​​​​​​​​​​​I put the last few years of blog in a download button (Newsblog) on the right.  Below is the last 6 months of blog.  I moved the downloads to the downloads page. If you need a download or document that you don't see on this page, email me.​

PICTURE OF THE YEAR - WHY UTA IS NOT INCREASING RIDERSHIP

NOVEMBER 2021
SLCO JAIL STILL LACKING AFTER 13 YEARS
SLCO COUNCIL FIGHTS OVER SHERIFF TRANSPARENCY
SLCPD CRIME CONTROL PLAN UPDATED 
UTA REQUIRES DOCUMENTS FOR 50% REDUCED FEE
UTA GETS MILLION TO JUSTIFY $200 MIL UOFU RAIL PLAN
UTA PUBLIC HEARING ON THE BUDGET ONLY HAD 3 COMMENTS!
SLC SURPRISES WESTSIDE WITH NEW SHELTER 
WELLS WARD EARTHQUAKE DAMAGED AND ABANDONED 
SLC ENCOURAGES POVERTY WITH OVERWHELMING APARTMENTS 
SLC REFUSESES ENFORCE NUISANCE ORDINANCE AIRBNB HOMES
SLC CONSIDERS OVERWHELMING 1300 EAST HIGHER DENSITY
SLCO MAY WITHDRAW FROM CWC/MT ACCORD
SLC REMOVING HALF OF PARKING ON ANOTHER STREET 
PUBLIC LANDS SCHOOLS & PARKS MAY HAVE 75 FT CELL TOWERS
UTAH HAS AN EMERGENCY LACK OF MENTAL HEALTH BEDS
UTAH LEGISLATURE CONSIDERS BETTER CRIME DATA COLLECTION
MILLER PARK SLC CUTTING HUNDREDS OF TREES IN PARK
SLC MAY STOP REFINERY THROUGH WATER RESTRICTIONS
SLC RAILROAD CROSSINGS MAY BECOME MORE IMPASSABLE
UTAH LICENSE PLATES TO STOP EMISSIONS LOOPHOLE
UTAH ROAD USAGE CHARGE COSTS MORE THAN REVENUE 
CATALYTIC CONVERTER THEFT LAW COMING
BAM 4 PARK RANGERRS MAY TAKE AWHILE TO START
SUGAR HOUSE MAY GET CHARGED MORE FOR AREA
PLEASE USE FLASHLIGHTS WHEN CROSSING THE STREET
SLC ELECTION SHOWS CAMPAIGN EXPONENTIAL COSTS WIN
1100 EAST DECIDES PEDESTRIANS 10X BETTER  THAN VEHICLES

SLCO JAIL STILL LACKING AFTER 13 YEARS
  In 2008, the Salt Lake Tribune did a story on the dysfunction at the Salt Lake County Jail. It is still an issue and it led to a recent argument between the Council Chair, Steve DeBry, and Councilwoman Aimee Newton Winder (see adjacent story).  In that 2008 story, it reported that the Jail releases career criminals constantly and they increase the danger to the citizens and businesses. 
  We have been complaining to the Salt Lake County Council and Mayor about the revolving door at the Jail due to inadequate public safety funding at the Jail and DA. Although the County Mayor is adding $8 million from ARPA to the Jail budget along with a 14-20% increase, I don't believe that is enough. Last month, after our complaints about the Jail and DA budget, the Sheriff told the Council that 200 beds were open, not the 300 that we believed. The Council passed that information on to me. But the next day, in an interview with TV news, she said that there were less than 100 beds open! But that day's Jail Dashboard showed that over 300 beds were open and that there were 1719 incarcerated. The County Council authorizes over 2150 to be in Jail. The next week, the Sheriff admitted that over 400 beds are not being utilized! But she did increase the number of incarcerated to 1820 within a couple of weeks.
  In one egregious case, the arrested individual was released to treatment (the only available option) and killed one and critically injured another within a day. The Sheriff blames the court but it really is a systemic failure that starts with the State not paying corrections officers enough (the State Prison is understaffed) and the Legislature pressuring APP to reduce Prison beds (to meet the reduced beds at the new Prison). It is aggravated by the way the State and County implemented JRI and the County re-purposing of the $9.4 million Jail Bond for Pay For Success (which at most will pay $11.7 million) which allowed those in the program getting arrested many times but by being in the program, instead of going to Jail, they go back to First Step (and it is wrong to claim that it reduces incarceration). 
  The DA does not have the investigators and prosecutors to investigate and prosecute dangerous criminals and drug dealers (which I claim should be prioritized). The pay is part of the problem but the lack of investigators, in one case led to a killer, killing again within a year! Although the Council generally gives the Sheriff and DA what they want, I have watched Steve DeBry ask the Sheriff each time, several times is that all that you need. But in June, the Sheriff claimed that sworn Jail officers staffing was okay but the civilian Jail employees had a 25+% turnover. And a few weeks later reported losing 10 officers in a week and the Jail was down 20 officers! The DA is regularly grilled at why he can't hire enough prosecutors and investigators. I contend that the case load, which went from 50% over recommended a few years ago to double the recommended prosecutor case load this year! With less than 100 prosecutors and more than 160 killings, there is a problem. In addition, the Council kept pushing the DA to justify the 5 new investigators that he was trying to hire a couple of years ago.
  
SLCO COUNCIL FIGHTS OVER SHERIFF TRANSPARENCY
  The Sheriff reported on the significant staffing issues in her department this month. The discussion devolved into the Chair, Steve DeBry, complaining about how the previous Sheriff, Jim Winder, was not transparent and that this Sheriff is very transparent (I know both and I disagree). Councilwoman Newton Winder (Jim's Cousin), argued against him. Normally, there are 35 in the Sheriff's Academy but she now has 21. Millcreek is down 8 officers for various reasons. 12 out of 22 Mental Health Positions in the Jail are currently vacant (the attempt to use temp agencies did not solve the problem).
  The reasons for the number of beds in the 2 Jail facilities is complicated by removing beds for security or protected custody or admin segregation or for problem inmates. All limit to one per cell. There are 184 beds per pod and there are 2 pods in Oxbow with one pod not open. There are 290 specialized beds mental, or protective, or competency restoration beds with Utah State Hospital. Before COVID, there were 50% new charges versus 50% warrants. Now there are 930 warrants and 690 new charges. They are primarily felons, violent felons, sexual related, and aggravated assault (22.3%). The 2nd degree felons such as drug distribution, burglaries, stealing cars are about 27% of the Jail population. 3rd degree felons such as crimes against person constitute about 40% of the Jail. Class A and B misdemeanors constitute about 9% of the population. The Jail started with 1380 in Jail in January of 2021. 79% are pretrial detainees.
  Although authorized to open Oxbow pre COVID, the Sheriff didn't have staffing and once fully staffed (if ever), she will open the last Oxbow pod. The new State Prison will decrease beds and that will impact the SLCO Jail, and the Sheriff expects that contractors will take up slack and that she may implement conditional probation to other counties.
  The 2021 projected sworn officer turnover at the Public Safety Bureau is 26.3% and 15.5% at the Corrections Bureau. The Sheriff attributes the turnover to the July 2021 wage war. Additional vacancies result in mandatory overtime which could increase turnover.
  Noted in the Sheriff's 2022 budget from November 2021 (in DOWNLOADS), SLCO has the 9th worst starting salary! Ogden has a $5000 signing bonus and Utah DOC has a $6000 signing bonus. The SLCO Jail starts at $23.27 after a 17% increase. The 2021 projected civilian turnover in the Sheriff's office is 30.4% with 41 current vacancies out of 365, including Jail nurses, EMT, and mental health professionals (MHP). The effort to use temp agencies for mental health services is not working. 12 out of 22 MHP are vacant and 5 of 7 left citing compensation.
  When the County authorizes and builds receiving centers, it will make significant difference, since mental health crisis individuals would get treatment arranged. In addition, if the receiving centers are in outlying areas, law enforcement officers will not have to drive over an hour to book an arrestee into Jail (if they are allowed to set up as a temporary holding facility.
  Part of the issue is that the 2015 JRI reduced drug possession from a 3rd degree felony to a misdemeanor but that resulted in a decrease in funding from the State. Requiring drug dealers to be accepted at the County Jail (police still tell me that they are discouraged from booking them) and keeping them incarcerated will significantly help reduce their impact on the citizens, businesses and homeless in the County.
  I still think an audit is necessary of the DA and Jail.
  
SLCPD CRIME CONTROL PLAN UPDATED 
  The SLCPD released an updated Crime Control Plan that relies heavily on the feds (see reports in DOWNLOADS). The City is planning to implement a $2500 referral bonus and a separate $2500 sign on bonus (although Ogden has a $5000 bonus and Corrections has a $6000 bonus). Housing prices in the City are still a problem with attracting new officers. The City is considering a new housing for emergency workers plan. In addition, the City is planning on expanding the radius of where officers can live and still take their cars. It is 35 miles now and the City is thinking of 50 miles but the City will still charge a fee per mile.
  The City is focusing on crime with a violent crimes task force with the feds. It reduced crime in Ogden and the former U.S. Attorney was trying to get SLCPD onboard to doing it. The City agreed after he left. The City is assigning 71 officers to the task force. It is set up to focus on the 10% of the criminals that are involved in 60% of crimes.
  The City is also considering a plan to hire up to 20 former officers (non sworn) to function as telephonic police to take reports over the phone when a responding officer is not needed. The City is still trying to hire 3 social workers. (The City has been trying for a year!) The social workers are being transferred to the SLC Fire Department in hopes that that will attract more qualified workers. There are 24,000 medical responses per year in SLC.
  
UTA REQUIRES DOCUMENTS FOR 50% REDUCED FEE
  UTA has a December change day that reduces a route and changes the system for low income reduced fares of 50%. It changes a route to Grantsville which received a lot of complaints. The new system of reduced fares takes it out of Utah Workforce Services and has UTA running the program. It will require documentation which, to me, will lead to inequitable service. Many low income individuals do not have documentation, especially those who have undocumented status. UTA can provide equity by implementing a $1 fare systemwide. It addition, the UTA Equity Analysis is flawed since the westside bus routes are still zig zagging around instead of the eastside straight line routes. 
  Decreasing any bus service should not be considered until $1 fare is implemented and studied. It is possible that the ridership is low due to the high fare which is most impacted by low income riders. Removing the service therefore will increase the negative impact of those still using the service.
  
UTA GETS MILLION TO JUSTIFY $200 MIL UOFU RAIL PLAN
  UTA, SLC and UofU has received a million dollar grant (secret since the City doesn't like public engagement for rail line grant applications - they have had that policy since a riot at City Hall in 2013 regarding the S-Line extension). But the grant is supposed to justify the extension of the Red LIne from 400 South and Main Street to the Blue Line terminus at FrontRunner (construction will exponentially increase traffic on the 900 S off/on ramp). That will require hundreds of millions to build and much of it will come from Salt Lake City sales taxes for UTA. But it only benefits the eastside of the City! If Salt Lake City concentrates/focus on projects for ribbon cutting, the City ignores the basic maintenance that this City's citizens deserve. And those ribbon cutting projects, especially if they give one area the projects, ignore and disrespect the westside residents of Salt Lake City again.
  No matter how much you deny it, it is obvious that the westside is getting screwed again. Salt Lake City should require UTA to implemnet electric bus service starting on the westside and a $1 bus fare.
  
UTA PUBLIC HEARING ON THE BUDGET ONLY HAD 3 COMMENTS!
  UTA had technical difficulties and was unable to allow the online public to hear the comments of 3 at the public 2022 budget hearing. Two comments were by email. I gave mine by email and verbally but if you check the recording, you cannot hear me. I asked UTA to:
●  Implement $1 fare for buses to research the real fare elasticity. UTA may find it is better for ridership and revenue. Enforce mask mandates. 50% of buses that I have ridden in the last month have had riders without masks. 
●  If UTA wants more than a 4% increase in ADA riders, put a bigger canopy from the shelters over the sidewalk to near the bus stop curb. Tell drivers to actually get 6 inches from the curb and enforce/ticket those who make it hard to get to the curb (200S at 870E is a big problem). (One person commented to the Advisory Committee this month about not being able to get to the curb due to cars parked too close - reallyit is due to orders from the tire leasing managers telling drivers to stay 1-4 feet from the curb). Put in real time bus arrivals at the stop (coming with a new budget starting on 3300 South). Watch how often riders at stops step into the street to see if the bus is coming.
●  UTA would get better ridership increases with electric bus implementation. I remind UTA that your predictions on ridership have been way off. (The predicted ridership for 35MAX was over 5000 but was 3200. S-Line promised 5000 but got 1300/day. Airport was predicted to be over 5000 a day but was around 1100 a day before the pandemic. Recognize that when people see the significant pollution increase from FrontRunner double tracking with the predicted 7500 more riders a day, there will be a big backlash. And pollution increases from removing 2 lanes of traffic for BRTs in order to get 2000 riders a day onto UTA vehicles is not decreasing pollution.) 
●  UTA also increases pollution by backing up traffic by waiting in the travel lane! The worst increase in pollution is the 500 East bus that may be forced to drive 5MPH southbound! Clean diesels need higher speeds to be clean.
●  The noise of buses in canyons is a big complaint from residents and users. Buy more electric buses and use them in the sound constrained canyons.
●  I am against the study to justify building hundreds of millions of locally funded downtown rail lines since the westside is left out of potential increased service.
●  UTA should not go into TOD joint development but should rent properties to developers.
●  The depot district bus garage is going to quickly be out of date and inefficient since the outlying areas deserve the bus garages, smaller bus garages. UTA should stop pouring money into it.
●  Stop covering up windows and operating buses like above ground subways. (another online commenter also complained about this issue - they can't see their stop at night)
●  And I still think BRT seating is unsafe.

  Other November UTA meetings had these issues:
  UTA is selling part of the Clearfield Station property for $19 per sq ft instead of using it for desperately needed parking.
  UVX free fare is being extended through 2023. The UVX fare should go to $1 along with all other buses in the UTA system. It is inequitable, in my opinion, to give a segment of the population free fare since it could be equated to economic racism. Other bus routes that serve a so called less desirable ridership should not have to pay $2.50. To be equitable, all bus riders should pay $1. 
  UTA is going to spend $600,000 to install electronic signage with real-time bus departure information at several high-volume bus stops.
  UTA is going to provide 20 monthly passes for a year to Downtown Ambassadors. 
  UTA is hiring Jay Fox as the new UTA Executive Director starting in January. He is currently the Deputy General Counsel for corporate matters Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). Jay’s transportation experience includes his service as the Senior Director for Host Railroads at Amtrak (2017-2019), Regional Counsel for Regional 3 at the Federal Transit Administration (2010-2017), and Agency Counsel at the Federal Aviation Administration’s Hughes Technical Center (2001-2010). He sounds like a rail expert and he would be a good addition to the Secretary of Transportation Office. UTA obviously wants more rail.
  UTA is planning double tracking of FrontRunner with the goal to have 15 minute frequency. It will result in a high polluting diesel locomotive going through the Salt Lake Valley every 7.5 minutes! (And that shouldn't be used as an excuse to build a $3 billion electrified train when only about 6000 a day ride it.) Don't worry about the Inland Port pollution. Worry about UTA pollution.
  I am against spending !$32 million! on the Depot District since the pressure to buy electric buses is increasing (and the double tracking money would be more effectively and productively used for buying electric buses which would provide more ridership) which means that the natural gas fuel may not be as useful. 
  UTA keeps signing joint agreements to provide UTA property for development in return for a cut of future profits if any. It has been burned several times in the past when doing that. Other transit systems in this Country RENT their properties for TODs.
  UTA has told SLC that they will not pull out to the curb to pick up passengers but would prefer to block traffic and pick up passengers in the travel lane which makes bus stops built for ADA compliance useless(why spend millions on bus stops when riders are picked up in the street). Don't worry about the Inland Port pollution. Worry about UTA pollution.
  Bus stops should be at the corners to not force mobility challenged to rush half a block to catch a transfer bus. It takes much longer for a mobility challenged rider to get to the transfer bus stop.
  
SLC SURPRISES WESTSIDE WITH NEW SHELTER 
  At the last second, almost literally, Salt Lake City identified and agreed to obtain and remodel a decrepit, rundown, demolition worthy motel
at 1659w North Temple (Redwood Rd) as a temporary overflow shelter for up to 250 individuals maximum but it could be higher depending on the staff and Fire Marshal. The overflow use will terminate in April. Many residents and businesses nearby, including the Red Iguana, complained about the impact on North Temple and the westside. The staffing is still an issue since the State has set a ratio of staff to residents. The City wanted 1 to 20 but can't find enough to help so it may be 1 to 25.
  There should be no more shelters without drug dogs being returned to service.
  
WELLS WARD BUILDING EARTHQUAKE DAMAGED AND ABANDONED 
  After the earthquake of 2020 in Magna, several buildings in Liberty Wells were seriously damaged, including the Wells Ward building at 1900 South and 500 East. According to the JCLDS, "The Wells building after the 2020 earthquake was deemed unsafe to continue for use.  The Church had already invested money to renovate the building before the earthquake.  The decision now is to sell the property and have the building demolished due to being unsafe." The Liberty Wells Community Council and many others are trying to encourage the City to obtain the building for a library. Since the nearest library, the Columbus Library at 25th and 500 East is closing when the new 33rd South and 500 East library opens, Liberty Wells residents will lack a library. The City should prioritize using ARPA funds for several pocket libraries in the areas without one. The City has been successful in allowing 83% of the citizens to be within a 10 minute walk to a park but libraries are lacking. 
  
SLC ENCOURAGES POVERTY WITH OVERWHELMING APARTMENTS APPROVED
  Since this city only approved 63 detached homes last year and 1500 apartments, we are not only becoming apartmentville usa but also making citizens poorer.  The average net worth of homeowners is 40 times the renters' net worth according to studies. This City should care about the economic equity of citizens and it should open up the tens of thousands of acres to housing, a mix of detached homes and apartments but especially detached homes since 12% of this City is single family detached homes and less than 10% is multifamily apartments.
  If this city does not plan on and permit funding to encourage more detached housing, this City will be making the citizens poorer
  
SLC REFUSES TO ENFORCE NUISANCE ORDINANCE ON AIRBNB HOMES
  There were several comments at a November City Council meeting complaining about Airbnb. Since this City does not enforce obvious nuisance issues that are supposedly addressed by the Mayor's nuisance ordinance (passed when she was a Councilwoman), the City should enforce the nuisance ordinance on the 300 short time rentals. Violence is proliferating in these rentals.
  
SLC CONSIDERS OVERWHELMING 1300 EAST WITH HIGHER DENSITY
  The Allen Park neighbors are organizing out of frustration that the City is not protecting the new Allen Park. There are several projects near the new Allen Park and the nearby residents do not belief that the Park should have high rise buildings near it. 1300 East was a street built to handle single family home residences, not a proliferation of high density housing units. The street is already maxed out. Cindy Cromer said it best when she described increasing density on single family home lots as sweating the land. Higher density projects will overwhelm the street and result in higher rents. The increase in height will destroy the character of the adjacent park. The new Friends of Allen Park will be a part of but separate from the Sugar House Community Council Parks Open Space and Trails Committee.
  
SLCO MAY WITHDRAW FROM CWC/MT ACCORD
  During a November meeting of the County Council, there was a discussion of withdrawing funding from the Central Wasatch Commission (CWC), the followon to the Mt. Accord which supposedly would justify a train up Little Cottonwood Canyon. The County could still participate in meetings but the funding is questionable since the County is the land use authority for the Canyons, not the CWC (which claims that it is). There will be a continued discussion in January about transportation taxes and their use.
  
SLC REMOVING HALF OF PARKING ON ANOTHER STREET DESPERATE FOR PARKING
  Recently, it become public that the City is removing half of the parking on McClelland between 2100 South and Elm Ave to the south). It was explained that the businesses agreed to it. The City will also implement a one hour parking limit! My knowledge of the businesses and residents of Elm indicate that they are desperate for more parking. The City is planning other parking reductions for the area. I attend, I thought, all of the transportation subcommittee meetings and I had not heard of an agreement to reduce parking. Although some businesses have agreed to the reduction, it ignores the many transportation subcommittee meetings that have had Elm Ave residents complaining about being forced to provide parking for the businesses around the business district due to the parking issues. 
  The proposal to reduce parking 50% on McClelland is bad for the residents of Elm and also, in my opinion for the businesses that do provide parking. The best example is when the City removed the 18 spaces on the Sugar House Plaza (21st and Highland), even the Fiddler's Elbow across the street to the North, with their million dollar parking lot, was upset about having to provide parking for those spaces removed. This will make it worse for every business owner who does provide parking. It will be even worse for those businesses not having parking.
  We have been having this argument for almost 10 years. Parking is important to businesses. I find myself in the minority walking but 90% of traffic in businesses in the area have customers in cars. Despite claims that the new residents in apartments are going car free, the evidence shows exactly the opposite. Once in an apartment for a while, people buy cars and use them. 
  The best evidence is the public parking level at the Vue that the City paid for with $6.7 million. Residents wanted more parking and they got it by implementing a minimum $10 charge for public parking. The City allowed that and effectively messed up on that but it should be remembered as the best example of people demand vehicles and parking. That specific situation destroyed the walkability of Sugar House by requiring customers to drive between stores instead of walking around the area visiting stores after parking.
  
PUBLIC LANDS SCHOOLS AND PARKS MAY OPEN UP TO 75 FT TALL CELL TOWERS
  Salt Lake City is proposing to open up the public land zones to allow, as a conditional use, 75 foot tall tree like cell phone towers in schools and parks! The towers need to be above 60 feet tall. The City and Verizon is working on installing a tower on the SLCPD Pioneer Precinct on the westside. The proposal has to be approved by the City Council.
  
UTAH HAS AN EMERGENCY LACK OF MENTAL HEALTH BEDS
  Utah State Hospital may have to close some sections due to lack of staff. The salary of 15/hr is an issue. The County is encouraging mental health studies by students at the universities by offering help.
  
UTAH LEGISLATURE CONSIDERS BETTER CRIME DATA COLLECTION
  The Legislature has recognized that there is a lack of data regarding crime, arrests and decisions regarding criminals and is considering a bill to standardize and require reports. But the complicated nature of the issues may stall the effort. Senator Anderegg indicated that it may be too difficult to have a bill ready for the General Session.
  
MILLER PARK TOUR REVEALS SLC CUTTING HUNDREDS OF TREES IN PARK
  Recently, the City agreed to a walk through of Miller Park to address neighbors' concerns. During the walk through, the City admitted to cutting over 600 trees in the last few years and claimed that they were small. A picture of a recent trailer full of cut trees shows that they were much larger! So maybe we should call Miller Park, the Miller Park Tree Farm. The City also admitted to still having around $400,000 for fixing Miller Park.
  Yalecrest Chair Jan Hemmert provided a report on the November 22 tour. The report included (updates are on the Yalecrest Community Council website:
"During the past two years, 600 trees have been removed from Miller Park. The city defended the practice by explaining that most (95%) were five feet high or less with a diameter of about 1.5 inches. Three species were targeted – Siberian Elms, Tree of Heaven, and Black Locust – all non-native, invasive species."
  The water rights for the Park needed to be revisited due to the concern that Mt. Olivet Cemetery may be taking too much water but negotiations have stalled. Tracy Aviary claims that there is a "healthy bird population" but the squirrel population is so high that it may be impacting the bird population.. The City's re-vegetation program was a failure. The retaining walls may be at risk due to adjacent watering. 
  The Yalecrest Community Council will discuss the issues at their January 13th meeting at 7PM and the recently completed study will be on their website soon. The City will present it to the Community Council then it will go to the PNUT Board in February. The City Council will vote on a budget amendment next year and work will begin, hopefully, in late 2022.
  
SLC MAY STOP REFINERY THROUGH WATER RESTRICTIONS
  Almost lost in the City Council new High Water User Text Amendment is the 2 largest users of SLC water, the Marathon refinery at 2.1 million gallons per day and the UofU at 1.4 million gallons per day. The UofU is exempt from limits but the proposed ordinance could impact refinery capacity and increase gasoline costs due to the language that limits increases due to new or expanded uses of water. If the refinery needs to upgrade its equipment and it results in more water being used, drivers and truckers and the economy could be impacted.
  
SLC RAILROAD CROSSINGS MAY BECOME MORE IMPASSABLE
  In the last 100 years, trains were planned with 4000 feet length and that resulted in fitting in between road crossings. But recent trains are up to 12,000 feet and could soon be 15,000 feet which will further wall off the eastside of Salt Lake City from the westside. Salt Lake City should demand several underground (for 900 S.) or bridges over the rail lines to stop the potential negative impact of train traffic on the westside.
  
