the livability of West Sugar House. Implementing traffic calming measures and neighborhood gateway and identity features would be an effective means to increasing the livability in West Sugar House. The second project is to improve the 600 East Neighborhood Byway though minor changes that would better accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians. The 600 East
Neighborhood Byway is a successful bicycle and pedestrian‐prioritized travelway from 2700 South to South Temple. As the City's first neighborhood byway, it has been a success and seen strong usage from bicyclists and pedestrians. The City has continued to monitor the effects of the 600 East Neighborhood Byway project and has identified areas where minor changes could significantly improve the usability. In addition, users have provided comment to the City on areas where minor changes would make walking and riding a bicycle more comfortable and convenient. Implementing minor changes to the 600 East Neighborhood Byway would complement the City's ongoing efforts to maintain a safe and efficient transportation network.

  Projects not recommended include:
 the Re-purposing the old #3 Fire Station for relocation of the maintenance shop.  "Design and construct renovations on Fire Station #3 roof, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, parking lot and landscaping. Create break room, office space, male and female restrooms, locker rooms, showers and crew rooms for Sugarhouse Business District Maintenance Crews, Fairmont Park Maintenance Crews, Supervisors and Managers. Bring building up to meet Fire, Seismic,ADA, Energy and any other building or safety codes necessary.
  The maintenance shop also asked for $5,304,000 for a new maintenance shop.
  The McClelland Shared Street Phase 2a Improvements for $500,000 was not recommended (2100 S. to Sugarmont Ave): Following nearly two years of public and business engagement, the City, property owners, and community organizations have agreed that the most effective way to achieve many of the economic, safety, and livability goals of McClelland Street is to convert it from a traditional roadway to a shared street. Motorists will be driving slower, increasing exposure to businesses on the corridor. A calm shopping and living environment, and a gateway to Fairmont Park, are unique. McClelland Street, from 2100 South (Monument Plaza) to Sugarmont Avenue (Fairmont Park), is an ideal setting for a calm street where all users are equal. This project enables the McClelland Trail to continue, from where it currently ends north of 2100 South (Phase 1, 2016) into Fairmont Park and points south (Phase 3). Elements of this project (Phase 2a) may include special paving, lighting, bicycle parking, green infrastructure and bioswales, landscaping, a more distinctive pedestrian space, public art, benches, and outdoor dining. Further proliferation of these elements is Phase 2b. Eventually, the project seeks to rebuild the street as a curbless street where all users share the same space (Phase 2c). As stated in the Sugar House Circulation & Streetscape Amenities Plan (2013), McClelland Street will become a gateway between the Business District, Sugar House Streetcar (S‐Line), and Parley's Trail. The proposed [McClelland] Trail uses McClelland Street as a link between the section of the trail north of 2100 South and the section south of Sugarmont. Since 2016, Salt Lake City's Transportation Division has sought community and stakeholder feedback regarding the design and function of this section of the street and Trail. The City wanted to ensure a balance between community desires, the needs of property owners and managers, and overall Sugar House and City goals for economic and community development, safety, and opportunity. The most common outcome from that outreach was the idea of the shared street. Now is the right time to implement these changes. Opportunities are becoming rarer and more difficult as the core of Sugar House further intensifies. Signal improvements on 2100 South (2019) will facilitate more comfortable crossings by people walking and bicycling, expanding their reach and safety within the neighborhood. Fairmont Park improvements, coupled with this project, will enhance the vitality and cohesion of the park. Creating a more accessible, freer, and more flexible public street space will also encourage people to walk and bicycle more, reducing the need for parking and roadway widening as well as increasing the accessibility of the S‐Line Streetcar and the Parley's Trail. Transforming McClelland Street into a place , rather than just a road, with bustling businesses and residences lining its edges, will afford residents, visitors, and others opportunities to shop, socialize, and enjoy their daily activities in a calm, beautiful, and comfortable env....
  Providing sidewalks on 3000 South from Highland to 1500 East for $343,000 was not recommended.
  Other issues include the information that a bond will be paid off in two years that will provide $5.5 million for CIP but Erin Mendenhall seemed to be interested in another bond (she has wanted parks bonds, bonds for streetcar extensions and more spending by the City).  She specifically asked if another bond can be created from the $5.5 saved.  She was told now is a good time to bond but it might change in a year.
  Another two items on transit were discussed during CIP presentations.  Route 9 will stop at 4th South on Redwood Rd instead of N. Temple due to asbestos at Rocky Mountain Power plant parking lot.   And Andrew Johnston asked if the HIVE pass could go lower after the study on fares is completed.  It could and should.

DOWNLOADS UPDATED WITH MANY NEW DOWNLOADS
  There were a lot of recent releases of information during the last week.  They include the new CIP recommendations, the SLC Facilities Index (part of the CIP presentation), SLC Business Survey, the Restaurant TSA area (North Temple generally) Drive Through Ordinance, the new draft Downtown Plan, the new 27th South Cottages Plan for 900 East (southwest corner that the Sugar House Community Council supports), the SLC Council Social Media Policy (Aaron Jones has filed a lawsuit against the policy that deleted his postings on their social media sites.  The Council has closed sessions to discuss the lawsuit but it appears that they will start over and allow all postings unless they don't follow the new policy - IAW new lawsuit in New York City.), the Alliance House proposal to reconstruct a motel to a real supported housing project (that the Ballpark Community Council supports), and the super secret for 4 years Sugar House and Downtown Parking Study (see above).  If you are interested, download the appropriate/interesting document.

SALT LAKE COUNTY UTA AUGUST CHANGE DAY ROUTE CHANGES
  UTA has released their new routes for August Change Day.  One of the most quetionable route changes is removing Route 500 and using Route 200/State Street to service the Capitol.  UTA is combining one of the most popular routes with one of the least popular routes (average of one rider per bus although rush hour from FrontRunner is standing room only).  That is a great way to discourage ridership, I think.  
  The other big change is the increase of service for Route 21, 2 and 9 which will increase frequency to 15 minutes until 7 PM and add service to midnight every 30 minutes.  It is too bad that the north south routes don't go to midnight.  Bus routes need a full service system that functions in all directions, not just in one direction.  The route changes are:
Route 2
In partnership with Salt Lake City’s Funding our Future program, UTA proposes to have route 2 come more often, run earlier and later, and run on Sundays. On weekdays and Saturdays, service would operate every 15 min from 6 am to 7 pm, as well as every 30 min from 5 am to 6 am and 7 pm to midnight. On Sundays, service would run every 30 min from 7 am to 7 pm.
The University of Utah previously requested that all bus routes be relocated from the University Hospital loop. As part of a collaborative process, U of U Health Sciences and UTA have agreed that routes 2, 6, and 11 will continue serving the University Hospital loop. Other routes in the area will access the Hospital from the bus stops adjacent to Medical Center TRAX Station on Mario Capecchi Dr.
In conjunction with UTA’s proposal for route 220, riders would see more frequent service on 200 South between Salt Lake Central Station and University St. Buses would arrive every 7.5 minutes on weekdays between 6 am and 7 pm, and every 15 minutes weekdays between 7 pm and 10 pm. On Saturdays, buses would come every 7–15 minutes between 6 am and 7 pm along this stretch of 200 South. On Sundays, buses would arrive every 15–30 minutes between 7 am and 7 pm.
Of the two routes, route 2 would maintain the best connection to FrontRunner at Salt Lake Central Station.

Route 2X
In response to a request from the University of Utah, route 2X would no longer service the entrance to the University of Utah Hospital. Access to the university hospitals and clinics would be available at bus stops along Mario Capecchi Dr.

Route 3
The western end of route 3 would move from Salt Lake Central Station to North Temple Station. This would provide better connections to both southbound and northbound FrontRunner trains. The 3 would continue to service 3rd Avenue, the University of Utah, VA Hospital, Research Park, and This is the Place. Route 3 would be the primary connection from FrontRunner to Research Park with the discontinuation of route 228.

Route 4
The new route 4 would partially replace service currently provided by routes 228 and 516. The eastern terminal would be at 3900 South and Wasatch Blvd. The 4 would then travel north along Wasatch Blvd, Foothill Dr, 400 South, 200 South, and back to 400 S before ending at Redwood Road. The objective of this route is to enhance east–west connectivity between the University of Utah, downtown Salt Lake, and the airport. On the eastern end, route 4 is designed to connect with routes 33, 39, and 45.
On weekdays, service would operate every 30 minutes from 6 am to 7 pm, and every 60 minutes from 5 am to 6 am and 7 pm to 9 pm. On weekends, the 4 would run every 60 minutes from 7 am to 7 pm. This would introduce new weekend service on Foothill Dr.

Route 6
The western end of route 6 would move from North Temple Station to Salt Lake Central Station. The route would no longer service North Temple. From 2nd Avenue, it would service State Street and 200 South.
The University of Utah previously requested that all bus routes be relocated from the University Hospital loop. As part of a collaborative process, U of U Health Sciences and UTA have agreed that routes 2, 6, and 11 will continue serving the University Hospital loop. Other routes in the area will access the Hospital from the bus stops adjacent to Medical Center TRAX Station on Mario Capecchi Dr.

Route 9
In partnership with Salt Lake City’s Funding our Future program, UTA proposes to have route 9 come more often, run earlier and later, and run on weekends. On weekdays and Saturdays, service would operate every 15 min from 6 am to 7 pm, as well as every 30 min from 5 am to 6 am and 7 pm to midnight. On Sundays, service would run every 30 min from 7 am to 7 pm.
The 9 would replace the service that route 516 provides within the Glendale and Poplar Grove communities. The route’s western end would be located at 400 S and Redwood Road. On the eastern end, the route would travel along South Campus Drive and Mario Capecchi Drive, before ending at the University of Utah Union Building.

Route 11
The University of Utah previously requested that all bus routes be relocated from the University Hospital loop. As part of a collaborative process, U of U Health Sciences and UTA have agreed that routes 2, 6, and 11 will continue serving the University Hospital loop. Other routes in the area will access the Hospital from the bus stops adjacent to Medical Center TRAX Station on Mario Capecchi Dr.

Route 17
Route 17 would shift from Main St to 300 West between 1700 South and 2100 South. On the eastern end of the route, the 17 would be extended to the Union Building at the University of Utah.

Route 21
In partnership with Salt Lake City’s Funding our Future program, UTA proposes to have route 21 come more often, as well as run earlier and later. On weekdays and Saturdays, service would operate every 15 min from 6 am to 7 pm, as well as every 30 min from 5 am to 6 am and 7 pm to midnight. On Sundays, service would run every 30 min from 7 am to 7 pm.

Route 200
Routes 200 and 500 would be consolidated. Route 500 would be discontinued and route 200 would service the State Capitol via Main St, Columbus St, and 500 North. This would provide 15-minute service to Capitol Hill Monday–Friday. The northern end of route 200 would move from Salt Lake Central Station to North Temple Station. Access to Courthouse Station would be made at Bus stops along State Street to make connections with the TRAX Blue, Green, and Red lines.

Route 213
In response to requests from the University of Utah, route 213 would no longer service the entrance to the University of Utah Hospital. Access to the university hospitals and clinics would be available at bus stops along Mario Capecchi Drive.

Route 220
Route 220 would shift from 100 South to 200 South between West Temple and 1300 East. In conjunction with UTA’s proposal for route 2, riders would see more frequent service on 200 South between Salt Lake Central Station and University St. Buses would arrive every 7.5 minutes on weekdays between 6 am and 7 pm, and every 15 minutes weekdays between 7 pm and 10 pm. On Saturdays, buses would come every 7–15 minutes between 6 am and 7 pm along this stretch of 200 South. On Sundays, buses would arrive every 15–30 minutes between 7 am and 7 pm.

Of the two routes, route 2 would maintain the best connection to FrontRunner at Salt Lake Central Station.

Route 223
Route 223 would receive a substantial improvement in frequency. Buses would shift from every 2 hours to every 30 minutes from 6 am to 9am, and 3 pm to 6pm; buses would come every 60 minutes from 9 am to 3 pm, and 6 pm to 9 pm. The northern end of the 223 would also be modified to serve Research Park, university hospitals via Mario Capecchi Drive, and the University of Utah via Central Campus Drive. The route would no longer service 900 South, 1300 East, and South Campus Drive.

Route 228
UTA would discontinue route 228 and replace segments of this route with routes 4, 33, 39, 45, and 223.

Route 313
In response to a request from the University of Utah, route 313 would no longer service the entrance to the University of Utah Hospital. Access to the university hospitals and clinics would be available at bus stops along Mario Capecchi Dr.

Route 354
In response to a request from the University of Utah, route 354 would no longer service the entrance to the University of Utah Hospital. Access to the university hospitals and clinics would be available at bus stops along Mario Capecchi Dr.

Route 500
UTA would discontinue route 500 and replace it with route 200. Capitol Hill would receive 15-minute service Monday–Saturday and 30-minute service on Sundays.

Route 516
UTA would discontinue route 516 and replace it with routes 4 and 9. Route 4 would operate at a similar level of service to route 516; route 9 would operate every 15 minutes Monday–Saturday and every 30 minutes on Sundays.

Route 551
Additional trips would be added on route 551, including during early weekday mornings and weekends, to meet the needs of sponsoring businesses.

 

JULY 5, 2019
SLC NEW PARKING PROPOSAL GOOD AND BAD
27TH SOUTH 900 EAST 26 PARKING SPOTS FOR 34 UNITS
SLC MAYORAL DEBATES
MILLCREEK INTERESTED IN HIGHLAND DR ROAD DIET
FAIRMONT PARK TENNIS COURTS QUESTION AGAIN
SLC COUNCIL ALLOWS ROAD HOME HOUSING SERVICES TO STAY
SLC MAYOR CANDIDATE JIM DABAKIS UNEDITED STATEMENT
SLC MAYOR CANDIDATE STAN PENFOLD UNEDITED STATEMENT


SLC NEW PARKING PROPOSAL GOOD AND BAD
  SLC Planning is taking comments on a new parking proposal and is already changing the proposal based on comments received.  That is proof that the City Planning Department IS listening to citizens.  The City expects to take the proposal to the Planning Commission in August.  To comment on the plans, email eric.daems@slcgov.com.
  Some of my concerns include the plan had allowed abutting on street parking to count but the City agreed and has removed allowing on street parking to count for the off street requirements.  The City will also consider defining a mass transit station to make it clear that it is supposed to be for rail, not bus.  Otherwise a high frequency bus route similar to 900 East or 900 South could throw out the minimums for retail and office space.
  The City is removing some of the credits for decreasing on site parking but near rail on 400 South, Main Street and North Temple, the City is proposing removing on site parking minimums for retail and office space!  That area is called Transit Centered.  For residential development within a quarter mile of a fixed transit station, parking requirements are reduced 50% (to 1 from 2 per unit)!  Studios have no minimum parking requirements.  Unfortunately, this area will include a lot of single family areas that may already be zoned for higher density but residents may want to not have the increased density result in overwhelming parking in their neighborhoods.
  Another area is called Neighborhood Center which is similar to 9th and 9th which cuts retail and office on site parking at least 50%!  That area had a big meeting of concerned residents and businesses in the area last month that expressed hope that before any new parking requirement reductions happen for the 9th and 9th area, the City would ask the community first.  A recent questionnaire in the community indicated that parking was the most important issue.  Reducing parking requirements in the 9th and 9th is not a good idea.  The area sued a couple of years ago when a development had less parking than what the community thought was needed.  Most businesses in the area have developed regular shoppers that drive to the area to frequent the businesses.  They want the parking.  The nearby residents do not like the overflow parking from the nearby businesses that overwhelms the residential areas.  
  The General area is generally for the residential areas and parking requirements essentially stays the same.  The parking requirements for a 2 bedroom residence is lowered to 1.5 from 2 parking spots and the parking for a one bedroom is increased from one to 1.25 spots.
  The fourth area is the Urban Center which is essentially like Sugar House Business District.  Parking requirements for Urban Center is cut to 1 per thousand square feet for office and retail from 3/1000 Sq ft for office and 2/1000 Sq ft for retail!  Restaurant on site parking requirements stay at 2/1000 Sq ft.  That significant reduction in office and retail on site parking minimums is a serious reduction and is a concern for businesses and residents.  The City will consider modifying the parking requirements for that area and also more clearly define the requirements and if the rail line will affect the parking requirements.  The City needs to be clear if the new parking standards will override the Streetcar Corridor Zoning that was passed a few years ago.  
  Another concern was the new parking proposal is happening before the full 32MB Sugar House and Downtown Parking Study is publicly available.  The City is working on that issue.  Also, before the Vue on 2100 S. and Highland was built and implemented $10 minimum parking (for the one level of public parking that the SLC RDA provided a $6.7 million loan to the developer for), visitors could park in one spot, use the library for a few hours, browse Barnes and Noble for a few hours and walk the community and use restaurants for a few hours without changing parking spots.  That is impossible now with the 2 hour limits that the parking limitations created.  If anyone needs proof that there is a lack of parking in Sugar House, that is the proof.  There is a 2 hour limit on most parking lots!
  Interestingly, the Huntsman/UofU Medical Center on the old Shopko site (called Park Avenue) will have free parking after 5 PM.  Other interesting points of the proposals are buildings built before 1944 will have no increase in parking requirements, even if they change their use.  Two wheeled vehicle parking, including bicycles will not reduce the parking requirements (as it significantly did for the 27th S. and 900 E. project below).  Also ADA requirements are a minimum of one space for a lot with at least four parking stalls and 1/25 stalls after that.  
  The parking proposal offers a 25% reduction in parking if there is a minimum of 10 affordable units plus 25% are for residents with under a 60% AMI.  I feel that fee waivers and inclusionary zoning requirements would be a better incentive to providing mixed income and affordable housing.
  Other concerns that are cropping up include a valet will reduce parking requirements; developer parking studies can change the City's requirements; no parking strip shall be used for parking (but the City is converting some parking strips in the 9th and 9th area to parking); tandem parking can be up to 2 designated for a unit and offsite parking is allowed with a contract between landowners.  The offsite parking can be within 600 feet for the General and Neighborhood Center proposals (Which means a developer in the 9th and 9th could get a contract with Rowland Hall to allow parking on their nearby lot to decrease parking minimums for a project!).  Transit Centers can have offsite parking within 1000 ft and an Urban Center like Sugar House can have offsite parking within 1200 ft!  That means that the underutilized underground parking under Bed Bath and Beyond could lower parking requirements for nearby (within 1200 ft) Sugar House developers!  Note that the underground parking for SLC employees under the Library is within 600 ft of City Hall.   

 

27TH SOUTH 900 EAST 26 PARKING SPOTS FOR 34 UNITS
  Salt Lake City, in the last few years, has tried very hard to ensure that citizens receive information on nearby developments that could impact them and the City has tried hard to encourage public engagement.  The City went door to door regarding the 2700 South reconstruction before deciding on a plan.  The City did the same thing with the 9th and 9th area before they finished the plan to construct the 9 Line through the area.  But parking changed and that created a backlash that the City partially corrected with a parking reduction that was a third of what originally was planned.  The City is trying (see the Tennis Courts issue below).  But...... when the City notified nearby residents about a 32 unit development on the corner of 2700 South and 900 East, with only 27 parking spots onsite, nobody complained.  The project met required parking minimums and nobody complained.  The City did not have to take the project to the local community council (since it met the required zoning requirements) but they did discuss the reasoning with community activists.  The reasoning is:
  "As per the district specific table in 21A.44.030, this project, located in the C-N zone, requires a minimum of 1 parking stall per dwelling unit and 2 stalls are provided for the commercial space, bringing the total required parking to 34 parking stalls.  As per table 21A.44.050.C.3.a, this project was allowed to reduce the minimum number of parking stalls to 75% of the minimum by fulfilling two minor transportation demand management strategies bringing the required parking to 26 stalls.  The two minor TDM strategies included 1) a permanently sheltered, covered and secure facility for bicycle parking inside the parking garage and 2) by making a financial contribution to an approved bicycle sharing program (note that Sugar House is not getting a bike share facility despite community pushing for one at the Fairmont Station).
  In addition to the 27 parking stalls provided, two of them are electric vehicle parking stalls, there are 5 more additional tandem parking stalls provided inside the parking garage and 2 on-street parking stalls provided on 900 East bring the total provided automobile parking to 34 parking stalls.
  Also, access in and out of the parking garage is on 900 east, with the driveway setback 108 feet from 2700 South."
  One of the reasons that SLC Planning is proposing to change the parking ordinance is to get rid of some of these loopholes like on street parking counting for parking minimums and bicycle facilities decreasing parking requirements.  But much needs to be done and more community engagement is needed.  Please comment on the parking issues (see the story above on parking for the email).

 

SLC MAYORAL DEBATES
  There are a couple of important SLC Mayoral debates scheduled in the next couple of weeks.  Ballots go out around July 24th.  Please think about the candidates and vote for whomever you think would be good for Salt Lake City.  The next couple of debates are:  
On July 15th, the Pioneer Park Coalition will host a live debate for the 8 candidates for mayor at 12 pm and should be broadcast live on several local channels.  If you would like to ask the host to ask a question, email adam@pioneerpark.co with the question.  If you would like to attend the debate, send an email to reserve tickets (which may already be fully committed) which are free.

 

On July 16th, many community councils in the east side of Salt Lake City are hosting a mayoral debate and meet and greet.  The location is at Westminster College's Jewett Center for the Performing Arts at 1250 East 1700 South.  The parking is just west of the Center in the parking garage.  There is a little parking just east of the Center but it is usually full early before events.  From 5pm to 6pm, there will be refreshments and a meet the candidates time.  The debate will be from 6pm to 8pm.  The event will be live streamed on Facebook.

 

MILLCREEK INTERESTED IN HIGHLAND DR ROAD DIET
  Millcreek Mayor Jeff Silvistrini indicated that the City is working with Salt Lake City to plan a road diet on Highland Drive to upgrade the thoroughfare and create a more walkable and bikeable street.  The street is used by many vehicles a day but the street is dangerous for bicyclists.  Millcreek is planning almost a thousand new apartments on Highland Drive and a big new (beautiful) plan for a City Center between Highland and 1300 East and around 33rd South.  It will include a 200 foot wide park from 33rd South between 1300 East and Highland Drive going north to Richmond before it turns into 1300 East.  The City is using the million dollars from the County Transportation Fund to work with Salt Lake City on planning the transportation infrastructure upgrade.  The Highland Drive proposal is to have the 4 lanes converted to two lanes with a center turn section.  I prefer only allowing a left hand turn at lights or less often than every block to increase pedestrian and bicycle safety.  I would also like to see wider sidewalks and wider bike lanes.  Many of us have been fighting for safe bike lanes on Richmond Street (1320 East) for over a decade.  I PUT THE RICHMOND BIKE LANES PROPOSAL IN A PDF IN BLUE UNDER THE TRANSPORTATION DOWNLOADS.  Unfortunately, SLC has said for years that they are waiting for federal funds to do it.  I put the proposed Richmond Street bike lanes proposal way down in Transportation downloads since it is 10 years old.  Unfortunately, there have been several new developments that will insist on allowing left hand turns into their projects which will result in safety issues for bicyclists.

 

FAIRMONT PARK TENNIS COURTS QUESTION AGAIN
  Salt Lake City Council, at the request of Councilwoman Amy Fowler, removed the Mayor's request for $20,000 to study putting housing on the tennis courts that the City has refused to fix on the corner of 900 East and Sugarmont Drive.  So the City is now asking the residents what they want.  The City seems to have forgotten the big fight from earlier this decade that happened because the Girls and Boys Club was asked to support a big housing development on the corner in return for a rebuild of the Girls and Boys Club (the first in Utah, with a lease through 2027).  That fight led to the City Council refusing to accept the plan.  Instead of fixing the courts, the City has insisted on letting them go downhill.  And now the City is asking the community what they want.  Again, they do not want housing on the site!  When the City put up a survey, it had 300 responses the first day.  The City did make an effort to go door to door to notify nearby residents about the survey and what to do about the property.  Many have suggested basketball courts.  Nearby residents would prefer a quiet area like a zen garden.  The Girls and Boys Club could use a few more regulation basketball courts and may be interested in managing the courts.  To take the survey, go to www.slc.gov/can for more information and a link to the survey.  You can also email the civicengagementteam@slcgov.com with questions or if you want to be put on the email notification list.  I commend the City for reaching out but the City should have been listening years ago when the community asked to keep the space undeveloped and as a recreation/park facility.

 

SLC COUNCIL ALLOWS ROAD HOME HOUSING SERVICES TO STAY
  The Salt Lake City Council overrode the Mayor's veto of almost all of her vetoes.  The one veto that remained was the Council's original effort to remove the Road Home's funding for housing support services that would have immediately impacted personnel who help homeless find housing.  The Council did essentially stop funding for VOA mental health outreach (which VOA may be able to temporarily help fund) and did override the Mayor's veto of the Council shifting millions of housing funds to RDA.  Although SLC Housing Authority, which administers the funds, believes that they are not impacted on the hope that RDA will approve projects faster than the City, I am not sure.  The big difference is that the SLC RDA Council, which is composed of the SLC Council and Mayor, gives much more power to the Council since the Mayor is only one out of 8 on the Council.  I still have to question the legality of that arrangement but it seems that the Administration will work with the Council on this issue.

 

SLC MAYOR CANDIDATE JIM DABAKIS UNEDITED STATEMENT
KEY POLICY POINTS – JIM DABAKIS
AIR QUALITY:
Without clean air, we are nothing. Air quality is the single biggest quality of life issue affecting Salt Lake City. It affects our health, our economic development, our families, our jobs, our play, and our pocketbooks. It need to be a top priority!
  We must make bold progress in a short period of time. It is time to hold public officials responsible. Cleaning our air will take a village approach – and Salt Lake City leadership must be the leader in bringing together all the other village leaders for BOLD action.
  To tackle this issue, we must first, like an alcoholic, admit we have a problem. That has proved to be a challenging first step for the Utah Legislature. 
  Second, Salt Lake City must set an example by building and producing more zero emissions buildings. 
  Third, we must provide more funding for wood burning stove exchanges. Wood stoves used during inversion periods cause a surprisingly large percentage of the most damaging type of pollution. Exchanging wood-burning stoves is an easy fix.
  Working with UTA and the legislature, we must make UTA free (or very low cost) to encourage ridership. Studies show that when free fares are offered in Utah, there is a 24% increase in ridership.  That means as much as a 24% drop in the number of cars on our roads. That is BIG! Big for everyone's lungs and for the people still using the less-crowded freeways.
  Finally, Salt Lake City and others along the Wasatch Front must work closely and effectively together—and with the Utah Legislature; this problem cannot be solved by Salt Lake City residents alone.
HOMELESSNESS:
On this topic, there is both good news, and some unanswered questions. 
The GOOD news is that there is a unified plan. The major players have united. Over $100 million dollars has been committed with much of it spent. Three major shelters are going to open in the next few months. A resource center on 700 South will open this summer to women. A resource center on Paramount Avenue with beds for men and women will also open this summer. And a resource center in South Salt Lake will open this fall to men. Together, we are fighting to be there for our homeless population.  
  The questions that remain: Is the plan working? Can we keep this broad coalition together? We will begin to answer these questions as the new resource centers open this year. While there is no quick fix to homelessness, as Mayor I will toil to keep everyone working together—our entire community united and moving forward. We must not expect miracles, but we must demand substantial progress. We must be bold in self-correcting and being flexible. 
AFFORDABLE HOUSING:
Our city must remain a place where people from all income levels can live Affordable housing has become a house-on-fire-issue, with house prices in Sugar House rising over 90% since 2012! This affordability is not just confined to Sugar House however– it is pervasive all across the city and must be addressed!
  I am not satisfied with just small, incremental steps on affordable housing. We need all the bold, imaginative, creative ideas that Salt Lake City can provide in order to bring more affordable housing to our neighborhoods. Being sensitive to resident’s concerns, we must continue to encourage development by moving the levers we can control. 
  But the city alone cannot solve this massive statewide problem. A team approach is needed. The city, strong green developers, innovative planners, problem-solving landowners, and the state must come together to solve the problem of keeping our city a place welcome to people of all incomes.
  A balance in housing is a must for great cities! The profile of our city is going to change over the next generation and as our city booms, we must not gentrify to the point where only wealthy people can live here. Salt Lake City must continue to provide a home for all ages, education levels, races, incomes, job skills, and family sizes.  
FIND OUT MORE : https://www.dabakisformayor.com

 

SLC MAYOR CANDIDATE STAN PENFOLD UNEDITED STATEMENT
Stan Penfold is a two-term City Councilman for the Avenues, Capitol Hill, Marmalade, and Guadalupe neighborhoods and he’s running to be your neighborhood mayor.
 