UTAH CHANGING LICENSE PLATES TO STOP EMISSIONS LOOPHOLE
 Rep. Thurston is proposing a new bill that limits the ability of those with classic cars/more than 30 years old to avoid emissions checks by requiring emissions checks unless the vehicle is driven less than 1500 miles a year or less. It may also just be for vehicles built before 1967. The bill is going forward in the General Session. 
  On another license plate issue, the proliferation of license plate designs is cause for concern. In one case, just 3 drivers opted for the new license plate. The Legislature is considering reducing the number of plates allowed.
  
UTAH ROAD USAGE CHARGE SYSTEM COSTS MORE THAN REVENUE 
  Rep. Ward is pushing a new proposal for a Road Usage Charge for vehicles that will eliminate the $120 electric vehicle fee in return for a 1.5 cents a mile charge. But he also admitted that the administrative cost of RUC is still not able to be paid for by the revenue generated by the RUC. I have said before that I do not like the RUC and this is another reason. Government should not implement systems of tax that cost more to administer than the revenue that they generate.
  
CATALYTIC CONVERTER THEFT LAW COMING
  The Legislature is about to pass a new law (in the General Session) that will clamp down on catalytic converter thefts. Brian Emeral, the owner of the Master Muffler stores in the area, said that in the last year, catalytic converter jobs have become big business and he is replacing 40 a week by his companies! That can cost up to $5000 for a new car. The new bill will require scrap metal buyers of converters to take fingerprints, hold the item for 2 week, not pay cash, require a valid ID, charge them a new fee, and provide data to the pawn shop database. Due to some pushback from scrap metal dealers, it was agreed that Dan Burton of the AG's office will work with businesses to fine tune the language to eliminate the recyclers concern about there being a presumption of guilt and the burden is on the defendant. Utah title 76 allows an honest belief that the item is not stolen so the language has to be fine tuned.
  
BUDGET AMENDMENT 4 PARK RANGER PILOT PROGRAM MAY TAKE AWHILE TO START
  BAM 4 will start the process of planning and hiring staff for the Park Ranger Program. The BAM 4 did not list park cameras which should have been part of the budget amendment and part of the park ranger program. Although the BAM is approved, the Chair expressed her opinion that she did not want the park rangers in the SLCPD. The Council wanted the DTA Downtown Ambassadors and park rangers equipped with data tracking what activities that they are engaged in.
  In my opinion, the park ranger program will not maximize public safety. it is a poor substitute for cops. It will take forever to start up at $15 per hour for each ranger and they will not be armed but will have to face armed criminals and drug dealers. One reason that we ask for police walking patrols is the same reason that this City answers calls for service with 2 officers, to discourage fighting with officers that could result in a critical incident. Not using police cannot discourage aggressive pushback against park rangers. The result could result in more deaths. Again, answering calls with two sworn officers discourages calls for service deteriorating into a critical incident. This City's social workers don't want to go to calls alone, without a police officer (although they can go separately to MCOT style incidents with officers on scene) and that should be a warning sign. Don't put park rangers in danger. Remember parks are so dangerous that private armed security guards are required to close restrooms at night. They are armed but don't have de-escalation training of SLCPD
  Again, it is a sad commentary on our system if the first time a kid or even an adult sees a cop is during a criminal call for service. Real community policing puts police in the public in very visible situations like park walking patrols. If cops are only used for arresting or ticketing OR NOT BEING ABLE TO ANSWER CALLS, most demographics will hate cops.

  The language from the staff report is important: 
A-12: Public Lands Park Ranger Pilot Program ($1,577,291 from General Fund Balance; $195,720
goes to Fleet Fund; $69,247 from ARPA)
Note: this item is related to items C-1, E-3 and E-4
The Administration is proposing creation of a pilot program with 19 new FTEs in the Public Lands Department
including two sergeants, 16 rangers and one support position. The total annual cost for a sergeant is estimated at
$138,787 and for a ranger is estimated at $111,400. Job descriptions for the two positions were pending at the time
of publishing this staff report. The Administration stated 12 rangers would be needed at a minimum to launch this
new pilot program. The 19 FTEs are being recommended for a larger program.
The program would operate from 8am to midnight seven days a week. The Administration states the rangers may
serve as law enforcement officers. However, rangers would be unarmed and unlike police officers would not be
Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certified. Rangers would operate out of existing City facilities in parks
including the soon to be redeveloped Fisher Mansion Carriage House and possibly temporary trailers. Rangers
would focus on the Jordan River Trail, Pioneer Park, Liberty Park, and Fairmont Park. Rangers are not expected to
operate in the Foothills or outlying natural areas.
The total annual cost is estimated at $2,350,983. The request before the Council is for a half year funding of
$1,175,491 and $401,800 of one-time costs including three trucks and two light response vehicles. The total cost for
the remainder of FY22 is estimated at $1,577,291.
The nearly $1.6 million cost in FY22 is proposed to be paid for from General Fund Balance. This item also proposes
a reimbursement to Fund Balance for salary restorations resulting from the FY21 hiring freeze. ARPA dollars would
provide $1,508,044 to Fund Balance as flexible General Fund dollars available for any use. This is the maximum
salary restoration amount allowed under U.S. Treasury guidance. The remaining gap of $69,247 would come
directly from ARPA for eligible supplies and services such as homeless outreach.
The salary restoration using ARPA dollars in FY23 is estimated at $1,545,746 which creates a funding gap of
$805,237 compared to the program’s annual cost. Creation of this new ongoing pilot program and the limited
available use of one-time ARPA dollars means the structural deficit in the annual budget could be larger in FY23.
The Public Lands Department (formerly Parks Division within Public Services Department) previously paid for
police officer overtime in parks. The table below summarizes these costs from recent fiscal years.
Fiscal Year Police Officer Overtime Cost Notes
FY2018 $63,226 Overtime was paid over a four month period
FY2019 $226,569 Overtime was paid over a seven month period
FY2020 $23,835 Prolonged reduced staffing of police officers resulted in
significantly reduced overtime in parks
FY2021 $9,738 Prolonged reduced staffing of police officers resulted in
significantly reduced overtime in parks
FY2022 $0 Private security firm used to lock park restrooms at
night and provide park security patrols
The pilot program’s purpose and goals include:
- Serving as law enforcement officers in parks (not POST-certified like police officers)
- Providing services and information to park users
- Assisting with homeless outreach efforts
- Making people feel welcome and safe in parks
- Deterring inappropriate activity
- Gaining voluntary compliance of park codes and rules
- Reducing the number of annual vandalism incidents and associated costs for repair/replacement
Policy Questions:
? Effectiveness of Civilian Rangers Addressing Criminal Issues in Parks – The Council may wish to discuss
with the Administration the limits of civilian park rangers addressing criminal issues in parks and when
rangers would need to rely on a police officer response. The Administration states the rangers may serve as
law enforcement officers but would not be POST-certified like police officers. The Council may also wish to
ask the Administration how park rangers would coordinate with the Police Department’s parks bike squad.
? Private Security Guards in Parks – The Public Lands Department currently hires private security guards to
lock restrooms in parks and provide security patrols. The Council may wish to ask the Administration for
the pros and cons of creating a park ranger program instead of continuing the current practice of hiring
private security guards.
? Identifying and Tracking Calls for Service Diversions from Police to CHAT Program – The Council may
wish to ask the Administration if there are plans to track calls for service diverted from a police officer
response to park rangers or other alternative response models. The information could help measure the
success and demand for the City’s civilian response models. The Council may also wish to ask how the 911
Department identifies calls for service that are good candidates for diversion. The City’s alternative
response options include the CHAT program, Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) and the Social Worker
Program (potentially this new Park Ranger program and police civilian responder program too).
  
SUGAR HOUSE MAY GET CHARGED MORE FOR AREA
  One of the items in the recently approved budget amendment was the Sugar House Special Assessment Area Analysis.  The boundaries are from 700E to 1300E and from I80 to Hollywood plus 1100 E to Ramona. If the analysis shows that it makes sense, it would require support of 61% of property owners (not tenants). Some downtown businesses are charged $1200 each year and they say that their services have significantly decreased. Assessment districts do not tax residential homes but for if it is a for profit use it is taxable if renting city property. Multi family buildings and Airbnb is questionable. In my opinion, the Sugar House Special Assessment Area Analysis should wait until after road changes which could close a lot of stores. It could pay for a Sugar House version of the downtown ambassador program. I still think that the DTA is a very poor substitute for walking police patrols.
  
NEW CHAT COMMUNITY HEALTHCARE PARAMEDIC TEAM
  The Community Health Access Team, CHAT (formerly known as the Community Healthcare Paramedic Team) was initially established in 2013, comprised of one SLCFD paramedic. It quickly grew to include a SLCFD Captain and then another paramedic. The two Paramedics responded as a team to patients that were identified by fire EMS crews as: (1) not meeting the criteria for emergency service, or (2) not benefitting from the scope of training provided to fire department Paramedics and EMTs. The CHAT initiative proposes adding two (2) social workers to increase the team’s scope and the ability of the team to address the overall needs of their patients particularly pertaining to the challenges of mental health and homelessness. Currently, the Community Heath team operates with one vehicle. The addition of two social workers will create the need for two vehicles as two teams will be operating simultaneously. This budget amendment will allow the fire department to replace the current vehicle, a larger inefficient Chevy Tahoe with a fuel-efficient hybrid Ford Explorer. Additionally, a second vehicle of the same kind will be purchased for the additional team. The third purchased fuel-efficient hybrid Ford Explorer will replace an additional Chevy Tahoe in the Medical Division which will be 
  
PLEASE USE FLASHLIGHTS WHEN CROSSING THE STREET
  In the last 2 weeks, there have been many pedestrians hit and killed while crossing the street. LED flashlights are so cheap, that they cost $1 and every kid and even adults should carry and use them when crossing the street
use a flashlight while walking at night.
  SLC should use the ARPA funding to buy and distribute flashlights to each student and to community and senior centers. There are only about 20,000 students in the SLC School District. The cost is so low and besides the obvious safety of using a flashlight, it will remind kids to be careful and remember safety when crossing the street.
  
SLC ELECTION SHOWS CAMPAIGN EXPONENTIAL COSTS WIN
  In the last few years, the Salt Lake City Council has claimed that they want to open up their elected positions to more in the community and they used that for an excuse to give themselves almost a 50% pay increase.
  The result is an exponential increase in campaign expenditures that equate with winning the elections. The Salt Lake City elections now belong to the rich. Every SLC Council seat was won by candidates who received over $30,000 in contributions! In Districts 3 and 5, the candidates received over $45,000 in contributions! The message is clear. If you don't have at least $30,000 to spend, don't waste your time running.
  I ran because I wanted to debate the issues and ensure that the policies of the City were analyzed. Unfortunately, there were only 2 chances and due to the Council's decision to eliminate the Primary, 5 candidates shared 3 hours of debate time. That is not enough time to have a good debate on policies. 
  The movement of campaign costs to outrageous sums is creating pressure to provide government funded campaigns. But what the system needs is more debates and public meetings which were almost impossible in this pandemic. 
  The summaries of the winning candidates' contributions and expenditures, as of October 29, are below:
Victoria Petro-Escher 38k spent 26k
Blake Perez 32k spent 22k
Dennis Faris 18k spent 12k
Alejandro Puy 30k spent 25k
Billy Palmer 30k spent 29k
Casey McDonough 6k spent 3k
Chris Wharton 45k spent 35k
Amy Hawkins 14k spent 9k
Darin Mano 45k spent 27k
Sarah Reale 25k spent 15k
Benjamin Raskin 10k spent 8k
Amy Fowler 34k spent 26k
  
1100 EAST DECIDES PEDESTRIANS 10 TIMES BETTER THAN VEHICLES
  Salt Lake City Transportation is trying to justify their intention to discourage using personal vehicles on 1100 East, as it did on Highland Drive with its recent reconfiguration. I put the 10mb jpg in the DOWNLOADS under transportation. Created by Lynn Jacobs, who did the questionable redesign of Highland, the jpg tries to justify putting in a multi-use path on the westside and removing parking on the westside. As I said before, it will push traffic onto the formerly quiet and bikable 1000 East (which has significantly increased traffic in the last 3 years). Among the justifications is that the result will reduce traffic accidents (on Highland going to 2 travel lanes from 4) 24%. But as I put in the DOWNLOADS under transportation, Michael Clara reported a significant increase in accidents on 900 West when the City did the road diet on 900 West. Please email lynn.jacobs@slcgov.com, jon.larsen@slcgov.com and lisa.shaffer with your comments on this proposal. The City says that their 2pm analysis of parking needs shows that they don't need all of the parking. I disagree but please look at the 1100E jpg and decide for yourself. The City says that most businesses and residents are for the proposal. I would like you to give your input to the City.




OCTOBER 2021

SHERIFF CORRECTS SAYING 100 AVAILABLE SLCO JAIL BEDS

REVERSE DEFUNDING POLICE, STOP DRUG DEALING, ALLOW HOUSING IN 80% OF CITY, STOP INCREASING POLLUTION
SLCO SHERIFF CLAIMS LESS THAN 100 BEDS OPEN, DASHBOARD SHOWS ALMOST 300 OPEN
SLCO JAIL TRIES TO MICKIE MOUSE MENTAL HEALTH
SLCO UPD INCREASES TAXES 16%
BALLPARK CHAIR/COUNCIL D5 CANDIDATE AMY HAWKINS STOPS 252 SOUTH BROOKLYN OVERFLOW SHELTER 
SALT LAKE CITY CREATES ANOTHER OVERFLOW SHELTER AT WEIGAND CENTER NEXT TO VINCENT DEPAUL'S OVERFLOW BEDS
SLCPD PLANS 
PHONES IN LIEU OF A COP RESPONSE 
SLCO BUDGET CLAIMS NO TAX INCREASE BUT....
SLC LIVABLE STREETS TRAFFIC CALMING CITYWIDE
1100E PARKING TO BE REMOVED ON ONE SIDE 
DANGEROUS LAWSUIT WAITING TO HAPPEN 900E BIKE PATH 
UTA FACES LEGISLATIVE WRATH ON GOLD PLATED PROJECTS
SLC COUNCIL NEEDS TO SUPPORT COMMUNITY COUNCILS
SLC PLANNING REPORT
SLC WRONGLY BLAMED FOR GREAT SALT LAKE PROBLEMS DESPITE RELATIVELY WELL MANAGED WATER RESOURCES
70% LIBERTY WELLS AGAINST 8 TOWNHOMES
EFFORT TO OVERTURN SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY FAILS
STREETS GET BICYCLE LANE PRIORITY ON ALMOST EVERY STREET
LIBERTY PARK NEEDS WALKING POLICE PATROLS 
800E TO GET $275,000 MAKEOVER, WHY
2100S APARTMENTS "COMPROMISE" ON 1/2 STALL PER UNIT
COMMUNITY PUSHING TREES ON FOOTHILL DESPITE DOWNSIDES
0VER 700 EVICTIONS FILED IN SLCO IN SEPT
HOMELESS KIDS SHOULD BE IN DETACHED HOMES 
PANTAGES THEATER IS MORE ARTISTIC THAN OLD BRICK BLDG
SLC RDA DOUBLES COST OF HEATING FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING
2100 SOUTH DABC STORE/APARTMENTS HAVE 8 FT SIDEWALKS
SLC PUBLIC HEARING STREET LIGHTING GETS ONLY 2 COMMENTS
UTA SLOWS DOWN PLAN TO PAY TO LEAVE SALT LAKE CITY
STOP BUILDING HIGHWAYS OPED PUBLISHED IN SLTRIB
QUESTIONABLE SUPPORT BY CITY OF SOME CAMPAIGNS
CRIME MAGNET ELEVATOR COMPROMISE ON 300 NORTH PROJECT
DESERET NEWS  QUESTIONS TO COUNCIL CANDIDATES

FEDS CLEAN UP SLC CRIME WHEN SLCO WON'T

SIMILARITY OF BUK BUK & PALACIOS-CARBAJAL IS DUE TO SLCO
MAYOR REFUSES SAFE CAMPING ARE IMPLIES MORE SHELTERS
HOMELESS GET FUNDING TO MAKE THEIR CAMPERS OPERABLE
HOMELESS STATS FOR SEPTEMBER
SLC BUDGET AMENDMENT 2 FUNDS DOWNTOWN AMBASSADORS
FAMILIES SHOULD NOT BE IN SHELTERS OR MOTELS 
SLCPD PROCEDURES NEED TO CHANGE TO STOP DOGS FROM BEING USED ON UNARMED CIVILIANS
SLC COUNCIL HEARS ARGUMENTS AGAINST NO PARKING REQUIREMENTS FOR APARTMENTS
CITY ALLEYWAYS NEED MORE ATTENTION
900 EAST MOST DANGEROUS BIKE LANE I HAVE EVER SEEN
  

SHERIFF CORRECTS STATEMENT THAT LESS THAN 100 SLCO JAIL BEDS ARE AVAILABLE
  The Sheriff, on October 27 sent me this email that I am providing without editing (I still think that the County needs to do an audit.):
    
"This email is in response to your email sent on October 19, 2021, As of today 1,745 beds are filled at the Salt Lake County Jail, this number fluctuates daily. The operational capacity of the jail is 2,165. There have been no booking restrictions at the jail since 2017. The jail books every individual brought in by officers and will hold those individuals in accordance with the law and court orders. 
  
Releasing information can be viewed on page five of the jail dashboard. The courts are releasing an average of 60 individuals daily. The releases are ordered by judges and include both pre-trail releases and completion of sentences. They also include individuals who post bail. The jail is required to comply with all court orders and release individuals as directed by a judge. Additionally, the courts have increased their efficiency for reviewing new charges and make pre-trial detention decisions.
  
Overcrowding release (OCR) is the only releasing tool that the jail has direct control over. This tool is used to release non-violent offenders, often when that individual is up against the 24-hour hold. It is used significantly less than it has been historically and an essential tool for managing our population. 
  
Maintaining open beds allows us to manage our jail population, ensuring space for violent offenders. It also provides us the flexibility necessary to address COVID-19 to minimize the spread amongst inmates and staff. A major outbreak amongst staff could cripple our operation.
  
Today nearly 80% of our population are un-sentenced pretrial detainees. Additionally, 90% of the current population are charged with felonies. These numbers help illustrate the challenges the criminal justice system is facing. We continue to work with all of partners, especially the district attorney and courts as we seek to find solutions to protect the constitutional rights of individuals while maintaining public safety. 
  
If you have a list of the specific individuals that have caused concern we would be willing to look at those individuals and review the releasing history, please feel free to send over any names you may have.
  
I hope this addresses your questions. If it would be helpful, Chief Matt Dumont and Brittany Karzen are available to meet with you and answer any other jail related questions you have. Please reach out to Brittany at 385-867-1764 to schedule that meeting."
  
Thank you,
Sheriff Rivera


REVERSE DEFUNDING POLICE, STOP DRUG DEALING, ALLOW HOUSING IN 80% OF CITY, STOP INCREASING POLLUTION

  I am GEORGE CHAPMAN and I write this newsblog. I attend most City and community council meetings. I am running for SLC Council District 5 because:
● I want to reverse the defunding of the police which is down over 100 recommended officers. The Council celebrated defunding the police last year and it recently resulted in 50 911 calls on hold. Salt Lake City does have enough sworn officers to provide adequate public safety to its citizens. 
● I want to allow housing in the tens of thousands of acres (80% of the City) that the City refuses to open up for housing and stop the Council from increasing density in the City's 12% that is zoned single family. The character of single family home neighborhoods should be protected.
●  This City Council should stop ignoring the use of and dealing of drugs in parks and near schools and it should insist that drug dealers be jailed. The council should allow the recommended use of drug dogs at the shelters and implement the recommended police walking patrols in parks. Parks are so dangerous that cops have to close restrooms at night. It also should set up a safe parking and camping area to stop the homeless camping in parks and on sidewalks.
● The Council should force UTA to implement $1 bus fares and should stop supporting half a billion in downtown rail projects and force UTA to implement fair and equitable citywide transit service with electric buses instead of service concentrated downtown and on the eastside.
● I want to stop the City from increasing pollution with questionable road changes that hurt air quality, increase congestion and result in speeding through adjacent streets. The 500E redesign forces buses to go 10mph behind bicyclists! The proposal to make 2100 South a two lane road will significantly increase pollution in adjacent neighborhoods!
PLEASE VOTE!


SLCO SHERIFF CLAIMS LESS THAN 100 BEDS OPEN, DASHBOARD SHOWS ALMOST 300 OPEN

  I have been pushing the County Council for many years to provide adequate public safety funding for the Jail and DA. I have been trading a lot of emails with the County about the upcoming budget discussion and ARPA funds. The Jail issue is so bad that the US Attorney, the US Marshal and the DEA book drug dealers and other major criminals in other counties since they don't trust Salt Lake County to keep those that they arrest in Jail. In many cases, the arrested individuals, when released (prematurely in my opinion) they sometimes kill others. I contended that there are 300 open and unused beds at the County Jail. I got responses that the number of open Jail beds is less than 200. The next day, the Sheriff, in a news conference, said that there were less than 100 open beds! I put the October 20 Jail Dashboard in the DOWNLOADS Police section. It shows 1719 incarcerated in a 2000 bed Jail. 
  Last week the Sheriff asked for $2000 retention bonuses. I don't think that that is good enough. I am about to call out the Sheriff in this paragraph. In June, the Sheriff told the Council that she had a problem filling civilian positions (and recently asked for temp mental health position funding) and specifically said (when asked by the County Council) that the sworn officer staffing at the Jail was not a problem. But a few weeks later, she lost 10 in a week and she was down 20! Everytime the Sheriff goes before the Council, she gets what she asks for AND is asked if she is satisfied. I have watched this occur every year at budget time when she was asked by the Council if she needs anything else. Councilman and UPD Millcreek Captain DeBry asks several times if she is getting everything that she needs and THE SHERIFF ALWAYS SAYS THAT SHE IS SATISFIED). If the feds don't trust adequate Jail operation, if the Sheriff is consistently satisfied with the operation of the Jail and denies Jail Booking Restrictions (which cops say are in effect), maybe the County Council should stop listening to the Sheriff and ask the County Auditor to do an audit of the Jail and DA and the get out of jail free card program Pay For Success. Salt Lake County Mayor and Council for over ten years has repurposed over $100 million that should have gone to public safety for other uses.
  The DA keeps arguing for more funding and the Council (and City Council) expresses concern about not being able to fill his prosecutor positions. But the salary of prosecutors is limiting his ability to hire and his workload is almost double what is recommended. He is trying to prosecute over 160 killings with less than 100 prosecutors and many more serious crimes are also part of the workload. Killers in Salt Lake County are walking free! Killers are walking free to kill again and in one case, the lack of investigators (which the County Council argued against) allowed a killer to end up on the street where he was responsible for another death! If the DA has to argue constantly with Adult Probation and Parole to incarcerate convicted criminals in prison while the State is trying to reduce prison bed counts, the DA needs more funding.
  The Mayor has pledged, in her new proposed County budget, using $8 million of ARPA one time funds to be used by the Sheriff and DA (on top of the 16% tax increase for UPD) but it should be much more and in the budget. Public safety is more important than saving water. If the County really wanted to save water, buy up all of the canal companies that still supply water by 2000 year old technology, wasteful open air ditches. The County, and Salt Lake City refuses to pay appropriate and fair prices to convince canal companies to sell.
  My email to the Councilmembers about these issues was Tuesday. The Sheriff and DA's press conference was 2 days later and I must add that a killing at the end of October seems to have been committed by a criminal that the DA and Jail allowed out despite using a gun previously.
  Another important reason to incarcerating drug dealers is their importance to rape which is common in the homeless. Much is due to the drugs. Dealers stake out the women's shelter and offer drugs to those kicked out or even leaving the shelter to be used for worse than rape. Drugs are endemic to the shelters and the follow-up audit pointed that out. Dealers embed themselves in the homeless camping population and attract criminals which victimize the homeless and that encourages homeless drug addiction. Treatment center patients find drug availability to discourage treatment. My point is that if SLCO will not accept for booking and keep incarcerated dealers, the County's homeless issues will not be solved.
  Police are not able to book dealers when the Jail has an unofficial but very effective booking restriction, blamed on the Court but really it is the County funding. When cops are told that the dealer that they are trying to arrest will be released in a few minutes, they don't want to do the hour's worth of paperwork to turn him over to Jail. I know of a case that the Jail said no to booking and the dealer killed someone within a day and critically injured another. Killers should not be walking the street and the feds should be able to trust Salt Lake County to lock up drug dealers. Releasing dealers after a big SWAT raid is an insult to cops. Arresting the same dealer or criminal dozens of times is frustrating to cops. And a $2,000 retention bonus will not solve the problem. Salt Lake County deserves adequate public safety funding.


SLCO JAIL TRIES TO MICKIE MOUSE MENTAL HEALTH
  I put the SLCO Jail request to fund mental health services with temporary employees in the DOWNLOADS. Lost to the Sheriff and Council is the fact that successful mental health treatment requires a consistent and stable employee staffing to create a relationship with patients. Temporary workers don't lead to many successful mental health treatment outcomes.


SLCO UPD INCREASES TAXES 16%
  I put the SLCO Unified Police tax increase in the DOWNLOADS. It shouldn't have come as a surprise with so many leaving the Sheriff's UPD and creating so much competition in salaries that a big tax increase is necessary.


BALLPARK CHAIR/COUNCIL D5 CANDIDATE AMY HAWKINS STOPS 252 SOUTH BROOKLYN OVERFLOW SHELTER 
  Ballpark Chair Amy J. Hawkins, who is also running for Salt Lake City District 5, has successfully and almost single handedly stopped the Utah Homeless Czar's plan to turn the VOA Detox facility at 252 South Brooklyn into an overflow shelter. Not many have successfully argued against the former Senate President who is one of the most influential politicians in the State. I give Amy Hawkins credit for the win. In a meeting at the end of October, the Executive Board said that they will rescind their plan to give $3 to VOA for the Detox facility to be used as overflow. VOA still intends a Detox facility on Redwood Road at around 17th South. (note that the Detox facility has a very high calls for service). The plan will be officially rescinded in the November regular Homeless Committee meeting. According to Salt Lake City, there is a need for 450 winter overflow beds.
  During the meeting, there was a concern about what is the right balance on public safety, clamp down on camping or be flexible. In addition, it was pointed out that cities that have shelters can ask for grants from the Shelter Mitigation Program (paid for by all non shelter cities) to be used for community programs or public safety. Public safety has been constantly lacking around the shelters. Salt Lake City should be asking for more.
  The State intends to provide $100 million in funding from ARPA for 40% AMI housing and another $100 million for 60% AMI housing. Tooele is also converting a school to a homeless campus.


SALT LAKE CITY CREATES ANOTHER OVERFLOW SHELTER AT WEIGAND CENTER NEXT TO VINCENT DEPAUL'S OVERFLOW BEDS
  The City has decided to set up an overflow shelter at the Weigand Center. The Fire Department will decide how many beds that can be provided by the Center. I remember fighting to get funding from the City to keep the Center open longer just a few years ago.


SLCPD PLANS SUBSTITUTING RETIRED OFFICERS TO ANSWER PHONES IN LIEU OF A COP RESPONSE AND REFUSING SLCFD REQUESTS
  The staffing is so bad that the Department is planning on hiring retired officers to answer calls on the phone by November to substitute for officers responding to 911 calls! The idea is to use the former cops that are sitting out their one year timeout to answer the phones. (I put the proposals to reduce the Utah Retirement System bills that are set to reduce the timeout period in the DOWNLOADS page.) The Chief said that he is working with the Fire Department to try and reduce the requested SLCPD response to Fire Department calls. Often the Fire Department needs police support to discourage aggressive and violent behavior of patients or drug addicts.
  The response times have climbed and in August, they reached 17 minutes for Priority 1 calls (serious crime in progress). In July 2021, it was 13 minutes. The goal is to get the response time to under 10 minutes. Total 911 calls per day have increased from 254 calls in 2018 to 310 calls a day in 2021. When Councilman Faris asked if authorized staffing levels should be increased now, the Chief said that the City should first fill the positions authorized before increasing the staffing levels.
  The lack of sworn officers in Salt Lake City Police is so bad that the recent fatal DUI killing (It shouldn't be called an accident.) created a serious staffing shortage. Just before the 
DUI crash (by a serial DUI driver that should have been incarcerated), there was another serious accident on Redwood Road at 100 North that required a lot of Police support. It takes a lot of officers to handle a crash like the DUI. They have to cordon off entire streets and clear the scene for several blocks. The first crash investigation had just wrapped up when the DUI fatality occurred. Although no Salt Lake City officers were involved, the first response was 7 minutes after the first call. The rest of the day required double shifts and secondary job shifts and all bicycle squads shifted to 911. From 5 to 8 PM, there were 35% more calls than expected.
  I put the October SLCPD report in the DOWNLOADS page. The Chief said that there are 5 lateral officers undergoing a 2 week training. The new class of 19 that started in January, will hit the streets in November of 2021.
  On another important public safety issue, the homeless camping and drug issues are getting even more out of hand, especially at Liberty Park which seems to have a violent incident every week. The SLCPD is trying to get funds for overtime shifts to hit the hot spots like Liberty Park and trying to get approval for funds to enforce the curfew in parks. The SLCPD is also working with the City to not have the homeless move to another area but the Mayor is refusing the proposed safe camping and parking area. The idea now is to warn campers at night and then give a citation at around 4 AM if the bike squads find the campers still there. All bike squads, Central Division, Liberty Division and the Park bike squads would all participate.


SLCO BUDGET CLAIMS NO TAX INCREASE BUT....
  The new SLCO proposed budget is out and Mayor Wilson claims that it does not rely on any tax increase. That is not true. The County just had a 16% tax increase for the Unified Police Department. The budget includes $8 million from ARPA funds for support for the County Sheriff and DA but I believe that they need much more. The Mayor is suggesting that the County provide money for xeriscaping and water infrastructure to reduce water use but I can make a good argument that that is not as important as public safety.


SLC LIVABLE STREETS TO IMPLEMENT TRAFFIC CALMING CITYWIDE
  I put the 53MB Livable Streets proposal in the DOWNLOADS under Transportation. Its biggest goal is to slow traffic in residential areas and encourage safer and more responsible driving. If it increases pollution, I am against it. The City also plans to increase density in areas that are single family but the streets in single family home areas were not designed to handle many more vehicles. If the City does what it has done by prioritizing travel lanes for bicycles, it WILL INCREASE POLLUTION AND INCREASE SPEEDING IN ADJACENT STREETS. 
  The plan is to identify priority neighborhoods and use up to a million a year redesigning 3 new streets to 30MPH and with 3 lanes or fewer. The City plans zones, to reduce the tendency in past redesigns to transfer traffic to adjacent streets, to cover all the adjacent streets so as not to push traffic to those adjacent streets. The City is considering reducing vehicle speeds, increasing tree plantings, prioritizing bicycling,increasing lighting, and in general, making the area more livable. The City hired an engineer specifically for the effort and he is now working on 600 North. Recent redesigns included 200 East to 900 South which is now 2 lanes with buffered bike lanes. The cost for paint for one mile is $70,000.
  Some of the tools that the City will use include tight turn radii to reduce speeds, lane reductions, parking reductions, pedestrian islands, and roundabouts. The 3 parts of the Livable Streets Plan (to allow it to be on the blog) is important and I encourage reviewing it and commenting on it to the City Council (emails to the right).


1100E PARKING TO BE REMOVED ON ONE SIDE 
  Salt Lake City is planning to remove parking from one side of 1100 East north of 2100 South. It is considering this due to their findings that:
● Maximum Parking Demand was 18 vehicles total parked between Ramona and 2100 South at 2PM. The current concept has a total supply of 26 stalls available.
If only 18 vehicles are there, that is 70% full and there is still excess capacity.
● Many cars were there for more than 2 hours. 7 cars were parked there for up to 4 hours. 2 more cars were parked over 4 hours and 1 car was parked almost 8 hours. 
● 65% of the cars parked on this section of 1100 East are already parking on the east side anyway so the City proposal to remove parking on the westside displaces only 35% of the parked vehicles. 
   The City will add more crosswalks (which will increase congestion and pollution but the City wants to prioritize the street for pedestrians and bicyclists.
The City contended that a lot of businesses in the area liked the proposals! I find that hard to believe. The City is removing bus turnouts to make buses stop all traffic which will increase pollution and encourage traffic to go onto other adjacent streets. I believe that 1000 East and 900 East will get a lot more traffic. I know many that have said that they are avoiding driving on the new, so called improved (according to the City) Highland Drive. They would rather go to 900 East from 1100 East to go to Harmons than try to navigate the new Highland Drive design. Buses now back up traffic for a mile on 1300 East due to the road diet. It is creating block long backups on Highland now and it will create longer backups of vehicles and significantly increase pollution in Sugar House. This is another reason to make UTA provide electric buses.
  Sugar House was walkable when there weren't 2 hour parking limits. We would park, walk around shops, the library, even catch a show. We can't do that now. Driving is increased due to 2 hour limits. I do not like the idea of enforcement. Ticketing should only be when businesses complain that there is not enough parking like around the Plaza. I know that evenings have greater use of parking due to lots of bars and other after hour establishments. Parking for shops should be decided by the businesses and adjacent residents. Hollywood gets a lot of overflow parking and they have a valid complaint. Traffic will also increase in the area which is already complaining about traffic.
  Salt Lake City seems to be redesigning 1100 East and Highland and other streets for prioritizing bicycles and pedestrians. The increase in pollution will be a sad commentary on our government.


DANGEROUS LAWSUIT WAITING TO HAPPEN 900E BIKE PATH OPENS 
  I mentioned before that the 900 East bike path on the eastside of the newly redesigned street from 2100 South to 2700 South is dangerous. The City made it even more dangerous by putting in rocks next to the curb to the bike path!!!!!! So if the bicyclist isn't careful, they will go head first into rocks! I expect many lawsuits on this really unprofessional design.


UTA FACES LEGISLATIVE WRATH ON GOLD PLATED PROJECTS
  I put the UTA presentation justifying FrontRunner expansion in the DOWNLOADS transit. The Transportation Interim Committee was told that the price for double tracking significantly increased. That was due to safety improvements needed at the stations to prevent riders at the stations from accidentally coming in contact with the 70 + MPH trains (since UTA is planning express trains that will skip stations). The stations have to be totally redesigned for safety. In my opinion, UTA realized that just double tracking FrontRunner will not result in the ridership promised. Again, UTA surveys predicted 7000 more riders on the commuter train in the next few years (It is about 6000 riders a day now - all transit ridership is in the DOWNLOADS). The idea for express trains that bypass most stations for speedier rider transit from high boarding stations to high use destinations require bypassing stations at 70MPH.
  When the Transportation Interim Committee learned that the cost of double tracking will be much higher than approved, they pushed back. Senator Anderegg asked if they were building with gold bricks. He is a proponent of passenger rail and has often expressed admiration of the Swiss transit system but expressed concern at the rapidly rising costs. Interestingly, all major infrastructure construction in Switzerland must be approved by referendum. Other Committee members questioned if the higher costs will require cutting back service in other areas. Senator Mayne was concerned about the westside of Salt Lake Valley. UTA Commissioner Christensen said "modification of other service is a last resort" and UTA will not reduce service on well used routes. UTA expects that the federal government will cover some of the $100 million increased costs. The Committee also mentioned that there is a potential for increasing transit taxes!
  UTA says that they are working on a business plan to specify the increases. UTA had to hire a contracting team to provide management of the project and the team is pointing out the issues that need to be addressed and they will also study the increase in anticipated ridership and costs. WFRC Director Andrew Gruber said that it was important to fund FrontRunner since coordinating development with the FrontRunner spine is the goal. Senator Mayne said that since we won't toll those roads, we need FrontRunner.
  If UTA is successful in implementing their promised 15 minute frequency on FrontRunner, there will be a high pollution diesel train running up and down the Wasatch Front every 15 minutes. Stop worrying about the Inland Port. Worry about UTA!!
  UTA will also surprise a lot of people if they get the secret grant application funding to study justifying the 3 new rail lines in downtown Salt Lake City. That will require hundreds of millions of local taxpayer money to fund the rail lines which will further increase the inequitable distribution of transit in Salt Lake City.
  I added the UTA presentations on Public Private Partnerships, BRT costs, and Mode/FrontRunner costs to the DOWNLOADS in transit.
  After the meeting, I emailed these comments to the Transportation Interim Committee since they only allowed one comment (by a UTA contractor), on the presentation. Many of the Transportation Interim Committee meetings have not allowed public comment. I have only been able to comment on the presentations/propaganda once in 6 months. My comments are:
Analysis of UTA cost report
   Fiscal responsibility requires evaluating projects by their utilization/ridership. Several statements by UTA during the presentation on costs should be re-evaluated. The S-Line ridership did not increase with all of the new apartments and developments built in the area. It never got above 1300 a weekday (it is about 600 a day now). Salt Lake City and I agree that the main reason for the Sugar House development was due to the biggest open space, parks, linear park (from Bonneville Shoreline to Jordan River) and 2 golf courses in the area. Permanence can give developers easier financial borrowing options but other encouragements in Sugar House have been more influential in development, including Salt Lake City giving $6.7 million to a developer for paring (bad contract led to $10 minimum).
  The UTA 400S claim that it took a lot of cars off the road is despite despite all of the adjacent to 400S development. That ignores the new bus routes to the UofU and significant new bicycling infrastructure and the fact that most new buildings focus on students who do not use cars to go to the University. An important note is that students, through fees, get free transit on UTA.
  The important analysis of UTA BRT projects should focus on the predicted 2000 riders a day for the Mid-Valley BRT, the South Davis Connector, the cost and impact of removing 2 lanes of traffic to provide dedicated BRT lanes and comparing present transit service.  Two lanes of traffic can handle 10,000 vehicles day (1.8 passengers a car). The only real UTA BRT, the 35MAX on 3500 South only got about 3200 riders a day. UTA claims that it led to much development in West Valley City. I can make a pretty good argument that the City government and Mayor Winder were more responsible for the development. That BRT could have been replaced with a $1.5 million a mile. Removing the two lanes of vehicle traffic significantly increases congestion and pollution, especially during rush hour. 
  Note that UDOT has coordinated with UTA to implement a very low cost enhanced bus like system on Redwood Road that counts bus ridership automatically and if there is a large ridership, the bus gets green light priority. When I rode the BRT, it often took 3 light cycles to get through Redwood Road during rush hour when it was not in the priority lanes. The UDOT proposal for the Advanced Bus System (like an Enhanced Bus/Bus Lane at Light Priority) for 5600W is another low cost proposal. That $1.5 million a mile provides significantly better utilization and efficiency for taxpayers.
  Good fiscal analysis should compare ridership of present transit versus personal vehicles. Regarding the WFRC analysis, the TOD land and planning cost was not part of it and other transit companies rent their excess property. UTA has given $10 million of property in some cases for a portion of profits (5%) but the profits are not guaranteed. In Clearfield, it gave up property to a developer in return for not litigating (in return for utility improvements on the property). 
  The analysis also gives general costs but doesn't break out the time of day. If we look at station boardings (from UTA data) in the evening, the cost per rider on FrontRunner reaches thousands of dollars.
  There are options to increase the efficiency of roads with UDOT traffic light systems and with considering tax credits for large companies implementing flex work hours to decrease rush hour road needs. In Utah, and specifically in the Point of the Mountain area, good road infrastructure can provide much greater development potential than transit. Even wide sidewalks have proven effective at encouraging development. If Silicon Slope companies are paying $50,000 a year to employees, they can buy a new living room on wheels and get to and from home faster and it is difficult to convince drivers to take rail unless it is door to door. The decrease in pollution produced by new vehicles is significant and should also be recognized.
  The $300 plus million for double tracking FrontRunner for what UTA surveys say will result in 7000 more riders a day is another complicated analysis that could end up suggesting buying 300 electric buses would provide much greater ridership and take more short trip/most polluting trips off the road.
  Please send your comments to boardoftrustees@rideuta.com.


SLC COUNCIL NEEDS TO SUPPORT COMMUNITY COUNCILS
  During the SLC Community Council Chairs meeting this month, they hosted the City Council candidates and asked for feedback on these 2 questions:
1)  Community Councils have a history of helping to bridge the divide between developers and existing residents in the community. Our volunteers spend countless hours working collaboratively with developers to ensure community feedback and interests are incorporated into projects. Upending that work can be very destructive to trust in the process. What can you do as a council member to ensure this process and the community’s work is honored through the planning department, planning commission, and council?  How can residents have a more meaningful voice in the process?
2) As a City Council Member how will you communicate and work with your Community Council and residents to ensure positive outcomes for residents of our neighborhood?
  My answers were: Sometimes, the City and Council will fund outreach to the community about the community councils. Every once in a while there are funds given to the community councils that allow printing and mailing newsletters. That should be a regular basic service. City Councilmembers are allowed 2 mailings a year with the water bill to publicize issues important to the Council and suggest attendance at community councils. If the community councils want to influence developers, they need more attendance at their meetings. It is relatively easy now to attend meetings but I still find myself in meetings with just a few attendees (less than 15). When I first retired and returned to Salt Lake City, I found myself in some meetings with just the chair and many times in meetings with more elected officials than residents! I come from a background of developing community councils (and a big business group) with a result of hundreds attending meetings every week. 
  Salt Lake City should fund any and all outreach to neighborhoods; fund all Zoom meetings (it took us 6 months to get SLC to have the Library host our Zoom meetings); fund and create regular newsletters either for mailing and or emailing publicizing meetings and encourage developers to attend the meetings and present their projects for vigorous discussion and feedback. 
  Community councils should also allow vigorous discussion and feedback. I have been in many meetings where the presentations did not allow feedback and I considered them propaganda. Regular attendance and open discussion at community councils by elected City Councilmembers should be expected of the job of City Council.SLC PLANNING REPORT
  I put the latest SLC Planning report in the DOWNLOADS housing section. It is interesting reading. I makes more sense to read it than to quote it.


SLC WRONGLY BLAMED FOR GREAT SALT LAKE PROBLEMS DESPITE RELATIVELY WELL MANAGED WATER RESOURCES
  During the Tuesday Legislative Interim session committee meetings, there was a discussion on the water infrastructure projects in the State. Many protesters showed up to push for more action to protect the Great Salt Lake. When they didn't get their way, they attacked the Salt Lake City Council via Webex and phone during the City Council's Formal meeting that night. They insisted that the City Council stop what they are doing and save the Great Salt Lake and contended/implied that the City uses too much water. This City and Public Utilities has implemented one of the most sustainable decreases in water use in the State. 
  But the City can significantly reduce their water use and provide better water management by removing the Park Strip Ordinance's requirement for greenery. Ironically and hypocritically, the City just put in rocks in the park strip next to the eastside curb of 900 East from 2600 South to Simpson Ave. That is specifically prohibited in the Park Strip Ordinance! (And the design is incredibly hazardous for bicyclists!) The City should also stop planting trees in park strips. The City Urban Forestry documents say that trees should only be planted in park strips wider than 3 feet but I have seen many recently planted trees that are dead in park strips that are less than 3 feet wide. 
  I see a lot of trees with the questionable plastic bags that Urban Forestry now says are bad for the trees. I remember a few years ago how excited they were and they got the City Council excited about this new idea to keep newly planted trees watered for a week. But if there is a concern that the trees won't get watered, DON'T PLANT THEM! I see trees planted next to a fence that should have obviously told Urban Forestry that those trees will not get watered and when I see them next to the fences, they are usually dead! 
  Urban Forestry is undergoing a significant reconfiguration and I put the proposal to redo the plan in the downloads page. Please read it and comment on the proposal. E-mail laura.bandara@slcgov.com with your comments. Planning is leading the plan proposal. Ignored by many who want trees planted on park strips next to streets that get salt and are plowed is the fact that the trees are not able to handle the packing of snow and salt during the winter by snowplows. TREES SHOULD NOT BE PLANTED NEXT TO SIDEWALKS WITH NO PARKING! In addition, trees planted next to skinny sidewalks create barriers and conflicts with pedestrians and bicyclists since many walk side by side and the City still thinks sidewalks can be less than 5 feet wide. 
  The City should stop planting trees in medians since they are often not watered during droughts and the City should stop planting anything that requires watering unless there is a plan and guarantee that the plants will get watered. The million dollar McClelland Trail plantings have mostly died. The Miller Park hundreds of thousands of new plantings have died. The 1300E offramp from I80 plantings all died (in the circle and to the north were the plantings that the City agreed to maintain but didn't). The City stopped watering the City Cemetery and the trees in the medians during the last drought due to the questionable system that the City has of predicting and limiting water use for a year in advance. So, if the prediction isn't providing enough water, the City has to stop watering! The City also stopped watering 30% of Bonneville Golf Course a few years ago and the neighboring homeowners took over the watering! The City needs to redo their Urban Forestry plan.
  The City should also protect more of the trees that developers and car lots want to cut down. I have seen hundreds of trees cut down for higher density development projects and only one tree is protected. The City claimed that it was a "specimen tree" but all of the large old trees should be protected. There should be a bigger replacement requirement. Now the City requires 1 2 inch caliper tree (actually 1 inch stalk) for every inch in diameter of a tree removed, but the City doesn't enforce it and it can take 10 years for the replacement trees to equal the tree canopy of the tree cut down. There should be 10 to 20 trees planted for every tree that the City allows to be removed for development and car lots. There should also be a tree bank that provides free trees to residents, not for parkstrips but for the yard.  
  If the City really wants to reduce water use in Utah, it can give Public Utilities enough money to make reasonable and respectful offers on canal companies that utilize 2000 year old technology (ditches) to provide water. But, in general, Salt Lake City is the best in the State at decreasing water use.


70% LIBERTY WELLS AGAINST INCREASING DENSITY IN SINGLE FAMILY NEIGHBORHOOD

  Liberty Wells Community Council had a survey of residents about the proposal to replace a home at 1902S 400E with 8 townhomes and found that 70% were against it. The plan would rezone the property and change the Master Plan to allow higher density. It would create a 45 foot tall structure with significantly more drivers and vehicles. The streets in the area are designed for low density homes with not a lot of vehicles. Streets in single family areas should not increase density since it will overwhelm streets and increase pollution. 22 residents answered the survey and again, 70% were against it. Many did say that 2 or 3 stories would be better but, in my opinion, this proposal is just like the RMF30 proposal that was tabled by the City Council after they realized that it would actually decrease affordable housing. SLC Planning is evaluating the proposal by the developer (I put his letter in DOWNLOADS housing column.).


EFFORT TO OVERTURN SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY FAILS
  In a very odd presentation to the Law Enforcement Interim Committee, a Utah resident asked the Committee to support a bill to loosen the sex offender law in Utah to allow a registered sex offender to be in facilities that they are usually banned from (child care, schools, etc) if they are accompanied by an adult! This is due to one parent, a registered sex offender that was convicted of sexual actions against a minor, who wants to be allowed to participate in school with his kids. His wife presented the proposed bill. 
  Several of us spoke against the proposed bill and argued that often partners of sex offenders are influenced, encouraged and required to allow abuse. So an adult does not stop sex abuse. Rep. Ward, who wrote the original registered sex offender bill pointed out that registered sex offenders can put on a good face and deny that they are a threat but in one egregious case, that person's parole officer countered the paroled claims that they are not a threat. The Committee refused to consider the bill further and moved to another item. 
  I put other Law Enforcement Committee reports in the DOWNLOADS, including the Utah Attorney General STRIKE Force report.


400 EAST GETS SPEED BUMPS AND BICYCLE LANE PRIORITY ON ALMOST EVERY STREET
  Salt Lake City is continuing with their efforts to prioritize streets for bicyclists. Every street but State Street has bicycle priority lanes. 500 E. has a southbound bicycle priority lane that backs up traffic and slows buses. 400 E. has a northbound bicycle priority lane. Every street but State Street from 600 E. west to 300 W. will have bicycle infrastructure.
  The below is from the City's Team to remake the City's streets to bicycle priority:
  The Life on State Bikeways study team continues to move forward with the project. This past summer, the study team engaged with the community through surveys, one-on-ones, comment maps, workshops and local community events.
  We received an overwhelming response that safety is a top priority, along with protected bike lanes and greener, more people-friendly streets.
  Local businesses also shared that on-street parking is a valuable resource. While many businesses encourage their customers to visit them by walking and biking, they want to preserve options for people who drive there too.
  In addition, attendees at our June 2021 open house said they would like to prioritize spaces along Main Street and West Temple for people walking, bicycling, riding scooters, enjoying public spaces, and using transit on the corridors in Salt Lake City and South Salt Lake City.
  With Salt Lake City’s street resurfacing project this summer, 200 East and 300 East were transformed to balance the current needs of the community and lay a foundation for future upgrades.
  On 200 East, we converted a travel lane in each direction to create parking protected bicycle lanes going northbound between 700 South and 900 South with buffered bike lanes elsewhere; high-visibility merge areas for bike lanes at right turn locations; and extra on-street parking.
  The new 300 East design provides a safer and more comfortable experience for all traveling public by creating parking-protected bicycle lanes between 500 South and 800 South, removing blender lanes by extending bicycle lanes into intersections, and restoring the painted protected intersection at 700 South installed in 2019 as a quick-build project.
  Main Street and West Temple are now the study teams' major area of focus for where we can make the most impact.
  Salt Lake City has planned a resurfacing project for Main Street in 2022, and as with 200 and 300 East, the team will take advantage of the opportunity by making short-term improvements. These will be rolled out to the public in early 2022, and like those outlined above for 200 East and 300 East, they will again lay a foundation for future upgrades.
  The Study team will continue working closely with businesses and residents along Main Street through the remainder of the year to ensure that the upgrades will benefit all those living, working and traveling through the area.
  The team is also developing signage and striping concepts for West Temple in South Salt Lake City, from 2100 South to 3300 South, which can be implemented as funding becomes available. These concepts will also be available for public viewing in early 2022.
Question or comments: lifeonstate@slcgov.com


LIBERTY PARK NEEDS WALKING POLICE PATROLS LIKE EVERY OTHER PARK
  Despite the Mayor's plan to implement a park rangers plan at City Parks using ARPA funds, I believe that walking police patrols would be more useful and effective. The complaints of calls for service involve illegal activity and park rangers (or even Downtown Ambassadors) shouldn't be expected to safely handle those situations. In addition, saying that low wage rangers or $13 an hour Ambassadors can get a better police response is an insult to taxpayers. Citizens and businesses should get priority without going through other layers of government bureaucracy to reach cops! Again, parks are so dangerous that the police are needed to lock up the restrooms at night. This City needs walking park police patrols.