Through his experience in leadership on the City Council, two decades of managing a non-profit, and a foundation in neighborhood activism, Stan has nurtured the relationships necessary to bring people of diverse backgrounds together to achieve common goals. He’s got a plan for Salt Lake City, involving: 
No fare for clean air. Give every Salt Lake resident a no-cost Hive Pass for UTA. 
Planning for a Net-Zero Inland Port that generates its own power.
Accelerating the City’s plan to be powered 100% by renewable energy so we can be carbon free by 2023.
10,000 doors to address affordable housing and using a housing-first model to address homelessness. 
Neighborhood grants to give residents funding to further enhance the character of the place they call home. 
And more… 
 
Stan has the vision, skill, patience, empathy, boldness, and experience to be Salt Lake City's next mayor. To learn more about Stan's Plan, please visit stanformayor.com.

 

JUNE 26, 2019
SLC MAYOR DEBATE WASTED A LOT OF TIME 
27TH SOUTH 900 EAST HEREITAGE LOFTS ALLOWS ONLY 27 PARKING SPOTS FOR 33 MULTI BEDROOM UNITS
SLC MAYOR VETOES MOVING HOUSING MONEY TO RDA
POPLAR GROVE CITIZENS GET APOLOGY FROM SLC 
RAINER HUCK CAMPAIGN STATEMENT


SLC MAYOR DEBATE WASTED A LOT OF TIME 
  There was only a little time in the hour and a half debate hosted by the Alliance for a Better Utah Education Fund and the UofU debate society due to the many candidates.  Affordable housing, homelessness, inland port and economic development were the only topics covered since the host ran out of time to ask about other issues.  
  Stan Penfold, the former City Councilman, pointed out that he is a former chair of a community council and focused on community.  He started a nonprofit to help housing 
needs in SLC.  He also said that he is responsible for the free fare that increased transit ridership 30% for a day and would like to give every SLC citizen a free fare card.  Stan finished off his free fare statement by saying that he made it happen and it was an incredible success!
  The reality is that the free fare is only generating rides on FrontRunner by families wanting to take their kids on a big train.  That discourages long term ridership increases by commuters who find the parking lots full.  Data on the most recent free fare proves that since bus and TRAX ridership had minimal increases while FrontRunner increased over 20%!  
  Rainer Huck sent a questionable substitute who claimed at one point to not be really knowledgeable but kept pushing Rainer's anti tax increase message.  He also suggested that the homeless should all be moved to a remote campus (like NWQ) and kept there.  He also pointed out that the most important issue, police brutality was not covered (which got him applause and a reminder from the moderator to not applaud).  He said that police are killing black men everywhere and now in Salt Lake City!  I put an unedited Rainer Huck campaign statement below.
  Mr. Goldberger, a former journalist who claims to still be one, complained about refugees on the street and the homeless are human garbage and a cancer in our City.  David Ibarra debated that statement and said that there is no such thing as human garbage and this is Salt Lake City (to applause that the moderator reiterated was inappropriate).  Mr. Goldberger countered by saying that that is the perception of "third world people" as in San Francisco which has maps of where to avoid!
  Mr Ibarra explained his significant and successful businesses and the trust that elected officials have given him in his many appointments to advisory boards.  He has a lot of business owners giving him significant contributions that show that they trust him.  He said that he loves this city and walks 45 minutes every night.  He also reiterated his trust in the transportation problems being solved with electric autonomous automobiles.
  Luz Escamilla pointed out her business acumen and efforts at Zions Bank to ensure fair practices in the services for the community.  She also emphasized her successful efforts in the Legislature (she is being endorsed by a Republican Legislator!).  She did point out that she is concerned about the cost to taxpayers in Salt Lake City with some of the suggested transit infrastructure.
  Erin Mendenhall, said that she believes that implementation of the SLC Transit Master Plan, which she was involved in approving, would solve many of the air quality issues.  The SLC Transit Master Plan will cost a billion in local taxpayer funding to build projects like three new rail lines downtown and extending the S-Line up 1100 East to 17th South to 900 East to 4th South!  That is what Senator Escamilla was concerned about.  Erin also said that she was responsible for closing the last coal plant in the Salt Lake Valley!  That is not true.  I checked with DEQ over a year ago and they said that Kennecott stopped burning coal over two years ago and switch one plant to natural gas while closing the other three coal plants.  The final gas burning plant was closed recently due to Rocky Mountain Power offering to provide a cheaper source of power, their own.  Erin also pointed out that she has a proven track record of bringing communities together (except for her efforts to put a homeless shelter on Simpson Avenue in Sugar House).  She emphasized that all parts of the City have to provide increased affordable housing and it shouldn't be limited to a few spots.
  Erin also said that she supported the negotiations with the State on the Inland Port due to the State holding all the cards.  Jim Dabakis agreed but also supported the Mayor's efforts to have the courts decide the issue.  He asked, to great applause and laughter, does the State ever really listen?  Mr. Hauk and Mr. Goldberger said that they would stop the lawsuit.
  David Garbett emphasized his work on improving air quality through the Southern Utah Wilderness Society.  He also has been a director of the Pioneer Park Coalition which successfully got the City Council and State to move the shelter from his dad's investment area.  He also suggested using RDA funds to move the refinery out of Salt Lake City (there are several others just north of there).  I did not think that the Beck Street refinery was in the Marmalade RDA area but I will check.  The cost would be hundreds of millions and it could double the cost of gasoline.
  As usual, Jim Dabakis was able to make his points very well.  He reminds me of a great communicator but I might make people mad by saying he is the Utah equivalent of Ronald Reagan.  
  For a final statement, Mr. Goldberger said "I want your money!"  And so the debate ended.  Jim threw in a final statement about how the moderator was the best he had ever seen.  I have a problem with moderators trying to control public engagement in debates.  Moderators don't like that but it is important to get the audience involvement.  I don't think that applause intimidates anyone unless they are kids.  We are all adults and we should not be intimidated by applause.  Note that the Council complains about applause when I sometimes speak but I feel that they are just being thankful for ending my speaking.

27TH SOUTH 900 EAST HEREITAGE LOFTS ALLOWS ONLY 27 PARKING SPOTS FOR 33 MULTI BEDROOM UNITS
  A semi secret project on 2700 South and 900 East with 32 residential units and 790 Sq ft of commercial retail on the ground floor is starting.  Since the requirements supposedly meet the standards for the CN zone, the local Sugar House Community Council was not allowed to see it.  The property is actually 4 lots and combined into 2 lots and will be 29 ft tall with 27 underground parking stalls.  It looks like parking will continue to be an issue in Salt Lake City.  The real danger is the location on the corner of 2700 South and 900 East.  It is a significant safety issue to have the entrance and exit close to the corner although the car repair shop and cleaners on the property did not have much traffic.  32 units will significantly increase traffic in the area.

  The reason why the local community council was not allowed to review or see the plans (unless they made an appointment with the planners/permit personnel) is the project meets all of the requirements of the CN zoning and parking standards.  This is worse than the 24 parking spots for 28 condos at the former Mutual Beauty Supply building in 9th and 9th that had a lawsuit from the community council due to their concern about inadequate parking.  Note in a recent blog (and in the downloads) the City is further lessening parking requirements next to high frequency bus routes.

   The City says:  "As per the district specific table in 21A.44.030, this project, located in the C-N zone, requires a minimum of 1 parking stall per dwelling unit and 2 stalls are provided for the commercial space, bringing the total required parking to 34 parking stalls.  As per table 21A.44.050.C.3.a, this project was allowed to reduce the minimum number of parking stalls to 75% of the minimum by fulfilling two minor transportation demand management strategies bringing the required parking to 26 stalls.  The two minor TDM strategies included 1) a permanently sheltered, covered and secure facility for bicycle parking inside the parking garage and 2) by making a financial contribution to an approved bicycle sharing program.

  In addition to the 27 parking stalls provided, two of them are electric vehicle parking stalls, there are 5 more additional tandem parking stalls provided inside the parking garage and 2 on-street parking stalls provided on 900 East bring the total provided automobile parking to 34 parking stalls.
  Also, access in and out of the parking garage is on 900 east, with the driveway setback 108 feet from 2700 South." 


SLC MAYOR VETOES MOVING HOUSING MONEY TO RDA
  I agree about Mayor Biskupski's veto against the City Council shifting housing funds to the RDA due to the claim that the SLC RDA, which has an overwhelming Council majority (the Mayor is just one of the 8 members of the RDA Board while the 7 Councilmembers constitute the rest), can provide more control of the funds.  The almost $3 million affected that the Council wanted to go to the RDA and the rest being held up until further Council review is an example of the City Council pushing for more control of the funds than is really allowed (in my opinion).  
  There are several individual issues involved but most involves transferring housing funds to RDA control.  This impacts the SLC housing efforts and could also endanger the effort by SLC to buy the Georgia Apartments that evicted almost 100 low income renters.  The offer has been made but it will depend on SLC providing funds.  In my opinion, SLC RDA, mainly the City Council has been agonizing slow to provide more low income or affordable housing in Salt Lake City.  The RDA owns tens of millions of vacant and crime magnet properties downtown, mainly in the Gateway area, that have been empty for decades.  The SLC RDA removed 50 units of the SRO at 255 S State in 2013 that have never been replaced.  The negotiations on the conversion of the old SLCPD building, the Pipeline Building, into mixed income housing have been going around in circles for 5 plus years.  The efforts by SLC RDA to create a CRA investment area around State Street (the biggest potential for housing in SLC) have been going nowhere for almost 5 years.  Four years ago, Matt Minkovich, the Director of the Road Home, told us that SLC has a need for 7500 low income, affordable housing units.  So now, SLC should be requiring 20,000 housing units.  The City Council has refused to encourage mixed income housing with fee waivers and inclusionary zoning.  The City Council and Mayor have not been able to solve the crime magnet motel problems on State Street and North Temple with two exceptions that took years to get off the ground (through the SLC RDA).  I could make a good argument that when Stan Penfold left the City Council, his knowledge of RDA finances was so great, that the Council, as RDA Board essentially stopped working.
  Before the SLC Council blames the Mayor, they should look at themselves for the housing problem (although all are not blameless).  The veto should stand and the services that rely on the funding for homeless, mental health and other low income services should stay in the hands of the Housing Fund.  The City Council will decide on Friday whether to override the veto with a 5 or more out of the 7 Councilmembers voting.  I put the Mayor's official notice of the veto in the upper right downloads section.

POPLAR GROVE CITIZENS GET APOLOGY FROM SLC 
  In September 2016, T-Mobile installed a Cell Tower at 922 S. Emery Street in Polar Grove.  The tower was 60 ft tall and just a few feet from a Rocky Mountain Power pole that was 50 ft tall.  Almost immediately, nearby citizens started complaining about the illegal new pole.  Their complaints and recent City Council discussion reached a low point this month with accusations about some City employees being untruthful and evil in their work.  I disagreed with that assessment and told the community activists that it seemed that the City may have made a mistake but did not do it intentionally.  Earlier this week, Patrick Leary, the Mayor's Chief of Staff sent Michael Clara, one of the community leaders and a former School Board member a letter that explained the City's mistakes and apologized for them.  Essentially, the letter pointed out that the original inspector of the construction made a mistake by saying that the installation of the new pole was "compliant".  That started to mushroom through individual layers of the City bureaucracy that thought everything involved was done legally.  But as Mr. Leary's letter pointed out, the pole was supposed to replace the nearby 50 ft pole and it took several years to recognize that mistake. 
  Mr. Leary's apology is below along with his summary of the situation.  I must emphasize again that I know the individuals involved and all are professional and hard working who care about doing right as public servants.  The issue came down to several mistakes that created more problems and made it more difficult for the City to find a solution that was fair and legal for T-Mobile and the citizens.  I put the full letter, the new antenna fact sheet complaint, the City Council report on the issue and the new cell tower and franchchise agreements in the upper right SLC Downloads section.  Credit should be given to Michael Clara and other community leaders for pushing for a solution to this problem.  Again, it shows that citizens can make a difference by speaking up.
  This is Mr. Leary's letter (who I respect for trying to explain and apologize for the City's mistakes):
"The work under the building permit was inspected and closed in March 2017. It appears that the permit inspector focused on the installation of the electric conduit and equipment installed on the adjacent private property, and not on the new utility pole or size of the antenna. As the electrical conduit and equipment was installed pursuant to the permit, the inspector closed the permit mistakenly signaling in the computer program that the installation was compliant. Consistent with our standard operating procedures, the information entered was subsequently utilized by other city staff in decision-making and in responding to community inquiries........
At the time of the application, the zoning code permitted an antenna to be installed on a new or existing utility pole in the public way. Instead of replacing the 50' pole, RMP installed a new 60' utility pole about 20' away from the original 50' pole. RMP has a Franchise Agreement with the City that allows RMP to install new and replacement utility poles. Utility poles are a permitted use in all zoning districts and are exempted from all other zoning regulations pursuant to City Code Section 21A.02.050. The City made an additional mistake here by not identifying the fact that the 60' utility pole was meant to be a replacement utility pole under the permit application and the antenna would not be allowed on a new utility pole under the zoning code......
I sincerely apologize for the frustration caused by this drawn out process and for the inaccurate information that has been provided along the way. In an effort to be responsive and helpful, City staff provided information to address inquiries, but did not always have the correct information. These responses were offered in good faith, and there was no intent to deceive you or the public, nor to act unethically, nor to camouflage corruption. It is unfortunate when every comment made by our public servants is taken out of context, assumed to be nefarious, and the personal character of individuals are maligned. We recognize that it also frustrating when City staff doesn't get a process right. Concerns need to be addressed in a civil manner in order to facilitate productive outcomes. In this situation the City has made mistakes and those mistakes have been corrected through lawful processes."

RAINER HUCK CAMPAIGN STATEMENT
  This is Mr. Huck's campaign statement:
My campaign is focusing on issues that affect the working people of Salt Lake City.  Government over regulation, over taxation, and over policing are making life more difficult rather than better.    The ever popular annual cleanup has been turned in to a bureaucratic mess and is now practically useless.    Sales taxes, which disproportionately punish our poorest citizens, were raised to hire 50 more police at a time when crime is down 25% in the last 3 years.   The latest budget is up an additional 10% and seeks to hire even more police.   Most of police activities are in pursuit of "victimless crimes" or crimes against the state rather than crimes against people.  The way we treat people in the Salt Lake County Jail is an affront to any civilized society.  This needs to change.     The current administration seeks to more than double water/sewer rates in the next few years, further contributing to the browning of our city each summer as residents cannot afford to water their lawns.   Few people realize that city water rates have increased 10,000% in the past 50 years.      This is nearly ten times the rate of inflation over the same period.    In addition the new airport construction is horribly mismanaged, with the cost more than doubling from 1.8 Billion (which was a lot already), to over 3.8 billion now with no end in sight.   In addition, the unnecessary demolition of the beautiful parking structure and the existing terminals will be an environmental nightmare.   
Salt Lake City charges the highest permit fee in the state for roof top solar installation, at $1,000.   It is wrong for a government supposedly dedicated to environmental improvement to impede this important work by taxing it.     There should be no permit fee for solar.  
I will build a big, beautiful homeless campus where these people can live in dignity with all services being provided until they can return to society.   The current system which expels people to the streets at 6 am is inhumane and badly needs to change.  
Perhaps the biggest problem is militarization of our police which has resulted in a wave of shootings of unarmed civilians.    Our police have evolved from protectors to predators.    They are now shooting more people than the criminals.  This cannot be tolerated in a civilized society.  I would eliminate the SWAT gangs (that usually escalate situations often needlessly ending in death), undercover police, and VICE squads.    Again, these secret police organizations cause far harm to constitutional civil liberties that any benefits provided and should not be tolerated in a democratic society.   We need fewer police but police of higher quality and higher pay.   
I would build a beautiful new Salt Lake City Jail that will treat our people, who have been accused but not convicted of any crime, with dignity.    The current jail is more like a gulag than a facility for holding the accused waiting for trial.    Many of the inmates are incarcerated because they cannot pay bail, and for that they’re subjected to inhuman conditions.   
The problems clean air, parking, and transit will all be solved by the coming of the Driverless Electric Car Revolution.    Think of an Uber or Lyft service but without the drivers and therefore much more efficient and much less expensive.     Everyone can be picked up at their home and delivered directly to their destination without having to wait at a bus station or drive to TRAX.  They won’t have to find their way from the station to work because these cars will deliver them directly to their destination.      It is difficult for me to overstate the positive impact this will have on our quality of life.    We need to have a Mayor that recognizes and embraces this future.

 

 

 

 

JUNE 24, 2019
CAPITOL HILL MAYOR SPEED DATING SUCCESSFULLY ENGAGES CITIZENS
DAVID IBARRA CANDIDACY INFORMATION


CAPITOL HILL MAYOR SPEED DATING SUCCESSFULLY ENGAGES CITIZENS
  During last Wednesday's Capitol Hill Community Council meeting at the Marmalade Library, the community leaders set up a speed dating format where all of the candidates would sit at a table and the attendees would surround the tables and candidates for about 10 minutes before they would move to another candidate's table.  That seemed to be a great way for attendees to get a great feel for the candidates.  
  The evening started out with an introduction by each candidate then they answered an important question (like what would you give as a gift and to whom).  Stan Penfold, the former City Councilman that represented the area, did mention, all too briefly, the Library that he had a big part in creating.  During the Council plans, he pushed the effort to construct the Marmalade Library so much that it was built without funding for employees!  He said that the money would be found.  He was right.
  Senator Luz Escamilla pointed out that she was always against the Inland Port (compared to Jim Dabakis and Erin Mendenhall) and that she had been very effective in the Legislature with more than 50 bills passed.  Jim Dabakis was able to get one bill through, a carbon monoxide detection system requirement for every school. 
  Despite the big turnout of around a 100, about the same as the debate by the Cycling Association earlier this month.  (note Phil Sarnoff is leaving the State - He has been a great advocate for cycling in Utah.)  Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall did not attend this meeting.
  David Ibarra impressed many with his background of executive and managerial positions and his efforts to help the community with educational scholarships and leadership.  I did find his enthusiasm for automated electric vehicles a big much.  I have seen him use that as a solution when asked about transit several times and as an answer to a question about parking.  His background does seem to garner support from businessmen.
  Rainer Huck pushed his concerns about tax increases (6 last year including sales tax for offsetting prison, sales tax for SB136/transit, streets bond, water, sewer and storm water).  Some candidates have suggested a parks bond, and several more bonds for the $500 million in transit projects that some want for Salt Lake City.  Rainer had very few attendees asking him questions.
  Richard Goldberger also had very few surrounding his table.  Although they may have good intentions and questions for debates, it seems that these two would be actually encouraging a backlash against their efforts unless they can step up their message.
  David Garbett emphasized his efforts to protect the environment and against the Inland Port.  He has worked for the Southern Utah Wilderness.  His last few years have been spent at the Pioneer Park Coalition which may hurt him since many outside of the downtown area blame the PPC for pushing for Operation Rio Grande which disseminated the homeless around the City.  SLCO Police Chiefs call it Operation Leaf Blower.
  Jim Dabakis was there and as usual was able to effectively communicate his ideas.  It is a shame that he isn't more focused on Utah issues regarding the Democratic Party, which needs a better communicator leading them.  Although Ben McAdams is still thinking of running for Governor next year, issues that keep coming up deserve more discussion and the Democratic Party has not been heard lately.
  Luz Escamilla also had a lot of attendees surrounding her table.  She (and David Garbett) was against the Inland Port from the start.  It is ironic that as soon as SLC settled on a plan for the area, after much study, the Legislature pulled it away, stole the property and took a lot of tax revenue with it.  Jim Dabakis and Erin Mendenhall both helped facilitate the land and revenue grab but have lately claimed that it was wrong.   Both led the effort to agree with the Legislature!
  Stan Penfold and Erin Mendenhall both have enough experience at the City level to hit the ground running.  Senator Escamilla has the respect of Republicans and Democrats and the present Mayor.  David Ibarra has the business background and the many appointments from Governors to manage the City.  In my mind, these are the strongest Mayor candidates so far.
  The next debate is Wednesday at the Main Library at 630PM with the Alliance for a Better Utah and the UofU Debate Society hosting it.

DAVID IBARRA CANDIDACY INFORMATION
  This information is from David Ibarra's campaign:
David is the son of a Mexican immigrant farm worker. David and his brother Mickey spent nearly the first 14 years of their lives in the Utah foster care system. David started his first business at age 28.  David’s business background spans highly successful careers in the hospitality, automotive, and the self-improvement industries.  Through David’s foundation he has assisted 89 students to obtain a college education.  Because of the challenges David faced, he gained a passion for compassion, inclusion and fairness for all members of our community.  David is leader ready now and ready to serve SLC.

 

 


JUNE 19, 2019
SLC OFFERS TO BUY GEORGIA APARTMENTS 
CAPITOL MOTEL PROJECT WITH MIXED INCOME PROPOSAL
RDA EXCITED ABOUT GIVING $10 MILLION TO 255 S STATE PROJECT 
SLC PLANNING COMM. APPROVES SUGAR HOUSE MINI SIDEWALKS
SLC SUGGESTS CUTTING PARKING REQUIREMENTS NEAR BUS ROUTES
SLC ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SUPERHERO LEAVING
KILLER RELEASED ON OWN RECOGNIZANCE THEN REARRESTED
UTA CLAIMS FIRST PRIORITY SERVICE BUT WILL WAIT
IS SNOWBIRD STILL OPEN FOR SKIIING!!!!!!!!??? 
WILL PARKING ON 500 E BE REMOVED? PLEASE COMMENT TO SLC
COUNCIL ASKS POLICE TO NOT PATROL PARKS IN REGULAR UNIFORMS
LIBERTY WELLS LOOSING COMMUNITY HERO
MARMALADE LIBRARY SPEED DATING MAYORAL DEBATE JULY 19
UTA DOES NOT OWN SOME OF THEIR 700 BUS STOPS
LIBRARY BICYCLE PARKING MACHINE PROBLEMS

SLC OFFERS TO BUY GEORGIA APARTMENTS 
  SLC Housing Authority has made an offer to buy the Georgia Apartments that the City closed earlier due to fire safety issues.  The plan, if the City provides funding, is to clean it up and provide mixed income rentals.  They would also add units.  SLCHA has had a relatively good reputation on providing and managing affordable housing.

CAPITOL MOTEL PROJECT WITH MIXED INCOME PROPOSAL
  SLC Housing Authority has has finalized plans for the 1700 South State Street Capitol Motel property that will become the Capitol Homes and Apartments.  There will be 93 units on the property (along with two adjacent properties added to the development) and 31 units will be required to be market rate.  The plan is to have a 4 story building with some micro units of 357 Sq ft and 11 units of 0-30% AMI available and the rest 30-50% AMI.  All tenants will be screened and an on site manager will be managing the property for the Housing Authority.  One crime magnet motel down and 20 to go.

RDA EXCITED ABOUT GIVING $5 MILLION TO 255 S STATE
  SLC RDA messed up royally when they decided  years ago to demolish some of the best low income housing available downtown, at 255 S State Street.  The plan was to redevelop the site to a "nicer" structure but the first developer and plans fell through.  SLC RDA, in an attempt to recover something, bought the property out of bankruptcy and started from scratch to try again.  The new proposal requires another $6 million (loan) to the new developer on top of the $2 million already awarded.  The plans are to build two high rise buildings with 190 units of mixed income.  10% are 3 and 4 bedrooms while 63% are studios and 1 bedrooms.  A cashier at Harmons, making $20,000, should be able to afford a 30% AMI unit.of which there are 20 out of the 190 units.  The two towers also will allow walking through to street to the east and there will also be a plaza that can host special events. One Councilmember asked about the potential for a pocket library which has been included in some of the new affordable housing developments back east. 

SLC PLANNING COMMISSION APPROVES SUGAR HOUSE MINIMAL SIDEWALKS
  The Sugar House Business District Design Standards that are to encourage walkability in the Sugar House business district have been approved by the Planning Commission.  Unfortunately, the Planning staff and Commission allowed the 6 foot sidewalks despite the Complete Streets and Community Council 10-12 ft recommendations.  Walkable neighborhoods need wider sidewalks.  The sidewalks under freeways are wider than regular 5 ft sidewalks!  It should be the other way around.  When the Community Council complained about the narrow sidewalks west of the Granite Building with its many restaurants with doors that open onto sidewalks and blocking traffic, the City ignored the obvious problem and let it go.  It is time for citizens to push the City to make pedestians and walkability a priority!  Please email your Councilmember and ask them to increase all design standards to Complete Street recommendations of over 10 ft.  Their emails are on the left.

SLC SUGGESTS CUTTING PARKING REQUIREMENTS NEAR BUS ROUTES
  Again, Salt Lake City is pushing for a fast adoption of new parking standards.  The effort decreases parking minimums near rail and bus lines!  Although they have developed different standards for different types of areas, they are still rushing the effort before a real parking study is done.  And the City still has not released the Downtown and Sugar House Nelson/Nyggard Parking Study.  The City will have an open house in the morning and evening of July 2 at the Sugar House Fire Station and at various areas around the City.  Please email your Councilmember and tell them your opinion (emails on left).  I put the new and old parking proposals along with their different area priorities combined in the downloads section above and to the right.

SLC ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SUPERHERO LEAVING
  Lara Fritts, the Salt Lake City Economic Development Director, recruited from back east by Mayor Biskupski, has decided to return to the East Coast in August.  She turned out to be an amazing appointment.  She won the effort to get Stadler Rail to locate their North American manufacturing facility in Salt Lake City, despite the significant efforts of Clearfield, UTA and Senator Stevenson to locate the facility in Clearfield.  That was a coup.  She also negotiated and won the effort to win the Amazon and UPS shipping facilities and they added thousands of jobs to Salt Lake City based employment.  She was amazing at economic development and made Salt Lake City a formidable employment developer.

KILLER RELEASED ON OWN RECOGNIZANCE THEN REARRESTED
  Robert Walter Baker attacked a man who later died.  He was released on his own recognizance within a day.  His previous arrests of the past few months also resulted in almost immediate release (retail theft, trespassing).  The victim that was attacked died a few days later and Baker is now back in jail with a million dollar bond.  He was homeless.  Now he will call jail home for a while.