800E TO GET $275,000 MAKEOVER, WHY
  Despite being one of the most comfortable streets to walk and bike, the City is spending $275,000 to remake 800 East in their vision. Why? I don't know. I really can't think of a good reason to push traffic onto quiet streets like 800 East. The redesign of 1100 E. and Highland is pushing traffic to the similarly formerly quiet 1000 East and the overwhelmed 900 E. The plans show people walking in the street!!! That is not what streets are for. Kids are going to get killed when they think that streets are always safe for walking and biking! Especially after dark. Other cities stopped their encourage walking in streets when it was dark but Salt Lake City did not.


2100S APARTMENTS "COMPROMISE" ON 1/2 STALL PER UNIT
  Many of the concerns on the proposed project to replace the Georgia Apartments on 2100 S. and 200 E. involved density and the plan to not require on site parking. Councilman Mano negotiated on parking with the developer and he agreed to have 1/2 stall per unit on site. But the FB-UN zone that is being proposed for the project should not be allowed. I am not sure how the 1/2 stall per unit will be enforced in the no parking required FB-UN zone.


COMMUNITY KEEPS PUSHING TREES ON FOOTHILL DESPITE DOWNSIDES
  The East Bench Community Council and Bonneville Hills Council are pushing for trees to be planted along Foothill Drive. But trees will not be watered and there are too many cases where residents, when they put up fences, stop watering anything outside of the fence. In addition, trees will create an obstacle to bicyclists if and when we get UDOT to allow us to widen the sidewalks to allow safe bicycle and pedestrian use and reduce left hand turns except at lights (the super wide center median is useless and encourages dangerous left hand turns). The final concern (to me) is the salt and snow piled on by snowplows during winter storms (don't try to walk Foothill then.


0VER 700 EVICTIONS FILED IN SLCO IN SEPT
  We asked for the Salt Lake City Attorney to provide an attorney to help those served with eviction notices without results. It is so bad that over 700 evictions were filed in Salt Lake County in September. We need a permanent public advocate attorney to sit in and stop eviction actions at the court. In addition, we have been trying to find a legislator who will run a bill removing eviction reports from apartment background checks. This pandemic has hurt too many people economically and they shouldn't have a permanent mark on their credit report.


HOMELESS KIDS SHOULD BE IN DETACHED HOMES NOT HIGH DENSITY APARTMENTS
  During the Crossroads Urban Center candidate forum, several of the candidates, including me, agreed that homeless families with kids shouldn't be offered only crime magnet motels or shelters, or even tiny apartments.
 They should be in detached homes. That is really difficult if Salt Lake City only approved 63 detached homes last year and around 1500 apartments (in apartmentville.usa).


PANTAGES THEATER IS MORE ARTISTIC THAN OLD SQUARE BRICK BUILDING
  Michael Valentine has been trying to safe the historic Pantages Theater downtown. He has pointed out that the Mayor, when she was a Councilwoman received a contribution from the developer just before she voted to give hime the Theater! Michael Valentine is right. The Pantages Theater should be saved along with the barber shop next door. That is one of the best examples of art in Salt Lake City. That is the kind of art that you look at and say wow. That should be saved. 
  RDA spent $5 million shoring up the old Mattress Box brick building and will need almost $20 million to make it accessible (the mortar has to be completely replaced) but it is a fraction of the architectural value of the Pantages. This City is spending over $20 million making the Fisher Mansion Complex useful but it is a fraction of the architectural value of the Pantages. 
  And the developer should be reminded of the difficulty of building high buildings which will require an extra large bond for building next to 100 year old buildings. 255 South State comes to mind and there was a deadly Florida condo collapse that some attribute to building a new high rise next door. RDA should offer a long time vacant property in the Depot District that would provide more value to the developer and the City. This City can't claim they support arts by increasing art allocation and then allowing the destruction of one of the most awe inspiring art pieces in the City. Michael Valentine is right. Salt Lake City should save the Panteges Theater.


SLC RDA DOUBLES COST OF HEATING FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING
  The Salt Lake City Council has decided to require all of their funding of affordable housing to require building with no emission systems (no natural gas) by 2023. But the City has ignored the fact that heating with gas is half the cost of electricity and affordable housing residents don't generally have a lot of money to spend on anything, much less heat. The requirement will be for any older funded buildings of over $900,000 and all new RDA funded buildings. There is no exception for restaurants who often insist on natural gas cooking (and outdoor gas heaters).
  On another RDA issue, SLC RDA is in need of another RDA Director. Danny Walz is leaving.


2100 SOUTH DABC STORE AND MIXED INCOME APARTMENTS HAVE 8 FT SIDEWALKS
  The mixed income, mixed use project at 2100 S. and 900 E. will have 8 foot wide sidewalks on 2100 S. which is the best sidewalk width of any new project in the area in the last 10 years! There will be 30 DABC stalls. It is the second building in 10 years to have affordable units (Liberty Village was the first).


SLC PUBLIC HEARING ON STREET LIGHTING GETS ONLY 2 COMMENTS
  The Salt Lake City Street Lighting Ordinance only had 2 commenters! This is an important ordinance but only 2 understood its significance. During a presentation, a statement was made that the Dark Skies group supported it. Dark Skies is not endorsing this, I checked. It wastes money since it leaves all lights on without dimming out when there is no movement. It is based on four year old information and technology and it appears that Rocky Mountain Power is encouraging power use with this ordinance. What happened to Salt Lake's sustainability goals? Remember all of the complaints about lights shining into homes that required baffles and shields to stop the extraneous lights! The City even had to promise that new lighting would have baffles. This street lighting ordinance is not ready for prime time. It should be tabled and use the newest available technology with lower light temperature and smart lighting to only use power when vehicles and people are moving. This City seems to want to waste power and invite complaints.


UTA SLOWS DOWN PLAN TO PAY TO LEAVE SALT LAKE CITY
  The Airport TRAX station is open but the Board of Trustees plan to give free TRAX ridership to ticket holders is on hold until an official announcement (and big splashy, newsworthy, VIP attended celebration)! Politics are more important that transit ridership. UTA expects a mid November implementation and an announcement coming soon.


STOP BUILDING HIGHWAYS OPED PUBLISHED IN SLTRIB
  I have to point out the recent Salt Lake Tribune opinion piece that complained that there are enough highways in Utah and they discourage walking and biking! The oped stated that building highways encourages more driving but the reality is that the highways open up more land to building the American Dream, a detached home with a big yard. People are willing to drive hours to get to that dream. Ask the Governor. I know too many friends who moved to Heber City to have that dream of low density housing, not the high density housing that Salt Lake City seems to be pushing. All that will do is push people to drive an hour to have that dream. 
  Highways, roads and cars make our families, our economy and our Country more efficient. And they decrease pollution and save time. Without highways, our Salt Lake Valley would be overwhelmed with smog!


QUESTIONABLE SUPPORT BY CITY OF SOME CAMPAIGNS
  The City Recorder warned candidates, including many incumbents to not use City emblems or imply that the City was supporting one candidate over another. But the City seemed to be ignoring the Mayor's appearance in front of the City's seal and endorsing a candidate! The City also seems to be ignoring the thousands of emails sent out at City expense (and written at City expense) to voters that supposedly signed up to be informed of City issues but they publicize incumbents! We have complained before but the City Attorney argued that it is okay. I still think that it is ethically and legally questionable. The City argues that mailings are stopped during elections but emails are not and that is the issue. City taxpayers are funding promotional material for incumbent candidates.


CRIME MAGNET ELEVATOR COMPROMISE ON 300 NORTH PROJECT
  Two of us argued about a design of the 300 North bridge over the rails project that used an elevator instead of a ramp to support mobility challenged and bicyclists. The project was stalled until our recent questions about the project. (900 South needs one too). 
  The City "followed up with the Transportation Division and project manager asking about security designs included in the project. They provided the below summary of security elements in the project:
Design process repeatedly included Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles
Decorative lighting and safety lighting on the structure and surrounding ground
Open and inviting ground-level plaza with clear lines of sight
Transparent glass for the elevator towers and cabs
Emergency call buttons inside the elevators
Three new striped crosswalks
Improved ground-level crossings of the railroad tracks to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards
New fencing on the ground and on the bridge itself
  Construction has officially started on the project and is expected to be completed in summer or fall next year. If you would like to receive periodic construction updates, then you can email Darryl Jacques at darryl@ja-today.com and request your email be added to the list."


DESERET NEWS ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS TO COUNCIL CANDIDATES
  My answers to the Deseret News regarding my candidacy for City Council District 5:
Top 3 issues:
1  Police/crime/drugs The County Jail often refuses to book dealers and many other criminals are released immediately so SLCPD officers arrest the same criminal dozens of times. Our homeless issue will not get better until we remove and incarcerate drug dealers.
2  Open up the City to more single family housing (only 63 detached homes were approved last year).
3  Air Quality – Too many SLC road projects increase pollution with road diets and by requiring all traffic/buses to drive behind bicyclists.
Bio:
I write a local newsblog at georgechapman.net. I am a retired engineer, a veteran and I attend most SLC Council and community council meetings.
150 words:
WE WANT TO REVERSE DEFUNDING SLC POLICE which the City Council claimed and publicized in 2020. The City lacks over 100 officers to answer 911 sometimes resulting in 50 calls on hold and doubled response time. 
WE WANT TO ALLOW HOUSING IN MORE AREAS OF THE CITY and open up for housing the tens of thousands of acres/80% of Salt Lake that does not allow housing. Only 12% of the City is zoned single family and that neighborhood character should be protected.
WE WANT THE CITY COUNCIL TO STOP  IGNORING DRUGS in parks and near schools, insist that the Jail book and keep incarcerated drug dealers and use recommended drug dogs and walking police park patrols. 
WE WANT SLC TO ANALYZE PROJECTS FOR IMPACT ON AIR QUALITY to not increase pollution and speeding in adjacent streets. Salt Lake City should force UTA to implement $1 bus fares.


FEDS CLEAN UP SLC CRIME WHEN SLCO WON'T
  In the latest Crime Control Plan Report from the U.S. Attorney, as of September 23 (in DOWNLOADS under Police), there have a 146 charged so far with a total of 34 cases of drug trafficking this year. Many were booked into other counties since the SLCO Jail refuses to keep drug dealers incarcerated. There were 77 cases of illegal firearm possession, 3 cases of robbery and 23 cases of other crimes that the U.S. Attorney, the U.S. Marshal's Service and the DEA have worked with the SLCPD to take off the street.
  The average of sentences so far has been 29 months. 57 offenders were on probation or parole (and they shouldn't have been on the street)! 27 had gang affiliations.
  116 guns were seized and 30 of those were stolen guns. Meth seized is about 32kg and heroin seized was 6 kg. Cocaine was about half the heroin. Bottom line, the feds are doing what the SLCPD are unable to due to the lack of police and the refusal of the SLCO Jail to keep criminals locked up.
  The DEA is also providing a drug dog to help limit the homeless resource centers drugs. Salt Lake City continues to refuse to restart using drug dogs. The followup audit of the homeless resource centers found that drugs were endemic in the shelters and recommended dogs to decrease the drug use and availability in the shelters.
  The Corner Stop that had the shooting last year and is a constant crime magnet also has the attention of the federal government. The federal charges will be more severe.
  
SIMILARITY OF BUK BUK AND BERNARDO PALACIOS-CARBAJAL IS DUE TO SLCO
  The similarity is scary. Both were convicted robbers (using firearms), sentenced to 1-15 years in prison but essentially released on probation. Palacios-Carbajal spent 30 days in SLCO Jail but Buk Buk was released almost immediately (after serving time in jail before his sentencing). But in November Buk Buk was arrested again in a stolen car (after running from police- and he may have connections to another killing) and released after spending almost 4 months in jail. About 6 months later, he killed Aaron Lowe, a promising UofU football star.
  I do not blame DA Sim Gill because I know that the State is trying to reduce Prison bed counts and scary situations are a constant source of frustrations at court. In another egregious situation, a young man emptied his gun into a car full of people and Adult Probation and Parole recommended probation! The judge was so upset that he admonished APP for their recommendation and sentenced the shooter to a year in County Jail. 
  The issue is lack of funding at the Department of Corrections, the effort to reduce bed counts by the Legislature and the inadequate public safety funding at the County level. Salt Lake County Mayor and Council, for years, have underfunded the County DA and Jail, leaving the DA to beg for guilty pleas, leaving 300 jail beds unused and a secret (depending on the day) jail booking restrictions. Arrested drug dealers are often refused booking and in one case killed someone within a day after the SLCPD had to release him without booking. 
  Part of the issue is the repurposing of the Jail Bond of $9.4 million a year that was ostensibly repurposed for Pay For Success drug treatment. But, at most, at best with success, the County would only have to pay $11.7 million! So drug addicts arrested for criminal activities are returned to treatment that they can walk away from anytime - it's voluntary. Note that drug addicts do not normally commit victimless crimes. 
  The County public safety funding is about to be released and I urge everyone to email the Council and tell them that you demand more funding to fill all of the beds at the Jail and fund the DA to force the State to incarcerate these threats to society in Prison. The SLCO County Council just raised the UPD tax 16% with only Councilman Alvord voting against it. No one commented against it (I tried but was unable to access the Council via Webex.) The County Council emails are:
RSnelgrove@slco.org,JBradley@slco.org,ARbradshaw@slco.org,ANewton@slco.org,Agranato@slco.org,sldebry@slco.org,DHTheodore@slco.org,LLStringham@slco.org,DAlvord@slco.org
  
MAYOR AGAIN REFUSES SAFE CAMPING AREA AND IMPLIES MORE HOMELESS SHELTERS
  During a one hour Zoom meeting attended by over 105 participants from the Ballpark and Central 9th Areas, Mayor Mendenhall was open and frank about many issues. She started by announcing that she has effectively frozen permanent homeless shelters in Salt Lake City until a more equitable distribution of the shelters in Salt Lake City is developed, if more shelters are pushed. That of course may not stop the overflow shelter proposed for the VOA detox center on 252 Brooklyn Ave. But it implies that the Mayor and Council may consider other shelters in other areas.
  The previous secret meetings of the City Council proposed placing shelters about 2 blocks from the Wiegand Center and another in Sugar House. The Mayor, when she was a Councilwoman at the time, held a contentious meeting with the Liberty Wells Community Council the day after the announcement and it wasn't pretty. She claimed that she did not agree to the Sugar House location, despite several councilmembers claiming that the decisions were unanimous. The decisions were overruled by Speaker Hughes after a big meeting that former Senator Urquart arranged to discuss the shelters. Speaker Hughes redid the shelter plan to be 2 200 bed shelters in SLC and 1 300 bed shelter picked by SLCO Mayor McAdams. 
  The Ballpark Community Council offered their area with the promise by the City to provide adequate police. The other shelter went to 700 South just east of State Street. Other shelters in Ballpark include Palmer Court that is being repurposed for families (despite the 1185S State motel across State Street having the biggest concentration of registered sex offenders in the State). There is also the VOA detox center that has a large call for service problem. Ballpark has too many homeless shelters and not enough cops to adequately patrol them.
  The big takeaway is the Mayor's statement about equity in shelters should be a warning sign to all areas in this City. This City cannot adquately police shelters and should not have more shelters.
  Another important question that she answered was why is the SLC anti camping ordinance not being enforced. And why isn't the City setting up a designated homeless camping area. The Mayor said that Salt Lake City "will not do a designated camping area" due to the poor situation. The City can't police it. Austin has a designated camping area run by non profits but they have not seen a decrease in homeless camping in the city. Denver is having the same problem. Salt Lake City says that there are about 300 homeless camping in the City and about 100 vehicle campers (see story below). What that means is that the City may not be able to enforce the no camping area. The enforcement depends on each day and shelter beds. 
  
HOMELESS GET FUNDING TO MAKE THEIR CAMPERS OPERABLE
  Salt Lake City is planning to provide a fund to repair the homeless campers and vans and cars that are used for homeless camping in vehicles. Towing companies refuse to tow the old and disabled vehicles because they can never be retrieved and they waste efforts and storage without compensation. Homeless generally do not have money to get them out of impound. So the City is planning to provide help to repair the campers and vehicles so they can be made operable and be moved. The plan is in draft form now but approved. The goal is mitigating trash, biowaste and crime and better prioritize services. The hope is that they can connect them to shelters. They are not counted in point of time count. 
  The plan is to enforce the 48 hour limit and tow maybe 50 out of the 100 vehicle campers. Although KOA style camping and parking area has been suggested, in Salt Lake City, the concern is opening it up may make many more show up. That is another reason why the City does not want a permanent camping area. The plan is to allow minor repairs and budget $100,000. The plan was approved for funding with Budget Amendment 2 on October 5.
  
HOMELESS STATS FOR SEPTEMBER
  A snapshot of the homeless camping in parks was reported by Michelle Hoon. During a recent patrol of Fairmont Park, only a few were interested in and connected to resources. The City is on track to move the Community Connection Team is being moved out of the SLCPD building.
  In Salt Lake County, there were about 7000 experiencing homelessness in the last year and using the resource centers. About a thousand left to go to permanent housing in 2020. About 1/4 came back within 6 months. 6% more came back in the first year and about 40% came back within 2 years. They stayed about 77 days in the shelter last year. The year before, the average stay was 60 days.
  
SLC BUDGET AMENDMENT 2 FUNDS DOWNTOWN AMBASSADOR PROGRAM NOW
  Budget Amendment 2 was approved October 5. It included the RV/car camping outreach and mitigation. The Downtown Ambassador portion of the Budget Amendment 2 was approved last month since the contract was expiring September 30. The Downtown Ambassadors are used in the Downtown area and on North Temple area. Many believe that the program is a useful addition to policing since it may take years to add more police and the best alternative is the Downtown Ambassador program. Although they only get $13 to $18 an hour, they also can get the police to respond faster than regular citizens, which is a sad commentary on our public safety system.
  On October 5, the City Council also approved a grant application that asked for funding to use the Downtown Ambassadors to provide a "semblance of public safety" at the homeless resource center. I still do not believe that sworn police officers cannot be replaced by poorly paid, poorly trained civilians. To me, this is another way of DEFUNDING THE POLICE.
  
FAMILIES SHOULD NOT BE IN SHELTERS OR MOTELS BUT IN HOMES
  During a discussion on homeless at the Crossroads Urban Center, the candidates for District 5 City Council all seemed to agree that families, especially with children, should not be in shelters, or crime magnet motels. The should be in homes. But the City only approved 63 detached homes last year. The ARPA funds could easily be used to ensure that all families with children are in homes that are preferably not apartments.
  
SLCPD PROCEDURES NEED TO CHANGE TO STOP DOGS FROM BEING USED ON UNARMED CIVILIANS
  I put the SLCPD Procedures Manual in the DOWNLOADS page. It does not make it clear that police dogs are not to be used on unarmed civilians and dogs should also not be used to intimidate unarmed civilians. We should have learned that in the 1960s. The problem now is that the dogs are not allowed and they are desperately needed to reduce drugs in the shelters. The DEA is providing the needed drug dog at the shelters.
  
SLC COUNCIL HEARS ARGUMENTS AGAINST NO PARKING REQUIREMENTS FOR APARTMENTS
  There were many commenters against the proposal to allow a big apartment complex to go in at the old Georgia apartments without any on site parking requirements. I believe that this is a flagrant misuse of the form based zoning that was supposed to be next to transit stations. The adjacent single family homes should not have to provide parking on the street to provide parking that the apartment should provide. Crime is a constant issue in the area and drug dealing. Without onsite parking, the dealing will move to be in front of neighboring homes with cars parked on the street. Salt Lake City should not inundate a stable area of single family homes with parking from adjacent disrespectful apartments with no on site parking. 
  
CITY ALLEYWAYS NEED MORE ATTENTION
  During the October 5 City Council hearing, everyone commenting during the public hearing on closing a portion of the alleyway off of Elm Ave supported the petition to vacate the alleyway. It has several structures that were built decades ago and this is essentially a cleanup. But the City's public property alleyway issues are a constant complaint, and often, especially in the Sugar House area, concentrate criminal behavior like drug abuse and dealing and opening and discarding of stolen Amazon packages. This City should have a department to be responsible for alleyway problem identification and solutions, whether cleanup, increased police patrol, or closing. If this City can't solve the issues, whether crime or other issues, the City should set up a path to close the alleyway, if there is no easement needed for utilities. It shouldn't be hit or miss and it is taking up way too much time of this Council. In other words, the City should be helping residents on this issue.
  
900 EAST NEW SHARED BIKE PATH IS MOST DANGEROUS BIKE LANE I HAVE EVER SEEN
  Salt Lake City agreed to our request to put a raised shared bicycle and pedestrian path on the eastside of 900 East during the reconstruction of 900 East from 2100 South to 2700 South. It moved the eastside curb further west to accomplish that. But shared path being built next to Forest Dale Golf Course is dangerous due to the uneven mismatch between the bike lane which is green and the sidewalk which is about 4 inches above the bike lane in places! On the other side next to the curb, the green bike lane does not go to the curb. So another danger to bicyclists are about to be built! Workers say that it will be a park strip but that doesn't make sense in our drought. The green bike lane should be even with the sidewalk and go all the way to the curb. It will increase accidents by bicyclists and even pedestrians with a dangerous slope. Worse case scenario is a stroller goes over the edge of the sidewalk and is overturned! The City should correct the design before it is completed.


SEPTEMBER 2021

SLC COUNCIL DEFUNDS POLICE AGAIN

LEGISLATURE & HOMELESS MGRS IGNORE LAW

SLCPD PARK BIKE SQUAD DATA ON DOWNLOADS PAGE

LEGISLATURE NEWS RAPE KITS, CONVERTER THEFTS, RETENTION OF COPS
LEGISLATURE NEWS WFRC STUDY SHOWS ROADS MORE EFFICIENT
LCPD CALLS FOR SERVICE SHOW HOMELESS SHELTERS ARE CRIME MAGNETS

SURVEY SHOWS 83% USES PERSONAL VEHICLES FOR PRINCIPAL TRANSPORTATION
PLANNING GETS RESPONSIBILITY FOR NEW URBAN FORESTRY PLAN
UTA SUBSIDY PER RIDER, RIDERSHIP & PAY ANOTHER EX EMPLOYEE
DOWNTOWN SLC RAIL EXTENSIONS FEASIBILITY STUDY START TO SPEND A BILLION
SLC STREETS BOND PROJECTS FOR NEXT YEAR INCLUDES 1100E, HIGHLAND AND 200S
SLC COUNCIL CANDIDATES LIST
BIG GREEN HAVEN PROJECT WITH NO PARKING AT COUNCIL
DEVELOPER PUSHES PROPOSAL THAT SLC COUNCIL SAID WOULD DECREASE AFFORDABILITY
SLC AIRPORT LIFE ELEVATED FITNESS TEST WALKWAY GETS CARTS RESERVATIONS
SLC CONSIDERING HIGHER TAXES WITH $25 INFRASTRUCTURE FEE
COMMISSION APPROVES RESTAURANT/BAR WITHOUT PARKING 
900E CONSTRUCTION STOPS PARKING LOT USE FOR SOCCER 
SURPRISE, SLC AND UTA ARE APPLYING FOR A NEW TRAX LINE
NEW CALL2HAUL PROGRAM ALLOWS  FIRE DANGER BRUSH
UTA AND SLC NEED COMMENTS/FEEDBACK ON S-LINE EXTENSION
SOLUTION TO LCC TRAFFIC BACKUP WITHIN YEAR IS SNOWSHEDS
AFGHANISTAN SHOULD HAVE BEEN PREDICTED


SLC COUNCIL DEFUNDS POLICE AGAIN

  Last week, the SLC Council expressed their legislative intent to defund the SLCPD again by expanding the City's Funding Our Future definition as part of their legislative intent (in police column on downloads page). The City decreased funding for SLCPD from the Prison Tax in FY2020 to include Fire Department and 911 dispatchers. The new expanded definition now includes language that says: "It is the intent of the Council that the definition of
“public safety” for allocation of Funding Our Future revenue include not only the Police Department,Fire Department, and 911 Dispatch, but also any social workers and non-emergency traffic enforcement programs which are designed to expand the City’s public safety alternative response model. 
  