UTA CLAIMS FIRST PRIORITY SERVICE BUT WILL WAIT
  During a UTA Advisory Board meeting this month (they meet once a month), UTA empasized that "the largest components of the tax increase will go to service but mobilization is the first priority".  What that means is that UTA is studying the issue in order to decide what the citizens want and UTA needs to increase bus facilities (including natural gas and electric charging systems).  UTA has had a delay in hiring drivers and their infrastructure (15 graduated from 40 in class in the last month).  The majority of new funds are going to facility improvements including to the "big ass garage" that is going to cost almost $100 million (note that the building will be almost impossible to be made earthquake proof).  
  UTA expects 19% of funding to go to service improvements starting in August 2020.  But UTA is having a problem with the Blue Line trains that are supposed to have a 40 year life.  The trains are 20 years old and are having a lot of maintenance issues.  So UTA is budgeting 25% of new funds to maintenance.  UTA also has to develop more maintenance capabilities.
  UTA expects to have a new executive director hired in the next week (today).  
  UTA is still studying the different priorities that different areas of the State have regarding service versus coverage.  Salt Lake County and Utah County both had a 60% ridership should be a priority and 40% should be coverage.  In Davis and Weber Counties, 60% wanted coverage and 40% thought ridership should be the  priority.  In Davis and Weber Counties, UTA only runs core routes north and south with very few east west routes.  This has been a constant complaint from residents.  Western Utah County and SW SLCO also have issues with coverage more than ridership.  "Southwest Salt Lake County clearly wanted more service".  So UTA is considering using microtransit for servicing outlying areas.  SLC's test system of microtransit on the east and west sides of the City will help define the limits of appropriate and efficiency in the proposals.
  UTA also discussed the future of FrontRunner and how to set up plans and the steps needed if the plan is going to go forward.  The proposal is to double track some portions of the track to increase frequency and also to electrify the system.  Both of those will cost over a billion dollars.
  UTA is still under pressure to build a rail line up Little Cottonwood Canyon (along with a tunnel to nearby ski resorts) and also expand TRAX to Utah County and to 5600 West (west of the Airport).  All of these proposals should have a cost benefit analysis (recommended by the last UTA audit).  Discussions of these projects should emphasize that building $75 million per mile TRAX line will take away a lot of $1 million per mile bus routes.  A Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) will cost $15 million per mile and could take away from potentially 10 bus routes.  Although operations costs would be a quarter of the cost of the 10 bus lines - which could get 4 times more riders, the analysis needs to look at the total riders per day served versus cost.  A BRT like 35Max gets 3200 passengers a day but if a regular bus along the route gets 1000 riders, then the operational cost is a third for a BRT (not considering maintenance and construction of bus lanes, signals and bus maintenance).  UTA should be asking potential riders:  Would you prefer one BRT or 10 new bus routes?
  On other issues, UTA allows a former employee to provide services or products to UTA a year after employment.  No one from the Board of Advisors questioned this issue.  Also there were no questions about the advertising policy of UTA that allows anything legal to be advertised on UTA buses.

IS SNOWBIRD STILL OPEN FOR SKIIING!!!!!!!!???
  As of last weekend, Snowbird was still open (Friday to Sunday 8AM to 2PM!  It was advanced terrain only with 91" of snow.  Year to date total is 711".  Hope skiiers enjoyed Father's Day.

WILL PARKING ON 500 E BE REMOVED? PLEASE COMMENT TO SLC
  Salt Lake City is asking the public for feedback on a draft 500 East street design from 1700 S to 2100 S.  The street is planned to be reconstructed in 2020.  To learn more and give input by Sunday June 23, go to www.slc.gov/mystreet.  
  There are two options to implement bicycle lanes (despite the 600 East bicycle boulevard).  One option is to remove parking on both sides of the street and add bike lanes in both directions!  The other option is to remove eastside parking (as it is removed from 1300 S to 1700 S) and have anorthbound bike lane on the east side of the street.
  The City is also, questionably, suggesting consolidating bus stops by removing stops!  This is exactly the opposite of the City's efforts to add midblock crosswalks since they do not believe that pedestrians will walk a block to cross the street!  So the City, in this case believes that pedestrians will walk more than a block to catch a bus!  I think the City does not understand pedestrians.  See the above efforts of the City to allow only mickie mouse sidewalks.  
  The City is also suggesting 3 raised crosswalks (at bus stops) designed for 30 MPH travel and safe for snow plows and fire fighting equipment.  This is interesting since, a few years ago, the City tried to remove bus stops due to adjacent crosswalks which the City Transportation Department considered to be unsafe.  
  At the same time, the City Transportation Department is studying modifying the City's Complete Streets Ordinance (curb to curb) to develop a completer streets (building to building) standard.  It seems that the $87 million bond is being used as an excuse to push bicycling at the expense of car use and parking.

SLC COUNCIL ASKS POLICE TO NOT PATROL PARKS IN REGULAR UNIFORMS
  The Salt Lake City Council has expressed concerns about SLCPD officers in uniform patrolling the City's parks due to "some demographics are intimidated by police" and can't enjoy parks with them.  So the SLC Council authorized the SLCPD officers to patrol parks only as bike squad officers in their "less intimidating uniforms"!  The Chief had planned on using them, depending on the circumstances, on foot or on bikes or in vehicles.  I have concerns about the Council micromanaging police and ordering them to provide a less intimidating service.

LIBERTY WELLS LOOSING COMMUNITY HERO
  Dewitt Smith has been a longtime community leader for the Liberty Wells area around Liberty Park has moved out of the Salt Lake City area.  Dewitt has been Community Council Chair and organized many of the successful celebrations in the area including First Encampment and British Field Day.  He was also instrumental on creating the Officer Ron Heaps Memorial Park to honor a Salt Lake City Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty.  He made the Community a better place and helped develop a community reputation of one of the more active and organized community councils.

MARMALADE LIBRARY SPEED DATING MAYORAL DEBATE JULY 19
  The Capital Hill Neighborhood Council is hosting a speed dating SLC mayoral debate on Wednesday, June 19, at 6:30 PM in the Multipurpose Room of the Marmalade Library on 300 West.
  If you missed the first debate, hosted by the Utah bicycling community and Utah Transit Riders Union, it is on Facebook at:
https://www.facebook.com/bikeutah/videos/302685543951330/

UTA DOES NOT OWN SOME OF THEIR 700 BUS STOPS
  UTA has abandoned some of their bus stops during the last decade of cutting bus service.  But the shelters are still being used for advertising by other companies.  So UTA does not own all bus shelters.  Although some bus shelters provide advertising, and shelter from elements, UTA bus service may not be available unless there is a specific UTA bus stop sign.  According to UTA "UTA’s limited resources and the continuous management necessary and manpower in placing signs on the 700+ advertising shelters and/or benches is currently not feasible" (UTA can't keep track of all bus stop shelters.).

LIBRARY BICYCLE PARKING MACHINE PROBLEMS
  The broken bike rack system next to the Main Library was bought for almost $15,000.  The problems are that, since it runs off of solar power, it sometimes it ran out of power and some bicyclists had their bicycle stuck for a day.  That is thought to have discouraged further use by some.  The Library is trying to hook up the electrical system to the Library's electricity.  Other issues are that, although it looks like a Green Bike docking station, it is not and that confuses people.  
  Although it implies that a library card is needed, any barcode will work to indicate the owner.  The Library is discussing better signage after the power issue is fixed. 
  Finally, the parts necessary to repair the system have been difficult to get.  A new display took 2 months to get and it was the wrong one so the Library has to try again.

 

 

JUNE 11, 2019

POLICE SHOULD NOT BE FEARED BY PARK USERS
SLC ALMOST QUADRUPLING WATER SEWER STORM FEES 25% PARKING
SLC SHOULD STUDY AUDITS BEFORE SETTING PD/911 BUDGETS
SLC IGNORES FIRE HAZARDS IN FOOTHILLS
4TH AVENUE WELL GAINS COUNCIL REVIEW
BRITISH FIELD DAY SATURDAY LIBERTY PARK COMPETES WITH 9TH AND 9TH WALK
WARM SPRINGS PARK HAS COMMUNITY SUNDAYS
SLC IGNORES OUTREACH AND ISSUES NEW PARKING SUGGESTIONS
UTAH FOUNDATION RECOMMENDATIONS IGNORED BY SLC
THOUSANDS OF BIG TREES LOST IN SLC EACH YEAR
SLC STREETS TO BE REPAIRED/RESURFACED
UPD ANSWERS HUNDREDS OF CALLS A YEAR FROM A FEW PEOPLE
HOUSING REPORT SLCO
TAYLORSVILLE BRT RUSHING FORWARD
UTA STUDY FOR PT OF THE MOUNTAIN RUSHING FORWARD
SLC CONSTRUCTION CONCERNS ADDRESSED IN NEW AMENDMENT
SLC PLANNING PROPOSES SUGAR HOUSE 24/7 SUGAR HOUSE
FAIRMONT PARK TENNIS COURTS SAVED FROM HOUSING AGAIN
CANDIDATES LIST AND CONTACTS ON DOWNLOADS
ASSISTED LIVING CENTERS KICKING OUT OLD PEOPLE
FREE FARE DAYS RESULTS ARE NOT GOOD
BUS DRIVERS STILL LACKING AT UTA
SUGARMONT APTS FINALLY RESTORES PARLEYS TRAIL PLANTERS
SUGAR HOUSE GETTING SOME HUNTSMAN CANCER FACILITIES
SLCO SW PLANNED COMMUNITIES PRESENTATION
SLC GOLF COURSES ENCOURAGED TO HAVE BEER CARTS



POLICE SHOULD NOT BE FEARED BY PARK USERS
  The SLC Council is still dragging their feet on using SLCPD personnel in uniform to help patrol SLC's 67 parks.  Their issues mainly involve "uniformed  police officers  could  cause  fear  or uncertainty" in some populations!! 
  The SLC Council staff report said, as an unresolved issue:
"Park Ranger Program. It is the  intent of  the  Council  that the  Administration  develop  a  proposal for Council  consideration  that  addresses  the  overall  goal  of increasing  the  perception  of safety  in parks,  including  the  concerns raised  by  community  and  Council Members  that  uniformed  police officers  could  cause  fear  or uncertainty  among  minority  and  at-risk  populations,  interfering  with their  enjoyment  of  these  public  spaces".
  But that language flies in the face of efforts to encourage interaction between the police and community members!  We encourage the SLCPD to participate in the Pride Parade and we celebrate it!  The popular Poplar Grove Groove in the Grove is held at the SLCPD Pioneer Precinct in West SLC (August 9th this year and it is the best Night Out Against Crime celebration in the City - First Tuesday of August - free booth space and free to attend) and is supported significantly by the SLCPD!  The SLCPD is also asked to close restrooms in parks because sometimes homeless demand to be locked in them overnight!  Parks personnel do not want to face down desperate and demanding homeless.  The parks' restrooms also can be used for criminal activities.
  Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall (running for mayor) told the East Liberty Park Community Organization last month that some demographics are intimidated by armed police in uniforms!  But the first words out of her mouth, when Chief Brown proposed 5 officers to be used as park rangers were "This is exciting!"  She later backtracked and supported having a more thorough discussion after the budget is approved June 11.  Councilwoman Amy Fowler told the Sugar House Community Council that kids at the Fairmont Skate Park would be intimidated by armed cops.  But over half of the homes surrounding the Fairmont Skate Park on 900 East and just north of I80 have been broken into.  Cops that patrol the area complain about regular drug dealing to kids at the Skate Park!  
  The reason for the Chief's proposal is that many community councils have asked for regular police patrols working as park rangers to increase public safety.  When the downtown area had walking patrols of police, the downtown community loved it!  
 We should want cops in uniform in our parks to engage with the public and kids to encourage working with the community and building trust.  It is not just about increasing public safety and discouraging drug sales to kids.

SLC ALMOST QUADRUPLING WATER SEWER STORM FEES 25% PARKING 
  It is a little complicated, but four years ago, Salt Lake City Public Utilities proposed/predicted doubling the water and sewer fees over five years.  The following schedule of rate increases shows the predicted increases.
Year Water Sewer 
2015-16 4% 8% 
2016-17 4% 30% 
2017-18 4% 30%
2018-19 4% 30%
2019-20 4% 25% 
2020-21 4% 10% 
2021-22 4% 8% 
2022-23 4% 4% 
2023-24 4% 4% 
2024-25 4% 4% 
Ten Yr. Total 40% 153% 
  The 2020 increases "are connected in part with the need to pay debt service for bonds issued to fund significant capital improvements over the next several years (according to the City)." SLC has now set newer/higher rates for water, sewer and stormwater (4 years ago they did not expect to increase stormwater rates).  Waterates are projected to increase 5 percent each year through fiscal year 2022-23.  Sewer Rates are projected to increase 18 percent for the subsequent two fiscal years, 15 percent for fiscal 2023 and 10 percent for fiscal 2024 (almost doubling the 2015 expected rates which originally were to be a 153% increase = 300% increase or more).  The Stormwater Utility proposed rate increase is 10 percent. Additional rate increases of 10 percent, 9 percent, 6 percent and 5 percent are anticipated for the four subsequent fiscal years for stormwater.
  The summary of the rate increases are: 18 percent this year in the Sewer Utility, 10 percent in the Water Utility, and 10 percent in the Stormwater Utility.  The total impact to the average household utility bill would be approximately $5.34 per month (I think that it will be more) since some will see a decrease in water charges due to modifying the level at which higher rates for higher water use.)  
  Many comments have been made at community council meetings and at the City Council meetings (with many discussions with staff) about the "Street Lighting Utility’s replacement of older lights with LED technologies emitting light in “cooler” color spectrums, resulting in
“bluer” light that some experience as appearing with higher intensity. Community members have
pointed to efforts by other municipalities and admonitions from particular research items to move away from these “bluer” lights to adopt “warmer” lighting. Subsequent conversations with the Council have indicated energy-efficiency was to be an ongoing and forefront consideration in replacing Street Lighting. The existing Plan does not contemplate LED technology because it had not been developed at the time of the Plan’s adoption".  Recently the warmer LED bulbs have come down in price and the City still is charged on the maximum wattage of the lights by Rocky Mountain Power.  But new technologies allow more automated/lower wattage use during the later night/early morning hours or when no one is moving in the area.  SLC is not taking advantage of the new technologies and is using much more energy on streetlights than necessary.
  The City is also increasing parking charges at parking meters (that are accessible by the internet but really not secured against ransomware and hacking) by 25%!  Council Chair Charlie Luke expressed concern during Council discussion that the increase is being handed to the citizens without public outreach.  Some would say this is typical SLC administration.
  Almost no one argued against these rate increases.  Less than a handful at public hearings spoke against them.  A couple of people from Millcreek expressed concern but no outrage.  Millcreek citizens are charged about 30% more for water than SLC residents.  Obviously, citizen outreach is lacking or citizens think that their elected leaders don't listen to them.  So Salt Lake City not only increased the Council salaries 40% in the last year but also will more than double the utility fees/taxes/rates.  That comes on top of THREE TAX INCREASES last year!

SLC SHOULD STUDY AUDITS BEFORE SETTING PD/911 BUDGETS
  The SLC Council is passing a budget without a vigorous discussion and debate regarding the two studies on the SLCPD and 911 dispatch.  Salt Lake City Police Department recently received a study by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) that found that the Department is woefully understaffed.  The turnover is high and despite hiring 80 officers in the last year, they lost 80 officers.  In addition, diversity is lacking.  There is only one female officer who is a sergeant or above.  She is a sergeant.  That is a salary issue.  But the City Council essentially rubberstamped the Mayor's recommendation of a 2% increase, a 2% increase in starting salary and a 6% increase for experienced officers.  I still think that it needs to be 10% minimum increase with all of the competition for officers in the Valley.  Although the study said that SLC needs a minimum or 60 new officer positions, they recommended 133.  Chief Brown is trying to hire 23 this year.
  The 911 Dispatch Audit seems to be considered in the administration's budget.  The audit found that 10% of the time that a Priority One call is received, it takes almost 10 minutes before a police officer on patrol gets the request (519 seconds)!  The City is stopping the practice of using PBX operators to answer nonemergency calls (for a buck or two less per hour).  That assignment did not allow for crime reports to be taken by the PBX operators.  That was a big complaint of callers.  The City, in April, said that they are moving to using only dispatchers to answer calls to both 911 and nonemergency numbers.  In addition, they are investigating if a better script is available to allow dispatchers to use "common sense" when answering calls. The audit recommended 22 more dispatchers.  But again, the issue is dispatchers are paid less than $17 per hour and that is similar to McDonald's (in Park City).
  Again, before approving the SLC 2020 Budget, the SLC Council should get a reality check and look at the results of the IACP study of SLCPD and the 911 Audit.

SLC IGNORES FIRE HAZARDS IN FOOTHILLS
  Forest fire season is once again on us.  The County has a fuels team that attempts to decrease fuels in the foothills of Salt Lake County.  But SLC does not and depends on the citizens to remove flammable materials in the foothills.  Scrub oak is the main fuel potential in the foothills of SLC.  But the Call2Haul program does not allow big bunches of scrub oak to be put in the dumpsters!  So SLC is inadvertently increasing the danger of hillside fires.  Over the last year, there have been several fires in the urban/natural interface that could have and should have been averted with better fire prevention efforts supported by SLC.  

4TH AVENUE WELL GAINS COUNCIL REVIEW
  The SLC Council has agreed with many residents in the Avenues to reconsider how to reconfigure the proposed 4th Avenue well so that residents are minimally impacted.  The Council asked for a postponement of the Historic Landmark Commission hearing on it to give "addition time to coordinate together" and the Council got the postponement.
  "The Salt Lake City Council unanimously voted on Tuesday, June 4th to approve the well upgrade project of the Department of Public Utilities’ FY 2020 budget, but contingent on certain additional work and reporting to the Council. The reason for the postponement is to allow Public Utilities and the City Council additional time to coordinate together on these requirements, while continuing to prioritize the upgrade of the well. A new hearing will be scheduled with the HLC once this coordination is complete."
“We remain very concerned that the 4th Avenue Well must be upgraded and brought to the surface in a well-house at its current location,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “The criticality of this well cannot be overstated – this well allowed for the successful fighting of several wildfires last year near Victory Road, Beck Street, and Ensign Peak. It also provides drinking water and fire protection for much of downtown Salt Lake City during the heat of the summer. This brief delay will give us time to do additional work with the community to resolve critical regulatory, safety and water reliability issues that affects the general public and our dedicated water operators."
  So the Council DID listen to residents who gave compelling arguments against the original City plan.  Chalk one up for citizen involvement.

BRITISH FIELD DAY SATURDAY LIBERTY PARK COMPETES WITH 9TH AND 9TH WALK
  On Saturday, June 15th from 9AM to 3 PM at Liberty Park (eastside halfway north) there is a celebration of British cars - some which are available for racing (in a small course).  Nothing can beat the thrill of racing around a 200 foot long course with your seat a couple of inches off the ground and screaming tires.  It is a great Father's Day celebration!  Kids under 12 are free and a $5 donation is asked from those older.  In the last few years, there have been displays of over 100 British cars (in great condition) and also exploded parts of a car so that one can see the complicated nature of automobiles (back in the 60s - when they were simple).
  If cars don't get you, there is a Walk the Block on Saturday June 15 from 9 AM to 2 PM to promote 9th and 9th businesses that are concerned about the ongoing street and 9Line Trail construction.  If you want a chance at a prize, get a Shopping Passport from Local First Utah to start the day and get it stamped at businesses to enter to win a prize.  The community expects to have regular Walk the Block throughout the summer.  Demonstrations of self defense, fly tying, bicycling clinic, stretching and a mini massage or manicure (at SpaDay) are available.  SLC has plenty of things to do each weekend, except UTA buses going up the canyons.

WARM SPRINGS PARK HAS COMMUNITY SUNDAYS
  Warm Springs Park, north of the new Marmalade Library on 300 West, has organized Warm Springs Community Potlucks and Planning events on Sundays from 11:00am - 1:00pm.  The City Council recently approved a budget amendment to study the needs of the Warm Springs Park Buildings.  That is the start of the process of returning Warm Springs Park to its former glory and community center.  The group is going to discuss updates about the project for a few minutes around noon.
  The events are at Warm Springs Park - 840 N 300 W, North end of the park by the historic Wasatch Plunge building.  Bring a potluck dish to share.  All ages welcome.  In case of rain, they'll move to the basement of the Plunge building.  Each week they focus on a different item:
June 16 - Events
June 23 - PR/Media
June 30 - Fundraising
July 7- Advocacy
July 14 - History
July 21 - Research

SLC IGNORES OUTREACH AND ISSUES NEW PARKING SUGGESTIONS
  SLC Transportation is proposing a redesign of the SLC parking ordinance (Transportation Demand Management) that might cut the parking requirements in half for single family home neighborhoods.  Proposing parking changes (most recently in the 9th and 9th area) has created a big backlash.  over a 100 showed up to express concern about the loss of parking in the neighborhood.  Parking has been a significant concern in Salt Lake City over the last 10 years.  East Bench had the Brew Ha Ha fight which resulted in a doubling of most parking minimum requirements.  East Liberty Park Community  Organization sued to try to stop the minimal parking requirements for a building in the 9th and 9th area (They lost the (lawsuit) battle but won the war because the developer gave up.) I put the combined presentations of the old and new Parking Ordinances along with summaries for different types of districts in the downloads section under SLC.  
  Despite what the City promised last month at the community meeting regarding the 9th South 9-Line project, to do a parking study before anymore parking changes, the City is pushing ahead with parking changes!  In addition, the Sugar House and Downtown Parking Study is still not publicly available except to a couple of high level administration executives!  SLC should not propose to change parking requirements until the promised parking study is undertaken and respectfully finished objectively.  Comments on parking changes can be sent to Eric Daems at (801) 535-7236 or eric.daems@slcgov.com

UTAH FOUNDATION RECOMMENDATIONS IGNORED BY SLC
  The Utah Foundation has released planning recommendations for Salt Lake County, Building A Better Beehive.  Summarizing the Plan, and adding my comments, it should be obvious that SLC should be following the suggestions in the Plan.
  "Nearly 76% of Utah local governments responding to a Utah Foundation survey noted that the need to increase road capacity was one of the greatest impediments to growth, with water infrastructure a close second."  Duh.  If 90+% use or need roads and the lack of roads is limiting development, we need more roads.  Trying to cure traffic congestion by decreasing capacity is like trying to cure obesity by tightening your belt.  More roads do not create congestion as many studies imply.  They allow more people to obtain the American Dream, a home and a job, even if it requires driving an hour to get to each.  The picture of a 17 lane highway with bumper to bumper traffic is evidence of the success of the American Dream.  The drivers are on their way home or to a job and that should be the focus.  Not building roads impacts our families, our economy and our Country.
  "About 64% of Utah local governments surveyed said their residents expressed “high” or “extreme concern” over increasing residential density"  Again, duh.  Citizens, when they move into a single family home area, have an implied promise that the area will stay the same in zoning.  Increasing density will encourage moving farther out to the suburbs with an increase in pollution.
  The Plan encourage preserving green spaces and natural assets, but in SLC, we are losing thousands of big trees a year (see below).  The Plan also pointed out that the areas in most downtowns have a higher value per square foot and should be focused on for higher density and mixed use.  They should have said mixed income/mixed use.  Also, the reason for the high value in many cases is the numerous car lots with their significant sales revenue and taxes.  But car lots do not encourage walking or walkability.  The Plan did recommend that high-density projects should be strategically located in commercial areas and near public transit .  The study recommended two spaces per single-family detached home in a bedroom community and 0.9 spaces per multifamily unit in mixed-use, compact developments.  Those parking minimums are way too low for reality.
  Preserving and improving community character, according to the Study, should be a priority.  "The condition of existing buildings may have a prominent influence on the character of a neighborhood. For instance, deteriorated buildings and facilities reflect poorly upon the condition and safety of the neighborhood at large. Abandoned, vacant and dilapidated buildings can be particularly detrimental. It can reflect a lack of care or value of the property. The same may be true for public facilities or infrastructure."  But SLCRDA has many properties that have sat vacant for decades!
  I agree that the City needs fee waivers to encourage inclusionary zoning, but the City Council keeps putting it off, or insists that the Mayor suggest waivers.  The Mayor already did!  The Council should discuss, modify to its liking and pass fee waivers.  They could theoretically save a developer of a 200 unit complex half a million in impact fees if they agree to 20+% affordable units.
  The Foundation Study also recommended allowing for single room occupancy developments.  I argued against it in an oped last month and at the City Council public hearing.   The Council has asked the Planning Staff to return with a Citywide plan, not just for a few areas.  Fasten your seatbelts, we may get more crime magnet motels!

THOUSANDS OF BIG TREES LOST IN SLC EACH YEAR
  SLC has acknoledged that they lose over 2000 big, mature trees a year.  Unfortunately, the City's budget for replacing those trees only allows for about 1000 to be replaced with mickie mouse/munchkin trees (less than 2 inches in diameter).  Despite the statements that the smaller diameter trees do better, the reality is the City does not have the money or staff to properly prepare a large soil area for bigger trees to thrive and grow.  So the City is relegated to statements that the small trees do better (when the soil cannot be appropriately prepared.  The bags around the trees are meant to make it easier for residents to water (once a week) for the first year or two.  Since the City does not force developers to replace so called nuisance or non specimen trees, the City ends up losing over 2000, and as much as 3000 mature trees a year.  In other words, our urban forest is declining!

SLC STREETS TO BE REPAIRED/RESURFACED
  With the new streets bond, the City has prepared a priority list of streets to be fixed/resurfaced or repaired.  Streets maintenance/Public Services repairs streets to 2 inches down.  Anything more is handled by SLC Engineering.  The map of projects currently underway is at: http://maps.slcgov.com/mws/projects.htm.

From the website, potential candidates are: 
•Dupont Avenue (Capistrano Drive to American Beauty Drive) 
•Talisman Drive (800 North to 1200 West) 
•500 North (Jordan River to Redwood Road) 
•Briarcliff Avenue (American Beauty Drive to Autumn Avenue) 
•Talisman Drive (cul-de-sac end to Cornell Street) 
•Dupont Avenue (Carousel Street to 1500 West) 
•Haslam Circle (cul-de-sac end to Garnette Street) 
•Aries Circle (cul-de-sac end to New Star Drive) 
•Ramona Avenue (900 East to Lincoln Street) 
•Elizabeth Street (Crystal Avenue to Stratford Avenue) 
•Simpson Avenue (McClelland Street to 1100 East) 
•Elizabeth Street (Stratford Avenue to Whitlock Avenue) 
•Ramona Avenue (Lincoln Street to 1000 East) 
•Coatsville Avenue (800 East to 900 East) 
•Zenith Avenue (800 East to 900 East) 
•Parkway Avenue (Elizabeth Street to Highland Drive) 
•Kensington Avenue (1400 East to 1500 East) 
•M Street (3rd Avenue to 4th Avenue) 
•L Street (7th Avenue to 8th Avenue) 
•Wall Street (Columbus Street to 400 North) 
•Cambridge Circle (Cambridge Way to north terminus end) 
•L Street (9th Avenue to 10th Avenue) 
•Alta Street (2nd Avenue to Federal Heights Drive) 
•Cambridge Way (Perry’s Hollow Road to Tomahawk Drive) 
•200 North (400 West to west terminus end) 
•Blaine Avenue (Nevada Street to Foothill Drive) 
•Greenwood Terrace (900 South to Sunnyside Avenue) 
•1900 East (Sunnyside Avenue to 900 South) 
•Kensington Avenue (Ken Rey Street to 2100 East) 
•Nevada Street (Wilson Avenue to Blaine Avenue

UPD ANSWERS HUNDREDS OF CALLS A YEAR FROM A FEW PEOPLE
  I put the County Unified Police Department summary of mental health issues in the downloads section (middle).  It appears, that due to the inadequate mental health treatment available, the Police/UPD are being utilized to fill the gap.  In some cases, one person's actions have resulted in hundreds of UPD responses.  It should be a no brainer that our mental health system is not working and that there has to be a better way and better personnel to effectively handle mental health patients than police and law enforcement.  The report is a wakeup call.

HOUSING REPORT SLCO
  I put the SLCO Housing Report, Housing Crisis Research, Obstacles and Opportunities in Public Attitudes.  It basically is a no brainer.  People do not want their neighborhood character to change and we need more housing.  The above Utah Foundation report makes it clear that housing increases and density increases should be in commercial areas like State Street.  But the SLC Council has gone around in cirlces for 5 years about State Street CRA/redevelopment and ignored the potential for an overlay form based zoning that could encourage thousands of new mixed income, mixed use housing/buildings.