LEGISLATURE & HOMELESS MGRS IGNORE LAW
  In one of the most disrespectful actions by elected leaders in Utah, the Homeless Coordinating Council decided to convert the VOA 252 Brooklyn detox center into a homeless overflow shelter! The vote was taken a couple of days after changing the name and requiring interested individuals to redo their public notice website email notification of agendas to ensure broad public engagement. Unfortunately, the Homeless Coordinating Council, Co-Chaired by Catholic Community Services Jean Hill, only had HB440 on the agenda but the item was actually to use HB440 to budget $3 million for the purchase of the building! No one else outside of the Council knew. The Salt Lake Tribune reported the meeting and everyone in Ballpark was upset at the surprise and the fact that the Mayor disrespectfully voted for it. 
  I put several documents and a compressed audio of the Homeless Council on the downloads page at the bottom.
  Earlier this month, in a previous story below, Chief Brown showed a presentation that proved that homeless shelters were crime magnets. Calls for service around them were high. Even the VOA detox center had a high calls for service. The Calls for Service presentation is in the downloads page under police.
  After a backlash, Mayor Mendenhall backtracked and said she rescinded her approval but it was too late. The next situation developed at the Executive Appropriations Committee which was said to be voting on it but the legislation, HB440, only says that the appropriate legislative committee only has the ability to review it. They can choose to vote against it or not. Instead, the Committee just heard the Homeless Coordinating Council's report. This language is similar to other bills that called for legislative oversight via review by the appropriate legislative committee for other municipal or political subdivision actions (like offering land to the federal government for wilderness or management). The intent has always been to allow the Legislature to have a final say in controversial issues. But the Executive Appropriations Committee (Interim) decided that reviewing the report was good enough and the leadership declined to call for a vote. The Democratic Senators could have made a motion to vote but they didn't. There was enough disrespect to go around.
  Salt Lake City is getting all of the homeless due to the services that are concentrated in the City for homeless, drug treatment and mental health. Other counties send their problem cases to Salt Lake City. Ogden's Lantern House rousts homeless campers around the homeless shelter and urges them to go to Salt Lake City ("it is just a quick train trip away"). Courts in other counties do the same (as was discussed at a recent City Council meeting. But this City refuses to budget for the desperately needed police staffing with the Mayor being quoted saying "we don't need more policing". But we do and begging police to accept voluntary overtime is not good enough.
  I want to see Salt Lake City elected leaders very publicly fight the addition of another shelter in Ballpark. The Chief just said that he is down 97 cops and the calls for service are extremely high around shelters. Salt Lake should get compensated by workforce services for the need for more promised policing around the shelters. If this City can't stop drugs in parks and homeless camps, the situation won't get better because drugs and dealers victimize homeless first. The City should up front fight the conditional use permit application now, not at the last minute.
  
LEGISLATURE NEWS WFRC STUDY SHOWS ROADS MORE EFFICIENT
  I put the new WFRC study that compares road funding to transit funding in the downloads page under transit. We have been asking for this for years. It shows that roads cost each driver about 64 cents per mile with each new passenger creating even greater efficiency. Per person mile is .30 and each trip is costing roads $3. On the other hand, transit costs $11.45 per person trip and $1.41 per person mile. Only about 1% use transit and roads are still more efficient. 
  UTA also presented their propaganda that I put in the transit downloads. They again claimed that the 400 South TRAX took a lot of vehicle travel off of 400 South but the study it was based on was flawed in my opinion since the study ignored the new popular bus routes including 9 and 4 and the increased popularity of the 2 bus which UTA inappropriately gave credit to the new bus stops (the study for the 2 bus did not attribute the significant 2 bus ridership to the new bus stops - which are still questionable since the bus still often stays away from the bus stop forcing passengers to step into the street - see picture of the year). UTA is pursuing, again, eminent domain to destroy a small business in Ogden for the BRT station that has empty parking lot space a couple of hundred feet away. UTA also voted to borrow another $400+ million, theoretically to reduce high interest rate bonds but it could also be used for more projects. Our tax dollars are going to projects. And finally, UTA still refuses to provide the grant application for the study to justify spending a billion on downtown rail.
  
LEGISLATURE NEWS RAPE KITS, CONVERTER THEFTS, RETENTION OF COPS
  I put several police interest reports from the September Interim Law Enforcement Committee. The reports include the latest rape kit report, a report from Ian Adams of the Utah FOP on law enforcement retention, bills on reducing time between service with Utah Retirement organizations and a proposed bill to have retirement contributions picked up by government. Sen. Harper is pushing to help law enforcement that is negatively impacted by Utah's retirement system.
  There was also a big discussion on catalytic converter thefts and the decreasing coordination with law enforcement and scrap metal dealers who question the individuals who are bringing in the converters. Salt Lake City Police WILL NOT RESPOND TO CALLS REPORTING SUSPECTED THEFTS! The scrap metal dealers are frustrated. A new bill is being proposed. The presentation and bill is in the police downloads column. Not mentioned but a big contribution to the problem is SLCO Jail releases arrested catalytic converter thieves almost immediately.
  
SLCPD PARK BIKE SQUAD DATA ON DOWNLOADS PAGE
  I put the Chief's Sept 21 presentation of the Park Bike Squad and up to date Police Academy information in the police downloads.
  The Chief said that there are 100 parks including pocket parks in Salt Lake City. Each is public space that limits what the police can do except at night with enforcing the curfew (but it is usually low priority compared to other calls for service). Alleyways are even worse but that issue only comes up during arguments to close alleyways. The total space is 735 acres of land (1 sq mile is about 640 acres). The park bike squad was started in 2019 (Rio Grande had one well before) and consists of 1 sgt and 5 officers who work 4 days a week with a focus on weekends. They are committed to community based policing. The parks are faced with drug use, abuse, dealing, camping and they require a constant presence. There are also Pioneer and Liberty bike squads and they are busy and often are answering 911 calls. 
  The Chief gave a snapshot of a typical day, August 26 with patrols ranging from Copperton, Fairmont, Wasatch Hollow and the Cemetery. Calls for service averaged over 5 years in the Sept. 13 to 19th timeframe 2080 calls but this year it was up 29% to 2822 calls. Most were transient related. 
  The Sept. 12 shooting at Liberty Park resulted in a quick arrest of the shooter due to the many calls with good descriptions. He was apprehended on the northwest corner as he was leaving the Park. He was on probation for felonies.
  The Chief also listed a lot of drugs intercepted by cops (in the slideshow). The Chief said that they are focusing on the Pioneer Park and 7th South area and moving slowly out. Homeless encampments move and crime moves with them.
  Councilman Mano said that he was getting a ton of emails and that District 5 needs it to expand to hotspots throughout the City.
  The Chief said that we are on a "really on a good trajectory on hiring officers". I disagree and it appears that the City significantly decreased training for laterals which will now have only 2 weeks in house. 19 new officers will be out of the Academy soon and 9 officers who left recently were rehired. Although the Chief said that we are down 51, the reality is that we are unable to place 97 officers on the street that we should have on the street. I think that it is closer to 130.
  The Mayor said that she is a fan of park rangers and bike patrols and she wants to have more discussion on park rangers that were stopped when the City Council expressed concern that "some demographics are intimidated by uniformed police". Councilwoman Valdemoros said that she wants park rangers or maybe outsourcing funding to a group like the Downtown Ambassadors that just received funding via Budget Amendment 2 (only that line item was approved) for patrolling areas with crime issues.
  Jefferson Park in Ballpark has seen a lot of calls for service (on the downloads police column) and the Liberty Bike Squad, and the Park Bike Squad are working this location. The Organized Crime squad is also joining in on the enforcement. Several drug arrests were made at this location but were released almost immediately since the County Jail refuses to keep dealers locked up. 


SLCPD CALLS FOR SERVICE SHOW HOMELESS SHELTERS ARE CRIME MAGNETS
 During a presentation by SLCPD Chief Brown to the City Council on Sept 7, 2021, he showed a snapshot of calls for service that included the top locations for criminal reports. The data shows that the City's homeless shelters in the Ballpark neighborhood (900S to 2100S and I15 to State St), including the Geraldine E. King Women's Center, the VOA, Palmer Court and the store across from the Gail Miller Shelter are crime magnets. In addition, Jefferson Park and the adjacent Jefferson School Apartments had the third highest calls for service! If the shelters in this City are crime magnets according to the Chief's presentation, why is Ballpark being given another shelter to add to the 3 already there and another nearby without more police patrols. 
  The Ballpark Community Council and the adjacent Central Ninth Community Council will hold a joint Zoom meeting hosted by the Library at 7PM on September 9 to discuss the efforts by the State, the County (that Salt Lake City allows and essentially encouraged) to set up another homeless shelter in the neighborhood, essentially the VOA building. Salt Lake City Mayor Mendenhall has said that the area needs another homeless shelter although we didn't think that she meant another one in Ballpark. 
  There will also be meeting of the Legislature's Executive Appropriations Committee On Sept. 14 at 3PM that will be needed to approve of the money to buy and convert the VOA building to a shelter. That Committee meeting and information can be found at le.utah.gov and under the calendar. Please check the calendar and agenda on the le.utah.gov website. Appropriations meetings generally require sign up the day before.
  The actual statistics (I put the presentation in the downloads page under Police) shows that Walmart had 110 calls for service in August which is an increase of 38 from July. Walmart has always been a hotspot for calls for service/criminal behavior. I put the RDA Crime report from 2015 in the Police downloads page and it also showed a large report of criminal behavior. The hiring of off duty police (at over $60/hour) has helped discourage shoplifting but the shelter across the street has led to a significant increase in shoplifting. Part of the reason is that the shoplifters are generally not arrested and taken to jail (unless they have warrants with many unanswered tickets/summons) but they are given tickets. 
  The next highest calls for service in the Liberty Division (comprising City Council Districts 5,6 and 7) is Palmer Court which had a 200% increase in fights compared to July. Palmer Court had 98 calls for service in August, an increase of 36 from July. Palmer Court already had the reputation of being the second biggest draw for medical response after the Rio Grande area (which did not decrease calls for service even after Operation Rio Grande). In addition, Palmer Court has been moving in more families but some are concerned because the State's biggest concentration of registered sex offenders lives across the street at 1185 South State Street. 
  The third highest call for service was Jefferson School Apartments, across the street from Jefferson Park which has had many complaints of drug dealing, which generated 63 calls for service, an increase of 3 from July. The City has tried to activate the Park with better lighting and walking paths but drug dealing is still a regular feature.
  The nearby Geraldine E. King Center on 700 South had 124 calls for service, a decrease of 23 but it still generated 4 calls per day. And VOA, the one that is proposed to be a new shelter had a 133% increase in trespasser/unwanted calls from July to August. The SLCPD has identified 2 people responsible and is trying to find a way to stop the problems.
  In a separate area, but probably involving homeless, a business in the area of 900 East and 2100 South called 15 times in a month on a trespasser who ignores efforts by the SLCPD to stop the trespassing.
  In the Pioneer Division, generally west of I15, the 7-Eleven on 960 West North Temple had 37 calls for service in August (mainly due to drugs). The Flying J Truck Stop on 900 West and 2025 South and Motel 6 at 1990 West North Temple followed closed behind.
  And the big concern generated by video of a sex act in Pioneer Park in the open in the day has resulted in committing more overtime officers to the Park. There was a fourth bike squad that used to patrol the area but they have been used to help field the overwhelming increase in calls for service. When the calls for service go down (if ever), they will return to patrol Pioneer Park. 
  My analysis shows that drugs continue to be a problem. The regular drug dealing, abuse and use in and around shelters, mini marts, in parks and on park strips are still a problem. The Mayor recently said that the solution is not more policing! But how else can drugs be discouraged? The City recently celebrated at Pioneer Park, after a bunch of complaints about lawlessness in the Park, how good the crime stats are (I put them in the downloads page) but they are not that good. When people call 20 times about drug dealing next to their business, and police don't show up, they stop calling. In the last few years, calls about drug dealing and abuse has decreased 50%. But drug use and abuse has actually gone up. When SLCPD try to arrest dealers, who are usually also addicts, they can't really book them in Jail since the Jail releases them immediately. They try to take them to a drug treatment center but they also can walk away (and the center gets the Medicaid money anyway) The only solution, in my opinion, is to focus on drugs, and try to focus on identifying and confiscating them. The use of walking police patrols and K-9s trained in locating drugs (which the recent shelters audit recommended - in the downloads page) should be a priority in Salt Lake City.
  
SURVEY SHOWS 83% USES PERSONAL VEHICLES FOR PRINCIPAL TRANSPORTATION
  I put a recent survey of Salt Lake City citizens and businesses in the Housing section of the downloads page. It showed that 83% use mainly personal vehicles. Salt Lake City elected leaders should remember that statistic when trying to discourage vehicle use. Even 80% of Portland residents, next to streetcar stations, use personal vehicles.
  The survey showed how important housing is to the City's residents. I keep saying this, but it bears repeating: Salt Lake City seems to be targeting single family home areas for increased density. But that's only 12% of the City. The big source of the affordable housing emergency is this City's government, since 80% of the property of this City is not allowed to have housing. 
  This City could and should open up the tens of thousands of acres of land that could have housing to home builders (the City's acreage by zoning is in the Housing column in the downloads page. Not sure if this City should be pushing more apartments since the City approved around 1500 apartments last year but only 63 detached homes. This City should not become apartmentville usa. 
  Without detached homes, the American Dream, people will drive and create more pollution. A good example is the International Center which could have thousands of housing units but the City does not allow. It could. The Airport map allows it. Tens of thousands of acres could create almost 100,000 housing units if the City got out of the way and allowed housing in more than the 20% of the City allowed to have housing and open up builders to build housing.
  
PLANNING GETS RESPONSIBILITY FOR NEW URBAN FORESTRY PLAN
  In an interesting change, SLC's Planning Department, led by one of the City's most experienced public servants, Nick Norris, is creating a new Urban Forestry Plan. I put it in the Housing column in the downloads page. Public comments are encouraged to laura.bandara@slcgov.com on how the City should update their Urban Forestry Plan, especially with all of the construction and new building that ends up cutting trees.
  
UTA SUBSIDY PER RIDER, RIDERSHIP & PAY ANOTHER EX EMPLOYEE
  Recent UTA Board of Trustees meetings have reported continuing fare revenue of about $2.6 million per month and an average bus subsidy per rider of $11.63. Ridership increased about 50% from a year ago in July but year to date totals are only up about 25%. Bus farebox revenue is about $1.1 million per month, up about 20% from last year and bus subsidy per rider is $11.47.
  The TRAX subsidy per rider is about $8.87 in July 2021 and there is farebox revenue of $629,000. 
  The commuter rail subsidy per rider is $16.11 and farebox revenue is $317,455 in July. It should be noted that the farebox recovery ratio (fare/costs) was about 10% last year and this year for bus and TRAX but it was about 10.2% this year for commuter rail and 18.2% last year.
  Rideshare revenue was $236,766 while 46,387 used the service for a $6.67 subsidy per rider. That is significantly lower than last year's subsidy that started at $40/rider then went to $19 per rider. The full costs were $546,143 in July.
  Free fare days (due to Rep. Briscoe's bill) was on August 12 and 13 (which was a couple of weeks later than the worst air in the nation), statistics 
bus and Paratransit had a 5% increase in use. TRAX had no change and FrontRunner had a 12% increase, probably due to the Ogden Twilight Concert. 
  Bruce Jones, the former UTA Attorney has also been awarded $200,000 due to a litigation settlement.
  
DOWNTOWN SLC RAIL EXTENSIONS FEASIBILITY STUDY START TO SPEND A BILLION
  I put another copy of the TRAX expansion study by UTA and RDA in the Transit column along with a bigger study by University of Utah about their dreams for the Depot District including a 400 South line extension to Central Station. Still no grant application has been made public although all parties have been asked for it.
  
SLC STREETS BOND PROJECTS FOR NEXT YEAR INCLUDES 1100E, HIGHLAND AND 200S
  I put the SLC Streets Bond next projects list in the Transportation section of the downloads page. The cost is about half a million per lane mile. 200 South, 1100 East and Highland Drive to I80 is getting much of the funding. 300 North is also funded.
  Local street candidates for 2023 include 100S, 1000E, 1700E, 640S, Dallin St, Gregson Ave, Lincoln St, Meadow Lane, Pierpont Ave, Richards St and University St.
  
SLC COUNCIL CANDIDATES LIST
  List of Declared Candidates by District, by ballot order, website
District 1
Blake Perez voteblakeperez.com    blake@voteblakeperez.com
Victoria Petro-Eschler VoteVictoriaSLC.com
Richard D. M. Barnes
District 2  *2 Year Term due to vacancy
Alejandro “Ale” Puy alejandropuy.com  ale@aleandropuy.com
Billy Palmer billypalmerslc.com billy@billypalmerslc.com
Nigel Swaby nigelforsaltlake.com
Dennis Faris votedennisslc.com  denniss@votedennisslc.com
Daniel Tuutau tuutau.com    daniel@tuutau.com
District 3
Chris Wharton votechriswharton.com   chris@votechriswharton.com
David Berg DavidForSLC.com
Casey O’Brien McDonough caseyforslc.com
District 5
Sarah Reale votereale.com    votereale@gmail.com
George Chapman georgechapman.net  gechapman2@gmail.com
Darin Mano darinmano.com
Amy J. Hawkins amy.j.hawkins@gmail.com
Vance Hansen
District 7
Ben Raskin voteraskin.com   benj.raskin@gmail.com
Amy Fowler electamyfowler.com   voteamyfowler@gmail.com
Rainer Huck rfhuck@yahoo.com
  
BIG GREEN HAVEN PROJECT WITH NO PARKING AT COUNCIL
  I put the proposal to build a big housing complex on 200 East and 2100 South in the Housing downloads. It does not have any parking requirements since they are trying to rezone it to FB-UN1! It passed the Planning Commission. The area's single family home residents adjacent to the project are very concerned since vehicles are often used for criminal activities and can generate noise. Councilman Mano expressed concerned about no parking required so close to single family homes. This is a project that deserves to have more public comment. Send your comments to:
james.rogers@slcgov.com,andrew.johnston@slcgov.com,chris.wharton@slcgov.com,amy.fowler@slcgov.com,dan.dugan@slcgov.com,darin.mano@slcgov.com,ana.valdemoros@slcgov.com
  
DEVELOPER PUSHES PROPOSAL THAT SLC COUNCIL SAID WOULD DECREASE AFFORDABILITY
  Recently, the big push to increase density to increase housing units in the City crumbled. The City's effort, called RMF30 (in Housing in downloads) was to allow developers to tear down single family homes and build many more housing units. But several activist developers and landlords pointed out that the effort would actually increase the land values and encourage home owners who may be renting their land for moderate rents, to sell to developers that would build apartments that the market would handle. The proposal was shelved "until a good housing loss mitigation ordinance can be enacted at the same time". But the Liberty Wells Community Council was just told that a developer is proposing to take a single family home on 400 East and 1902 South and change the zoning from single family to moderate density townhomes (8)! This is in the middle of a single family area and the Master Plan does not allow that. But the developer is insistent. Only 2 in the sparsely attended Zoom meeting spoke against it. Increasing density on 400 East is a problem since it is already overwhelmed with speeders trying to avoid the City's redesign of 500 East. In other words, the developer is trying to push the City's tabled RMF30 through for the project by claiming that St. Joseph Villas is across the street. The project is so new that there are no plans yet. But SLC Planning should get your comments now. If this goes through, many homes in the area will also be threatened with demolition and market rate replacements. Email caitlyn tubbs@slcgov.com with your comments.
  
SLC AIRPORT LIFE ELEVATED FITNESS TEST WALKWAY GETS CARTS RESERVATIONS
  The significant walk to the SLC Airport Concourse B is so long that it is now being touted as a "Life Elevated Fitness Test". The Airport is trying to publicize the return of electric carts for so called mobility challenged and the website for information is:
https://slcairport.com/customer-assistance/accessibility/
  
SLC CONSIDERING HIGHER TAXES WITH $25 INFRASTRUCTURE FEE
  One of the survey questions that should be important is the item about the acceptance of a $25 infrastructure fee that is charged to everyone! This is nothing but a tax increase on top of the significant increase in spending by Salt Lake City.


PLANNING COMMISSION APPROVES ROOFTOP RESTAURANT/BAR USE WITHOUT NEW PARKING REQUIREMENTS
  The SLC Planning Commission approved a rooftop use text amendment to the FB-SE zone that is supposed to be for near the S-Line but past decisions have allowed the zoning to be applied anywhere there is transit service within a few blocks. The text amendment, in this case allows a 50% increase in seating available without increased parking!
  SLC Planning "told the building owner that the rooftop would not be able to be used, but there was nothing in the code that prevented it from being constructed if it complied with the height.....(zoning) can prevent the use, but if the building fits the dimension requirements, one can build whatever they want..."
  My objections are that the building owner was already told a rooftop commercial use is not allowed and just because they built it should not get an approval. It is disrespectful and an attempt to use a technical loophole.
  The biggest issue is the potential popularity of any rooftop restaurant or bar would create significant parking issues that would negatively impact adjacent businesses and residents. The Text Amendment DOES NOT mitigate the significant negative impact. The FB-SE zone was created with the hope that nearby rail would decrease the need for vehicles and parking. But the rooftop restaurants and bars, as a wonderful and potentially popular idea, will significantly increase the need for more parking, not less. 
  The Planning staff shuold re-evaluate the parking standards and return with a more realistic and fair parking requirement for rooftop use. Note that the parking in place fulfills the rest of the building uses but the rooftop restaurant does not provide.additional parking for the new proposed use. The Sugar House Community Council supported the text amendment with a conditional use provision (which is almost always approved). Only two spoke against it but I believe that at least 50 residents and businesses would be against it. Public engagement is missing. Council candidate Benjamin Raskin supported it. The text amendment now goes to the City Council which is in the midst of decreasing parking requirements.
  
SLC CONSTRUCTION OF 900 EAST STOPS PARKING LOT USE FOR SOCCER TOURNAMENTS
  Over the last few years, there have been several City projects that stopped parking in the Fairmont Park westside parking lot that is full on weekends and weekday evenings with soccer games and Park patrons. We asked the City to keep the lot accessible during the 900 East reconstruction but they have had a problem getting the colored brick for the raised shared bicycle pedestrian path going into the eastside of the road (they took away parking for the raised bicycle path). That has resulted in a big delay in opening up the parking lot. It will be open for Labor Day weekend but it will close again on Sept 7 to hopefully install the bricks.
  