TAYLORSVILLE BRT RUSHING FORWARD
  Despite UTA's inability to operate a successful BRT/Bus Rapid Transit, and with the inappropriate belief that it will lead to development and getting people out of their cars, UTA and Taylorsville and West Valley City is about to construct a BRT on 4700/4800 South which has plenty of homes and very little potential for increased density to justify the $15/mile investment.  It could end up costing $100 million although some believe that it will be closer to $67 million.  But the road is already congested and some intersections are classified as F/failing.  So essentially, UTA is going to make the road more congested.  I keep saying it (I might do an oped on it): Trying to cure traffic congestion by decreasing capacity is like trying to cure obesity by tightening your belt. 

UTA STUDY FOR PT OF THE MOUNTAIN RUSHING FORWARD
  I put the Point of the Mountain study effort by UTA on the downloads/transportation column.  It essentially preps the road for billions of projects to benefit the landowners around Draper.  The rest of the citizens of Salt Lake and Utah counties will have to pay for the TRAX extensions and maybe another FrontRunner station in the State Prison area.  The political pressure to build TRAX extensions is very powerful.  Five years ago, I got in trouble for complaining about Utah County pushing the effort and moving the TRAX to Draper to build in the next 10 years (by 2025).  The Utah Transportation Plan (UTP) eventually kept it at 2040 or later but for a year afterward, I was persona non grata at UTA and WFRC.  This project needs to stop until all of the criminals are actually and effectively kept incarcerated.  Nate Carlisle in the Salt Lake Tribune had a story last month about the efforts to discourage sentencing convicted felons to prison.  I have many more horror stories about Adult Probation and Parole recommending probation instead of prison for felons that have no problem shooting people in an attempt to kill them.  "But they didn't die so they shouldn't go to State Prison, right?!  The State should focus on public safety before lining developer pockets.

SLC CONSTRUCTION CONCERNS ADDRESSED IN NEW AMENDMENT
  In an attempt to mitigate the negative consequences of large amounts of construction in areas like downtown and Sugar House, the City is proposing limiting blockages to less than 30 days with lots of exceptions.  I keep seeing many construction sites that block sidewalks for years!  That discourages walking!!  I think that this proposal is a start but does not go far enough.  It took a year to get the construction company to return the dividers/planters to where they belong on the Parleys Trail (see below).  All sidewalks should be open except during short, days not weeks, constructions.  In one egregious situation at South Temple and 200 East, the sidewalk was blocked on the south side and pedestrians were directed across the street to stairs to get to the other sidewalk.  So they put wheelchair users and people with limitations out!  SLC should be encouraging walking.  SLC should not be discouraging walking.

SLC PLANNING PROPOSES SUGAR HOUSE 24/7 SUGAR HOUSE
  SLC Planning is again planning to encourage public engagement with SLC tours that focus on specific issues around the City.  One of the tours is on July 29th in Sugar House.  It is titled: Creating a 24/7 District in Sugar House!  But then the buses will need to run past midnight!  I hope UTA attends.  Contact www.slc.gov/planning to reserve a tour (recommended).  Other tours are:
JUN 24 // SECOND LIFE:  New Uses in Old Buildings
JUL 29 // WALKING TO THE BEET:  Creating a 24/7 District in Sugar House
AUG 26 // SEEING THE URBAN FOREST FOR THE TREES
SEPT 30 // PRESERVATION PASSPORT: Compatible Infill in Historic Districts
OCT 11 // DESIGNING DOWNTOWN:  Characteristics of People-first Places

FAIRMONT PARK TENNIS COURTS SAVED FROM HOUSING AGAIN
  Councilwoman Amy Fowler became a superhero to the Sugar House community when she convinced the City Council to remove the Mayor's recommendation for $20,000 to study putting housing on the old Fairmont Park tennis courts.  The City is now considering giving access (shared with the public) to the Girls and Boys Club to convert to something more useful and appropriate for the area that is part of Fairmont Park (even though Simpson Avenue is between the tennis courts and the rest of Fairmont Park).

CANDIDATES LIST AND CONTACTS ON DOWNLOADS
  I put the list of candidates for this year's elections in Salt Lake City in the downloads/SLC section.  This will be interesting.

ASSISTED LIVING CENTERS KICKING OUT OLD PEOPLE
  We knew this before but Matt Minkevitch has confirmed it, despite a bill from the Legislature banning or limiting the practice, assisted living centers are kicking out old people and they are ending up at the Road Home!  

FREE FARE DAYS RESULTS ARE NOT GOOD
  UTA keeps expressing their delight at the stats for the last free fare day.  Reality check, FrontRunner had the biggest increase (I put more information down below - ctrl f FrontRunner for a few stories on it.) because parents were taking their kids on the free E ticket FrontRunner ride (cheap version of Disneyland/Lagoon).  So parking was full for regular commuters, and if they got on a train, it was standing room only!  That discourages long term ridership increases!  All free fares should be on weekends where the rush hour commuters are not negatively impacted and discouraged from riding mass transit.

BUS DRIVERS STILL LACKING AT UTA
  Great news!  UTA signed up 100 at last month's job fair at Murray Central Station and 40 have gone through the first classes.  The bad news is that only 15 successfully have completed the first class.  That means that, if the results/successful training is extrapolated, UTA may have 40 new drivers by the time the new August schedules for buses are implemented.  The really bad news is that, before the new drivers, UTA needed 140 more drivers by August!  UTA needs to stop split shifts, consider offering drivers four hour a day shifts and increase the salary from $17.76 and hour.  50% of new drivers still leave within a year!  UTA needs to focus on bus service, and drivers, before any projects, including garages and TRAX extensions!  Not enough drivers is a poor excuse for not increasing service and spending money on projects instead.  I also noticed that UTA is saying that they can't implement Canyon bus service so they have to build garages!  If you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale.

SUGARMONT APTS FINALLY RESTORES PARLEYS TRAIL PLANTERS
  After a year, the construction company that is building the Sugarmont Apartments, on the corner of McClelland and Sugarmont Drive, has returned the planters that separate dangerous traffic on a curve from pedestrians and bicyclists using the Parleys Trail (across from the Fairmont Park pool).  For a year, everyone involved said that they will do it or that it wasn't their responsibility.  Jeff Vitek of Boulder Ventures was one but his Ascent Construction Company was the barrier.  Last week, the City Engineering Department ordered the planters back.  This will significantly increase the safety for kids, bicyclists, parents with kids on bikes, and everyone else on the Trail.  Thank you SLC Engineering (with an assist from SLC Streets Engineering who was also concerned about safety).

SUGAR HOUSE GETTING SOME HUNTSMAN CANCER FACILITIES
  University of Utah Medical is moving some of their important medical offices into the new Park Avenue facility (on the old Sugar House Shopko block).  These are very important offices.  They include the Huntsman Cancer Institute Hematology Group and the Infusion Group.  Cancer patients will find this facility a lot more convenient.  Now if we could only find a place for the Eastside Police Precinct (the 21st and 21st proposal fell through).

SLCO SW PLANNED COMMUNITIES PRESENTATION
  I put the SLCO Council presentation on planned communities (mainly in the Southwest part of the Valley in the downloads section.

SLC GOLF COURSES ENCOURAGED TO HAVE BEER CARTS
  Amy Fowler, Councilwoman golfer has been pushing for more support for golf in SLC.  She is encouraging a golf tournament and regarding "Golf Food and Beverage  Options.  It is  the  intent of  the  Council  to  ask  the  Administration  to examine the open space zone  ordinance,  with the  goal  of  removing  barriers  to  providing  flexible food  and  beverage  options  in  golf courses.  To  the  extent  that  barriers  exist  in  State  law  the  Council requests  an  analysis of  those,  and that  changing  them  be identified  as  a  future legislative priority."  In other words, beer carts may soon be on golf courses!

 

JUNE 1, 2019

SLC NEEDS MORE COPS & THEY DESERVE MORE PAY PUBLISHED

 

SLC NEEDS MORE COPS & THEY DESERVE MORE PAY PUBLISHED

  The Salt Lake Tribune just published my oped on the state of the SLCPD according to the IACP Report in the upper right downloads area under homeless crime jail column.  The IACP Report recommends 133 more SLCPD officers.  Part of the problem is that they often arrest the same person for the same serious crime 20 or more times.  The arrested do not stay in jail or are prosecuted beyond plead guilty and you get probation.  The root cause is the lack of adequate public safety funding at the County level and the State's efforts to decrease prisoners at the State Prison with JRI.  That shifted a lot of financial burdens onto the Counties.  There is also the issue, until recently, that the jailed, many of whom had drug issues, did not have access to treatment.  The County claims a 50+% decrease in recidivism with treatment but that is checking for less than a year.  

  The City is going to have a final public hearing on June 4 at City Hall on the budget which includes how much the City will give to police officers and also whether to have some focus on park safety as Park Rangers.  The 4th South State Street building allows free parking for City Council meetings under the Library.  Ask the Council staff for a voucher.  I just pulled out the most important facts for my oped.  If you want the full report and data that recommends 133 more cops, see the IACP Report or you can email me at gechapman2@gmail.com.

 

  https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2019/06/01/george-chapman-slc-police/

 

MAY 29, 2019

911 AUDIT SHOWS TIME TO DISPATCH CAN BE OVER 700 SECONDS
SRO IN SLC TO EXPAND CITYWIDE
SLC PARK RANGERS BEING KILLED BY COUNCIL
SLC GOLF HAS PART OF COURSE IN SOUTH SALT LAKE CITY

911 AUDIT SHOWS TIME TO DISPATCH CAN BE OVER 700 SECONDS
  Matrix has submitted an audit (in the upper right downloads section center column) of Salt Lake City's Dispatch Center.  The data is not good.  The average time to queue a call is 41 seconds and the time to send a call to dispatch is 139 seconds.  There is a big difference depending on the priority.  SLC 911 Dispatch "does not meet the secondary NENA standard of 99% of calls answered within 40 seconds" (in SLC it is 96.7%).  The elapsed time from the call to dispatch of field units is excessive in some cases.  
  The median time a call is received to queue /to dispatch is:
       priority 1 35/183 seconds
       priority 3 44/700 seconds!
       priority 4 47/2036 seconds
average is 41 seconds/139 seconds

  The 90% of the time a call is received to queue/to dispatch
       priority 1 146/519 seconds
       priority 3 146/4,634 seconds
       priority 4 151/13,928 seconds
average is 452 seconds/4,777 seconds
  What the statistics show is that it can take almost 10 minutes for 10% of the priority one calls to be sent to officers on patrol by dispatch!  "10% of calls (even Priority 1 calls) take more than 2 minutes and 19 seconds for call takers to code them for a dispatcher.  A review of the data showed that 66% of calls are coded within one minute."  The audit showed that the times for Sandy 911 calls were better and the median call to queue versus to dispatch was 30 vrs 103 seconds.
  Part of the problem was the Priority Dispatch system that SLC Dispatch has used.  "some dispatch staff and many (patrol) field staff believe that the Priority Dispatch ProQA system hinders the level of service.... to officers in the field and.... to the emergency requestor....Those who hold this sentiment believe that the rigidity of ProQA inhibits call takers' ability to interact with callers using common sense, quickly obtain and relay the most vital information and correctly determine the level of priority for calls".  Salt Lake City agrees with that assessment.  It has decided to move away from Priority Dispatch and has committed to work with UPD to use their system.  There was a 2010 story in the Salt Lake Tribune about the problems with Priority Dispatch.  In one case, it took several minutes for a dispatcher to acknowledge a robbery in progress since the caller did not recognize the script and the questions from dispatch did not make sense.  
  The audit recommended that "the 911 Center should prepare citizens to use 911 and enhance public relations and recruitment efforts by continuing to build its public education program."  Several years ago, the SLCPD Community Intelligence Officers did go through the long script priority list in an effort to educate the public about how to get higher priority responses.  For instance saying skateboard in progress will get a faster response than skateboard.  Or saying breakin means slower response than breakin in progress.  Also saying homeless will put you on the bottom of the priority list while saying prowler in progress/now will put you at the top of the priority list.
  The audit recommended eliminating the PBX Operator jobs which are taking the non emergency calls.  But the PBX operators cannot take incident reports since they are not fully certified dispatchers.  PBX operators are paid 13.69/hour ($139,500 annual funding) while certified dispatchers are at $15.20 per hour.  It is important to note that some starting positions at some McDonalds in this State pay more!  The audit recommended that the City "reformulate how it handles non emergency call volume".  As of April 2019, all PBX operator positions have been moved to dispatchers.  There is also a goal of 22% limit to turnover but it is questionable that that can be met in this labor market.
  The audit also recommended 20 new positions to handle the call volume.  SLC Dispatch recommended 9 new dispatchers but the Mayor suggested 6 in her budget proposal.  The "majority of residents believe 911 dispatch is doing a good to excellent job overall" but they are more satisfied with dispatchers than with the time to respond.  The audit recommended that dispatch tell callers the estimated arrival time and also tell callers what the estimated hold time is if they are put on hold.  The City has also adopted the recommendation that the system "allow responders to view calls to optimize level of required support".
  The bottom line is that the 911 system in SLC has not been as effective as possible, even though the vast majority (82%)of callers are satisfied with the service.  The non-emergency calls are now being taken by better trained personnel and 911 Dispatch has a goal of answering 95% of calls within 15 seconds.  13% of callers are being put on hold for a median of 2 minutes.  They are answering 93.5% of calls within 20 seconds.
  Interestingly, 10 minutes was the median reported wait time for services (Fire/EMS/Police) to arrive while average was one hour (page 59 of 911 audit)!  "SLC customers reported a median wait time of 15 minutes for officers to arrive, compared to 10 minutes for Sandy City customers."
  SLC 911 admits that police dispatcher positions should be 79 while currently at 58.  "But 21 additional employees would be a significant financial burden to the City so the City converted most shifts to 12 hours from 10 hours."

SRO IN SLC TO EXPAND CITYWIDE
  Councilwoman Mendenhall recently said that the reason why the City Council has not voted on the SRO/mini Cabrini Green ordinance is because they told planning to bring back the SRO ordinance that applies to the full City, not just some parts of it!  That should be an interesting fight.

SLC PARK RANGERS BEING KILLED BY COUNCIL
  When Chief Brown said he was proposing that five police officers would be assigned as park rangers, the first words out of Councilwoman Mendenhall were 
"This is exciting!"  The discussion by the Council went downhill from there.  The only Councilmembers that seem to be okay with having police officers function in uniform, and armed, were Councilmen Rogers and Luke.  
  The biggest concerns were that an officer in uniform creates a different experience and there was a majority's desire to have more of a park ranger style.  The Councilmembers did not understand that the SLCPD officers are required to lock up park restrooms now since there can be issues with homeless trying to spend the night in the restrooms.  The Chief recommended that they be post certified.  The old eastside bike squad was the park squad.  This should be part of community policing.  Even the IACP study recommends that "neighborhood complaints of narcotic violations should be handled by patrol officers and have the added benefit of improving community and patrol officer interaction."  If the police are not allowed to interact with park goers, there is less trust generated.
  The main reason that most community councils have asked for park rangers is because there is a concern about park public safety, especially since Operation Rio Grande disbursed the homeless and drug addicts throughout the City and especially in the City's 67 parks.  The best way to increase public safety in parks is to have police officers, functioning as park rangers.  They do it now.  They function as social workers and as mental health providers, often trying to defuse situations instead of strong arming anyone that seems out of order.  
  Councilwoman Mendenhall said that "different demographics have different views of police. Councilmembers Wharton echoed Erin Mendenhall and said that he was not sure that they needed to be armed.  Councilwoman Fowler said that the kids at the Fairmont Skate Park would not like going up to a police officer and would avoid the parks! But the drug dealing (mainly spice) at the Skate Park discourages families from using Fairmont Park.  Councilwoman Valdemoros agreed with the others but also added that a walking patrol of Pioneer Park would help but she thinks that park rangers would be better than police.  Salt Lake City should be encouraging interaction between the police and the community to break down the barriers that often keep people from trusting officers.  A police officer should be very approachable to everyone.  If uniformed officers are kept from community interactions, the trust that is needed between the police and citizens does not develop.  The Chief pointed out that the bike officers, in uniform were very approachable.
  The proposal is for one sergeant and 5 officers using cars or bikes, depending on the intelligence.  Now the City gets a grant from the DWR to provide patrols for the Jordan River Park.  The City also provides 2 for eastside and 2 for the westside parks.  The Chief made it very clear that he did not want to have officers on patrol that are not in uniform.  He said that he is concerned about asking police to put on a different uniform.  If the Council approves the 23 hiring, it would take up to 10 months to put them in the parks.  They would be concentrating on the largest parks and problem areas but they could also go to the smallest parks.  The Council said that if they have 10 months to look at how they would look, they can take their time and not agree to the proposal now.  But lateral hiring can provide a police officer in 5 months.  Councilman Johnston said that police have done a good job for outreach but recognizes that there is an ambivalent concern about it.  The Chief emphasized that the mere presence of a police officer discourages crime.  
  The Council then suggested that maybe the Parks Department should do this.  Council Chair Luke said that it was not fair to have them do the jobs of a park ranger and a police officer and the City may need to have a new program.  But most requests from citizens wanted them to have police authority.  Councilwoman Fowler said that she did not think that it is the job of the police to solve.  The Chief emphasized that the police are doing police work now at the request of Parks Department (locking restrooms) and at the end of the day, they are already doing a lot of police work in the parks.  
  Councilwoman Mendenhall suggested that social workers could work with police so that there is a balance of techniques.  Council Chair said that the Council can table the conversation today but if the Council wants park public safety, the City needs to focus on a uniformed officer.  Councilman Johnston said that a social worker he does not want to do parks work and that deterrence is what should be the focus which is a camp host.
  Anyone reading this should send their comments to the City Council (email addresses on the left) and express your thoughts.  I still think that every community council that I have attended has encouraged the City to have park rangers to increase public safety and that requires a police officer.  The City should recognize that a parks police officer functioning as a parks ranger can increase the trust and respect of the public towards officers.  That should be the City's goal.

SLC GOLF HAS PART OF COURSE IN SOUTH SALT LAKE CITY
  During the annual pulling out hair golf budget discussion, the City Council was told that the Nibley Golf Course driving range is actually in South Salt Lake City.  In addition the costs for maintaining Nibley and Forest Dale golf Courses are over $8,000 per acre while the rest of the City's golf courses have maintenance costs of around $4,500 per acre.  The City sent out an RFP for Nibley for a public private partnership to manage the course but the City received no responses since only land was available.  The Council, in the end suggested a City Council golf tournament (proposed by Councilwoman Fowler, an avid golfer) and asked for all courses to provide beer carts.  Some do already.  The State does allow golf courses to sell liquor.  The Council essentially approved the golf budget with an infusion, as usual, of general fund money to cover the overcharges that SLC Public Utilities charges the courses for water.

 

 

 

 

MAY 21, 2019
UVX BRT LEADS TO ONLY 1000 FEWER CARS ON CAMPUS
STATE CUTS HOMELESS FUNDING EXPECTING PROBLEM SOLVED
COMPLETER STREETS STUDY STARTS
SLCPD IS ASKING TO USE 5 OFFICERS AS PARK RANGERS
UTA AUGUST CHANGE DAY ISSUES

UVX BRT LEADS TO ONLY 1000 FEWER CARS ON CAMPUS
  The $200 million UVX BRT has been touted as super successful.  Over 1000 fewer car permits were applied for at UVU this year and UVX has been given the credit.  Lost in the celebrations and encouragement for more BRTs, is the reality that the ridership is FREE!  Also the two lanes of roadway have been removed from use by personal vehicles.  Each lane should be able to comfortably able to handle 5000 average daily trips or cars.  I am not convinced that UVX should be considered to be successful.  SLC Transportation is suggesting hundreds of millions for BRTs on Foothill to Wasatch Blvd and on 200 South (with the South Davis BRT).

STATE CUTS HOMELESS FUNDING EXPECTING PROBLEM SOLVED
  I put the State Homeless Coordinating Committee funding decisions in the upper righthand (middle column) downloads section.  The Committee felt that they did not have to fund most programs as much as they did in the past.  They believe, with the new shelters coming online, they are solving the problem!  Also they are pushing to add how to consider success of programs.  The general performance measures include: 
Number of clients served, 
Number of adults served, 
Number of project leavers, 
Average length of stay in project, 
Number of exits into a permanent destination, 
Number of returns to homelessness for project participants who exited to a permanent, destination 2 years prior,
Number of returns within 6
12 months
  The Legislature’s Social Services Interim Committee also has agreed to study the data on how successful substance abuse treatment is.

COMPLETER STREETS STUDY STARTS
  Salt Lake City has started to study “completer streets” going from building to building instead of the previous curb to curb.  In addition, Transportation is considering traffic calming on 500 North (in the Community and Neighborhood budget).  I put the Public Utilities, Public Safety/Compensation, and Community and Neighborhood (CAN) budgets in the downloads area under SLC.

SLCPD IS ASKING TO USE 5 OFFICERS AS PARK RANGERS
  SLCPD Chief Brown, at the May 21 Work Session has asked for using 5 sworn officers as park rangers.  There are 67 parks.  Several councilmembers celebrated the proposal and pointed out that the expansion of trails in SLC should be encouraging the proposal.  But council asked for a real park ranger program that would be less official than a cop and be an official park ranger instead of a police officer.  Councilmembers were concerned about the perception that they could engage in immigration enforcement.  Councilmembers were concerned that an officer would be less likely to be approached by park users since a gun can be a concern!  Officers have already been tasked to close restrooms at parks to ensure that individuals do not try to sleep in the restrooms.  I disagree with the concerns that armed officers would be a concern and I support the Chief’s proposal.  The officers would use cars at first but could shift to bicycles.  There are 2 eastside park officers assigned; 2 westside officers assigned and 2 funded by DWR for the Jordan River Parkway.  The Council had a disagreement and decided to move on since the Council could not find compromise on the concerns about armed and uniformed officers acting as park rangers!  I know many community councils want park rangers!  From Ensign Peak to Fairmont Park, the City’s parks need park rangers.
  Other Public Safety presentations included $4 million for 110 new hybrid pursuit rated sedans to add to the 20 the City already has.  No patrol vehicles have dashcams.  The City is planning to use $512,000 for 400 new bodycams (to add to the 100 in use now) that are activated when a gun is removed from a holster and also that activates bodycams of officers around them.
  In addition, the City noted that the mileage of police vehicles is tracked with gasoline use.  The top 5 users each month are double checked for appropriate use.  SLC police officers who live in the City are not charged for use of the police vehicles but those who live outside of the City (up to 35 miles away) are charged a graduated rate that has not changed in 10 years.  The officers pay 50% of the graduated rate.
  SLC has 503 sworn officers and with the Airport Police, there are 580 sworn officers.  There are 120 civilian officers.  The City plans to hire 27 new officers this next year who will be on patrol within 10 months.  The City has hired about 80 in the last year and it has also lost about 80 officers!  In other words, the police officers are still not compensated appropriately.  SLCO is proposing a 16% salary increase.

UTA AUGUST CHANGE DAY ISSUES
  UTA is proposing major changes for the August 2019 change day.  This big change will affect many people who should be commenting to UTA (even though the comment period has ended).   Community councils should be aware of the major changes.  The big question is will UTA have enough drivers to serve the system.  Again, UTA is supposed to be down 140 drivers in August.
  My UTA August Change Day 2019 comments (UTA proposals are first followed by my comments).  The link with maps is: https://www.rideuta.com/Rider-Info/August-2019-Change-Day
Route 2
In partnership with Salt Lake City’s Funding our Future program, UTA proposes to have route 2 come more often, run earlier and later, and run on Sundays. On weekdays and Saturdays, service would operate every 15 min from 6 am to 7 pm, as well as every 30 min from 5 am to 6 am and 7 pm to midnight. On Sundays, service would run every 30 min from 7 am to 7 pm. The University of Utah previously requested that all bus routes be relocated from the University Hospital loop.  As part of a collaborative process, U of U Health Sciences and UTA have agreed that routes 2, 6, and 11 will continue serving the University Hospital loop. Other routes in the area will access the Hospital from the bus stops adjacent to Medical Center TRAX Station on Mario Capecchi Dr.  In conjunction with UTA’s proposal for route 220, riders would see more frequent service on 200 South between Salt Lake Central Station and University St. Buses would arrive every 7.5 minutes on weekdays between 6 am and 7 pm, and every 15 minutes weekdays between 7 pm and 10 pm. On Saturdays, buses would come every 7–15 minutes between 6 am and 7 pm along this stretch of 200 South. On Sundays, buses would arrive every 15–30 minutes between 7 am and 7 pm.  Of the two routes, route 2 would maintain the best connection to FrontRunner at Salt Lake Central Station.
Route 2X
In response to a request from the University of Utah, route 2X would no longer service the entrance to the University of Utah Hospital. Access to the university hospitals and clinics would be available at bus stops along Mario Capecchi Dr.
Route 2 schedule should be coordinated with 205, not just 220.  Sometimes 205 and 2 are within a few minutes of each other when it would increase ridership by spacing them better. Five minute frequency between 500 East and Central Station is possible.

Route 3
The western end of route 3 would move from Salt Lake Central Station to North Temple Station. This would provide better connections to both southbound and northbound FrontRunner trains. The 3 would continue to service 3rd Avenue, the University of Utah, VA Hospital, Research Park, and This is the Place. Route 3 would be the primary connection from FrontRunner to Research Park with the discontinuation of route 228.

Route 4
The new route 4 would partially replace service currently provided by routes 228 and 516. The eastern terminal would be at 3900 South and Wasatch Blvd. The 4 would then travel north along Wasatch Blvd, Foothill Dr, 400 South, 200 South, and Redwood Road before ending at the TRAX Power Station on North Temple. The objective of this route is to enhance east–west connectivity between the University of Utah, downtown Salt Lake, and the airport. On the eastern end, route 4 is designed to connect with routes 33, 39, and 45.  On weekdays, service would operate every 30 minutes from 6 am to 7 pm, and every 60 minutes from 5 am to 6 am and 7 pm to 9 pm. On weekends, the 4 would run every 60 minutes from 7 am to 7 pm. This would introduce new weekend service on Foothill Dr.
Route 4  Why is new route 4 turning onto 200 South when 200 South already has potentially 5 minute service west of 500 East.  Going straight to Redwood Road via 400 South would make more sense.  And it should operate past 7 PM since it serves downtown and shows/entertainment last past midnight.

Route 6
The western end of route 6 would move from North Temple Station to Salt Lake Central Station. The route would no longer service North Temple. From 2nd Avenue, it would service State Street and 200 South.  The University of Utah previously requested that all bus routes be relocated from the University Hospital loop. As part of a collaborative process, U of U Health Sciences and UTA have agreed that routes 2, 6, and 11 will continue serving the University Hospital loop. Other routes in the area will access the Hospital from the bus stops adjacent to Medical Center TRAX Station on Mario Capecchi Dr.  Route 6 still has too many turns in the Avenues.  The Avenues, an area full of mass transit proponents, would increase ridership  if the buses didn't keep turning (and slowing down to a milk run).  The Avenues should have 2-4 east west and 2-4 north south routes without turns.  
Route 11 has too many turns and should work with the Community Council on a better Avenues system.  Turns slow down bus schedules, increase maintenance and increase accidents and driver fatigue.  
Route 3 is a good example of how to run a bus through the Avenues except not sure about the downtown loop?

Route 9
In partnership with Salt Lake City’s Funding our Future program, UTA proposes to have route 9 come more often, run earlier and later, and run on weekends. On weekdays and Saturdays, service would operate every 15 min from 6 am to 7 pm, as well as every 30 min from 5 am to 6 am and 7 pm to midnight. On Sundays, service would run every 30 min from 7 am to 7 pm.  The 9 would replace the service that route 516 provides within the Glendale and Poplar Grove communities. The route’s western end would be located at the TRAX Power Station on North Temple. On the eastern end, the route would end adjacent to the Health Sciences Campus after servicing the University of Utah campus and hospitals.

Route 11
The University of Utah previously requested that all bus routes be relocated from the University Hospital loop. As part of a collaborative process, U of U Health Sciences and UTA have agreed that routes 2, 6, and 11 will continue serving the University Hospital loop. Other routes in the area will access the Hospital from the bus stops adjacent to Medical Center TRAX Station on Mario Capecchi Dr.

Route 17
Route 17 would shift from Main St to 300 West between 1700 South and 2100 South. On the eastern end of the route, the 17 would be extended to the Union Building at the University of Utah.

Route 21
In partnership with Salt Lake City’s Funding our Future program, UTA proposes to have route 21 come more often, as well as run earlier and later. On weekdays and Saturdays, service would operate every 15 min from 6 am to 7 pm, as well as every 30 min from 5 am to 6 am and 7 pm to midnight. On Sundays, service would run every 30 min from 7 am to 7 pm.
Route 21 should run past 1 AM.  The bars in Sugar House get a lot of college students (over 50% of UofU students are over 21) and they close after midnight.  The area is still active after midnight.

Route 200
Routes 200 and 500 would be consolidated. Route 500 would be discontinued and route 200 would service the State Capitol via Main St, Columbus St, and 500 North. This would provide 15-minute service to Capitol Hill Monday–Saturday and 30-minute service on Sundays. The northern end of route 200 would move from Salt Lake Central Station to North Temple Station. We are seeking public feedback on whether to have route 200 service Courthouse Station on Main Street to make connections with the TRAX Blue, Green, and Red lines.
Route 200 is in the top two most popular bus routes.  UTA SHOULD NOT MAKE IT A MILK RUN by routing it to the Capitol.  The 500 gets an average of one passenger a day while the 200 gets over 3400 passengers a day and is often standing room only!  200 (along with the Redwood Road 217) should be prioritized to increase frequency.  I know that there is an effort to increase frequency using an expensive BRT but the frequency can be increased faster and at less than a 15th of the cost with a bus.  This route deserves less than a ten minute frequency.  It should also have traffic light priority like the UDOT/Redwood Rd/217 system.  The bus stops on State that have been removed due to crime should be restored and if necessary have cameras and UTA cops ensure security.  Stops should be closer to the corners, especially where there are potential transfers.  In other words, changing a route to make it a milk run instead of increasing frequency is questionable.  This route, along with Redwood Road should get the highest priority for increasing service.
To serve the Capitol, consider a North Temple to Capitol (not stopping north of Capitol and not entering circle, just letting off passengers next to the circle.  If the turns and stops are eliminated, the North Temple/Capitol shuttle bus could get 20 minute frequency.  Many catch the bus to the Capitol via the Main Street/North Temple stop.  It is only a block from the TRAX station!  Why put in a bus to take passengers a block instead of walking (through a beautiful garden)?


Route 213
In response to requests from the University of Utah, route 213 would no longer service the entrance to the University of Utah Hospital. Access to the university hospitals and clinics would be available at bus stops along Mario Capecchi Drive.
Route 213 should coordinate with routes 9 and 220.  Those buses often are 1 minute apart!  A better system would have them 5 minutes apart.  This happens often on 200 South, 13th East, 9th South, State Capitol, etc.  And something should be done to make the bus stops at the Stadium TRAX Station more convenient and closer to the corners.  Note that there are ADA constraints due to the new stairs next to the law building.  Moving the stops to the corners with the lights puts the buses much nearer to the TRAX Station.  I often see people RUNNING REALLY FAST from the buses to the TRAX!  That shouldn't happen.  If people have to run to catch a transfer, it is a bad bus stop.


Route 220
Route 220 would shift from 100 South to 200 South between West Temple and 1300 East. In conjunction with UTA’s proposal for route 2, riders would see more frequent service on 200 South between Salt Lake Central Station and University St. Buses would arrive every 7.5 minutes on weekdays between 6 am and 7 pm, and every 15 minutes weekdays between 7 pm and 10 pm. On Saturdays, buses would come every 7–15 minutes between 6 am and 7 pm along this stretch of 200 South. On Sundays, buses would arrive every 15–30 minutes between 7 am and 7 pm.  Of the two routes, route 2 would maintain the best connection to FrontRunner at Salt Lake Central Station.
Route 220 should be considered to not run on 200 South.  Start at the UofU TRAX station.  (See route 213) Trying to do too much with a route actually makes it more complicated and confusing for riders who have to be encouraged, initially, to ride buses.  There is the South Davis BRT (which I am against) scheduled for 200 South.  

Route 223
Route 223 would receive a substantial improvement in frequency. Buses would shift from every 2 hours to every 30 minutes from 6 am to 9am, and 3 pm to 6pm; buses would come every 60 minutes from 9 am to 3 pm, and 6 pm to 9 pm. The northern end of the 223 would also be modified to serve Research Park, university hospitals via Mario Capecchi Drive, and the University of Utah via Central Campus Drive. The route would no longer service 900 South, 1300 East, and South Campus Drive.
Route 223 - Is 223 focusing on 1700 East and 2300 East?  Not clear.


Route 228
UTA would discontinue route 228 and replace segments of this route with routes 4, 33, 39, 45, and 223.
I agree about route 228.

Route 313
In response to a request from the University of Utah, route 313 would no longer service the entrance to the University of Utah Hospital. Access to the university hospitals and clinics would be available at bus stops along Mario Capecchi Dr. 
Route 354
In response to a request from the University of Utah, route 354 would no longer service the entrance to the University of Utah Hospital. Access to the university hospitals and clinics would be available at bus stops along Mario Capecchi Dr.
Route 313 and route 354 which runs via Foothill to Wasatch should have a higher frequency since UofU and WFRC thinks that the road can handle BRTs.  The bus service should increase frequency first before considering spending hundreds of millions on the 200 South to Foothill to Wasatch Blvd BRT.  So 313 and 354 should be combined to prove that people will ride buses on Foothill.  It requires coordination with big parking lots.

Route 470
Route 470 would be extended to Salt Lake Central Station via 400 South, 400 West, and 200 South. The current southbound 470 stop at 420 S State St would no longer be serviced by the route 470. This new routing would add a connection to Courthouse Station at 400 South and Main Street.
Route 470 should stop at corner of State and 400 South (close to the corner).  There is no excuse for missing the stop that could pick up a lot of City and State and Federal employees.

Route 500
UTA would discontinue route 500 and replace it with route 200. Capitol Hill would receive 15-minute service Monday–Saturday and 30-minute service on Sundays.
Route 500 should not be combined with 200 (see above).

Route F556 is not mentioned yet there are plans to push a billion dollar rail (first BRT) on 5600 West.  A regular frequent bus running from the International Center all the way to the Utah County line with priority lights, should be tried first.  UDOT has said that it could be an alternative bus concept.  UTA should stop asking for federal funds for the BRT on 5600 West and focus on service first.  A connection to the Airport would also be nice.  Stops can be further apart when there are few businesses.  5600 West should be number 3 on increasing service after State and Redwood Road.  

Speaking of 217, (not listed for change) there was an effort by some in WVC to have the Redwood Road bus run to the Airport a few years ago and I keep pushing to get Delta to allow Bramble to repeal his ban on fixed guideway funding from Airport Passenger Fees that could help pay for a Redwood Road better bus system (also 5600 West).  I do not think that Redwood Road has the width to lose two lanes of traffic but it could be an enhanced bus if the circles that it keeps running around State offices is removed.  This issue needs to be revisited.  Matt Sibul knows the issue.  I keep needling him about it and the FAA changed the rules a few years ago.  If you want more than 1100 passengers a day riding UTA (TRAX) to the Airport, you need more convenient and faster service.  217 and 556 could help.

Route 519
Route 519 would no longer end at Salt Lake Central Station. It would end at the Bennett Federal Building at 100 South and State Street, traveling via 200 South and better providing service to the central business district of downtown.
Route 520
Route 520 would no longer end at Salt Lake Central Station. It would end at the Bennett Federal Building at 100 South and State Street, traveling via 200 South and better providing service to the central business district of downtown.
Route 519 and 520 may be amenable to rerouting past the Capitol.  It should be studied.  And the Taylorsville State Campus also needs better connections with the Capitol and Downtown (by the end of the year).

Route 551
Additional trips would be added on route 551, including during early weekday mornings and weekends, to meet the needs of sponsoring businesses.
Route 551 needs a lot more frequency.  And maybe lower costs to ride.  

Route 871
The new route 871 would travel between Draper Town Center Station and Lehi Station. The 871 would provide service to Adobe, the Outlets at Traverse Mountain, Xactware, and Mountain Point Medical Center. Service would run every 30 minutes on weekdays and every 60 minutes on weekends.
Route 871 from Draper to Lehi should be more frequent if ridership increases.  This should apply to all bus routes.  It shouldn't wait for a change day if any routes increase ridership quickly.  If done right, like in San Francisco, ridership can increase 60%!  UTA may also consider sponsoring buses with companies like Adobe and the Outlets.  

Route 603, in Ogden, should go back to 25th Street (where the action is) and remove the turns onto 26th Street.  It should also increase frequency to 10 minutes and the stops on 25th Street should be restored (they were removed in some cases between Jefferson and Harrison).  

I look forward to the bus stop proposals.  I also want to point out that UTA's claim that there was a significant increase in route 2 ridership due to the better bus stop amenities is not what the study said.  It could not attribute the increased ridership to the better bus stop amenities.  Riders like service and frequency.  Studies show that with the same frequency, rail and buses have the same satisfaction rate (a study recently from Australia confirmed this).

 

 

 

 

 

MAY 9, 2019

PARKING VRS BICYCLES DRIVE COMMUNITY MEETING

 

PARKING VRS BICYCLES DRIVE COMMUNITY MEETING
  The 9th East and 9th South neighborhood business community held an overflow meeting Wednesday night at Liberty Park that resulted in a lot of anger and polarization of the community. The object was to clear up a misconception that the 9-Line Trail project from 1300 East to 950 East would have a large impact on parking or require a redesign of the 9-Line Trail. Neither was necessary. The project is to start next month after over a year of vigorous community engagement. Many of the 125 attendees at the meeting were there to defend what they felt was a threat to bicycle infrastructure by parking proponents.
  The community has always felt that the 9th and 9th neighborhood had parking problems. The local East Liberty Park Community Organization (ELPCO) sued a developer a few years ago due to their lack of parking for a proposed development. The project eventually was pulled although the community lost the lawsuit. 
  Nearby residents have often complained about the lack of adequate parking that results in restaurant and business patrons parking in residential neighborhoods. The area has been emphasized and encouraged to be walkable. That allows nearby residents to enjoy walking to neighborhood businesses but requires those who drive to the area to park then walk through the many businesses that emphasize window shopping. The wide sidewalks help but there is not enough parking to allow hours of window shopping and going to restaurants after parking.
  The City Transportation Department, unlike many previous major street redesign projects, engaged the community, landowners, businesses and residents in many meetings with significant feedback over the last year. The goal was to ensure that the neighborhood would approve of the project that would be a continuation of the 9-Line Trail project going from Emigration Canyon to I215. The County was providing over $500,000 for the project. The result was an agreement that the 900 South street from 1300 South to 1100 East would be reduced to 2 lanes from 4, there would be a roundabout at 1100 East and 900 South with Gilmer Drive (with a projected loss of 7 parking spaces near the roundabout) and a shared pedestrian/bicycle path raised above the street level 12 feet wide from 1300 East to about 950 East (on the south side).
  Two weeks ago at the East Liberty Park Community Organization, a neighborhood businessman and developer, Phil Winston, argued that the City plans showed a loss of 38 parking spaces in the 9th South business area!  A local online news site, Building Salt Lake, had a story that implied that the bicycle path was threatened due to concerns about parking. The local bicycling community spread the news and was at the meeting to support the plan for the 9-Line Trail. The local neighborhood residents and businesses were at the meeting to object to losing so many parking spots. 
  But the 9-Line Trail was not under threat. The project was going through. The 9-Line Trail is an extensive plan (a 57 MB file download from slcgov.com – Google it) that will encourage biking in Salt Lake County and emphasize the area's recreational assets. 
  The City presentation attempted to be structured but emphasized the previous discussions and future plans for parking in Salt Lake City instead of emphasizing that the City changed their plans (after discussing them over the last week with businesses) to result in a loss of about 20 parking spots around the roundabout, mainly in residential areas around 1100 East. The increase in loss of parking spots due to the roundabout (from 7 to over 20) was because the roundabout had to be bigger for increased safety than previously thought. The bigger roundabout has a significant negative impact on residents and businesses around it, including one who has a driveway essentially in the roundabout. 
  Tom Millar, who has managed the community engagement over the last year (He also was instrumental in getting community agreement on McClelland Street shared concept plan.) went over the history of the project for half an hour while the attendees became more and more frustrated. In answer to some questions about why the City didn’t study parking in the area before the project, Transportation Director Jon Larsen said that a parking study called a transportation demand management plan was coming and tried to describe the way that is going to emphasize proper parking standards. But again the audience became more frustrated. 
  When the Acting Director of Neighborhood Development tried to alleviate concerns about a protected bike path (actually shared and raised to sidewalk level), she defended the controversial 300 South cycle track and said that the City found that business activity/revenue actually increased in the area after the cycle track was put in. The community did not appreciate that comment, although the bicycling community attending did like hearing that.
  The main neighborhood concern was that they have spent decades trying to encourage a vibrant, walkable and inviting area in 9th and 9th and at the same time tried to ensure appropriate parking so that adjacent residential neighborhoods did not have to endure many strange cars parking in their quiet single family home neighborhoods. So the potential loss of so many parking spots was a big concern. 
  Many spoke up in favor of the project and asked that it go forward as quickly as possible. But many others, expressed concern about the City ignoring how important parking is to residents and businesses. 
  The City also emphasized the new expanded service on the 9 UTA bus that will operate earlier and later at night and on Sunday at 15 minute frequency and continue to the westside of SLC via 13th South. The service will start in August and it is expected to only be minimally impacted by the project construction.    There will also be coordination with UTA to provide better bus stops and shelters on the street. Some of the stops will be moved to provide safer stops and the stops will have bigger ADA pads. The 213 bus will move the 1100 East bus stop to the 9th South corner before the roundabout since it will no longer have to negotiate across two lanes of traffic to turn left. 
  The traffic on 900 South, around 5000 ADT, has significant traffic congestion during East High School starting and there was a concern that going from 4 lanes to 2 lanes may make the congestion worse. That issue was not able to be addressed. There was also concern that pedestrians, especially kids, walking on the roundabout raised crosswalks may face increased danger. The City expressed confidence that the 20 MPH speed required to go through the roundabout would increase safety for pedestrians.
  The result of the meeting was a lot of unanswered questions. Although many questions were answered, many nearby residents were not able to have their questions answered when the City shut down the meeting thinking that they had to be out by 8PM (the community council used it the previous month until after 830). Although the City has significantly increased public engagement with potential projects over the last year, this ended up an inadvertent complication. (The City had a big outreach and many community meetings with the recent 2700 South reconstruction and redesign.) The City went back to the drawing board to reduce the potential loss of parking in the neighborhood business area. But they should have gone door to door with notices over the last year to nearby residents and not just to the landowners on 900 South. Nearby residents on 1100 East are going to see the biggest impact but the area will have a safer bicycling and pedestrian path. The project completion will result in a safer 900 South for cars, pedestrians and bicyclists but the project designs will require further real life studies to ensure that it does not cause inadvertent negative consequences.
  Interestingly, on the same night, SLC also reached out to the local community council to start the process of resurfacing 500 East with possible design changes. The project is a year away but the City asked for feedback on possible changes to the street striping. Although 600 East is the City’s bikeway, including passing through Liberty Park, 500 East seems to have more bicycle traffic. Possible bike lanes and other changes are possible. This project design is just starting but it is nice to see that the City is getting better at public outreach and engagement. Last week, the Ballpark Community Council discussed the project for upgrading sidewalks on 300 West, which will be completely reconstructed in 2022. The community asked for the sidewalk project be speeded up for the next year even though it would require some reconstruction (at a cost of $250,000) during the 2022 project. The City is asking the community for feedback which is commendable. 
  The main takeaway from all of this is that community residents and businesses should attend their local community councils. The City goes to all of those community councils and provides a lot of information about projects, developments and public safety. They are important for providing feedback to the City which changes their designs and ordinances based on community feedback at the meetings. Please attend your local community council. The latest downloadable council list is in the upper left.

MAY 8, 2019

MAYOR CANDIDATES LAUGHABLY CLAIM TO BE AGAINST INLAND PORT
THIS WORLD WILL ALWAYS HAVE A BATHROOM PROBLEM
SLC STILL DOESN'T UNDERSTAND IMPORTANCE OF PARKING
HOMELESS TAI CHI ORDERED OUT OF RIO GRANDE STREET
CANYONS SOLUTIONS NO BRAINER. JUST DO IT
LTGOV COX AGAINST WAREHOUSING HOMELESS ARGUES AGAINST SRO
SMALL BUSES DID NOT HELP UTA
UOFU WANTS SCOOTERS AFTER SKATEBOARD PROBLEMS
UTA BONDING FOR GOLD PLATED BUS GARAGE
LANDLORD PROBLEMS WITH VOUCHERS


MAYOR CANDIDATES LAUGHABLY CLAIM TO BE AGAINST INLAND PORT
  Several candidates for mayor of Salt Lake City are trying to hide their pro Inland Port actions.  Despite Councilmember Erin Mendenhall's successful efforts to negotiate the Inland Port implementation and agreement between the State and the City Council, she now says that she does "not support the State’s tax and land use grab from Salt Lake City.....The way that those decisions have been taken from us is wrong."  But the City Council, led by Chair Erin Mendenhall, agreed to the new Inland Port bill!  Saying that she does not support the State's Inland Port land grab is laughable at best and, at worst, is a poor attempt at currying the favor of the majority of Salt Lake City citizens that are against the Inland Port.  
  The City lost almost 25% of their land with the bill.  The City, before the State expropriated the land, had passed a formal plan to develop the property and make it a redevelopment area, with the intention of it functioning potentially like an industrial development area similar to the Inland Port.  But the City Council, led by then Chair Erin Mendenhall, agreed with the Legislature and negotiated a "better?" deal to give up 25% of the City's property for nothing!
  I agree that the State Inland Port bill is unconstitutional and I support the lawsuit by the Mayor against the State.  The City Council has tried to stop the lawsuit, yet Councilmember Erin Mendenhall now says that she is against the Inland Port bill!  
  Former Senator Jim Dabakis is also running for mayor of Salt Lake City.  Although he supports the Mayor's lawsuit, he helped amend the Inland Port bill and got the City Council to accept it during the negotiations for it!  So he supported the amended bill but he is for the lawsuit?!
  I guess the operative phrase is: "how dumb do they think we are?"

THIS WORLD WILL ALWAYS HAVE A BATHROOM PROBLEM
  In a story by Dennis Romboy about the renovation of the Sprague Library (https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900068450/is-this-the-answer-to-the-bathroom-problem.html), the focus of the story was on an "all-gender, multiuser restroom or universal washroom" in the proposed design. Peter Bromberg is an amazing and respected SLC Library Director who has been active in upgrading all of Salt Lake City’s Libraries and the services that they provide. His characterization of the community meeting where the attendees hardly “blinked” is wrong. Several people (I was one, and was speaking for many around me.) expressed concern about the proposed unisex bathroom. Out of respect for Mr. Bromberg, after we gave our objections, we did not continue to argue. We love Peter Bromberg but we strongly disagree with his proposal. After the objections from the community meeting (some did like Mr. Bromberg’s idea), plans were added for another separate restroom.
  Libraries throughout the nation have had problems with some inappropriate use by homeless of services in the libraries, including in restrooms. The problems are attributable to the fact that cities do not provide enough services for the homeless, including public safe and sanitary facilities (the City only installed a couple of porta potties just a couple of years ago) and clothes and body washing facilities (except at the Weigand Center in the Rio Grande area). 
  This lack of adequate and respectful services for the homeless has resulted in the libraries being used by those without any other ways to keep clean. Peter Bromberg solved the Main Library problem of restrooms being inappropriately used, by implementing bathroom monitors next to the restrooms. It solved a lot of problems and made the Main Library bathrooms more sanitary and comfortable for patron use.
  Many other libraries in the system have had issues with inappropriate use (not just by the homeless) and librarians have stepped up to try to decrease the problems. But sometimes, at some libraries, it requires a police officer. Mr. Bromberg’s goal with his proposal is to “promote safety and better access”. The problem with the proposed design is that many people are uncomfortable around so called undesirables/homeless. Whether it is on a bus or in a restroom, it is an uncomfortable and disrespectful fact of life. Many women and men would feel uncomfortable walking into a multiuser restroom and finding a man or woman washing their clothes out in the sink and would be discouraged from using the secure stalls. Most children would be even more uncomfortable. 
  The idea of all-gender, multiuser restrooms is an attempt to solve the issues that include countering the good old boys network that hurt advancement of women in business, making people feel out of place (not just transgender), bullying in restrooms and the obvious smoking in the boys room. Historically, we have almost always had issues with toilets. I don’t think that it is realistic to go back to the ancient communal toilets with over 10 plus toilets on a stone bench side by side. Wasatch Canyon users complain regularly about lack of restrooms; Salt Lake City had to recently modify a restroom for ADA access and park users always complain about the public restrooms not being open (The City finally opened them April 20.).
  One should look realistically at the issue and realize that the only way to design a restroom “in which no one will either feel or be made to feel out of place” is to have one room compact toilet and sink facilities side by side. Instead of one public communal restroom at Sprague, which would still have difficulties monitoring for inappropriate behavior, it would make more sense to have 4 or five separate small rooms with toilets and sinks, including ADA access. That would make it easier to monitor those going in and ensuring that inappropriate use is not being allowed. 

SLC STILL DOESN'T UNDERSTAND IMPORTANCE OF PARKING
  Over the last year, there have been many cases where parking issues in Salt Lake City have created hate and discontent and, in one case, a redesign that turned out better than the first proposal.
  The 9-Line Trail in Salt Lake City, is a visionary project that will eventually connect the Bonneville Shoreline Trail with the Jordan River Trail. It received some money from Salt Lake County that is being used to change the 9th South roadway from 4 lanes to 2 lanes between about 10th East to 13th East. It will add a raised bicycle and pedestrian path for the Trail that is on the South side. It will also place a roundabout on the 11th East and 9th South intersection to increase safety for the 5 way intersection. The community had a big discussion and analysis about the project and decided that it was a good idea that would increase safety for vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists (there are also two raised crosswalks). The community was told and agreed that losing the predicted seven parking spaces would be acceptable.
  Two weeks ago, the City acknowledged that the predictions of parking spaces lost could be much higher. The developer that is remodeling the store on the northeast corner of 9th South and 9th East to become a restaurant and separate store showed that the project could lose as many as 38 parking spaces around the 9th and 9th area! The local community council members, many of whom lived within two blocks from the project were concerned about the loss of parking. The City agreed to discuss the project (starting this month) at a special meeting on May 8 at 530PM at the Youth City building in Liberty Park (about the center of the Park).
  The East Liberty Park Community Organization - ELPCO has been so concerned about the parking limitations in the area that it sued the City a few years ago to stop development of a building that had fewer than one half spaces per residential unit. The developer gave up on the project due to the delay caused by the lawsuit.
  Another recent argument about parking happened in the Sugar House area after community input on McClelland street redesign between 2100 South and Sugarmont (next to the S-Line). The community gave its recommendation after being told that their design would lose only a couple of spaces. The businesses thought otherwise and the parking loss necessitated a redesign that actually turned out for the better as a shared street
  Also, in the Sugar House area, the 2700 South reconstruction (using funds that were originally for 300 West matching of federal grant funds) is slated to remove parking on the north side of 2700 South to provide room for a bike lane going uphill on the south side of 2700 South.  The nearby residents were upset but the City said that they found that less than 15 cars were generally parked on the north side between 1300 East and 2100 East. The redesign and reconstruction happened with just a couple of months of notice. Fortunately, the City was able to have several meetings with residents and changed some of the plans. Instead of 7 raised crosswalks, there will only be 3.  But parking is still scheduled to be removed from the north side. Many nearby residents are still upset about the removal of parking on the north side of 2700 South.
  Reducing travel lanes on 1700 South (between State Street and 300 West) in order to add bicycle lanes and parking for the new apartments going into the neighborhoods resulted in a polarizing fight that had half of the community against the travel lane reduction and half for more on street parking. Parking won this fight but the community remains divided about the plan. 
  Parking in Salt Lake City always has been a controversial issue. The City has limited demolition permits that would result in parking lots. The City policy has been to not "waste" ground floor space with parking lots. The policy, until a few years ago, was to require a half of a parking space onsite per residential unit. But when a restaurant on 2100 East (Brew Ha Ha) tried to allow over 100 seats with just 6 onsite spaces, the backlash resulted in the City changing the rules to require one onsite parking space per unit (except for SROs). One of the developers affected was Vasilios Priskos who was not allowed to demolish empty buildings downtown because the City did not want to allow more surface parking lots. But the result was empty buildings, some for over a decade. Empty buildings encourage and enable criminal behavior. But the City has ignored that and still pushes against demolishing buildings!
  One of the reasons for the big fight in Sugar House about routing the S-Line north on 1100 East was the potential for loss of parking since the street is not wide enough for the planned two TRAX trains. The previous administration paid for a parking study in the Sugar House and Downtown area but it was never officially released. The study by Nelson/Nyggard found that the Downtown and Sugar House areas had plenty of parking. Some on the City Council and others expressed concern that accepting the report would lead to less parking requirements for developers and could push retail and residential building to other nearby cities. If there is no parking in Sugar House, why not go to Millcreek just down the street?
  There are many other projects that impact parking and the City should ensure that there is adequate notice and public engagement about projects that impact parking. In several cases, the City gave the community one month's notice to decide on a road diet that could increase parking (1300 South and 2100 South). Both projects polarized the residents. The City has other projects that will increase bicycling safety but could impact parking that deserve more publicizing and discussion. 
  The City should not be telling a community like 9th and 9th that there will be a lot more parking spaces lost when the project starts next month! Businesses are already considering moving due to the construction and loss of parking. One has left already. 
  Parking is a complicated issue. Donald Shoup has a good argument that we may have too much parking in his The High Cost of Free Parking. But his arguments are countered very well by Randal O'Toole of the Cato Institute who points out that making life with a car more difficult will encourage sprawl because developers will build further away from city centers to be allowed to build for cars.
  Salt Lake City should not rush projects that have such a big impact on communities regarding parking. Well before these projects are designed and given out with a contract, there should be a clear understanding and agreement on what the project will do to the community and specifically to parking.

HOMELESS TAI CHI ORDERED OUT OF RIO GRANDE STREET
  Bernie and Marita Hart's Tai Chi program has been ordered out of Rio Grande homeless area.  The State Police were ordered to kick the homeless Tai Chi program out of the Rio Grande area (they practiced next to the closed area in the street).  They told Bernie Hart that they were ordered to ticket him if he continues.  They suggested that he go to Pioneer Park.  Bernie's program is one of the few successful efforts to provide structure, calm and respect to homeless, and obviously, it is threatening to some political leaders.  It is a non confrontational homeless program.  It has been featured in many newspapers, TV stories and in magazines.  Yet it seems to be scaring leaders.  It is interesting that the State Police are threatening ticketing when the homeless don't care about ticketing.  Some homeless get up to 100 tickets.