SURPRISE, SLC AND UTA ARE APPLYING FOR A NEW TRAX LINE, WHO KNEW
  During SLC RDA Council discussion on Station Center/Depot District, it was reported that the University of Utah would get property to allow a $100 million local taxpayer funded TRAX line (page 6: "The University is under contract to purchase approximately 2 acres of adjacent property, which would facilitate 400 South Trax extension"). If the UofU wants it, they should pay for all of it. An assessment district would be a fairer way of paying for it than forcing SLC citizens and businesses to pay for it. But there is no public engagement and comment on this $100 million obligation! There should be no obligation of $100 million of taxpayer money without vigorous engagement and public comment.
  The University of Utah responded to my questions:  "I believe you are referring to a strip of land fronting 400 South that has been discussed as a potential future TRAX right-of-way.  That strip of land is currently comprised of RDA-owned property and newly acquired property by the University and is ~25’ x 660’ or approximately 0.38 acre.  The language you reference in the RDA report we believe you are referring to was only meant to imply that there is an intention to continue conversations that might facilitate the preservation of that corridor for future transit uses.  As you know, the decision to move forward with implementing a TRAX expansion does not belong to the RDA or the University, although we support the idea and participated with SLC Transportation and the RDA in applying for a federal grant this year to fund a study and preliminary design of a potential TRAX expansion.  If we are successful in securing those federal grant funds, we would move forward with a transit study that would include robust public engagement.  After the study is completed and an alignment identified, conversations would then begin regarding funding for implementation." Note that I don't remember seeing a grant application public hearing on this issue!f
  The University of Utah is studying the area with a consultant. The Mayor can unilaterally dispose of Station Center RDA property via fair market value but the Board will use the money for infrastructure. Several Councilmembers expressed concern that if the property is given to the University, it would lock out many smaller design firms and that should not be considered but the jobs of design should be spread out. "Disposing of so great a property is an equity concern... locking out smaller companies. Two city blocks designed by one team may not be an attractive result. The Council also intended to require no gas appliances starting in 2023 to ease developers into it.
  This area has been under Salt Lake City RDA control since before 2011. The RDA started buying property in early 2000s. In other words, the City has been obtaining land for 20 years! For a few years, the buying of property took a back seat to affordable housing funding but it started again in 2019.
  In the UTA Capital Plan (in the Transit downloads), UTA listed anticipated grants and partner funds. The proposed projects anticipating significant outside funds include:
Midvalley BRT
TechLink Corridor/Greenline Downtown
Pt of Mountain transit
Salt Lake Central HQ office
South Valley/Davis transit
Central Corridor transit
5600 West/Mountain View Corridor
  If these funds don't materialize, projects would be delayed.
  
NEW CALL2HAUL PROGRAM ALLOWS BRUSH THAT IS A FIRE DANGER
  I put the new Call2Haul program flyer in the downloads page. It now allows brush like scrub oak that is a considerable danger in the east bench area.
  
UTA AND SLC LOOKING FOR COMMENTS/FEEDBACK ON S-LINE EXTENSION PATH
  UTA and Salt Lake City are asking for feedback on how to route the S-Line. The locallinkstudy.com effort by SLC is being countered by Millcreek which is encouraging Millcreek residents to inundate UTA with requests to route the S-Line south on Highland Drive to Millcreek! The UTA email is S-Line@rideuta.com and the website is www.rideuta.com/S-Line-extension. The UTA community engagement office is at 833-801-7433. Amalia Andrews is the new UTA community engagement consultant. The $12 million appropriated by the Legislature, at the behest of Rep. Winder, the Millcreek Economic Development Director could be used to curve the S-Line from McClelland to the south to start the route going south. Although the S-Line/UTA/locallinkstudy.com says that no decision on routing has been made, there is already significant pressure to send it to Millcreek via Highland Drive, which may result in over 50 homes lost! Soren Simonsen has been the biggest proponent of routing it east to Sugar House Park. $12 million could take it part of the way up Wilmington (through Sundance Catalog) to Hidden Hollow entrance to Sugar House Park. But Millcreek is stacking the deck. Please email your comments and inundate UTA and lynn.jacobs@slcgov.com telling them to route the S-Line east. I put several S-Line downloads in the downloads transit area including the UTA report on corridor preservation and Highland Drive transit analysis with costs and predictions. I put the Millcreek Highland Drive study in transportation downloads. Salt Lake City plans to completely reconstruct Highland Dr in 2023.
  
SOLUTION TO LCC TRAFFIC BACKUP WITHIN A YEAR IS SNOWSHEDS
  If ski resorts or any developer or construction company, or the Central Wasatch Commission, or the Mountain Accord want gondolas or rail up the Wasatch Canyons, they should pay for it. The taxpayers of Utah should not be asked to pay for it with a claimed 50% match from the supposed bottomless federal barrel of money. Gondolas are still impacted by avalanche control and may need hours to ensure safety after each avalanche control action.
  The idea of tolling and discouraging private vehicles from entering a recreation area that has been available for free for over a hundred years is disrespectful. Forcing citizens into mass transit when we may not be out of this pandemic for years, and transit agencies expect that transit ridership will not recover for years is disrespectful and naive. Governments have tried to force transit ridership without success when vehicles are available to almost everyone. UDOT has already found in previous studies that tolling is a very unpopular way of collecting revenue.
  The largest traffic backups occur when avalanche control closes the LCC road. Snowsheds, at less than $100 million, that can be quickly built, is the fastest and most cost effective method to reducing traffic backups. Despite some claims that they are 
unsightly, there are many examples of snow sheds that blend in naturally with the Canyon slopes and can be architecturally beautiful. (Google snowsheds and avalanches for pictures of architecturally beautiful structures.)
  When trying to ride a UTA bus up the LCC takes hours to board, buses are not, and have not been appealing. We have been trying to get the Legislature to fund weekend bus service up the Canyons to prove that ridership can be increased. The Legislature has not agreed so going from a $5 million a year proposal (for a 52 week service by bus) to a $500+ million proposal is almost criminally negligent. Before adding an extra lane, let's see if a weekend bus service is used. I should also point out that the Canyons amplify noise by buses and the bus service should be implemented with electric/quiet buses. The residents and hikers already complain about vehicle noise from diesels and other loud vehicles.
  The road does not need to be widened but I would suggest paving the shoulder and adding a curb to allow bicyclists to stay out of vehicle traffic and reduce vehicle slideoffs. There should also be bus pullouts at the pickup/drop off points to eliminate backing up traffic and increasing Canyons' pollution.
  Government should not solve problems with the most expensive solution. The problem of traffic backup going up the Canyons can best be solved with snowsheds at less than $100 million and electric buses on the weekends for a couple of million. The cost and speed of implementation should make snowsheds the obvious, fiscally responsible solution. Anything else will take up to a decade to implement (not just federal government but lawsuits will delay the building of a gondola and adding another lane) while snowsheds can reduce 90% of backups within a year.
  
AFGHANISTAN SHOULD HAVE BEEN PREDICTED
  I had an oped in the Deseret News about 10 years ago that should have clearly shown the problems that we were going to have. Google Deseret News George Chapman and Little America. If we don't learn the language, the culture and the religion, we won't respect others and they won't respect us. Interestingly, the Missionary Training Center follows that philosophy. I have made use of their Culturegrams for years. The book, Little America told of how the U.S. military holed up in Little America walled enclaves and it made Americans look bad. 


AUGUST 2021

LCPD FINALLY GOES AFTER CAPITOL HILL RACERS
SHERIFF CLAIMS JAIL SWORN OFFICER STAFFING OK THEN LOSES 10 IN A WEEK
COMMUTER RAILROADS HAMMERED, UTA REFUSES TO ADMIT IT
NEW DOWNLOADS PAGE HAS SLC DROUGHT PLAN & ZONING ACREAGE

SLC PUBLIC LIBRARY 2 HOUR FREE PARKING BY SEPT 15

POLICE PAY PRESENTATION SHOWS WIDE PAY ISSUE
HOW SLC SCREWS AIR QUALITY AND BICYCLISTS
THIS CITY ACTS LIKE IT HATES THE ENVIRONMENT
UTA PUSHES UNSAFE BUS SEATING
SLC PUBLIC LIBRARY CONSIDERS FREE TWO HOUR PARKING
SLC TO GET $85 MILLION IN FLEXIBLE USE ARPA FUNDS
SLC IS LOOKING FOR TRAFFIC CALMING ENGINEERS  
SLC AGREES TO LOWER COLOR OF STREET LIGHTS  
SLC ABOUT TO REDUCE BARRIERS TO RESTAURANTS IN RESIDENTIAL AREAS

RUNNING TO STOP WAR ON COPS, SINGLE FAMILY HOMES & CARS
SLC COUNCIL 5 SEATS IN ELECTION, DEADLINE AUGUST 17
SLC IN 2020 APPROVED 2000 HOUSING UNITS/PERMITS 
SLC WANTS MORE GREENERY BUT CAR LOTS WILL FIGHT
UTA OFFERS FREE TRANSIT TO LEAVE SLC
DOGS BANNED FROM ALLEN PARK PEACOCK POPULATION
UTAH HAS A SYSTEMIC PROBLEM HOMELESS DRUG ABUSE 
SLC WANTS WATER USED FOR GREENERY NOT DRINKING


SLCPD FINALLY GOES AFTER CAPITOL HILL RACERS
  After almost a year of serious complaints about racing on Capitol Hill (see picture above), the SLCPD finally took their traffic officers off of emergency answering 911 calls and focused on citing 33 racers during the weekends of August 13th and 20th. I put the slide presentation in the downloads page. 
  The first weekend of August 13 to 15 resulted in 30 vehicles stopped and 7 citations for loud mufflers were issued. In addition, 10 citations and 9 warnings were issued for both non-noise related moving and non moving violations. There were also 3 loud vehicle noise warnings issued. I do not understand why there were any warnings (that should have been citations) when the racers were intimidating and endangering the neighborhood! Everyone involved in the area should have been ticketed. There was one DUI for marijuana processed.
  The Police also asked the Capitol Hill UHP to close the parking lots during the weekends since the racers used them to party! Again, why did the UHP allow the parking lots for a year to be used for partying and encouraging racing!
  During the second week (August 20-22) 20 vehicles were stopped and 16 citations for loud mufflers were issued and 2 loud vehicle noise warnings and 2 other non noise related violations.
  The SLCPD finally started efforts to address street racing this summer! Most racing is occurring in industrial neighborhoods. The prevention and enforcement efforts are occurring in: 700S. between 4800 and 5600W. and 800S and 900S. between Gladiola and Pioneer Streets.
  The 700S. location had 2 steel plates placed and a jersey barrier in the center of the street and that has stopped all street racing. The City has bought 8 of the steel plates and is planning on placing more in areas with high speeds. We have been trying to get the City to stop using CIP for traffic calming and implementing a permanent effort to solve speeding issues with a permanent buy of steel plates which do not affect bicyclists but very effectively stop racing.
  The other streets are expected to have plates installed soon. The SLCPD recently raided a 150 vehicle street racing party.
  
SHERIFF CLAIMS JAIL SWORN OFFICER STAFFING OK THEN LOSES 10 IN A WEEK
  In June, the Sheriff gave a presentation complaining about the turnover of civilian staff at the Jail and asked for more funding. She was asked specifically about the sworn officers and she said that was not a problem. But a few weeks later, she received 10 resignation letters from sworn jail officers! The SLCO Jail and DA budget is coming up in October and the Sheriff should start asking for enough funding to staff and open up the 300 beds that she has refused to use for the last few years. I put the Jail Dashboard for August in the downloads page. In SLCO, the Jail releases drug dealers so fast that the SLCO Metro Gang and U.S. Marshals and U.S. Attorney and DEA all book criminals in other counties to make the criminal justice system in SLCO work!
  
COMMUTER RAILROADS HAMMERED BUT UTA REFUSES TO ADMIT IT
  While almost every other commuter railroad in the Country has had weekday ridership plunge over 50%, UTA is still planning, with the Legislature's blessing and encouragement, to spend over $300 million to double track FrontRunner. The goal is to function as a 15 minute frequency commuter rail. Many think that the Utah Transportation Coalition members have a goal of getting millions in profits from the construction. UTA surveys suggest that the double tracking will result in around 7000 more riders a day to add to the 5000 a day that ride FrontRunner. 
  Other transit companies are reducing fares to increase ridership but UTA refuses to reduce fares, except on the new Ogden BRT (in my opinion in order to prove how popular a big expensive construction transit project can be). 
  Despite having $355 million in the bank, UTA refuses to reduce bus fares to $1. The rail parking lots are almost full and really can't take more ridership and increasing ridership on rail would also require more ticket machines. UTA is planning on reducing the parking lots in order to build buildings. The last time they tried that in Clearfield, they lost a large part of their parking lot and had to pay the developer for utilities for his building!
  UTA is providing free fare to ride TRAX to the Airport (when the Airport TRAX station opens) to encourage leaving Utah. It is also reducing the fare on their VIA system in the south Salt Lake County to $1. Of course, it should be mentioned that UTA provides a rider subsidy of $20 to $45 for the service!
  I put the new 2022-2026 UTA Capital Plan in the downloads page.
  
NEW DOWNLOADS PAGE HAS SLC DROUGHT PLAN & ZONING ACREAGE
  I have added a downloads page to make the main NEWSBLOG page simpler. There is just too much information regarding Salt Lake City to put on one page. I hope that it is easier to read. If you have any other suggestions, email me at gechapman2@gmail.com.


SLC PUBLIC LIBRARY BY SEPT 15 2 HOUR FREE PARKING 
  The SLC Public Library expects to have 2 hour free parking implemented in their parking structure. The SLC Council approved the parking garage ordinance allowing 2 hour free parking on July 13. The Library Board approved the language and plan on August 23. The next month will be devoted to creating appropriate kiosks ("where patrons can validate their parking and receive the 2 hour free benefit"). The Library will publicize the change shortly.
  The last few elections have also had the Library providing space and hosting debates in their various meeting rooms (from the theater to the 4th floor big meeting room). Unfortunately the Library does not plan on offering any of the previous spaces for debates and candidate forums.
  "We're not currently offering any spaces for physical gathering, as we have seen increased transmission of COVID-19 with the Delta variant, and experts expect an increase in cases when school starts this fall."
  The Library currently provides virtual meeting space for community meetings and events via Zoom at: https://rooms.slcpl.org/request-a-virtual-meeting-room 
  It remains to be seen if any group or community council will be able to provide any in person candidate meetings, despite the fact that this will be one of the most important elections in the last few decades.
  Several City employees have expressed concern that the Salt Lake City Council has made a hard left turn and is planning on significant policy changes that will impact public safety, air quality, housing and especially the future City Council District maps that will impact City elections for the next ten years. Face to face meetings may not even happen and that will be a big loss for citizens. 


SANDY POLICE PAY PRESENTATION SHOWS SYSTEM WIDE PAY ISSUE
qualified officers are in high demand
rioting and social unrest of 2020 combined with pandemic stressors cause many to leave law enforcement
In May, Sandy was fully staffed but by August, they are down 12 officers, a 10% shortage.
Taylorsville started the emergency actions to keep law enforcement officers in their original departments when they recruited officers starting at the beginning of the year. Taylorsville"s new police department got 18 officers from West Valley City, 17 from UPD, 11 from SLC, 6 from West Jordan and 4 from Sandy. 
  Salt Lake City implemented a pay raise the week after we complained specifically about the $21 police officer starting pay. West Valley City implemented a police pay raise in July followed quickly by West Jordan and South Jordan. South Salt Lake implemented an emergency pay increases in August. Other cities considering increases are DPD, MPD, UPD, TVPD, CHPD, LPD and Sandy. I put Sandy's presentation listing all of the salaries in the area for officers including starting and regular pay and Sergeant's pay.
  The lesson from all of this is the citizens need to speak up for public safety. The Salt Lake City Council does listen to good arguments. Please participate in City Council meetings and voice your concerns. The police pay issue also shows that this County should have one police/law enforcement department, not over 10! This issue should be discussed at the Legislature.
  


HOW SLC SCREWS AIR QUALITY AND BICYCLISTS
  Salt Lake City with almost no public input, reduced the 4 lanes of Highland from 2100 South to I80 and added just one mini bicycle lane going south! The road diet that removed two travel lanes, without a northbound bicycle lane, now forces traffic to constantly back up behind cars turning into the many commercial restaurants and, when a bus stops, results in traffic backing up for many blocks! I was in almost all of the Sugar House Community Council meetings and the plans were not vetted before implementation. The City has now screwed both bicyclists and air quality with just one decision. We shouldn't worry about the air quality impact of the Inland Port. We should worry about the impact of Salt Lake City Transportation on air quality. The City still allowed the on street parking across from the liquor store!
  This reminds me of the pollution generation of the sharrows going south on 500 East that encouraged traffic to use 400 East! After removing bus stops to get the 5th East bus to go faster, and with a hope that a faster bus would encourage ridership on transit, the City made the southbound lane a shared lane for bicyclists and vehicles! So now the bus will have to go 5MPH behind cyclists that have priority for the lane. Sharrows may work going downhill (1700 S. and Sunnyside - which is a 4 lane road after a protest at former Mayor Becker's attempt at a road diet) but the 500 East design is perfect for increasing pollution. Stop worrying about the Inland Port. Worry about SLC Transportation. 
  
THIS CITY ACTS LIKE IT HATES THE ENVIRONMENT
  This City's Park Strip Ordinance has to change to follow the State's effort to flip the strip. The ordinance requires greenery on parkstrips up to 22" at corners and 36" otherwise. zoning still gets complaints of not enough front yard greenery. Trees are required every 30 ft if it is 3 feet or wider. In real life, 3 foot wide parkstrips do not support trees without wasting water. 75 trees planted last year by the City's Urban Forester died. It is so bad that the City is begging the community councils to water the trees! This all makes Salt Lake City look like it hates the environment.
  This City is not asking the City Library to accept fluorescent bulbs. The County Library does. If fluorescent bulbs do not have a convenient drop off point, they will end up in the landfill with their mercury. That makes Salt Lake City look unenvironmental. Salt Lake City should tell the Library to step up and accept fluorescent bulbs.
  This City's ordinance does not allow family bicycling on downtown sidewalks which discourages family residences downtown and discourages bicycling. This City allowed and encouraged 15mph scooters on sidewalks downtown for several years but not 5mph bikes. This anti-bicycling ordinance makes Salt Lake City look unenvironmental.
  Salt Lake should stop using illegal herbicides in riparian corridors, especially during nesting season. This City negligently overuses and misuses herbicides. This makes Salt Lake City look unenvironmental.
  Why won't Salt Lake City enforce an anti-idling ordinance on all of the idling diesel trucks at the Inland Port and on construction projects?  This makes Salt Lake City look unenvironmental.  
  
UTA PUSHES UNSAFE BUS SEATING
  Recently, there was a school bus crash that emphasized the safety of school bus seats. They are great for ensuring that the riders are generally kept in their rows and don't fly around the bus in a crash. Only one rider was hurt in the crash when a big rig hit the bus. 
  The big takeaway from this crash is the effort by UTA to push Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) which has seats that DO NOT KEEP RIDERS IN THEIR SEATS in a crash. The shuttle testing from a few years ago, had similar seating and the testing was cancelled because it was determined that the seating is unsafe. In a crash, riders go flying instead of staying in their row. They could fly the length of the bus into something really hard. So why is UTA pushing unsafe buses? The first BRT crash will be interesting and the responsibility of the UTA Board of Trustees who were warned about it. And the skiers who could be in those BRTs that are one of the proposals that UDOT is considering, would get an exciting ride in a bus with unsafe seats in one of the most dangerous roads in the Country. Buses have had crashes in the last few years in the Wasatch Canyons in snow. Enjoy the excitement.
  
SLC PUBLIC LIBRARY CONSIDERS FREE TWO HOUR PARKING
  The next Library Board meeting will discuss and hopefully approve providing 2 hour free parking at the Library. This is a long time coming. The present free parking is good only for returning and checking out holds, not for browsing and using the extensive and exceptional resources of the Library.
  
SLC TO GET $85 MILLION IN FLEXIBLE USE ARPA FUNDS
  Where did the City get funding to provide respectful starting salaries for our Police? It got the funds from the $85 million that the City is getting from the American Rescue Plan Act. The Airport gets another big chunk from ARPA. The City is getting direction, little by little, question by question on how and what the funding can be used for. It is bureaucratically slow. The other big use is for the Odyssey House remodeling, $300,000. Some of the funding can be used for transit in certain census tracts. But I haven't heard any discussion about increasing transit or lowering the fares to a reasonable $1. The City is abrogating their responsibility, in my opinion. Citizens deserve to have more bus service and deserve $1 fare.
  
SLC IS LOOKING FOR TRAFFIC CALMING ENGINEERS
  Salt Lake City is actively recruiting to cover new traffic calming projects. The City is planning on approving several CIP traffic calming projects. The straw poll approved a partial CIP for Sugar House traffic calming and for the Wharton-Mendenhall Speedway traffic calming on East Capitol Boulevard.  
  Councilwoman Fowler encouraged the Sugar House traffic calming around Ramona/Hollywood/2000S and 1100E at a lower cost in phases that include (1) $50,000 study and (2) $450,000 construction, engineering fees and contingency. A modified proposal for a smaller project was (1) $35,000 study and (2) $265,000 construction, engineering fees and contingency. Council Member Fowler stated she would like to fund either the
$50,000 study or the modified smaller project for $300,000. But the end result was  $153,000 funded for the project. This is a typical horse trading with some funding and some no funding. 
  Every year, the City Council argues, discusses and has to decide on the same traffic calming issues. This City should have a regular budget for traffic calming.
  
SLC AGREES TO LOWER COLOR OF STREET LIGHTS
  Salt Lake City has received a lot of complaints about the daylight color of some of the new LED streetlights. The new study and Streetlight proposal has used interested parties like personnel from the Tracy Aviary and bicyclists to  develop the plan. But Councilman Wharton complained that a lot of his constituents have complained about lack of public engagement. The two consultants, Dave Sanders and Travis Longcore suggested setting a maximum color temperature. Daylight is 4000 to 5000 Kelvin. Amber is about 1800. Citizens want 1800. 2200 is warm and orange like the present high pressure sodium. Medical is 5000 Kelvin. 2700 and 3000 is common in homes. 3000 is recommended for safety. The consultants recommend 2700 K. maximum in residential streets. 3000 is the maximum for multifamily residential. 2200 K. is the maximum suggested for open space and industrial. They also suggest dimming at different times of the night.
  The recommendations are said to follow the International Dark Sky and American Medical Association recommendations. Activists are not satisfied and do not agree that the recommendations follow the standards recommended by the International Dark Sky Association. 12th Avenue lights have resulted in many complaints.
  The consultants recommend a pilot study on 200S. and putting in different color temps to get feedback. But the full study is not funded. The suggestions can be reduced from community input. 
  
SLC ABOUT TO REDUCE BARRIERS TO RESTAURANTS IN RESIDENTIAL AREAS
  Salt Lake City is considering eliminating the special exception application which will have the result of reducing the barriers to restaurants in residential areas. During the public comment at the last City Council meeting, there were several complaints from residents next to restaurants. Councilman Mano asked for the staff to return on how to mitigate outdoor dining impacts on adjacent properties (and Verizon boxes). People don't want a 200 person keg party next to homes so why are restaurants allowed to have the same?


RUNNING FOR SLC COUNCIL TO STOP THE WAR ON COPS, SINGLE FAMILY HOMES AND CARS

I want to stop the war on police, the war on single family neighborhoods, the war on cars, the war on parking, the war on air quality and the war on fiscal irresponsibility.
  The issue of police and public safety has been at the top of the concerns of residents and businesses in the City in the last year. The City’s police force available, according to Chief Brown’s June 1 presentation, is down 23%, about 135 officers. I recommend the excellent story in the Deseret News by Katie McKellar at:
https://www.deseret.com/2021/8/15/22586410/officer-exodus-salt-lake-city-story-utah-story-national-wave-of-police-resignations-morale-quitting
 The lack of officers impacts the use of social workers (since even the Fire Department wants the SLCPD to co-respond with them to public drug overdose issues). The lack of officers requires SLCPD officers to volunteer for overtime to assist in homeless camp cleanups with the County Health Department. Last year the Council cut millions from the police budget. The Council claimed that they were defunding the police. The Council publicized that they were defunding the police.  And the Council celebrated the defunding of the police. But recently, the Council realized the defunding (among other Council policies) created serious public safety problems, and gave a 30% salary increase to starting officers and a 12% increase to more experienced officers. Should the SLCPD get a larger budget or should it be further cut, will be on the table for next year’s City Council. The only reason that the Council gave the salary increases was because it was from the ARPA funds!
  The issue of homeless is also important to the citizens of the City with about 300 regularly camping outside and around a 100 camping in their vehicles around the City. Should the City provide a camping area and/or a parking area near homeless services? 
  Although many homeless stay out of shelters to avoid drugs, other homeless stay out of the shelters to abuse drugs and that encourages crime in our neighborhoods since drug abusers generally do not commit victimless crimes. 
  The City's ban on use of K-9 officers also impacted fighting drugs. Using dogs on unarmed suspects is wrong and we should have learned that from the 60s Civil Rights protests. But drug dogs are recommended for use in the shelters according to the recent Follow-up Audit of the Homeless Resource Centers. The goal is to discourage drug use in the shelters. They should also be used to discourage open use and abuse of drugs in parks and on the public park strips. There are too many complaints about using drugs openly near schools and kids. The City should return the K-9 patrols to discourage public drug use and abuse.
  The City permitted 2000 housing units in 2020. There is pressure to increase density in the City’s single family zones to increase affordable housing. The next Council could implement the SRO/shared housing plan Citywide. The Council, as RDA Board, almost approved an SRO next to the single family homes on 17th South and West Temple but deferred until the SRO zoning ordinance is implemented. SROs are high density housing with either a bathroom or a kitchen but not both. I think that it is an insult to tell low income that they only get a bathroom or a kitchen but not both in their housing!
  But in Salt Lake City, the City does not allow housing on 80% of the property while only 12% of SLC is zoned for single family! Areas like the International Center, near the Airport, with over 50,000 employees does not allow housing but it could. The City Council just approved a loan for housing in the same zoning as the International Center! The affordable housing issue and whether to open up more of the City to housing will also be a big part of the next Council’s priorities.
  There is a vigorous discussion in this City about the use of streets. Should they be prioritized for personal vehicles or for bicycles and pedestrians? The next Council will have many plans and discussions on this issue. The discussions will include whether to lower the speed limit to 20MPH on most streets, whether to reduce traffic lanes on major streets and whether to eliminate parking requirements. 
  I am against the 20 is Plenty effort because I believe that it will increase pollution by forcing cars to run in 2nd gear since the expected shift to 3rd, generally, is at 22MPH. I am also against reducing travel lanes/road diets since it has resulted in more accidents (on 900 West) and increased pollution with mile long backups on 1300 East. There is pressure to reduce travel lanes on 2100 South that carries 22,000 vehicles a day. Prioritizing 500 East for bicycles for the southbound travel lane has diverted speeding traffic onto 400 East! Road changes shouldn't shift traffic to other adjacent streets. The next Council will decide whether to reduce travel lanes on 2100 South, a 22,000 ADT street! The closest similar road diet was on 1300 East which resulted in mile long backups, increasing pollution seven times on 1300 East and shifted a lot of traffic to 2100 East, 1100 East and Foothill. 
  Hopefully, there will be competition and a vigorous discussion of policies for the City in the future. This is the best chance for debates and constructive discussions on the Council's and this City's policies. 