CANYONS SOLUTIONS NO BRAINER. JUST DO IT
  The UDOT scoping period for the Little Cottonwood Canyon EIS has been extended indefinitely.  The original EIS was to start the construction of the new lane in Little Cottonwood Canyon that the State planned to construct with the $67 million budgeted to decrease the many backups.  Former State Senate President Neiderhauser, who lives near the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon, wanted to force Canyon users to pay a toll to go up the Canyon (SB71) but UDOT is doing the EIS to see if it makes sense over some other potential solutions to the backups that extend into Neiderhauser's area.  The tolls were to go for a parking garage near the mouth, that could be near Terry Diehl's property.
  The solutions should be a no brainer.  The Canyons need bus service now year round before any tolling.  There should be options for those not wanting or able to pay a toll.  The Legislature should provide seed money to start weekend Canyons bus service this year.  Several years ago, UTA did a study suggesting that it would cost a million a year per Canyon but it has obviously gone up.
  Before any tolling is even considered, there must be options like convenient bus service with convenient transfers from TRAX and other buses so they may need to be running outside of the Canyons.  Buses may need more bicycle carrying capacity.  But it will require starting the service to find out if it works or what is needed to make it work.  
  Parking does need to be increased in and out of the Canyons but the goal of year 2000 parking standards is unrealistic.  The State and County should put in more parking up the Canyon at many trailheads along with restrooms (for environmental reasons = EIS) and secured parking outside of Canyon which does not necessarily need to be on Wasatch Blvd if the bus goes by it.  When I say secured, I mean someone or a camera has to monitor it since one breakin and people will not park there again.  Note that all parking lots should have restrooms open year round if you really are concerned about the environment and watershed.  Salt Lake City Public Utilities has refused the request from the Forest Service to connect up 6 restrooms in the Canyon.
  Several years before the Mountain Accord, the Canyon Transportation Study looked at a curb/separation between the shoulder and roadway that could be used for bicycles going up the Canyon.  The bike shoulder does not need to meet the heavy duty requirements for big trucks and buses and they should stay off the shoulder anyway.  That cycle track would be very important.
  Since avalanches close the Canyon roads often in the winter, priority should be given to construct avalanche sheds which may need further Legislative funding.  
  The priorities should be:
1) avalanche sheds
2) bus service
3) parking in and out of the canyon with facilities/restrooms open year round
4) bike lane on the shoulder going up
5) then, after everything else is in place, look at tolling again.

LT GOV COX AGAINST WAREHOUSING HOMELESS ARGUES AGAINST SROS
  Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox said at the event naming the new homeless shelter on Paramount (moved south from original entrance) that the old model “was based on warehousing,” while the new centers will offer a place where people “can come and get the resources they need so homelessness can be brief.  That is the main argument that many of us have been saying is the reason why SROs are a bad idea.  Mixed income, mixed use facilities make more sense.  It is important that residents have an interest in preserving the neighborhood and all low income facilities tend to not have that interest.  See below for the issues with Palmer Court.  
  The homeless shelter construction on Paramount is also destroying businesses.  In some cases, the businesses have lost 25% of their business!  The City has not offered compensation, or low interest loans or signs that might help.  The construction companies are ignoring the adjacent businesses and blocking their access!  The City needs to step up and do right.
  Also, there were 17 deaths at Palmer Court last year.  Palmer Court, a converted motel between Main and State just south of 900 South and operated by the Road Home, is a good argument against all low income housing.  SLCFD has had issues with the large number of medical response calls at Palmer Court which is the second biggest draw after the Rio Grande area.  Putting all low income in one facility results in encouraging and enabling bad behavior.  

SMALL BUSES DID NOT HELP UTA
  The question of why UTA does not use small buses keeps coming up.  The answer is that they tried them but they ended up costing about the same since the major cost was drivers and maintenance.  And the small Optimus buses were very high maintenance.  UTA ended up giving them to the UofU for their shuttles!  UTA maintains them with a contract but when UTA operated them, they found that they were very unreliable and couldn't be depended on for a reliable service.  The cost of operation between a big bus and a small bus is about the same.  And the convenience of having a consistent service and the ability to handle 40+ passengers during some events and rush hours is important.  
  I have tried the small buses and found that they can be crowded at certain times and wanting for more space.  I have also tried the small vans but I found them very inconvenient and poorly constructed.  The new buses are able to accept wheelchairs easily while the vans tend to need a lot more time.  Interestingly, the big express and Park City buses need forever to accept wheelchairs!  UTA really should operate the low floor, kneeling and quick ramp deploying buses exclusively.  They work.  Everything else is too high maintenance.

UOFU WANTS SCOOTERS AFTER SKATEBOARD PROBLEMS
  There have been several stories about how the University of Utah is about to accept rental scooters on campus.  Lost in the stories is the fact that the University has had a love hate relationship with scooters and skateboards.  In 2013, an accident that seriously injured a pedestrian resulted in a fight that almost banned skateboards on campus.  The present rule on campus is that skateboards are limited to 10 MPH while the electric scooters have a 15 MPH limit on a straightaway.  So the University is about to accept scooters if they can be limited to a 10 MPH speed.  The same arguments against scooters in SLC apply, mainly that pedestrians should not be threatened by scooters and rental scooters are being operated by people who are generally unexperienced which increases threats to pedestrians and riders.
  The University "policy enforces a 10-mph speed limit for all motorized and non-motorized vehicles, prohibits skateboarders from riding in parking lots or roadways, requires riders to yield to pedestrians, bans non-motorized vehicles from stairways, grass, benches, etc., among other precautionary measures."  The University's SAFE campaign "safety officers will cite violators with written warnings for their first offense. For the second offense, riders will have their vehicle impounded for a minimum of 48 hours and receive a minimum $100 fine. After the second violation, riders will have their vehicles impounded for a minimum of 30 days and be subject to an escalating schedule of fines."
  The University's commuting manager, Alma Allred, has this to say:  "Your concerns are well founded and that’s why we are investigating how we can best regulate the use of the scooters.  There are ways to limit the speeds of these scooters while within a geographic boundary that we can stipulate.  There will be lots of input with the hope of maintaining a safe environment for pedestrians while at the same time encouraging active transportation options."

UTA BONDING FOR GOLD PLATED BUS GARAGE
  UTA is pulling a fast one with the Utah State Bonding Commission.  In an effort to bond for $31 million to speed up the construction of the $100 million CNG bus garage, UTA told the Bonding Commission that they lowered the cost of the project and that they need it.  A CNG refueling facility for hundreds of buses should not cost more than $30 million.  Part of the large cost, approaching $100 million, is due to the effort to try to save and work with the old brick structure (supposedly historic) is questionable and is a poor use of taxpayer funds since it may cost 2-3 times more to build than a new building.  The old brick building is not easily made earthquake proof.  Placing all of UTA's CNG refueling systems in Salt Lake County in one area is also questionable with the threat of an earthquake.  
  A CNG facility should cost no more than $30 million since it just requires pumps (the cost really could be as little as $10 million), not a $70 + million facility.  I recognize that WFRC and UTA have been trying to push this issue (including at the federal government) for over 5 years and I have been fighting it (including for a couple of years protesting UTA secret applications at the federal government).  The old RTP (about to be updated) has it at $65 million over 5 years ago and UTA, in September, said that after a $17 million investment, it will require an additional $70.5 million.
  If UTA really wanted to be efficient, they shouldn't be running buses out to outlying areas in the morning empty (dead head buses) from the central bus garage (they have two - one south of the County Jail and another downtown) and returning empty in the evening to the central bus garage!  There are plans for new bus garages in the outlying areas which should be significantly reducing the size and cost of the $88 million garage that UTA is asking $30 million bonding for.  Both the southwest and southeast WFRC draft new RTP supposedly includes these garages.  And again, from a safety/emergency plan, all CNG refueling should not be in one place.
  UTA is under pressure to move the present bus garage since SLC wants to develop it into part of the Depot District Research Park.  The old bus garage is on the corner of 600 West and 200 South.  But UTA/taxpayers/riders should not have to pay for SLC's pie in the sky designs that increase the cost.  
  During arguments with the Board and senior management, they  indicated that it was more efficient to have drivers pick up their buses after refueling at the main bus garage (being built) instead of going across the street with a bus to refuel.  The 5 minute drive is inefficient.  But it is more inefficient to drive empty twice a day to and from outlying areas that should have their own bus garages.  Smaller bus garages would be less costly overall, more efficient and safer in an earthquake.
  UTA's statement justifying the bus garage said that "Unless UTA is able to build the Depot District Clean Fuels Tech Center, UTA is limited in its ability to expand service.  Fundamentally, increased service requires more buses, with adequate facilities to store ad maintain them."
  I disagree with that statement.  UTA's priority, before any more projects or bonding, should be to increase service.  There is no lack of space for maintenance or refueling now or in the next two years.  UTA should provide more specific justification for increasing bonding.  

LANDLORD PROBLEMS WITH VOUCHERS
  There have been several stories about trying to get landlords to accept housing vouchers.  Many landlords are leery of accepting them.  If you ask the landlords why, they say that many of the voucher users engage in criminal activity and they have difficulties evicting them.  They point out that, despite multiple arrests, SWAT raids, drug arrests, assaults, abundant police calls and underage partying, it is difficult to remove the tenants using housing vouchers.  Some have fought the efforts to evict by claiming discrimination.  I know of one case of a person who was operating a meth lab and who had a visitor arrested twice in two days with drugs who fought for a year to not be evicted.  The landlord had to pay $6000 to clean the house!  In another case, the police tried to ensure the safety of a young man who had taken drugs but the tenant refused to allow the police in.  That eviction took 6 months.  When some tenants are finally evicted, landlords find lots of needles on the floor and in the couches!

 


APRIL 24, 2019
UTA NEW DRIVER TURNOVER IS OVER 50%
SLC PROMISED NEW COPS BUT WHERE ARE THEY
SLTRIB PUBLISHES S-LINE AND SRO OPEDS
UTA GETS CONFLICTING RECOMMENDED GOALS SLC VRS SW SLCO

PROBLEM WITH AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN SLC IS SLC GOVERNMENT

UTA ENCOURAGES PROJECTS BY CLAIMING THAT RAIL LEADS TO 

    DEVELOPMENT

BODYCAM COSTS DECREASE WITH HELP FROM UTAH INTERACTIVE
SLC RDA IGNORES 9-LINE SAFETY & ENCOURAGES POLLUTION,    

     MILKRUNS AND VACANT BUILDINGS
SLC PARK RESTROOMS OPENED FINALLY
300 W. BALLPARK NEEDS TEMPORARY SIDEWALKS
UTA ORDERS BUS DRIVERS TO STAY AWAY FROM THE CURB
UTA SELLS SEX
TRAX EXTENSION IN LEHI/DRAPER WILL SCREW WESTSIDE 
SLC ADOPTS BUDGET AMENDMENT 5 WITH TRANSIT PROJECTS NOT SERVICE


UTA NEW DRIVER TURNOVER IS OVER 50%
  UTA is promising to increase bus service in August with many new routes for the buses that they have and expanding span of service.  We have been pushing for increasing service this August with the new SB136 taxes, and until now, UTA insisted that they will have to wait to expand service in August of 2020!  UTA is trying to expand service this August but the weak link in the effort is the fact that UTA is about to lose 30 drivers to retirement, over 50% of newly trained bus drivers (trained and given a Class B license) leave within a year.  Many leave because of the realization that with a split shift policy (work the morning and evening rush hours), they are effectively working 12 hours a day with 4 drives to work!  The pay is now starting at 17.75 an hour but the turnover is still high.  Drivers are getting a $1000 bonus for referring new drivers (who also get a $1000 sign on bonus after training).  That is still not enough.  The Union that negotiates the salaries needs to work with UTA to find a compensation that will attract and keep bus drivers.  There is also the issue of retirement.  SB136 requires that UTA study moving retirement to Utah's retirement system and report by September of 2019.  Drivers are concerned about that potential impact on their retirement.
  The number one reason that people like to ride buses is a pleasant bus driver.  We need to attract and keep more bus drivers to encourage mass transit use.

SLC PROMISED NEW COPS BUT WHERE ARE THEY
  Several years ago, the Salt Lake City Council was fighting to add more police under pressure from citizens.  The meeting devolved into a fight between Mayor Becker who did not want to hire more cops.  Chief of Staff David Everett ordered Asst Police Chief Ross to not allow the Council to hire more cops.  Councilman Charlie Luke and Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall tried to get Chief Ross to explain why he couldn't hire more cops.  He said that the SLC Police Academy could not handle more.  Council Executive Assistant Cindy Gust-Jensen (who is probably the most knowledgeable person in City Hall called him on that statement and pointed out that the Academy could handle as many as needed.  So the Council set a goal of hiring more cops (with the help of a grant).
  Several years later, under a new administration, when it became obvious that SLC needed more cops, the City and Council agreed to a tax increase (allowed with Mayor Becker's negotiations to accept the new prison) that would fund expanded transit "service", hire 50 new cops (later reduced to 23 or so), increase affordable housing and help maintain roads.  But the City also hired a labor negotiator who claimed to reduce salary increases!
  SLCPD Chief Brown helped increase the officers on patrol by repurposing officers and detectives that would not normally be on patrol, onto patrols.  In some cases, the officers were rotated onto patrol for a few weeks from their desk jobs.  The walking patrols that the City Council insisted on a few years ago downtown ceased to exist.  And Operation Rio Grande (Operation Leaf Blower is the name given the Operation by the County Police Chiefs) concentrated SLCPD officers in the Gateway area.  That increased the pressure on the City to hire more cops.  The Salt Lake City Council also increased their salary almost 50% in December of 2018 despite arguments that police deserved the salary increase more (going from 24,000 a year to 35,000 a year for a part time job which generally takes up to 20 hours a week if they are dedicated).  Councilwoman Mendenhall explained that she shouldn't be making less than her baby sitter (The City has failed for years in their efforts to establish a day care center for City employees.).
  So we are now at the point where the proposed SLC budget is about to be announced and the City administration (the Mayor) is not talking to the Police Union!  Last year, the Union and City did not talk and the City and Council set the salary increase for all employees, including cops, at 3%!  Chief Brown has touted at community councils that the City has hired 80 new officers in the last year.  But the City has also lost around 80 officers in the last year.  Where are the new cops that the City and Council promised?  
  The City, the Council, the Police Union and the Police administration need to sit down and talk now to provide compensation that will attract and keep good police officers.  If the salary is so low that only questionable candidates apply and some of the best leave, it hurts the effectiveness of police and decreases the relationship between the police and the community.

SLTRIB PUBLISHES S-LINE AND SRO OPEDS
  The Salt Lake Tribune published two opinion pieces in the last week.  Although I am usually limited to one a month, every year or so, I get several published in the month due to important issues.  The S-Line opinion piece counters some of the UTA claims about how important that the Line was to Sugar House development.  The Single Room Occupancy oped resulted in an overflow crowd at the SLC City Council hearing (see below).  
  The links to the opeds are


https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2019/04/12/george-chapman-uta-should/

https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2019/04/20/george-chapman-slc-plan/

UTA GETS CONFLICTING RECOMMENDED GOALS SLC VRS SW SLCO
  UTA has been reaching out to "community leaders" in the Salt Lake City/South Salt Lake City area and in South Jordan (SW part of the County) to find out what they recommend and want in transit expansion.  The effort is led by consultant Jarrett Walker who wrote the book Human Transit and has a blog by that name.  The attendees of the SLC/SSLC group expressed wanting more frequent service instead of coverage.  The attendees of the SW County area meeting wanted more coverage.  Unfortunately, it is not sinking in that coverage should not mean an expensive rail line that sucks out all of the potential for mass transit service expansion by bus.  As I have mentioned several times before, when LA did that, it took away from bus service and it resulted in almost no increase in ridership after spending billions.  When UTA expanded TRAX, it decreased bus service by 30% (some routes were claimed to be covered by TRAX).  
  If the SW County area does not understand what they want, they may end up with just one rail line and almost no bus service.  Salt Lake City attendees did seem to want an increase in frequent service, and span of service.  They were aware of and accepted the financial limitations of the exercise.  

THE PROBLEM WITH AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN SLC IS SLC GOVERNMENT
  The problem with lack of affordable housing in SLC is the SLC government!  Despite the claims that SROs will solve the housing crisis in the City and the County (they said that about ADUs but only 3 have been applied for and there is a $5000+ upfront cost due to impact fees), SROs will get a lot of pushback from the nearby residents and businesses.  The next to last semi SRO was closed (the Rio Grande Hotel is the last SRO in SLC and seems to be well managed) due to a resident killing a neighbor, despite onsite management.  The closest thing that we have to SROs now are the crime magnet motels that are causing problems on State Street and North Temple.  Despite efforts to close them with a civil penalty ordinance, they are still a problem.  And when we do close them, like the Capitol Motel on 1700 South, it does not result in more affordable housing.  
  The City Council, the administration and the RDA Board bought two low income affordable housing building around 250 S. State Street and tore them down to make a nicer, prettier building that was supposed to be affordable housing.  That happened 5 years ago.  The City messed up and so we actually lost the housing and it was not replaced.  The RDA is still attempting to get an affordable housing building in there.
  The City has also tried to redevelop the Pipeline Building that has been empty since the new Police HQ was built.  Still no affordable housing as promised.  Although Dan Lofgren's Cowboy Partners seems to have a plan, the Council has been arguing about how much affordable housing should be in there, as a percentage.  Dan Lofgren is one of the good guys in affordable housing.  He has a great reputation as a developer and is also adept at utilizing the State's tax credit for affordable housing system.  He was the only developer who built affordable housing, mixed income units in Sugar House (Liberty Village on McClelland).  But the City Council is insisting that it knows better and so the housing is still not being built!
  The City had a significant increase in housing starts during the Impact Fee moratorium several years ago.  But the new increased impact fees are affecting developers (and ADUs as mentioned above since they have to pay Impact Fees for single family homes to get a permit).  Last year, the City Council discussed fee waivers for mixed income with 20% affordable housing in apartments.  That could save developers of some large projects almost half a million dollars.  But the fee waiver discussion went nowhere.
  The City has a policy of mixed income but almost all approved new apartment buildings are market rate.  The City has also discussed but not implemented an inclusionary zoning policy that would require all new buildings (over 10 units) to have at least 10% affordable units.  
  The City Council, specifically Councilmembers Kitchen and Mendenhall, was able to convince the rest of the RDA Board (the Council and Mayor) to appropriate $21 million for affordable housing but the spending is slow to result in new affordable housing. 
  The RDA staff pointed out to the Council/RDA Board almost 5 years ago that the State Street area has the best potential for increasing housing in Salt Lake City and could significantly help in increasing affordable housing.  But the City and RDA have been going around in circles for almost 5 years without any result.  Recently, the RDA staff was told that the Board of Education was going to question the large area that encompassed the proposed RDA expansion area of State Street (going from 200 E. to 300 W. from 6th South to 2100 South).  So the potential for housing increasing there has hit a brick wall.  The City does not need to wait for approval of a redevelopment area.  It can easily and obviously quickly encourage affordable, mixed income, mixed use housing that allows for residents and businesses to invest in their area and encourages walkability.  Form based zoning and inclusionary zoning policies should be implemented for State Street.
  The Legislature and the municipal governments' efforts to get a handle on AirBnb also add to the increasing unaffordable housing in Utah.  That requires better data instead of using the honor system to get tax money from AirBnb and other peer to peer rental systems instead of getting the addresses and how often they are used.  In some cases, a home that rents for $1000 a month can use AirBnb to get double that or rent just half of the home for the cost of a mortgage.
  The City is using $2 million from the County transportation funds for prettifying State Street (South Salt Lake City is getting $2 million for the their area).  That money could be and should be better used to encourage mixed use and mixed income buildings along State Street.  The idea that State Street needs Disneylandish style traffic calming with roundabouts, fancy bus lanes and more trees (car lots hate trees) to meet the Life on State dream of Envision Utah before encouraging building affordable housing is wrong.  Governments should not implement visions that detract basic services and higher priority.
  Salt Lake City should stop holding property and vacant buildings for dozens of years (like the Pipeline Building and several properties around Gateway (that decreased in value due to the non use of the buildings - vacant buildings encourage crime and lower property values).  Those properties should be sold and used to encourage mixed income housing development in the City.  The City should not be thinking of using SROs to fulfill the need for affordable housing until they find a solution for and remove the crime magnet motels.  Even when the owners are on site and cameras are installed and they work with police, crime seems to be enabled and encouraged by the low cost of daily and weekly rentals.  SROs are not a solution.
  Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall, running for mayor, implied that she and the Council would vote for the SRO expansion encouragement on May 7, despite the polarizing of the citizens for and against the proposal.

UTA ENCOURAGES PROJECTS BY CLAIMING THAT RAIL LEADS TO DEVELOPMENT
  When UTA claims that the S-Line has led to billions of development in Sugar House, it encourages municipalities to demand their own rail lines.  Utah taxpayers do not have the money to pay for tens of billions of new rail lines.  UTA doesn't even have the money to increase bus service!  So again, to show that the claim that the S-Line is a boon to business development, if a rail line is all it takes to allow for exponential development, look at the 250 West and 2100 South area to State Street.  For over almost 20 years, there was no development in the area, despite a train every 5-10 minutes!  Despite the efforts of several developers.  That area, in South Salt Lake City is slowly getting some new buildings but sitting vacant for decades is not proof that rail leads to development.  The S-Line carries about 1300 riders a day (the oped link above goes into more detail) and it is not cost effective.  The efforts of some to expand it to 39th South via Highland or to the North via 1100 E. and 900 E. is a costly effort without justification, in my opinion.  And if UTA does not want the pressure to build more rail lines, they should stop saying that the S-Line led to billions of development.

BODYCAM COSTS COULD DECREASE WITH HELP FROM UTAH INTERACTIVE
  Again, the cost of bodycams for cops is coming under scrutiny.  The monthly cost is over $100 per month for bodycam storage and access via the supplier servers (like TASER now AXON).  The cost of servers and storage should be going down but the way the system is set up, the bodycams are provided with grants and when the money runs out, the police departments have to pay exorbitant monthly fees to store and access the videos.  Utah Interactive has a new product being tested that should provide much needed relief.  Their system is being built under the auspices of the Utah Department of Safety and it will be over 50% less expensive.  Companies should not continue to be used if they will not pass on the lower costs of services (storage) to their government, taxpayer supported customers.  Law enforcement entities in Utah should ask the Legislature to ensure that all video from law enforcement bodycams can be moved over, without extra cost, to new lower cost storage and access systems.

SLC RDA IGNORES 9-LINE SAFETY & ENCOURAGES POLLUTION, MILKRUNS AND VACANT BUILDINGS
  The RDA Board (the City Council and Mayor) have adopted a new budget amendment that accepts money from the County to help traffic calming on 300 West around West High.  The effort will encourage traffic to downtown SLC to use Beck Street and go through the Capitol Hill neighborhood.  The result wii be increased pollution, especially for those living on Capitol Hill.  I am not sure why that makes sense to anyone.  
  The budget and money from the County will also complete a pedestrian bridge over railroad tracks at 300 North (for West High students - a big concern).  But the City and the County are ignoring the biggest danger of the railroad tracks, which is at 900 South.  Several deaths have occurred in the last year.  But the effort to complete the 9-Line Trail is focusing on everything else but the most important part, the pedestrian bridge at 900 South.  I do not understand why the City and County are spending transportation funds on projects, like parking garages for private developers, that are not as important.  
  The RDA Board is also continuing to push for a TRAX station at 650 S. Main Street to encourage development of the Sears Block.  That would make the TRAX lines going through downtown, milk runs and result in discouraging ridership.  I asked the RDA Board to not build anymore stations on TRAX until the Green Line is allowed to go off on the spur near 1300 South to 400 West and skip the zig zag through downtown and save 10 minutes to the Airport and increase ridership.  There is also an effort and plan to build a station at 1700 South which, in my opinion, makes more sense.
  In another issue, I asked the Board to sell the vacant buildings and property that is underutilized, and in some cases, vacant for decades.  The property could be worth over $100 million but the vacant buildings around the Gateway have actually decreased in value by about $10 million in the last year!  The money could be and should be used for encouraging building mixed use and mixed income buildings along State Street.

SLC PARK RESTROOMS OPENED FINALLY
  Despite SLC Parks being utilized by many sports clubs in our spring, over the last few months, the SLC Park restrooms have been closed.  SLC Public Utilities allows opening the restrooms on April 20th this year.  They did open the restrooms but the City Parks and Public Utilities Departments have, in the past, closed the restrooms on Labor Day and at other questionable times.  I find it disprespectful at best to force kids and young women to try to find a bush to hide them while they relieve themselves.  The Park restrooms should now be open.  The City Council has been discussing, with the Budget Amendment 5 (see below), the fact that the City Public Utilities and Budgets do not really match the real life weather and dry summers in Salt Lake City.  So, sometimes, like two years ago, the City stopped watering the cemetery and medians with trees (until complaints).  The City Council has been told that there is a problem but refuses to change the policy that fixes the water budget before the summer and stops watering when the budget appropriation is reached.  So the City spends a million on prettifying alleyways and most of the plantings have died.  The City spent hundreds of thousands on plantings for Miller Park but they died from no watering.  The restrooms are like plantings in SLC, not important.

300 W. BALLPARK NEEDS TEMPORARY SIDEWALKS
  When the City did not get the $12 million grant for the 300 West traffic calming (in Ballpark), the City shifted the $2 million matched City funds to 1500 S. on the westside and 2700 South on the eastside.  But UTA will shift the 17 bus to 300 West and the 9 bus will continue to run on 300 West but expand service to the westside of the City on 1300 South (both in August).  But there are not many good sidewalks along 300 West.  Encouraging transit/bus use requires sidewalks but the City is balking at constructing sidewalks since the City will have to rip up many of them in a few years when they do reconstruct 300 West (now scheduled for 2022).  That will cost the City several hundred thousand dollars.  But sidewalks should be a priority now.  The City should do a better job planning the projects to minimize the duplicate work.

UTA ORDERS BUS DRIVERS TO STAY AWAY FROM THE CURB
  UTA has problems with bus drivers getting too close to the curb at bus stops and hitting and breaking their mirrors when there are nearby tree or sign interferences.  So UTA has ordered the drivers to stay one to four feet from the curb.  Which discourages ridership since bus riders like the ability to not have to make a big step up.  That is why rail lines seem to be nicer to ride, no step up (in general).  So the new buses (that kneel to almost be even with the curbs) are less useful.  And the bus stop amenities and platforms for buses that were built to specifically meet up with the bus entrance floor are wasted.  I asked UTA to rescind the order.  UTA should also ensure that bus stops do not have interferences that could interfere with the buses getting close enough to the curb to allow easy access for all bus riders.  The easier it is to get on a bus, the easier it is to encourage ridership.

UTA SELLS SEX
  I am old enough to not be afraid of sex but... UTA has sold a full bus wrap for the Blue Boutique, an adult (R rated sex?) store.  It drives through the City with a tag line, the greatest store on earth (sometimes misread as greatest sex on earth).  When UTA thinks that it makes sense to cover up the bus windows with a bus wrap about a sex store (which is the biggest ad complaint that they get) instead of ensuring clear and clean windows (the second greatest reason that people ride buses), that is scary.
  This effectively puts riders in a tube that is hard to see out of and it hides our beautiful city.  Riders at the bus stops have to wait to enter since they can't see in to see if riders are going to exit.  It slows down riders getting on buses.  And it makes it difficult to see the bus stop to get off at in the evening.
  Is UTA so desperate for money, despite the new taxes, that windows have to be covered?  Why wash bus windows if you dirty them up with ads for alcohol and other questionable ads.  UTA should forgo the $4 million in ads and ensure that bus windows are clean.  The new taxes should more than make up for it.

TRAX EXTENSION IN LEHI/DRAPER WILL SCREW WESTSIDE 
  Despite claims that UTA is focusing on service, UTA has agreed to study a TRAX extension from Draper to Lehi that will cost almost $2 billion.  The study is using County transportation money which is questionable since UTA Commissioner Carlton Christensen was in charge of economic development and had influence on where to spend the transportation funds.  He directed the money, before becoming UTA Commissioner, to be used for a parking garage in SLC and a parking facility in Cottonwood Heights.  I need to emphasize that the study cost is coming from the same funds that Commissioner Christensen directed a few months ago.

SLC ADOPTS BUDGET AMENDMENT 5 WITH TRANSIT PROJECTS NOT SERVICE
  The Salt City Council passed Budget Amendment 5 with minor changes that included removing $2 million from the Disneylandification of State Street since the original $4 million was to go to State Street through South Salt Lake City.  The plan is to increase safety for bicyclists and widen the sidewalks.  The Budget Amendment also provides funding for a study on Warm Springs Park which will go towards the process of upgrading the facility and opening it up for more public use.  The study is due to the activism and dreams of the Capitol Hill Community Council.  The Budget Amendment also provides funding for more prettifying of streets including 300 West in the Marmalade District (see RDA note) and moves funding to 1500 South and 2700 South from the 300 West in Ballpark area. 
  The Amendment also spends $400,000 for 2 transit hubs, one on 200 South and about 700 East (as if we really need one there) and another around Redwood Road and North Temple.  Another effort to provide projects instead of service.

 

 

 

 

APRIL 10, 2019
PLASTIC BAGS ARE NOT BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
SLC COUNCIL IGNORES PLASTIC BAGS AND BANS NUCLEAR WEAPONS
SUGAR HOUSE MURAL CELEBRATES THE HISTORY OF SUGAR HOUSE
UTA MAY NEED OVER 140 NEW DRIVERS IN NEXT YEAR
SLC SHOULD STOP CRIME MAGNET MOTELS BEFORE CREATING CRIME MAGNET SROS
SLC POLICE HIRED 80 BUT LOST ALMOST 80 TO GAIN NO NEW COPS
SUGAR HOUSE RENTALS NOW OVER $1.85 A SQUARE FOOT
NEW STORES IN SUGAR HOUSE NORDSTROM, MAYBE TARGET
UDOT/SLC STILL IGNORES UGLIEST OFFRAMP IN UTAH
RANK CHOICE VOTING REALITY IN SLC
CALL SLC IF THEY TICKET YOU FOR NOT ENOUGH WATER USE
SUGAR HOUSE PARK RESTAURANT COMING


PLASTIC BAGS ARE NOT BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
  Several recent stories in the New York TImes and on NPR have raised questions about the effect on the environment of plastic grocery bags.  The New York Times story said that: 'it takes significantly more energy to create pulp and manufacture a paper bag than it does to make a single-use plastic bag from oil....You’d have to reuse a paper bag at least three times before its environmental impact equaled that of a high-density polyethylene plastic bag used only once."  The article also pointed out that reusable bags would have to be reused up to 131 times "before it had a smaller global warming impact than a lightweight plastic bag used only once".  The stories also pointed out that studies showed that when plastic bags are banned (in California), the use of alternative disposable and more expensive plastic bags significantly increased.  In other words, people want plastic bags.  Plastic bags are about .3% of the waste in landfills, .8% of litter and 80% are reused according to the EPA.
  In my opinion, the reason why we have these efforts to ban bags and straws comes from a need, a compassion, a passion to do something to make a difference.  When we hear stories about how bad things happen, we want to change the situation and make it better.  But carried too far and the effort can lead to claims that we are having too many kids.  "Diapers create a bigger wastestream in landfills so maybe the answer is not having more kids."
  Plastic bags do not create much of a problem for the landfill.  The landfill workers just wait until the wind blows and they can easily gather them from the fences.  The real solution is to ask, educate and encourage people to dispose of their plastic bags, hopefully reused, in a manner that doesn't have them loose in the garbage.
  Plastic bags make it easier to carry groceries on a bus or when carrying a child.  Paper bags are great for car trunks but very inconvenient for mass transit.  It takes a gallon of water to make a paper bag.  Water is too important to waste on a paper bag.  The next to last thing that we need to worry about is plastic bags.  The last thing we should worry about is plastic straws.  Government should not be so big that they are telling stores that need to be micromanaged by government.
  It makes more sense to kill dead dinosaurs than live trees.
  The links to these interesting stories are:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/29/climate/plastic-paper-shopping-bags.html

https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2019/04/09/711181385/are-plastic-bag-bans-garbage

SLC COUNCIL IGNORES PLASTIC BAGS AND BANS NUCLEAR WEAPONS
  The Salt Lake City Council, without a public hearing, voted to approve, with the Mayor, a joint resolution supporting the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  Some of the language includes:
  "nuclear weapons are an existential threat to all higher life on Earth, including us; ... and all residents of Salt Lake City have the right to live free of the threat of nuclear annihilation; and.... the production of new nuclear weapons will threaten health and the environment by creating dangerous radioactive waste... and calls on present and future United States Administrations to show leadership and work with all nuclear armed countries to negotiate verified elimination of all nuclear weapon arsenals."
  If this actually happens, with the new law that gives the EnergySolution nuclear waste dump a bigger chance to take in nuclear weapons waste (5000 barrels so far), Utah may get a lot of these banned nuclear weapons!  So even if the whole world turns super good and governments stop being threatening (as if), and there are no more dictators in power, we will be able to verify and trust that a ban will be effective!  But how do we get a guarantee that the nuclear weapons waste will not be buried in Utah?  
  There is a chance that we could turn the nuclear weapons into nuclear plant fuel but we have not been able to design and build guaranteed safe nuclear power plants.  Utah also recently passed a resolution supporting molten salt nuclear reactors despite the fact that it creates a lot of bomb making material, the tritium release has not been solved (a dangerous beta emitter that can cause cancer), the piping become brittle in the environment with some of the most corrosive elements possible and we have not been able to plan, design, build and operate a plant to remove the dozens of incredibly dangerous actinides created in such a plant.  Experts at MIT believe that molten salt reactors need a lot of research and would not be safely available, if ever, until after 2050.  
  The Salt Lake City Council should focus on basic services period.

SUGAR HOUSE MURAL CELEBRATES THE HISTORY OF SUGAR HOUSE
  Sugar House has a new mural that is an amazingly accurate rendition of a picture is of the 1940s Sugar House 1100 East and 2100 South intersection.  It was commissioned by Jeremy Higginson of Market Source Real Estate.  It is on the north facing of the building at 2015 S. 1100 E. and in the entrance to the Sugar House Coffee and Best Friends Animal Shelter parking lot.  Jeremy also is an East Liberty Park Community Council leader.  This mural is definitely worth the walk or drive to see.  His contact number is 801 810 6773 or jeremy@marketsourceagent.com.

UTA MAY NEED OVER 140 NEW DRIVERS IN NEXT YEAR
  UTA seems to have hired many more drivers than usual in the last few months.  The reason is that UTA now needs 130 more drivers now and it is expected to need 140 more drivers in August.  UTA drivers are under a lot of pressure in a hot job market.  They are required to drive split shifts which is hard to justify.  Many drivers like the split shifts and the job but UTA is about to lose 30 drivers to retirement this year!  For those of us wanting more bus service, this is the weak link in the effort.  Without drivers, UTA cannot expand services.  A few years ago, the turnover was 20% a year and the job market has become more competitive since.  So far, UTA is making up for the deficiency with overtime, lots and lots of overtime.  When you ride the bus, give the drivers a thank you for appreciation for working in a demanding job, with split shifts, with high turnover.  We need them.

SLC SHOULD STOP CRIME MAGNET MOTELS BEFORE CREATING CRIME MAGNET SROS
  The Salt Lake City Council is planning a public hearing on a proposal to allow Single Room Occupancy (SRO) residences around the City.  SROs are smaller and less expensive (preferred term is affordable) rentals that contain either a private kitchen or private bathroom (not both). They can house one to two tenants depending on size.  The rent can be weekly and eviction is easier than regular rentals.  SROs were added to the City's Housing Plan (Growing SLC) a couple of years ago to "increase housing options, promote affordability, and build more equitable and fair housing."  Up until now, the City has been treating SROs as studios.  They are now allowed in Transit Districts like North Temple and 4th South.  The new proposal requires that a property manager be on-site 24 hours a day with security camera monitoring.
  I am against the new proposed ordinance because Salt Lake City has not solved the problem of the low cost motels on State Street and North Temple that have become crime magnets.  In a recent case, neighbors forced the closing of a low cost motel, the Skyline Inn on 17th South and Foothill Drive due to the criminal activity.  It had developed a reputation by Utah prisoners that it allowed them to rent the rooms after release from prison.  Developers bought the property to stop the criminal activity.  Without more effective policing (requiring more police, which Salt Lake City has not been able to achieve) and adequate County public safety funding (for adequate jail space and DA prosecutions), SROs could turn into the crime magnets that have been the scourge of the neighbors for decades.
  Salt Lake City has a policy of mixed income.  The reason is studies show that buildings with all low income can become like mini "Cabrini Greens".  The effect could result in the same thing that happened to Palmer Court that is a low income facility between State Street and Main Street that is the second biggest medical response draw for Salt Lake City due to drugs and alcohol issues.  David Litvack, the Salt Lake City Deputy Chief of Staff argues that the SROs are market rate so the units could be many different rents.  But the crime magnet motels can also charge what they want and they still end up being crime magnets.  
  In my opinion, SROs have a bad reputation due to historical crime issues.  The last Salt Lake City SRO had to close due to one of the tenants murdering a neighbor.
  Parking is also an issue since SROs require one half of a parking space per unit and each unit could contain 2 residents.  Parking issues have always polarized communities in Salt Lake City.
  Salt Lake City has a housing problem that I contend is due to many vacant properties around the City.  The City owns many properties that it has kept vacant for decades.  Vacant properties encourage crime in neighborhoods and could be used for residential housing development.  In addition, the City's development policies discourage housing.  Several months ago, the City Council discussed reducing impact fees for mixed income residential development with 20% of the units affordable but the effort stalled.  That could have cut hundreds of thousands of dollars from up front impact fees in developments with hundreds of units.  Salt Lake City should be encouraging mixed income housing around the many vacant lots in the City, some owned by the City.  
  Salt Lake City should be encouraging mixed income mixed use housing with affordable units around commercial areas that desperately need more nearby housing to encourage walkable neighborhoods.  SROs should not be considered near single family home neighborhoods that the proposal is suggesting.  The City Council will have the public hearing on April 23rd at 7 PM at City Hall (400 S. State Street.  The Council provides validation for parking under the Library.  You can also email the individual councilmembers (on the left) or email city.council.liaisons@slcgov.com with your comments.  I put the maps of the areas that Salt Lake City is proposing for SROs in the Salt Lake City section of downloads.

SLC POLICE HIRED 80 BUT LOST ALMOST 80 TO GAIN NO NEW COPS
  In several recent community councils, the Salt Lake City Police have celebrated the fact that they hired 80 officers over the last year.  Unfortunately the SLC Police have also lost about the same number.  Although the number on patrol has increased due to rearranging staffing and better management, the City has more vehicles and bicycles than police to staff them.  Salt Lake City cops should have to beg for a respectable salary.  They deserve a higher salary.  Last week, several SLC Police Officers asked the City Council and Mayor's Administration to at least sit down and talk about their salary instead of ignoring their requests.

SUGAR HOUSE RENTALS NOW OVER $1.85 A SQUARE FOOT
  Rentals in Sugar House are over $2 a square foot.  The only affordable residences in the new developments are the Liberty Village by Dan Lofgren's Cowboy Partners who used Utah Housing tax credits to have a few affordable units in the development.  The Westport Capitol development along the S-Line on 300 East is 85% leased except for the 15 units of three bedroom.  That development costs $1.85 a square foot for rentals.  The supergentrification of Sugar House continues.

NEW STORES IN SUGAR HOUSE NORDSTROM, MAYBE TARGET
  Nordstrom opens up a regular store next to their Nordstrom Rack mini store in Sugar House in the former Toys R Us building.  There is also discussion with Target that could result in a Target neighborhood store in the area.  The shopping center will also extend the street north of Key Bank that will go from Highland to 1300 East.  It is called Stringham Avenue.  The Park Avenue University of Utah Medical buildings on the former ShopKo property may be open by next year and then the Westport Capitol development group will start constructing the residential component on the west side of the property.

UDOT/SLC STILL IGNORES UGLIEST OFFRAMP IN UTAH
  UDOT gave a presentation to the Sugar House Community Council this week that listed the projects that the State was planning on working on in the Sugar House area.  This year, there will be maintenance on the bridges of I80 in Sugar House.  They have exhibited significant deterioration and, although they are planned for replacement in a few years, they need to be worked on to stop concrete from potentially falling onto cars.  The bridge replacement work will occur in the next 4 years (2022) and will include a wider bridge to allow bicycle lanes.  That work will also include resurfacing I80 with a surface that will result in less noise.  The present surface of I80 in the Sugar House area is almost 50 years old.  Foothill Drive is scheduled for resurfacing and restriping in 2020.  The UDOT Sugar House Community Council presentation is in the downloads Transportation section.
  One of the issues that was discussed was the poor condition of the 1300 East onramp/offramp of I80 westbound.  That area was originally planted by UDOT but the maintenance by Salt Lake City was negligible and it fell into poor condition.  The estimates to re-establish low maintenance plants and trees along with appropriate rock scape designs was estimated to be around a million dollars.  UDOT has asked the Legislature for funding without success and they have not planned on doing the project without funding.  The area is around 5 acres and an estimate from 5 years ago was $44,000 per acre for a rock with weed barrier treatment to $175,000 per acre for extensive landscaping including irrigation, sod and trees.
  This offramp to 1300 East is the main gateway into Sugar House.  Sugar House is rapidly developing a reputation as an area with character that has amenities like entertainment, shopping, medical, offices and recreation in a walkable area.  Sugar House is developing into the La Jolla of Salt Lake City!  Unfortunately the gentrification of Sugar House is also resulting in residential rental rates of $2 a square foot.
  But all of this development should be reflected in an inviting offramp from I80 that does not look like it was never maintained.  Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County and UDOT should work on a plan to create an appropriate entrance to Sugar House from I80.  The property tax increases are significant and some of them should be used to beautify that offramp.  Sugar House residents should contact their City, County and Legislative elected leaders and government public servants to ask for consideration to make Sugar House look as good as it is.  The 1300 East offramp from I80 westbound area should not look like no one cares.   
  In 2014, UDOT said that they originally installed landscaping that "included rocks, drip irrigation and plantings of trees & shrubs.  Salt Lake City initially agreed to maintain this area but after the I80 project was completed, the City chose not to commit to long term maintenance of this landscaped area as well as the various cross streets running under I80 within the jurisdiction of Salt Lake City.  Thus, the maintenance of these areas fell back to UDOT maintenance.....(The west side of the circle) was planted with a standard dry land grass which is a typical planting designed to control erosion which is typical planting UDOT includes on projects when a local government does not want to fund both the upgrade in landscaping and long term maintenance.  The installed grasses do not require irrigation, provide erosion protection and is low maintenance....(The north slope next to Sugar House Park) was maintained by Sugar House Park some years back as a turf area and irrigation was installed as well as trees and sod.  Sugar House Park has ceased maintaining this area including irrigation, however it appears the trees in the area seem to have established a good root system.....Regarding costs to upgrade landscaping...installing rock with a weed barrier or installing sod, trees and irrigation...  (These costs were taken from recent UDOT competitively bidded projects.)  The rock and weed barrier treatment runs about $44,000/acre & the more extensive landscaping including irrigation, sod and trees runs about $175,000/acre."  The area in the circle is about 5 acres.  The estimate given to upgrade the area this last week was about $1.8 million with xeriscaping.  UDOT said that they have been trying to get the Legislature to fund the effort but they have failed to get the approval.  UDOT's Daniel Page also said that they have tried to get all parties to the table to fix/beautify the eastbound offramp area onto 1300 East.
  Another project for the Sugar House area includes work on the Jordan Salt Lake Canal by the liquor store).  

RANK CHOICE VOTING REALITY IN SLC
  SLC Council Chair Charlie Luke, last week, said that the City was not going to go to rank choice voting, despite the interest and over 10 candidates for Mayor.  Rank Choice voting is claimed, in non-partisan races, to provide a better indicator of voter choice.  But Charlie said that it would be unfair, in the middle of the race, to change the voting system.  The reality is that SLCO is not able to provide rank choice voting.  I mentioned it several times in the last 6 months in the blog.  Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen said:
"our voting system won't accommodate rank choice voting.  It isn't designed to create a ballot for rank choice voting or to tabulate rank choice voting.
The new voting system that was selected by the State (ES&S) has created a software option for rank choice voting, but it hasn't been certified.  Certification of voting systems is a rigorous process and crucial to ensure their accuracy.
Therefore, we will not offer contract services to cities who choose to conduct their elections with rank choice voting"

CALL SLC IF THEY TICKET YOU FOR NOT ENOUGH WATER USE
  This is a duplicate note from last year.  During a SLC Council meeting last month, a speaker complained that a neighbor was ticketed for not having enough greenery on their parking strip.  Anyone who is ticketed for not having enough greenery should call this number.  
  WATER CONSERVATION IN SLC IS LIMITED BY THE CITY'S REQUIREMENTS FOR 30% GREEN IN FRONT YARDS. Salt Lake City requires front yards to have 30% green space and no big rocks or concrete on park strips. But the City is trying to lower its per capita use from about 90 gallons per day and many have taken the challenge and installed decorative rock or mulch along with a couple of drought tolerant plants. The person in SLC that is responsible for water conservation is aware of the potential hypocrisy and is willing to consider any homeowner that is fielding complaints from the City about not enough green space. She is Stephanie Duer and she can be reached at stephanie.duer @slcgov.com or by phone at 8014836760.

SUGAR HOUSE PARK RESTAURANT COMING
  The Garden Center of Sugar House Park on 2100 South and around 1600 East is being planned to be converted into a restaurant and event center with an upgrade.  The restaurant will be called The Mint & Rose Cafe and Event Center.  The Sugar House Park Authority is about to complete negotiations and plans with a 25 year lease contract.  The developer's press release said: 
"The Garden Center Building has been part of the Sugar House neighborhood for over 54 years. Many art markets, quinceañeras and weddings have been celebrated within its walls. The building sits on a beautiful parcel of Sugar House Park over looking the expansive green of the gardens. Garden & Park Conservancy Inc. is re-envisaging this public space so that residents can enjoy celebrations and gatherings for another 54 years and more.
The entire Garden Center Building will be renovated to allow a multi-faceted use of the space. Residents will be able to use the space for meetings, dining or evening events, such as a weddings, corporate or non-profit fundraising dinners. 




APRIL 2, 2019
SLC BUDGET AMENDMENT SHOWS WATER PREDICTIONS USELESS
SLC TRANSIT PLANS MOSTLY PROJECTS INSTEAD OF SERVICE INCREASES
DOGS OFFLEASH AND SLCO ANIMAL SERVICES STATS ON EUTHANASIA
SLC SPENDS MONEY ON FACADES
FLOURIDE/COPPER/LEAD ISSUES COULD BE COUNTYWIDE
RANK CHOICE VOTING NOT HAPPENING IN SLC
FLASHLIGHTS HELP DECREASE PEDESTRIAN DEATHS
SLC WORKING TO MAKE 1300 S 1100 E INTERSECTION SAFER
SLC DISCOURAGING POLICE/FIRE STATIONS ON OPEN SPACE 
CONGREGATE CARE FACILITY PLAN KICKED BACK TO MAYOR
NO SIDEWALKS DISCOURAGE MASS TRANSIT USE
PARKS WELL USED BY KIDS BUT RESTROOMS STILL LOCKED
SLCO JAIL MEDICALLY ASSISTED TREATMENT
UTA PRESENTATION TO SLCO BUS STOPS EXPANSION
WHY NO EXTRA BUS SERVICE UP CANYON

MILLCREEK CITY CENTER PLANS IN DOWNLOADS SECTION


SLC BUDGET AMENDMENT SHOWS WATER PREDICTIONS USELESS
  As usual, SLC ignores the issues with watering public open spaces, parks, cemeteries and golf courses in SLC.  The water budget for the City is nothing but a prediction and it encourages conservation which sometimes leads to not watering cemeteries, golf courses and parks.  SLC is finally acknowledging the issue with Budget Amendment 5.  SLC's new budget (released next month) should increase the budget for water.  Budget amendments to cover water overuse are often ignored and our trees suffer and our plants die.  The City also did not realize savings from lighting retrofits.  It is questionable why changing to low watt LEDs should not decrease energy costs.  But SLC has a contract with Rocky Mountain Power that sets the power per pole and that may be the reason why lighting costs are not decreasing for parks.
  "Salt Lake City Parks and Public Lands FY18/19 budget is experiencing a projected deficit due to over expenditures in
electrical and water costs......
Salt Lake City Parks and Public Lands water budget has not grown relative to utility rate increases incurred annually. The
budget was, years ago, set to cover an average year of precipitation and heat. With annual utility rate increases of 3-5%,
without relative budget increases, longer hotter summers, additional park acreage, the installment of more accurate water
meters by Public Utilities and ESCO payments for irrigation upgrades, the budget is no longer adequate to cover the needs
of parks in the City. The summer of 2018 was dry, with warm days and warm nights. Public Lands utilized water
minimally to protect our natural landscapes and still fell outside the prescribed budget.
The water expense for Public Lands is projected to be overspent by $137,815. There are many factors that have contributed
to the projected over-expenditures in power and water.
• Stipulated energy savings, agreed upon by contract, that was never realized
• More accurate water meter installment at parks and cemetery
• Additional park acreage
• Exceptionally dry and warm summer months
• Maintenance issues that invalidated meter readings and forced pre-estimated savings."

SLC TRANSIT PLANS MOSTLY PROJECTS INSTEAD OF SERVICE INCREASES
  Today's SLC Council will have a final public hearing on Budget Amendment 5 which spends millions of taxpayer dollars that is coming from County Transportation Choice Fund on projects instead of service increases.  Some projects like the 9-Line Trail ($4.3 million) may make sense but that project lacks a safe path for pedestrians, wheelchairs and bicyclists over the railroad tracks which still divides east and west Salt Lake City.  The Budget Amendment also includes the million dollars for a study (pushed by Millcreek) to justify the extension of the S-Line to Millcreek.  It has 
two bus transit hubs ($400,000 and $300,000) on 2nd South and 700 East (someone needs to tell the neighborhood) and "near North Temple Boulevard between Redwood Road and 400 West".  
  The westside transit hub project money would have been better spent, in my opinion, on replacing the back and forth circular route of the Redwood Road bus that is going in circles in both directions to serve Utah State Government buildings.  Redwood Road's 217 bus is one of the most popular bus routes with over 3500 passengers a day.  Even though it is 15 minutes in frequency, zig zagging and turning through streets is not an efficient bus route.  I know that UTA is doing it to prove that it is treating the westside/economic area fairly but zig zagging buses are not treating the area fairly.  They make the trip much longer than a straight shot bus.
  There is also money for the Life on State Street Implementation Plan that almost no one knows about with traffic calming (lower speeds if UDOT approves).  This plan needs more public engagement.
  The main takeaway from this part of the budget amendment is SLC is asking for almost $11 million in transportation projects that do not increase mass transit service.  The projects do not make the roads smoother for more comfortable bus rides (poorly maintained streets cause bouncy bouncy buses which are not a comfortable ride).  The money could have funded over 10 new or expanded frequency or late night and weekend service routes.  Despite claims that one time money should not be used for service increases, I can make a pretty good argument that increasing service, if done right, can prime the pump and encourage more transit ridership throughout a more robust mass transit system.  The synergy can increase also increase fare revenue, not just on the increased service routes but throughout the system.  That can provide continuing revenue to fund service increases. 
  The SLC Budget Amendment 5 information from the packet is below:

The Division of Transportation applied for and received a grant of $4,338,218 from Salt Lake County from the
Transportation Choice Fund for the following project.
This project is funding for the Center Section of the 9-Line Trail. This is the 2.0 mile section along 900 S between 600 W
and Lincoln Street (approx. 940 E), excluding West Temple.
Following the 9-Line Extension Study, the City will improve infrastructure quality, elevate the streetscape for walking,
bicycling, transit, and streamline project delivery which will ensure high-quality connectivity, high comfort facilities, and
appropriate amenities while limiting implementation time and impacts from construction.
This grant does not require a match, but does award points for additional funds dedicated to the project so the City is
providing a match of $1,800,000. $1,500,000 from Street Reconstruction General Obligation Bond and $300,000 from
SLC Sales Tax for Transit Improvements.

The Division of Transportation applied for and received a grant of $942,500 from Salt Lake County from the
Transportation Choice Fund for the following project.
The Greater Millcreek / Sugar House Circulation Plan will identify transportation infrastructure improvements to increase
connectivity by all modes, expand transportation choices, and support economic development for mixed-use areas that
share jurisdiction borders of Holladay, Millcreek, Salt Lake City/Sugar House, and South Salt Lake.
$942,500 in grants funds combined with $57,500 cash match will be used to secure services of a local/regional
professional transportation planning consultant to produce the Greater Millcreek / Sugar House Circulation Plan.
Salt Lake City would administer the multi-jurisdiction contract for consultant services.
A cash match totaling $57,500 is from the following collaborative partners: A) $40,000 from Salt Lake City sourced from
Funding Our Futures sales tax increase; B) $10,000 from Millcreek; C) $5,000 from Holladay; and D) $2,500 from South
Salt Lake.

The Division of Transportation applied for and received a grant of $400,000 from Salt Lake County from the
Transportation Choice Fund for the following project.
The 200 South Transit Corridor / Downtown Hub Study will propose a redesign of 200 South from 600 West to 900 East
to transform the function of 200 South to a premier transit corridor with a downtown mobility hub/transit mall while also
incorporating access for walking, bicycling, shared mobility, private automobiles, and freight.
$360,000 in grants funds combined with $40,000 cash match will be used to secure services of a local/regional
professional transportation planning consultant to produce the 200 South Transit Corridor / Downtown Hub Study.
A cash match totaling $40,000 is committed by Salt Lake City sourced from the Funding Our Futures sales tax increase.
A public hearing was held on 12/11/18 on the grant application for this award.

The Division of Transportation applied for and received a grant of $300,000 from Salt Lake County from the
Transportation Choice Fund for the following project.
Salt Lake City Westside Multimodal Hub Study will identify a site on or near North Temple Boulevard between Redwood
Road and 400 West best suited to host a new multimodal hub facility that connects different modes of transit, including
TRAX, bus, ride sharing services, bike share, scooters, etc.
A cash match totaling $30,000 is committed by Salt Lake City sourced from the Funding Our Futures sales tax increase.

The Division of Transportation applied for and received a grant of $4,800,000 from Salt Lake County from the
Transportation Choice Fund for the following project.
Life on State: Design and Catalytic Site Implementation is a pilot project to test transportation improvement interventions
on State Street that are recommended in the Life on State Implementation Plan 2017.
Transportation improvement interventions would include:
1) $2,9,00,000 for design and construction of mobility and safety improvements in Salt Lake City on State Street between
600 South and 900 South to include wider sidewalks, improved transit stops, slower speed design, parallel parking
pockets, reduced driveways, street furniture, street trees, and mid-block crossings;
2) $2,000,000 for design and construction of mobility and safety improvements in South Salt Lake on State Street
combined between 2100 South and Haven Avenue (approximately 2300 South) to include wider sidewalks, bus pull-outs,
and street trees; and
3) $300,000 for design of high-comfort bike routes on each side of State Street (200 East and Main Street/West Temple)
between 300 South and 3300 South with connections to State Street amenities.
A cash match totaling $400,000 is committed from the following collaborative partners: A) $230,000 from Salt Lake City
Complete Streets Enhancement Fund (8381030 - $105,000 rescope and $8419009 - $125,000) both rescoped to "Life on
State", and B) $170,000 from Utah Department of Transportation for construction of a midblock crossing on State Street
between 700 South and 800 South.