SLC COUNCIL HAS 5 SEATS IN ELECTION, DEADLINE AUGUST 17
  The Salt Lake City Council has 5 seats up for election this year and due to the sitting Council's decision to do away with the primary and focus only on rank choice voting in the general election, the dates for candidates to file officially (campaigns can start before hand if financial reporting rules are followed) go from August 10 through August 17th. The Salt Lake City Recorder normally is only open to appointments but during the 10th through 17th, the eastside accessibility entrance (just south of the east stairs' entrance) is available for access. Pressing the call button on the post next to that accessibility entrance will get security to buzz you in. The Recorder's Office is on the 4th floor and it is open from 8am-5pm during the 10th through 17th of August. The application for candidates takes about 15 minutes to fill out and requires a $91 filing fee. Credit card, cash or check are acceptable.
  Hopefully, there will be competition and a vigorous discussion of policies for the City in the future. This is the best chance for the debates and constructive discussions on the Council's and this City's policies.


SLC IN 2020 APPROVED OVER 2000 HOUSING UNITS/PERMITS 
  Salt Lake City has approved over 2000 housing units in the last year (2020). The City is still in need of more experienced planners and engineering professionals and inspectors. The City is experiencing a building boom. In July 2021, the City issued 822 building permits and completed 3803 building inspections and issued 121 certificates of occupancy!
  From the overwhelmed Building Permits group: "Currently we are turning 1st reviews for logged in plans within 4 weeks.  And we strive to respond to re-reviews in about a week.  An average plan review will go through 3 review cycles.  We have no control on how long it takes for an applicant to respond to our review comments. 
Expedited reviews are responded to within 10 business days on 1st reviews with re-reviews responded to within about a week.
We also have a Quick Turn Around Que for small permits (residential bathroom or kitchen remodel, solar panel install, etc).  Reviews in that que are responded to with a day or two."
  For the month of July we issued permits for 366 new housing units.  333 units are for apartment units.  As you can see from the numbers below, we exceeded permit processing with more than 2000 new housing units last year with the staff that we currently have but with the office doors being closed to the public.  Having the office closed has allowed our plan examiners to focus on core plan review through the pandemic which has helped with turnaround times.
  In response to a staffing wish list, we would love to add 2 permit techs to add to our staff.  This would allow our plans examiners give more attention to the large construction projects, such as apartment buildings.  Permit techs would be able to assist with permit review & permit processing for small residential plan review which would further help with our turnaround times"
  SLC housing units numbers for calendar 2020:
001 Single-Family Detached Homes 63 units
002 Duplexes/Twin Homes 32 units
003 Condominiums and Townhomes 424 units
004 Apartments/ 3 or 4 Family 6 units
005 Apartments/ 5+ Families  1,551 units


SLC WANTS MORE GREENERY BUT CAR LOTS WILL FIGHT
  Salt Lake City and the Downtown Alliance has, for years, planned on creating grand boulevards on 5th and 6th South and 200 East with a greenery/super park strip/linear park.  But car lots in the area and on those streets are against the planned trees for the linear park. Garff fought to remove the trees on State Street between 5th and 6th South but gave up after a backlash. Car lots do not like trees near their lots because they attract birds which tend to leave traces near where they sit. 
  A better priority for the City is to develop the Fleet Block as a park. The important decider should be that maintaining a green loop/park strip during a drought is almost impossibly sustainable. It will also take away from allowing bicycles on sidewalks downtown. 
  This City has too much money that is creating too many temptations for pretty projects and monuments to our elected leaders. And this City gets too much sales tax money (car sales tax revenue for SLC did not decrease more than 5% during the pandemic) to fight car lots.


UTA OFFERS FREE TRANSIT TO LEAVE SLC
  After a week of the worst air quality in the world, UTA finally gets off their rear end and offers free fare on August 12 and 13, as the smoke from the California wildfires start to clear out. UTA needs a better system for free fare. I still don't agree with free fare increasing ridership since it encourages so called undesirables to ride transit, which discourages long term ridership. Other issues is the lack of parking spaces at rail stations. That also discourages transit ridership.
  But, UTA has decided to provided free transit to the Airport for those leaving, when the new Airport TRAX station opens in the next few months. That will require a ticket or boarding pass and the promotion will last 3 months. In addition, the Southwest VIA system, the UBER clone will reduce fare to $1! I think that that exacerbates the inequity of the fare system. Everyone should get a $1 fare. It hasn't been decided if the new proposed SLC VIA system for the Rose Park area will also be $1.


DOGS BANNED FROM ALLEN PARK PEACOCK POPULATION
  Although dogs have always been allowed in Allen Park before the City bought it, one of the reasons that the City banned dogs, even on leashes, is because the famous peacocks are still in the area and have regular run of the Park. The City did not want to cause panic in the Park's peacock population.
UTAH HAS A SYSTEMIC PROBLEM TRYING TO REDUCE DRUG ABUSE IN HOMELESS
  In a recent Pioneer Park Coalition meeting, CCJJ Director Tom Ross said that he feels that JRI hurt the fight against reducing drug and substance abuse and the criminals that are involved in it. It hurt JRI because when drug felonies were reduced to misdemeanors, there was no incentive to go to drug court. What that meant was that Adult Probation and Parole, already underfunded, was left out of supervising criminals that were not in jail. In other words, JRI was unintentionally reducing supervision of criminals that needed to be supervised.
  What should be realized is that drugs are the main reason that the homeless camp outside of the homeless shelters. Many do not want to be exposed to drugs that are endemic to the shelters. The other side of the homeless population do not want to follow the rules against obvious drug use in the shelters and stay out to use drugs. That is a sad commentary on our homeless situation. It is so bad that the homeless camp that used to be at the Deseret Industries in Sugar House has recently moved to Fairmont Park and the Park restrooms are showing evidence of drug use with needles and blood.
drugs are the main reason that homeless camp outside of shelters
  Utah has a systemic problem trying to reduce drug abuse in homeless population
Since drug abusers don't generally commit victimless crimes, everyone in Utah is negatively impacted. My first indication of a problem was an undercover cop complaining that he arrested a drug dealer and that dealer was laughing at him 5 hours later when the cop was trying to make another buy. But even recently, the U.S. Attorney was upset at the SLCO Jail releasing a big spice dealer after a Task Force arrest. He had him rearrested and booked into another county jail! 
  We have been complaining about the lack of adequate public safety funding in Salt Lake County (and City) that was made worse by the repurposing of the Jail Bond to Pay For Success (which would pay out, at worst/best $11.7 million) that has spent over $100 million on other items instead of the Jail or DA. Despite the Sheriff's denial of a booking restriction, the SLC Police are told to not waste time taking low level drug dealers to the SLCO Jail since, even if they are booked, they are immediately released. Even car thieves get out with a $100 bail! There are around 300 beds that the Sheriff says are not needed! The Sheriff is complaining in last month's budget hearing about civilian turnover in jail but not about releasing career criminals! The latest Jail Dashboard from August 2021 shows how bad it is, especially for those arrested many times.
  Recently SLC Police arrested a drug dealer/addict and was told to take him to a treatment center since the Jail wouldn't take him. That man walked away from treatment and killed someone within a day near the Miller Homeless Shelter. The most egregious evidence of a systemic failure is the recent JRI Audit that ignored the fact that the Audit's appendix, that recorded the SLCO Jail bookings, was wrong since the jail restrictions limited jail population growth.
  Obviously the lack of/loss of police in Salt Lake City is also a problem that will require more nuanced effort since the City seems to be bending over for the defund the police group. I know all of the Councilmembers and they are trying, but a police hiring freeze (recently reiterated by the Chief) and claims that the City reduced the budget last year and would audit the police department have led to the City being down over 120 available cops (according to the Chief's June 1 slide presentation - in Downloads). Dispatch turnover is still a problem, but when there are 50 911 calls on hold there is a problem (I did a presentation to Public Utilities last year on the issue.). Salt Lake City does not have enough sworn officers to do homeless camp cleanups (without volunteering for overtime) or to work with more social workers. Despite the 24 hit and run accidents in the City in July, along with 17 major and 42 other traffic accidents, the City's Traffic Enforcement Squad has been repurposed for patrolling due to the lack of sworn officers.
  The inability to use the City's trained drug dogs to discourage drug use in the shelters (recommended by the follow up audit) is another issue that effectively ignores drug dealing and use in parks, near bus stops (the UHP had to roust one group near a school bus stop) and even in park strips across from a school (in a recent City Council meeting Ballpark Community Council Chair Amy Hawkins said it best when she said "it can't be right to smoke meth in a park strip across from a school"). Salt Lake City has a problem that is growing - drug dealing in parks! The dogs should never have been used against unarmed civilians, even protesters. That is something we should have learned in the 60s. But dogs are important to discourage drug use and proliferation in the homeless population which, to me, has doubled in 10 years. They are also important for use against armed suspects.
  The other problem that is created by the State is the inadequate pay for corrections officers that reduce available prison beds and the effort/pressure by the Legislature to reduce bed counts to match the beds in the new prison. That has led to some warped judgements by APP and Judges that both have had their hands tied.   
  When DA Sim Gill tries to sentence a shooter to prison for emptying a gun into a car full of people, and APP tells the judge that they recommend probation, there is a problem. The judge admonished APP and sentenced the person to jail for a year. (Hopefully the new requirement on jail release rules will show the problem.)
  The worst example of this systemic failure of Utah's public safety system is the Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal shooting, one of the most justified shootings that I have seen. He pled guilty to robbery and sentenced to 1-15 years in prison 6 months before he was killed! Instead of prison, the judge sentenced him to SLCO Jail for 30 days! Six months later he was shot by cops after being told 17 times to drop his gun but picking it up with two hands while surrounded by cops! Those cops were heroes but the State seems to have gone silent on how close that they came to being killed. A criminal being shot full of bullets may be disturbing to watch but it is why John Browning invented the 1911 .45 and why the FBI went to bigger caliber guns (and why assassins are called assassins). But nobody seems to have defended those cops.
  The U.S. Marshal Service should agree to use body cameras with Salt Lake City Police in order to use their manpower to fight Salt Lake CIty crime. 
  Utah should create a salary study committee to look at a standard salary for the Wasatch Front to decrease the "stealing" of trained officers. Around 10 plus law enforcement agencies in SLCO are creating a difficult situation for governments when they end up fighting each other for officers. 
  Dogs used for drug interdiction should be re-activated.
  Several legislators are considering how to reduce retirements and resignations (Rep. Gwynn among others). The pay for jailers and corrections officers also should be higher to allow for more career criminals to be incarcerated. 
  Finally, misdemeanors in jail should be funded by the State. Down pleading crimes for reduced sentences inappropriately burdens county governments.
  For those interested in Salt Lake City's crime statistics, the SLCPD makes the crime stats available online at: www.slcpd.com/open-data/crimestatistics/ 


SLC WANTS WATER USED FOR GREENERY NOT DRINKING
  Salt Lake City is considering a new ordinance that will outlaw using the City's culinary water for providing drinking water. The City does not like water bottling companies using the City's culinary water for their business.
  Before this City's public utilities bans water bottling, it should ban park strips that cannot support healthy trees with safe sidewalks; it should eliminate the 30% greenery requirement for an attractive yard; it should eliminate the green loop that is putting park strips next to car lots (something the car lots don't want) and focus new plantings in parks that are easy to maintain compared to park strips. 
  Drinking water is not the problem. The problem is forcing greenery in a desert during a drought.
   


JULY 2021
HOMELESS REPORT SHOWS NEED FOR MORE CASE MANAGERS TO DECREASE DRUG/ALCOHOL ABUSE
SLCPD GETS UP TO 30% PAY RAISE WHILE CITY EMPLOYEES GET 4.5%
SLC DISPATCH HAD 50 CALLS ON HOLD
SLC CANNOT RESPOND TO HOMELESS CALLS
HOMELESS SHELTERS DON'T USE SLC DRUG DOGS DESPITE RECOMMENDATIONS
SLC COUNCIL HIRING FREEZE STOPS HOMELESS CAMP CLEANUPS AND SOCIAL WORKERS
700 SOUTH WOMEN'S SHELTER DISCOURAGES DEALERS LOOKING FOR PROSTITUTES WITH ROCKS
U.S. MARSHAL COMPLAINS ABOUT COUNTY JAIL RELEASING CRIMINALS THAT THEY JUST ARREST
HB1003 THROWS SLC ZONING OUT THE WINDOW FOR MANY SINGLE FAMILY ZONES
UTAH BLACK LIVES MATTER VENTURES CLOSE TO ARGUMENTS FOR RACISM
SLC BEST EXAMPLES OF KILLING PLANTS 
US HOUSE PASSES BILL TO GIVE $2.1 MILLION FOR RICHMOND ST/1300E
MILLCREEK AND SLC DECREASE SAFETY ON HIGHLAND WITH WIDE CENTER TURN LANES
UTA MAKES MARY DELORETTO INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LOOKING FOR ANOTHER TRUSTEE  
UTA PLANNING REAL TIME BUS STOP DIGITAL SIGNS, NO REAL CHANGE FOR AUGUST CHANGE DAY
900 EAST ROAD PROJECT WORKERS IGNORE LATE NIGHT CONSTRUCTION RESTRICTIONS
LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON EIS CHOOSES TWO OF THE MOST EXPENSIVE SOLUTIONS TO CONSIDER
SLC DETERS FAMILY BICYCLING
COMPLAINTS PILE UP FOR UDOT PILE DRIVING NOISE AND VIBRATION ON I80 
800 EAST PLAN IMPLIES THAT CITY IS ROLLING IN CASH
ALL STREETS WEST OF 400 EAST TO BECOME BICYCLE STREETS EXCEPT STATE STREET
DESPITE PROMISES, SUGAR HOUSE STREET CONSTRUCTIONS OCCUR AT SAME TIME
TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION PLANS UNPOPULAR TRANSIT PROJECTS
DELTA AIRLINES GOT SLC TO MAKE TRAVELING ON OTHER AIRLINES AN EFFORT/GRIND/CHALLENGE
FLUORESCENT BULBS CAN BE DROPPED OFF AT COUNTY LIBRARIES BUT NOT SLC LIBRARIES
SLC DOES NOT UNDERSTAND WATER MANAGEMENT
SLC TELLS ROOFTOP BAR IT IS NOT AUTHORIZED BUT IT IS BUILT ANYWAY
SLC SURVEYS ARE POORLY CONSTRUCTED, JUST EMAIL COMMENTS TO PERSON IN CHARGE
SLC CIP COMMENTS AUGUST 17, 6 PM, COUNCIL WON'T ALLOW SPEAKING ON SAME ITEM, ADDED $1.2 MIL
20 IS PLENTY WILL INCREASE AIR POLLUTION AND MAKE BICYCLING UNSAFE
SEVEN CANYONS TRUST NEEDS TO ENSURE WATER FLOW OR PLAN FOR MOSQUITO INVASION
INLAND PORT MAKES SLC PAY FOR MOSQUITO ABATEMENT
SALT LAKE CITY'S WAR ON HOUSING CONTINUES
UTAH'S FIGHT AGAINST UNDERAGE DRINKING IS WARPED, PERVERTED AND ENCOURAGES UNDERAGE DRINKING
SLC REFUSES TO HELP STOP EVICTING RENTERS DESPITE FUNDS TO PROVIDE RENTAL ASSISTANCE
SLC COUNCIL BANS DOGS FROM PAVED ALLEN PARK
SLC IGNORES EAST CAPITOL BLVD WHARTON MENDENHALL SPEEDWAY
LEGISLATURE PUSH TO CHARGE EVERYONE FOR MILES DRIVEN MAY BE STOPPED
COMMUNITY COUNCILS PROVIDE LOCAL NEWS MISSING FROM NEWSPAPERS
UTAH ATTY GENERAL AGAINSST GOOGLE PLAY STORE THAT DECREASES MALWARE
SLC REFUSES TO PUSH UTA TO SPEND SOME OF $355 MIL IN BANK FOR $1 FARES
HIGHLAND DRIVE RESIDENTS EXPRESS FRUSTRATION AT SLC SURVEYS AND PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT
SLC COULD GET 65 UNITS ROOMING HOUSE AT 129S 700E IF COUNCIL APPROVES BUENO AVE APTS
UTAH HAD 443 OPIOID DEATHS IN 2020
SLC ALLOWS CAR TOW LOTS NEAR PARKS, NEW WALKABLE STREETS, REDEVELOPMENT AREA


HOMELESS REPORT SHOWS NEED FOR MORE CASE MANAGERS TO DECREASE DRUG/ALCOHOL ABUSE
  The annual Utah Homeless Report shows what we already knew. Drugs and alcohol abuse is increasing among homeless (see previous blog entries). The need for more case managers and professional and experienced social workers is obvious. The Legislature also figured that out and has been pushing the University of Utah to encourage more in those fields.
  
SLCPD GETS UP TO 30% PAY RAISE WHILE CITY EMPLOYEES GET 4.5%
  After years of complaining to the City about the war on police and lack of respectful salaries (many opeds in the papers), the City finally realized that they can't keep losing 10 experienced and well trained officers a month. They got a chance to make up for the years of inadequate compensation with a 30% salary increase for starting officers, going from $21 an hour (in June blog entry) to $27 an hour. Other officers will also get a big bump. The City is using ARPA funds to increase $6.6 million for police salaries. The City's general fund will decrease 6.8 million due to the use of the ARPA funds and that will allow the rest of City employees to get a 4.5% pay raise.
  Unfortunately, that late to the game respectful salary has not returned officers who have left yet, although Chief Brown says five have expressed interest in coming back. It is so bad that homeless camp cleanups can't happen without enough officers volunteering for overtime. It is so bad that we don't have enough officers for the new social workers that we were planning to hire. And it is so bad that, at several times in the last few months, up to 50 911 callers were on hold! (see blog entries below) I have spent decades working with, recruiting and retaining talented and experienced employees and based on that experience, only sign on and retention bonuses will quickly restore appropriate staffing levels. We are now down 23% of the authorized police officers (over 120)! The ARPA funds should also be used for retention, return and sign on bonuses.
  The salary increases were in Budget Amendment 1 since the City's 2022 budget was already passed and it did not increase police salaries more than regular employees. That seems to have been a continuation of the Council's effort to show that they are listening to the defund the police protesters.
  ARPA funds could and should also be used for the Eastside police precinct which is desperately needed since it can result in a 10% loss of officer time to go to the Eastside of the City. The City now has $1.4 million available for the property which is obviously inadequate.
  According to the Chief during July City Council work sessions, 20 new officers are starting field training in July. They started the Academy in February and they will finish in December. There is a new class of 22 that the Department is recruiting for in August.
  Again, I refer readers to the Chief's June slide show of SLC Police statistics. Out of 589 sworn officers (almost 70 at the Airport), 23% are not available for service due to maxing out of mandatory overtime or leave or armed forces service. There are 64 funded vacancies and 20 unfunded so there are 84 total officers that need to be recruited and hired.
  But WE ARE LOSING MILLION DOLLAR COPS! Not only do they have the best de-escalation training in the State, but if they have the experience of over 5 years on our streets, they have the experience and training that even Chief Burbank dreamed of having and had and that allowed him to not shoot suspects in 13 cases that he could have justifiably shot them.
  This City, if it gives up on retroactive retention bonuses for 5 year plus Salt Lake City cops, will set this City and our City's best in State de-escalation and respectful policing back at least 5 years. Don't be surprised at a significant increase in police shootings due to inexperienced and under trained cops. Don't give up on retention bonuses. The cost is less than to prettify 800 East and several other questionable street projects this City is proposing. This City seems to be prioritizing not basic maintenance for streets but questionable new pretty designs for our streets. Cops are more important than planters (and a lot of new plantings are not maintained and die).
  
SLC DISPATCH HAD 50 CALLS ON HOLD
  The lack of appropriate funding for law enforcement has now resulted in serious concerns about adequate police response in emergencies. The Chief said that they have about 200 on patrol now (out of 396 available officers in the Department) and that there is an average of a 14 minute response on priority 1 calls (serious crime in progress). But at one time, there were 50 911 calls on hold!!! Dispatchers are also upset at having to tell emergency callers to wait or that police cannot quickly respond. SLC Dispatch (which also covers Sandy) has had a 28% turnover and that is one reason why the City reduced dispatcher hours to 32 a week. 
  
SLC CANNOT RESPOND TO HOMELESS CALLS
  If you haven't figured it out now, the Salt Lake City police do not have the personnel to respond to homeless complaints. When 50 911 callers are on hold, they can't. When there is one emergency requiring high priority, even break in in progress calls do not get priority or quick response. If there is someone that is a threat to you on your property or looking into cars or looking for opportunities for crime, DO NOT USE THE TERM HOMELESS! SAY PROWLER! The SLC Police cannot respond to homeless calls.
  
HOMELESS SHELTERS DON'T USE SLC DRUG DOGS DESPITE RECOMMENDATIONS
  The promised security around the homeless centers is not happening and this city should be providing police K-9 officers to discourage homeless drug use in and around centers. Even the recent Followup Audit of the Homeless Resource Centers (in downloads) recommended drug dogs to discourage the rampant and visible drug use in the homeless centers. But Salt Lake City has stopped allowing K-9 police to operate, even though they are expensively trained to be drug dogs! The City Council seems to be ignoring the proliferation of drugs and drug use in the homeless population. Drug dogs should not be used against personnel but against drugs (except when confronting an armed and dangerous suspect). Drug use may have been 25% 10 years ago but it appears that it is almost 80% now and the drug use attracts criminals. Criminal behavior impacts homeless first. The Salt K-9 officers are expensive and should be used around those shelters patrolling the area. Drug sales around the shelters and in parks are increasing significantly. Parks should not be drug dealing havens. Salt Lake City should start using their drug dogs. We should be discouraging drug use, not ignoring it.
  
SLC COUNCIL HIRING FREEZE STOPS HOMELESS CAMP CLEANUPS AND SOCIAL WORKERS
  Andrew Johnston, the City's new Drug Czar (he does not like the term) said that the city estimates that there are a consistent 300 unsheltered homeless in Salt Lake City and another 100 camping in vehicles. There is a need for more support staff and social workers. The Magnolia low income housing on 200 South just opened and it cost over $250,000 for each small unit! Some homeless have been put into the Inn Between. I put the SLCPD homeless interactions stats in the downloads section on the right.
  The July homeless camp cleanups were cancelled due to not enough SLCPD personnel signing up for voluntary overtime required for the County Health Department led cleanups! The proposed cleanups were for 700 South, 600 West and the Rio Grande area. Councilwoman Valdemoros said that the lack of regular cleanups makes nearby residents feel unsafe; keeping it clean keeps it safe. The police have witnessed drug deals, abuse, use and agree that it is not safe for homeless or other residents and businesses. Again, the City has about 300 who are on the street moving around. 
  Why do the cleanups need a cop? There is no substitute for a cop. Even the SLC Fire Department asks for a cop to respond during many drug overdose calls and anywhere that there are a large number of homeless. We don't have enough cops to hire and utilize more social workers! We don't have enough cops to do homeless camp cleanups with the County Health without begging for voluntary overtime!
 And we don't have enough cops to answer emergency calls in a timely manner! I still think that the City needs a signon and retention bonus system or it will take almost 5 years to get back up to appropriate staffing levels. This City still needs to recognize that there is no substitute for a well trained and experienced cop.  
  