DOGS OFFLEASH AND SLCO ANIMAL SERVICES STATS ON EUTHANASIA
  SLC is in the process of changing the off leash ordinance in Salt Lake City.  The Council and Mayor are discussing the issues and how to codify the changes.  In particular, the proposed ordinance will give SLCO Animal Control authority to ticket individuals for taking dogs in closed areas of Salt Lake City.  I put the specific report in the downloads section along with the latest report from SLCO Animal Services.

SLC SPENDS MONEY ON FACADES
  I question Salt Lake City's priorities when they budget almost $500,000 for prettifying facades.  SLC Housing & Neighborhood Development Economic Development Façade Program runs it.  I put the list in the downloads section.  SLC should use their funds for more basic services like better upkeep of roads.  And if Salt Lake City really cared about facades, they wouldn't keep vacant buildings vacant for decades.  Those vacant building facades are in much worse shape than those on the list.  I also put a map of CDBG eligible areas in the downloads. 

FLOURIDE/COPPER/LEAD ISSUES COULD BE COUNTYWIDE
  Salt Lake City contends that the fluoride problem in Sandy would not occur in Salt Lake City (or Millcreek and other cities served by SLC Public Utilities).  But sometimes the system does not work right.  Even in Salt Lake City, if you notice your water having a bluish tint, it is coming from copper piping that is affected by highly acidic water.  Over concentration of fluoride creates an acidic water that can remove some copper and lead from pipes (like in Flint Michigan and Sandy).  If you notice the blue tint or have questions about your water not being clear, call SLC Public Utilities at 801 483 6900.  I have heard several people claim that they sometimes see their water turn a blue tint for a day or two (in SLC).  They generally notice it in their toilet bowl (when not using the blue sanitizer system).  If you see it, it is recommended that you run your water for several minutes before drinking it.  And call SLC Public Utilities.  

RANK CHOICE VOTING NOT HAPPENING IN SLC
  SLC Council Chair Charlie Luke, last week, said that the City was not going to go to rank choice voting, despite the interest and over 10 candidates for Mayor.  Rank Choice voting is claimed, in non-partisan races, to provide a better indicator of voter choice.  But Charlie said that it would be unfair, in the middle of the race, to change the voting system.  The reality is that SLCO is not able to provide rank choice voting.  I mentioned it several times in the last 6 months in the blog.  Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen said:
"our voting system won't accommodate rank choice voting.  It isn't designed to create a ballot for rank choice voting or to tabulate rank choice voting.
The new voting system that was selected by the State (ES&S) has created a software option for rank choice voting, but it hasn't been certified.  Certification of voting systems is a rigorous process and crucial to ensure their accuracy.
Therefore, we will not offer contract services to cities who choose to conduct their elections with rank choice voting"

FLASHLIGHTS HELP DECREASE PEDESTRIAN DEATHS
  Pedestrian deaths are significantly higher this year in Utah.  Please consider carrying a flashlight and having all of your children carry a flashlight to use when crossing the street.  A flashlight significantly increases pedestrian visibility to drivers, especially at night or near dark.

SLC WORKING TO MAKE 1300 S 1100 E INTERSECTION SAFER
  Several complaints have been received by the City regarding the 1300 South 1100 East intersection that is getting more traffic due to the 1300 East road reconstruction project.  Even the Fire Department complained about the lack of visibility.  Kurt Larson from Salt Lake City Transportation acknowledged the problem and said that they are working on making the intersection safer.  
  SLC is monitoring and "will be making slight changes to the signal timing in the area to keep traffic flowing safely.  Also, as part of a recent signal timing update, we are scheduled to make some slight changes to the amber and red clearance timing intervals you were referring.  These changes will be occurring during the spring."

SLC DISCOURAGING POLICE/FIRE STATIONS ON OPEN SPACE 
  Several years ago, there were complaints about taking Salt Lake City open space and using it for buildings like the Fire Station that was put next to the Forest Dale Golf Course.  There were also concerns that there would be a Police Station proposal for part of one of the east side parks.  Salt Lake City is changing their Open Space ordinance.  It comes too late for the Forest Dale country club Fire Station but it is never to late to change to a better ordinance.
"The Planning Commission recommended local police and fire operations not be allowed in
the Open Space Zoning District. Proposed changes reflect that recommendation.
Currently local police and fire operations are incorporated in two land use definitions:
“Governmental Facility” and “Municipal Service Uses.” The proposal removes “local police
and fire operations” from the definition of Governmental Facility and leaves it in the
Municipal Service Uses definition. The proposal allows municipal service uses, including
City utility uses and police and fire stations in agricultural and form based zones."

CONGREGATE CARE FACILITY PLAN KICKED BACK TO MAYOR
  The SLC Congregate Care Facility ordinance was kicked back to the SLC Mayor by the Council after two hours of arguments for and against the ordinance by an overflow crowd of SLC citizens (like the S-Line expansion effort in 2013).  Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall, running for Mayor, made the politically expedient motion to return the ordinance proposal to the Administration and keep the public hearing open.  I doubt if anyone running for SLC Mayor will push for this ordinance.  

NO SIDEWALKS DISCOURAGE MASS TRANSIT USE
  The plan to finally construct sidewalks on 300 West hit a roadblock when the grant application for $12 million from the federal government was turned down.  The City had budgeted $2 million to match that but repurposed those funds for 2700 South (on the eastside) and 1500 South (on the west side).  Salt Lake City is now planning to budget for and construct sidewalks on 300 West by 2021.  It is ironic that bus service is increasing on 300 West but there are no sidewalks.  No sidewalks discourage mass transit use.

PARKS WELL USED BY KIDS BUT RESTROOMS STILL LOCKED
  Spring is here and the parks are full of soccer clubs and other users of Salt Lake City's best open spaces.  But the restrooms are still closed!  The restrooms need to be open now and the City should not wait until summer.

SLCO JAIL MEDICALLY ASSISTED TREATMENT
  Salt Lake County Jail is expanding drug treatment (called medically assisted treatment - MAT) in jail.  I put the proposal and two reports in the downloads section.

UTA PRESENTATION TO SLCO BUS STOPS EXPANSION
  UTA is preparing to expand their system along with bus stop amenities.  I put their presentation to the County Council in the downloads section.

WHY NO EXTRA BUS SERVICE UP CANYONS
  The Central Wasatch Commission (CWC) has been visiting community councils to explain their Commission.  After 5 years and $8 million dollars, there is still no extra year round bus service up the Cottonwood Canyons.  There is not even weekend bus service.  The parking lots are full on ski days and the buses are full.  So the reason for the CWC, which followed from the closed door meetings of the Mountain Accord (I have a screen shot on why the Mountain Accord did not have to follow the Utah Open Public Meetings Act - since thrown out by a judge.) is essentially lost.  The Mountain Accord and the CWC were supposed to be a transportation solution for the Wasatch Canyons.  When former Congressman Jasen Chaffitz tried to push the issue in Congress, he was slapped down by the Republican Chair of a Congressional Committee in his most embarrassing video.  The Chair complained that there was no transportation in the proposed bill.
  The CWC says that the billion dollar tunnel and billion dollar rail system is still on the table!  Instead of spending billions of taxpayer money on fancy projects, the ski resorts have suggested paying for a gondola between the Canyons and Park City (and paying for it themselves).  That makes more sense.  The bus service increases that we have been asking for for over 5 years is being planned by UTA but they gave leadership to CWC (to give them the credit for it and justify their existence).  So for the past 3 years, the UTA proposal has been kept locked up in the CWC!  That is not a good transportation plan.
  The CWC is also recommending turning over 8000 acres to the federal government (HB78 requires them to go to the Legislature to confirm the effort) because they believe that the federal government can better manage the Wasatch Canyons.  That effort also hit a roadblock in the Legislature this session when the effort to give CWC authority to do that was stopped (in the failed Senate resolution).
They also are proposing land swaps that give sweetheart deals (in my opinion) to ski resorts.  The ski resorts want to built gigantic 500 room Montage style resort residences in return for similar acreage (a couple of hundred acres) that is unusable due to the terrain!  At the same time, the CWC and Salt Lake City refuses to consider offers of thousands of acreage offered for conservation easement for less than 100 cabins in the Canyons.  It seems to me that 100 cabins would create less intrusion into the Canyons than a big expansion of the ski resorts.
  One of the reasons that Brighton incorporated was due to the water issues that SLC has control over and the lack of restrooms that SLC refuses to increase (they did build one last year).  6 million visitors a year in the canyon should have many more restrooms but SLC and SLCO refuses to allow more expansion (it seems).  Don't worry about dog poop.  Worry about people poop spoiling the watershed.  At least some people dispose of their dog waste properly.  I don't know anyone willing to bag and appropriately dispose of their own waste.
  In other words, I have lost all trust in the CWC.

 

MILLCREEK CITY CENTER PLANS IN DOWNLOADS SECTION

  I put the Millcreek City Center Plans in the downloads section under SLC downloads.

 

 

 

MARCH 30, 2019
SPRAGUE LIBRARY CLOSED MONDAY, TEMP OPEN APR 28

 

SPRAGUE LIBRARY CLOSED MONDAY, TEMP OPEN APR 28
  Sprague Library in Sugar House is closing on Sunday March 31.  It will move to the old Sugar House Fire Station on Sugarmont and open on April 28 (tentatively).  They are still remodeling the interior.  In the meantime, the holds can be picked up at Foothill Library on 2100 East and Foothill until the new temporary library opens.  The Sprague Library reconstruction will take about a year.

 



MARCH 26, 2019
RDA PROPERTIES DECREASE $10 MILLION DUE TO DECADES OF VACANT BUILDINGS
STATE STREET CRA HITS SLC ED ROADBLOCK
SLC PLANS TRAFFIC CALMING ON 300 WEST TO SHIFT MORE TRAFFIC TO CAPITOL HILL
BLOCK 67 DECISION COMING SOON
GATEWAY MARKET STILL BEING PUSHED
SLC RDA RUSHING 400 WEST DEVELOPMENT DESPITE GREEN LINE REROUTING
SLC RDA PUSHING BRICKYARD REDEVELOPMENT
SLC RDA PUSHING MORE GRAND BOULEVARDS
SLC RDA PUSHING WEST UNIVERSITY EXPANSION AREA
SLC RDA PUSHING S-LINE EXTENSION REINVESTMENT ZONE 
SLC RDA PUSHING EAST DOWNTOWN TRANSIT HUB 
FREE FARE SHOWS KIDS OVERWHELMED FRONTRUNNER
SLC WILL GET $5 MILLION MORE IN JULY FOR MCCLELLAND/TRANSIT/ROADS?
HB313 HIT AND RUN PENALTIES INCREASED
81 NEW POLICE IN LAST YEAR BUT LOSS IS OVER 50
HOW TO REDIRECT 911 CALLS FROM VECC FOR SLC RESIDENTS
MARIJUANA SMOKERS SHOULD NOT BE SPEEDING
GRAVEL PIT DUST WINS OVER CLEAN AIR
ANTI IDLING PASSES AND CAN STOP INLAND PORT TRUCKS
HB78 LIMIT ON FEDERAL LAND PASSES WITH BIG LOOPHOLE



RDA PROPERTIES DECREASE $10 MILLION DUE TO DECADES OF VACANT BUILDINGS
  The SLC RDA meeting on March 26 had a lot of interesting plans in their packet.  It also showed a reduction in the value of property around the Depot District.  The property that SLC RDA owns decreased in value almost $10 million!  Of course, it should have been obvious.  Vacant buildings encourage crime and result in reduced valuation.  SLC RDA has owned these properties and kept them vacant for decades.  In other words, an argument can be made that SLC RDA, with their actions or inactions, has actually caused money to be lost!  Vacant buildings encourage criminal behavior and make it harder to get private developers to develop the area.  SLC RDA should sell the vacant and unused buildings to developers since RDA is actually making the area worse.
  On a separate note, the vacant Overnighter Motel, located at 1500 West North Temple has been determined by the city to be a viable nuisance. Funds are being requested for the demolition of the property structures to make way for future construction by the developer under contract.
  The SLC RDA staff also added support for a 1700 South TRAX station (which is also in the WFRC RTP draft.

STATE STREET CRA HITS SLC ED ROADBLOCK
  The State Street CRA may need to be adjusted.  The Salt Lake City School District has expressed concern with the State Street CRA area map and feels that the CRA should be limited to State Street and not be as big from 200 East to 300 West.  The 9-Line area expansion did not generate concern.  The School District needs to sign off on the area and CRA plan before it can start.  So, after over 4 years, the area will take even longer to get underway.  The SLC RDA was also proposing bonding to create catalytic projects around the State Street CRA.  This is a big change and effect on the area. 
  The communities involved (Ballpark, Liberty Wells, Central 9th and Central City) should be involved and they should have input on changes and what they would be willing to work with.  RDA and SLC should reach out to the community councils for more discussion.

  From the RDA packet:
  "In February 2019, Agency staff met with the Superintendent and representatives of the Salt Lake City School District to discuss the potential participation by the Salt Lake City School Board of Education (School Board) for the project areas. During that meeting, the School District representatives indicated that the School Board would likely support the 9 Line project area as is. However, they indicated that the School Board would likely not support the State Street project area with the current boundaries. The general sentiment is that the project area extends too far west to be considered “State Street” and the School Board would be more likely to support a project area that is more closely aligned with the State Street corridor itself. Staff will be prepared for Board discussion and consideration of potential options for moving forward."

SLC PLANS TRAFFIC CALMING ON 300 WEST TO SHIFT MORE TRAFFIC TO CAPITOL HILL
  SLC keeps trying to prettify streets when they should be focusing on decreasing congestion.  The plans for 300 West are a good example of questionable plans.  SLC is trying to "traffic calm" 300 West from North Temple to 1000 North.  That will encourage more traffic congestion and air pollution on Capitol Hill.  300 West is a better street for high volume traffic.  The last thing that SLC Transportation should be planning on is to increase traffic volume along residential streets (on Capitol Hill).

BLOCK 67 DECISION COMING SOON
  Today, the SLC RDA is planning to discuss and vote on the Block 67 redevelopment area.  It has an impact on the rest of the Downtown RDA tax increment properties and it may not come to fruition.  The value of the underground garage, which will get a $15 million funding from County Transportation funds (to be paid back with a tax increment on Block 67), is questionable but it allows an above ground plaza around the residential and hotel buildings planned.  The Japanese community in SLC is trying to get some consideration for the impact on their adjacent properties.  Zions Bank is valuing the plan at $11.5 million.  The SLC RDA will decide the next steps.
  The Block 67 plaza that is available due to City RDA funding of the underground garage should be Japanese themed and available for two weekends a year for Japanese community festivals.

GATEWAY MARKET STILL BEING PUSHED
  The SLC RDA is planning street improvements around 400 West to 500 West to encourage and/or set the stage for a market in the Gateway area.  But the homeless situation is still fluid and a market next to an area with so many homeless services is questionable.  The Fourth Street Clinic is across the street and across the street from the center of homeless and drug activity that avoids the Road Home. 
  SLC RDA should not focus on the market in Gateway but should consider a market closer to 7th South on State or Main Street.  It could encourage proper development of the Sears block (which should have a market anyway).  It would be more helpful for development than the 650 S. Main St TRAX station (SLC please don't make TRAX a milk run).

SLC RDA RUSHING 400 WEST DEVELOPMENT DESPITE GREEN LINE REROUTING
  SLC RDA is planning to upgrade the area around 400 and 500 West for a market (see above) but also to prepare for the downtown north south streetcar on 400 West.  The 400/500 West decision should wait on the rerouting of the Green Line, decision.  The draft WFRC RTP has the Green Line rerouting (from 7th South).  It can be done quickly with the abandoned rail line spur from 13th South.  That would give SLC the north south rail that is in the SLC Transit Plan and save 10 minutes to the Airport AND help develop the Fleet Block.
  The SLC RDA packet has these plans:

8. 400 South and 400 West (Transportation Reinvestment Zone [TRZ])
• Purpose: Extend 400 South and 400 West light rail lines to support further
investment in Granary District, complete downtown rail network, and
provide improved downtown transit connections.
• Potential TRZ Term: TBD
• Potential Size of the TRZ: TBD

11. Granary District (Expansion & Extension)
• Purpose: Extend the project area term in order to leverage tax increment
as a redevelopment tool for the Fleet Block, and expand the existing
project area boundaries two blocks to the northwest to catalyze adaptive
reuse of existing warehouse properties.
• Final Year of TI Collection: 2023
• Annual TI Collected: $411,279 (2016)

SLC IGNORES RAILROAD TRACKS ON 9-LINE PLAN
  SLC is using the $2 million from the TIGER grant (UTA gets $20 million for bicycle infrastructure in return for local matching of $80 million) for the 9-Line Trail.  But the 9th South pedestrian/bicycle/wheelchair bridge is more important it would and make the 9 line trail real and not a dream.  The 9-Line Trail is a joke if there is no safe way to cross the railroad tracks on 9th South.  The bridge overpass will go a long way to stopping the division between east and west Salt Lake City.  Note that SLC is funding a pedestrian overpass on 300 West (for West High students).

SLC RDA PUSHING BRICKYARD REDEVELOPMENT
  SLC RDA is proposing to create a community reinvestment area (CRA) in the Brickyard area.  It is also working with Millcreek on the coordination with the Millcreek Center Plan.  
  Brickyard private development is not lacking.  Several big apartment complexes have been recently completed in the area and SLC RDA is not known for speeding up the development of their areas.  RDA staff is already overwhelmed with work and defocusing staff for Brickyard is questionable.  SLC appears to be under pressure from Millcreek but Millcreek priorities should not be Salt Lake City's.  The exception is the need to fix Highland Drive.
  The SLC RDA packet language includes:

4 Brickyard
• Purpose: Evaluate opportunity to create a community reinvestment area
and/or transit reinvestment zone in the Brickyard area of SLC to potentially
add housing and to further economic growth.
• Potential Project Area Term: TBD
• Potential Size of the Project Area: TBD

SLC RDA PUSHING MORE GRAND BOULEVARDS
  SLC RDA is also proposing more Grand Boulevards.  In my opinion, the Grand Boulevards vision should focus on finishing North Temple to the Airport before starting new Grand Boulevards.  Note that SLC gets a lot of money from the car lots on proposed Grand Boulevards and you can't have a Grand Boulevard with car lots.

6 Grand Boulevards
• Purpose: Create a community reinvestment area to improve the main
entrance into and exit from the City along 500 South and 600 South,
fostering a grand boulevards entry experience into the City.
• Potential Project Area Term: TBD
• Potential Size of the Project Area: TBD

SLC RDA PUSHING WEST UNIVERSITY EXPANSION AREA
  Another expansion area discussed at today's SLC RDA meeting is the West University reinvestment area. 
  Can we please finish the start of the 9 Line and State Street CRA areas BEFORE considering any other CRAs.  It seems to actually be slowing down development.  The West University Area proposal should wait.
  The packet language includes:

West University reinvestment area
The subject area consists of primarily single-family
residential zoning within the University local historic
district overlay. The Community Business covers a
short one block stretch on 1300 East with a mix of
single- and some multi-family residential uses
throughout. The corner of 500 South contains both
singe-family and high-density uses. The most
substantial opportunity for redevelopment exists at
the parking lot west of the stadium.
The local historic district overlay, which requires a
high level of scrutiny for development, poses a
challenge for redevelopment and without significant
process and initiative, changes in intensity and use
would not be expected.

SLC RDA PUSHING S-LINE EXTENSION REINVESTMENT ZONE 
  The SLC RDA is suggesting an S-Line Extension (Transportation Reinvestment Zone) that appears to be working with Millcreek on a multi-jurisdictional transit service (extending the S-Line south to Millcreek).  
  The S-Line extension for a potential transportation reinvestment zone (TRZ) is again a defocusing of stretched staff.  Note that the extension, whether north or south will cost SLC taxpayers hundreds of millions.  Streets should be fixed first to encourage mass transit use.  It is discouraging to ride buses that, due to the poor street conditions, go bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, bouncy......   
  The packet language includes:
9. S-Line Extension (Transportation Reinvestment Zone)
• Purpose: Create transit connections to and from Sugar House area while
providing multi-jurisdictional transit service and economic development
opportunities.
• Potential TRZ Term: TBD
• Potential Size of the TRZ: TBD

SLC RDA PUSHING EAST DOWNTOWN TRANSIT HUB 
  The SLC RDA is proposing how to pay for an East Downtown Transportation Reinvestment Zone (around 200 South and 700 East) to build the transit hub that the City Council expressed interest in several months ago in their plans to use money from the tax increase for a $400,000 200 South Transit Hub.  That $400,000 could provide a lot of bus service.  SLC and SLC RDA should focus on basics like streets' maintenance before any pretty vision projects.  There is no justification for such a useless project.
  The language of the packet is:

10. East Downtown (Transportation Reinvestment Zone)
• Purpose: Create a transit hub to support higher-frequency bus network,
increase transit opportunities, and support development of a mixed-use
transit hub that could be catalyst for other neighborhood developments.
• Potential TRZ Term: TBD
• Potential Size of the TRZ: TBD


FREE FARE SHOWS KIDS OVERWHELMED FRONTRUNNER
  As mentioned last blog entry, the free fare days tend to encourage families to bring kids on FrontRunner and the effect is to fill parking lots.  That, in turn, discourages potential long term ridership increases.  The pre-eminent study on transit fare elasticities from decades ago, pointed out that reducing fares only results in a -.3 to -.4 increase.  Cutting the fare by -50% results in a 15% increase in ridership.  The study showed that the increase in ridership is limited by ticket machine throughput and parking lots which are usually full.  So the stats from the free fare day show that it discourages long term ridership increases.  They show that 31,235 rode on FrontRunner (on Friday when school gets out early) compared to 19,135 normally.  UTA claimed that 10,497 vehicles were removed from the road each day.  I disagree since the cars that would normally sit in a driveway were used to drive their kids to FrontRunner rides.  
  When you look at the TRAX and bus ridership stats, the fact that FrontRunner was used for rides for children becomes apparent.  The ridership increases on TRAX and buses were increased very little.  UTA said that TRAX weekday ridership was 57,319 average ridership and the free fare went to 66,312 ridership.  Bus ridership went from 75,479 average to 83,818.   

SLC WILL GET $5 MILLION MORE IN JULY FOR MCCLELLAND/TRANSIT/ROADS?
  In July, Salt Lake City and other cities in the transit areas will start getting their share of SB136 funds that they can use for their streets' projects.  That could theoretically include more streets' maintenance upgrades or projects like the shared street on McClelland proposal (near 2100 South).

HB313 HIT AND RUN PENALTIES INCREASED
  HB313 increases penalties for hit and run drivers.  Salt Lake County has experienced an exponential growth in hit and run accidents.  This bill, on the Governor's desk, and expected to be signed, will go a long way to decrease the trend.

81 NEW POLICE IN LAST YEAR BUT LOSS IS OVER 50
  I put the latest SLC compensation study which includes the SLC police.  Around 3 police officers retire or move each month so even though 81 new police have been added in the last year, we really are only up less than 20.  One reason is the salary for officers that are willing to take a bullet for us.  According to the study, "SLC compensation for the Police Officer falls in the lower end of the reported range on scale minimum and midpoint, but then increases to the high end of the range when looking at wage scale maximum (top out).  SLC Police Officer compensation is well aligned to the market at the midpoint and maximum (top out) of the scale – though SLC could consider increasing the minimum of its wage scale and narrowing the overall range spread."
  SLC should increase the salary of police officers.  The City Council increased their salary almost 50% in December and police should get more of a salary increase than other City employees.

HOW TO REDIRECT 911 CALLS FROM VECC FOR SLC RESIDENTS
  For residents near the Salt Lake City boundaries, they can often find that their 911 cell phone calls end up going to Valley Emergency Communications Center VECC!  And despite the new Legislative bill that requires all 911 calls be handed off to 911 and not to a non emergency number (if it went to the wrong 911 center), sometimes VECC dispatch sends the call to the SLC nonemergency number!  The reason is the local cell phone tower is the deciding factor.  But if you experience this issue, call dispatch (799-3000) and complain.  The requirement of cell phone transfers depends on the number of calls going to the VECC versus SLC 911.  If over 50% of the calls from the cell tower is actually supposed to go to SLC 911 dispatch, the City can have all 911 calls go to SLC 911 dispatch first.  SLC 911 dispatch and VECC are supposed to be connected and the VECC calls can be transferred in a few seconds.  
  I still think that there should only be one Salt Lake County Dispatch system like Weber and Morgan County combined 911 system).  Unfortunately, the Legislature seems to be ignoring the problem (which sometimes results in deaths).  The 911 systems do not want to give up their systems so the County residents get less service.

MARIJUANA SMOKERS SHOULD NOT BE SPEEDING
  Several weeks ago, the DA agreed to drop charges of marijuana use by a driver that was pulled over for speeding.  Although the driver claimed that he needed it for medical reasons (in an older blog, I pointed out that the new Utah Medical Marijuana Law is making millionaires of drug dealers), HE WAS SPEEDING WHILE USING MARIJUANA!!!!!
  This driver should have had the book thrown at him.  He also lost his coaching job but he should have gotten much more punishment.  He is the poster child for NOT legalizing marijuana, in any shape or form.

GRAVEL PIT DUST WINS OVER CLEAN AIR
  Rep. Wilde's HB288, critical materials that included the gravel pits as critically important, was signed by Governor Herbert.  It increases protection of gravel pits but it also allows a city to limit expansions.  It will be interesting to see if SLC tries to limit the Beck Street gravel pits. 

ANTI IDLING PASSES AND CAN STOP INLAND PORT TRUCKS
  On a separate bill, Rep. Arent's bill to allow cities to pass anti idling ordinances that require at least one warning was passed and is expected to result in many new anti idling ordinances.  
  Despite the lack of anti idling signs and the confusion of almost 20 different municipal governments in Salt Lake County, if Salt Lake City passes such an ordinance, it could be used to payback the Legislature for the Inland Port theft.  (Note that the new Inland Port bill removed some of the new SLC economic development wins like UPS and Amazon from the area.)  I want to see SLC pass an anti idling bill that focuses on diesel trucks.  And I want to see all of the diesel trucks at the Inland Port and at the many new street projects ticketed for idling.

HB78 LIMIT ON FEDERAL LAND PASSES WITH BIG LOOPHOLE
  HB78, that required the Utah Legislature Interim Natural Resources Committee to be informed and review any attempt to encourage federal management of Utah lands.  The bill affects any property over 5000 acres.  Note that the Central Wasatch effort is around 8000 acres.  This law is really already in effect but this bill emphasizes that no one city or political subdivision can speak for all Utahns and ask to have the federal government manage Utah property.  This bill was watered down but it was generated by the closed door meetings of the Mountain Accord.  Salt Lake City believes that the watered down version is a win for their efforts to transfer management of the Central Wasatch Canyons to the federal government.

NAVAJO CODE TALKER BRAVERY RECOGNIZED WITH HIGHWAYS
  SB101 has been sent to the Governor and is expected to be signed.  As mentioned in previous blogs, this bill recognizes the bravery of the Navajo Code Talkers by naming several Utah highways for their efforts, especially in World War II.
  Again, in World War II, the Navajo Code Talkers used their Navajo language to create an unbreakable code used in the Pacific.  They volunteered for one of the most dangerous jobs in the military, radio operators.  Radio operators were targeted and high value targets.  They also knew, despite trying to keep it secret, that their squad leaders were under orders to shoot them if they could be captured.  That bravery and loyalty to our Country deserves respect.&