700 SOUTH WOMEN'S SHELTER DISCOURAGES DEALERS LOOKING FOR PROSTITUTES WITH ROCKS
  When women in the King Homeless Resource Center on 700 South are kicked out of the Center for egregious rule violations, they have had a very visible offer just outside the door in the parkstrips next to the Center where tents with drug dealers incentivize women to prostitution. The City finally recognized the issue and put rocks and boulders in the parkstrips to stop the tents. That is another reason to remove parkstrips in the City. The parkstrips are City property and if a homeless drug addict wants to sit on the parkstrip and smoke meth, there is not much the homeowner can do about it. Calling 911 will not generally get a cop to respond. In a recent case, after a couple of calls, a cop drove up, talked to the addict, then drove away. After a few more calls, the officer responded but quickly drove away. It is not the fault of the cops. This City has told them not to respond to homeless calls and they are not allowed to kick someone off the parkstrips! This City needs to rethink their policy.
  I keep quoting Ballpark Community Council Chair Amy Hawkins. She said it best when she said "It can't be right to allow addicts to smoke meth in the parkstrips across from schools."
    
U.S. MARSHAL COMPLAINS ABOUT COUNTY JAIL RELEASING CRIMINALS THAT THEY JUST ARREST
  During a recent legislative hearing, the head of the U.S. Marshal's service for the area complained about the lack of supervision and control of released felons. In many cases, due to the State ordering the State Prison to reduce bed counts to match the new prison, and also due to the lack of personnel, those sentenced to State Prison, the worst of the worst criminals, are resentenced to SLCO Jail. But the County Jail releases them almost immediately. And those released from Jail or State Prison are not adequately supervised as a recent JRI Audit showed. The best or worst example is the case of Bernardo Palacios Carbajal who pled guilty to robbery and was sentenced in 2019 to 1 to 15 years in Prison. He ended up in Jail for 30 days and 6 months later was killed (after three more robberies) while surrounded by cops and picking up his gun with two hands! 
  The U.S. Attorney has also complained about arresting serious drug dealers and the County Jail releasing them almost immediately. The U.S. Attorney now sends them to other county jails.
  So the U.S. Marshal's Task Force that tries to identify, track and arrest the worst criminals is frustrated at the County Jail releasing them. Not well known, but even worse, Salt Lake City does not allow joint City Police/U.S. Marshal actions in the City since the U.S. Marshal's Service does not allow body cameras! The new Administration in Washington may change that. So Salt Lake City does not get the benefits of the U.S. Marshal's Task Force that focuses on armed and dangerous criminals. The former U.S. Attorney promised to discuss the issue with the Mayor of Salt Lake City just before he was asked to resign. He was asked about it during a Pioneer Park Coalition meeting at the end of last year.
  
HB1003 THROWS SLC ZONING OUT THE WINDOW FOR MANY SINGLE FAMILY ZONES
  Very few realize the significant impact that HB1003 has on Salt Lake City zoning. This email from Nick Norris explains how bad it is and the significant negative impact on SLC residents:
"It has impacts.  There are not a lot of new single family or two family dwelling built in the city, but the bill makes it so we cannot enforce some provisions in our code.  The Foothill Zoning Districts are the most impacted because these districts contain building design provisions that regulate roof shape, building materials, color, require some architectural features that are not structural, and potentially some landscaping requirements.  Residential zoning districts are impacted if the general area where a single or two family dwelling is located was developed after 1950. This impacts a number of neighborhoods, including the western portions of Glendale, Poplar Grove, west of Redwood and north of North Temple, some of the Fairpark and Rose Parks neighborhoods, some of the upper avenues, upper federal heights, and the east bench  generally east of 1900 East.  It impacts single family and two family homes located in mixed used zoning districts because the exemptions in the bill based on year built only apply to zoning districts that are limited to residential uses.  What it means in these locations is that we could not enforce or require any building design element that is listed in the bill. 
  
There are exceptions, some of which are good and some of which are not.  Local historic districts are exempt if they were created prior to 2021.  So any new local historic  district would not be exempt unless it was also substantially developed prior to 1950 or also in a national district.  The bill creates a lot of administrative oversight and interpretation." 
  
UTAH BLACK LIVES MATTER VENTURES CLOSE TO ARGUMENTS FOR RACISM
  I have had many arguments with the positions and philosophy of self appointed so called leader of Utah Black Lives Matter's Lex Scott. She recently went above and beyond when she said she and many that she knows are afraid of those who fly the American Flag because it is being used by racists and seditionists. I think that attributing the stupidity of people to others that may have the same symbol or outward appearance or vehicle or religion or age or sex to everyone else in the same category is similar to what encourages racism. 
  Just because the KKK used a cross doesn't mean that everyone who uses a cross is a racist. Just because Muslims killed thousands on 9/11, doesn't mean that all Muslims are evil! Just because some Christian evangelists have been convicted of fraud doesn't mean all are bad. Just because someone with a darker skin killed someone that may have bee close to you, should not mean that everyone with darker skin is to be feared!
  I believe that Lex Scott's comments are close to the reasoning of racists.
  
SLC BEST EXAMPLES OF KILLING PLANTS 
  Salt Lake City has had a lot of bad luck in the plants that it plants. So this blog entry is to remind readers of the recent issues with the City killing plants.
  In the last year, this City has lost 75 trees that they planted in parkstrips! It is so bad that the City has asked community councils to start friends of trees to support maintaining trees in parkstrips. The City keeps planting trees in parkstrips because the City owns the park strips. But parkstrips waste water and people are trying to save water and they tend to stop watering park strips. This drought should result in the City reevaluating their use of useless parkstrips. We have complained many times over the years that trees should not be planted in two or three foot wide park strips. The City recently stopped planting trees in two foot park strips but still plants trees in three foot park strips! This City has a parkstrip ordinance that requires plants in the parkstrips (36 inches max except 22 inches max at corners). For three feet or less, the City should eliminate the requirement for greenery. Interestingly, in another blog entry this month, the City threw out the ordinance and put rocks in the parkstrip next to the King Resource Center.
  The City also killed 30% of Bonneville Golf Course greenery including trees a few years ago because the City didn't want to water its invaluable urban forest! During the last drought a few years ago the City stopped watering its gardens, the cemetery and the trees in the medians (until some VIPs that had relatives buried at the cemetery complained). The City also stopped watering the I80/1300 East circle after UDOT planted it. Discussions are now underway to have UDOT replant the circle and commit Salt Lake City to adequately maintain it. The City also stopped watering the plants on the alleyways of the million dollar McClelland Trail a few years after planting them. Most died. The Same thing happened to the new plants in Miller Park. The City stopped watering them (or failed to turn on the water) and refused to force Mt. Olivet Cemetery to allow some of Red Butte Creek to flow through the Park. The result is a lot of dead fuel for a future fire conflagration!
  This City keeps using herbicides in Miller Park (which is not supposed to be used in riparian environments and during nesting season). The City also used herbicide (supposedly an accident) on the cemetery a few years ago and it cost half a million dollars to restore grass there.
  The City's 9-Line Trail has park strips and grass in between the pedestrian sidewalk and the shared bicycle/pedestrian concrete. I do not think that that will be maintained and watered adequately.
  
US HOUSE PASSES BILL TO GIVE $2.1 MILLION FOR RICHMOND ST/1300E
  I am a little unclear about this since the U.S. House and Senate seem to be going around and around in posturing and reconfiguring infrastructure bills. A Utah Congressman released news that the U.S. House passed a bill that had $2.1 million for the Richmond St/1300 E project. The bill now goes to Senate. I cannot find out exactly what it does but it is the new return of Congressional earmarks that allow Congressmen/Congresswomen to give money to specific projects in their districts in order to show that they can get money for their area. And the Senate is against this. The Senate appears to have passed the infrastructure bill but the House will not take it up unless another bill that the House wants is taken up by the Senate. It means trouble when both houses of Congress plays chicken with each other.
    
MILLCREEK AND SLC DECREASE SAFETY ON HIGHLAND WITH WIDE CENTER TURN LANES
  We have been begging for years to stop putting in super wide center turn lanes on streets with road diets and use the space for wider bike lanes. Salt Lake City and Millcreek took the issue to a new low with a road diet on Highland Drive that has a wide center turn lane and little bike lanes. Salt Lake City, and really almost all governments in the County, do not understand that a 9 foot wide bike lane would encourage bicycling and a center turn lane, except at cross streets, actually endangers pedestrians and bicyclists.
    
UTA MAKES MARY DELORETTO INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LOOKING FOR ANOTHER TRUSTEE
  With the loss of Carolyn Gonot from UTA (she went back to the San Jose transit agency - the one with the rail shootings), Mary DeLoretto has taken over as Interim Executive Director. In addition, UTA is looking for another trustee for the northern region, Weber and Davis County areas since Beth Holbrook is leaving. The Board of Trustees really are in charge and almost anyone with extensive knowledge of transit is pretty much implementing their directives. The Board recently hired a consultant to build and manage the UTA FrontRunner expansion but, they just do what the Board tells them. That may be why UTA has had such a big turnover in the last year. The loss of experience and knowledge is shocking. The Agency also follows the orders of the Legislature who ordered the faster completion of the $100 million gold plated bus garage/natural gas refueling center west of the train tracks on 200 South. The Legislature also ordered expansion of the S-Line, despite it not being on the UTA 5 year capitol improvement plan.
  
UTA PLANNING REAL TIME BUS STOP DIGITAL SIGNS, NO REAL CHANGE FOR AUGUST CHANGE DAY
  August Change Day for UTA has minimal changes since UTA is going to spend most of their money for expansion of FrontRunner double tracking. The federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act must be spent quickly and the Agency is putting it into other projects to allow future revenue to be used for other plans.  But the Agency still has a lot of high interest rate bonds that are becoming more of a daily cost for the Agency. 
  The only good news, to me, is the proposal and plan to buy and install real time bus stop digital signs. It remains to be seen if the signs will be available and kept in good working order since vandalism is still a problem around bus stops.
  
900 EAST ROAD PROJECT WORKERS IGNORE LATE NIGHT CONSTRUCTION RESTRICTIONS
  Despite assurances, and City ordinances prohibiting night time construction, reconstruction of 900 East has resulted in some late night construction. The noise and complaints of nearby residents seem to stop the constant night time work but sometimes it returns! This City needs to explain to residents when it doesn't meet its commitment to keep a quiet neighborhood.
  
LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON EIS CHOOSES TWO OF THE MOST EXPENSIVE SOLUTIONS TO CONSIDER
  I mentioned many times before the significant political pressure that the Legislature and several landowners have to build publicly funded parking garages and tunnels and rails up the Cottonwood Canyons that would benefit the ski resorts and especially property owners. Former Senate President Niederhauser is one of the owners of the property next to La Caille and reportedly the reason for running the nearby property of the Canyon Inn out of business. 
  The UDOT Little Cottonwood Canyon EIS has finalized their two proposals into a gondola running from a proposed mobility hub/parking garage (to be paid for with tolls that Niederhauser's SB71 bill authorized before he retired from the Senate) to the ski resorts and a BRT with its own lane up Little Cottonwood Canyon. I keep saying it, UTA does not know how to do BRT. (Note that the federal government is giving UTA $44 million for the Mid Valley BRT on 48th South but UTA did not do an EIS since they didn't expect to use federal funds and the EIS would probably show that congestion and pollution on the already congested street would significantly increase. 
  From the website: The proposal is “to substantially improve roadway safety, reliability, and mobility of S.R. 210" but, in my opinion, due to the political leverage, the gondola is getting the upper hand. Both the BRT and the gondola cost over $500 million! But the most cost effective and efficient solutions to the backups in the winter ski days is to spend $100 million on snow sheds! The maximum cost was estimated at $87 million in the last legislative session (in downloads). Both proposals soft peddle the idea that tolling would be part of the plans. Interestingly, the Forest Service will still have to use a howitzer to mitigate snow buildup/avalanches and the gondola would have to be stopped during those times (like vehicle traffic). And sometimes the howitzer misses. In one case the shell went into the next canyon! So there is a chance that the gondola supports could be hit!
  Ironically, or sadly, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson came out against the gondola when at the 2020 legislative session, she and her transportation manager, Helen Peters, spoke for the parking garage that was supposed to be part of the mobility hub. It would have given $15 million of County transportation tax revenue to the Niederhauser property for his parking garage. He admitted during SB71's discussion that the bill was to provide a parking garage from tolls. So now the County is coming out against the gondola but is it still pushing the parking garage that is part of the gondola proposal!?
  Both proposals would have riders going only to Snowbird and Alta! We have been trying for years to get weekend bus service up the Wasatch Canyons to prove transit ridership use but without success. Also the Central Wasatch Commission keeps pushing the Mountain Accord's train and rail system but it appears that they may be pushed into supporting the gondola. All of this public taxpayer money going to some of the richest developers in the State is disturbing. Government should not use the most expensive solution to solve problems. Please go to the website and comment. https://littlecottonwoodeis.udot.utah.gov/
   
SLC DETERS FAMILY BICYCLING
  This City does not allow cycling on downtown sidewalks although it ignored 15mph scooters for the last few years. Families should be allowed to tell their kids to ride on sidewalks safely without a bunch of obstructions, not in the street, especially not in the shared street at night and not in separated bike lanes that slow and frustrate regular bicyclists. This city should prioritize wide sidewalks or raised paths to encourage family cycling and add bike lanes to State Street instead of telling cyclists to ride on other streets. If this City really wanted to encourage families to go downtown, not just single adults, they should allow bicycling downtown.
  
COMPLAINTS PILE UP FOR UDOT PILE DRIVING NOISE AND VIBRATION ON I80 
  UDOT is creating a lot of complaints from residents close to the I80 reconstruction projects (from 1300 East to I215). The worst appears to be the I80 noise and vibration from pile driving near 2300 East. There are some who theorize that the Surfside condos collapse in Florida was aggravated by the adjacent property's pile driving vibrations. UDOT is usually pretty responsive to the complaints so go to Google: udot.utah.gov/saltlakeeast, or email saltlakeeast@utah.gov or call 844-909-3278 and complain and sign up for updates. The work is supposed to be finished by the end of the 2022.
800 EAST PLAN IMPLIES THAT CITY IS ROLLING IN CASH
  Salt Lake City has so much money that it can redesign many streets in the City. The beautiful and walkable 800 East is being redesigned at a significant cost. I walk it often from 9th to 24th South. So these are my comments on 800 East Neighborhood Byway proposals from an ELPCO resident and pedestrian.
  I am against adding more plantings on 800 East since SLC has a bad history of maintaining them. Million dollar McClelland Trail plantings mostly died. Miller Park plantings mostly died. Parleys Trail planters really looked like crap after a year. SLC killed 75 trees this last year. SLC did not water the UDOT and Sugar House Park adjacent trees at the 1300 East I 80 westbound exit and they all died. (UDOT will only provide new plantings after the current project is finished IF SLC AGREES TO MAINTAIN THE PLANTINGS.) SLC killed 30% of Bonneville Golf Course greenery due to non watering. During the last drought a couple of years ago, the City stopped watering tree medians, City gardens and the cemetery (until complaints from VIP forced retraction of order). SLC should not put in plantings unless they agree to maintain them. If the City cannot maintain planters, they should not expect residents to do so. We are still in a desert and we shouldn't encourage the Governor to complain about SLC wasting water. Park strips may go away and trees should not be planted in them. The City, under pressure, has agreed to stop planting trees in 2 foot park strips and now says minimum is 3 foot park strips for trees. But park strips are not watered much and they  do waste water.
  Raised crosswalks, chicanes, bulbouts and dogs in the street on leashes discourage and endanger bicycling! Even chicanes painted are not safe for bicycles! Anything that pushes bicycles into potential traffic is not safe. Bulbouts are up to $80,000 each and not cost effective for a street that is already walkable. The money should be used to fill all potholes and maintain streets to create a safe, non pothole street for bicyclists. Bicyclists are more endangered by potholes that the City still is not filling than by 800 East traffic.
  Benches would be nice but they attract undesirables and end up getting complaints by neighbors upset about the people hanging out there. Note that UTA has a history of trying to discourage sleeping on or under benches at bus stops.
  Residents on 600 East are still upset about the right hand turn only on the street and at Liberty Park. It increases pollution and is not needed on quiet streets. May be a good argument for 2100 South due to high traffic but nowhere else. Bicycles should not be able to go where cars can't. So I and the residents do not like diverters and right hand turns only. Roundabouts are expensive and useless unless you are trying to discourage trucks and firetrucks. They were useful at Hollywood between 1100 East 900 East. Residents do not want to have their vehicle access decreased. There are a lot of older and mobility challenged people.
  Trying to encourage use of streets for playing games is not safe, especially at night. SLC encouraged night time play unlike other U.S. cities did. It was very unsafe. Some streets got a lot of pushback due to no public engagement. Stafford was one. SLC keeps messing up public engagement. Stafford was given one day's notice at the community council.
  The sidewalks are nice and walkable. The City should stop planting parkstrip trees. A couple of big plates (in the budget) would be effective at discouraging speeders and not impacting bicyclists and they would also be much cheaper.
  One final concern is public safety. I assume that Funding Our Future funds are being considered for this proposal but then the funds are coming out of potential funding for police. We are down 130 cops now and the residents, if given the choice, would like to get a police response in a reasonable time rather than prettifying 800 East. Or use the Funding Our Future funds for $1 transit fares.
  You can send your comments to jena.carver@slcgov.com.
  
  The 800 East Neighborhood Byway - Draft Concepts (from the website) include:
  The project team has developed three potential approaches based on your thoughts and ideas on creating the 800 East Neighborhood Byway.
Concept 1: Continue direction of Neighborhood Byways and Stay Safe Stay Active Streets
Protect pedestrian/bike crossings of major streets while installing a more durable version of the Stay Safe Stay Active signage.
Key elements include:
·      Neighborhood Byway-branded concrete planters placed at every intersection;
·      Raised crosswalks and intersections at major streets; and
·      Pedestrian activated signals at major streets for pedestrian cross traffic.
Concept 2: Community-driven kit of parts
Build permanent yet inexpensive and movable elements that the City can deploy in partnership with groups of residents.
Key elements include:
·      Painted curb extensions and neighborhood gateways to calm traffic and establish pedestrian-oriented spaces;
·      Sidewalk extensions (parklets) to provide small community gathering spaces; and
·      Moveable planters to enliven and beautify the corridor.
Concept 3: Fewer but bigger investments
Invest in fewer but more standard, permanent, and higher-impact elements. The focus is primarily on slowing and diverting traffic at key neighborhood intersections.
Key elements include:
·      Concrete diverter islands/medians to prevent motor vehicles from traveling long segments on 800 East;
·      Planted curb extensions to slow traffic on residential segments by forcing vehicles to move around them. Also provides additional beautification and potential stormwater management in an environmentally sustainable way;
·      Planted traffic circles to slow traffic; and
·      A raised intersection plaza at a key location to extend the pedestrian realm into the street and create a social space with street furniture. 
  
ALL STREETS WEST OF 400 EAST TO BECOME BICYCLE STREETS EXCEPT STATE STREET
  Despite protests from bicyclists and vehicle owners, this City is redesigning all of the streets west of 400 East to become bicycle priority streets, except State Street. This City has so much money that it can afford to redesign streets and do road diets to prioritize bicycles and pedestrians. The result will be that streets west of 400 East will be two lane like 400 East and that will result in more traffic on 400 East. I need to emphasize this. Road diets on streets west of 400 East will increase traffic on 400 East. The project/survey is at www.lifeonstate.com/bikewayscommentmap. Please comment on the survey. The proposal, in my mind, actually discourages family bicycling on State Street (as on other streets) by putting obstacles on sidewalks like planters/so called amenities and pushing bicycle traffic into vehicle traffic with bulbouts. The proposed separated bike lanes (as I have said in many other blog entries and opeds) limit bicycle maneuvering to avoid dangers; are not cleaned except every 7 weeks; back up adult bicyclists when kids are in the lane; should not be placed where there are a lot of driveways and do not allow side by side bicycling which actually would encourage bicycling. Interestingly, the bikeways study slides show side by side bicycling!
  
DESPITE PROMISES, SUGAR HOUSE STREET CONSTRUCTIONS OCCUR AT SAME TIME
  We asked again and again that parallel streets not be reconstructed or have construction at the same time but the City was not able to deliver on their promises to make it happen. The construction on Highland and quick restriping with minimal public engagement finished a couple of months AFTER the 900 East reconstruction project started! The good news is that the City recognized that the 1900 South 1100 East reconstruction of curb and gutter should wait until 2023 for the complete 1100 East reconstruction so as not to interfere with the 900 East project. But Sugar House will continue to be inundated with construction projects, including:
  Sugar House Construction Projects (from the website)
Multiple construction projects will be done by Salt Lake City in the Sugar House neighborhood over the next five years (2021-2025). When complete, these infrastructure projects will upgrade decaying underground utilities and improve travel conditions for everyone. Projects from other agencies, like Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and electricity, gas, and telecommunication companies, will occur simultaneously.
Many of these needed investments are possible thanks to the ongoing Funding Our Future initiative that started in 2018: the $87 million voter-approved bond for street reconstruction along with yearly sales tax revenue for increased street maintenance. The first bond projects began construction in 2020, with more projects starting construction in 2021. Underground utility work like storm drains or water and sewer line upgrades will take place before streets are reconstructed to allow the roadbed to settle and minimize construction impacts. Also, for some of these projects, the need to replace our aging infrastructure is so immediate that the work on utility projects can’t wait until the street reconstruction. For this reason, multiple projects will affect the same areas at different times over the next few years. These projects must happen now to ensure the quality and reliability of utility services and to address current and future transportation demands.
Some of these projects will take place in just weeks, like the recently completed Parley’s Way project, but other projects will take over a year like UDOT’s reconstruction of I-80 and I-215 and Salt Lake City Public Utilities’ East-West water transmission line. As projects progress, we will coordinate and share information to keep people informed about potential service interruptions, detour routes, or travel delays.
Learn more about the upcoming construction projects happening in Sugar House below. Please note: this is the planned timing for these projects as of March 2021, but project timing and extents are subject to change in the future. Please check back for updates.
2021
Jordan & Salt Lake Canal replacement on Highland Drive between 2200 South and 2350 South
Highland Drive resurfacing from Warnock Drive (just south of I-80) to city limits with Millcreek – Millcreek will carry to 3300 South
2100 South Sewer Line and Water Line from Highland Drive to Yuma Street (2060 East)
RRFB (Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons) at 2100 South and 1900 East
Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon on Highland Drive (near Kimi’s Chop House)
McClelland project and street construction from 2100 South to Sugarmont
Boulder Ventures to finish their property piece of Parley’s Trail
East-West Water Line project from Wood Hollow community through Forest Dale to Ashton Ave
Bus stop improvements* on 2100 South and 2100 East
900 East reconstruction* from Hollywood Avenue to 2700 South
I-80 (including bridges at 1300 East, 1700 East, and 2000 East) to be completed by UDOT
Construction will start as early as mid-May and continue through late 2022. This project is being done to replace aging infrastructure, reduce congestion and enhance safety. Visit udot.utah.gov/saltlakeeast for more information and to sign up for real-time text alerts and email updates. Contact the project team with questions at 844-909-3278 or at saltlakeeast@utah.gov.
Highland Drive reconstruction concept study starts
Local Link study ends
S-Line extension design work starts
1300 East concept design and environmental study starts
Slow Down West Sugar House CIP project from 2100 South to 2700 South and from 500 East to 700 East
*POSTPONED* 1100 East curb and gutter CIP project from 2100 South to Ramona (NOW WILL OCCUR IN 2023, SEE BELOW)
2022
Continued I-80 to be completed by UDOT
Continued 2100 South Sewer Line
Continued East-West Water Line project
Highland Drive reconstruction concept study ends
2700 South resurfacing from 700 East to 1300 East
2100 South concept design starts
Sugar House West Traffic Calming project
2023
1100 East/Highland Drive reconstruction from 900 South to Warnock Drive
1100 East curb and gutter CIP project from 2100 South to Ramona
S-Line extension construction (tentative)
Stormwater on 1700 East project
Local street reconstruction projects* including Ashton Ave, 100 East, Lincoln Street, Meadow Lane, Gregson Ave, and Simpson Ave
2024
1300 East reconstruction from 2100 South to city limits with Millcreek
2025
1700 East reconstruction from 1700 South to 2700 South
2100 South reconstruction from 700 East to 1300 East
University of Utah is currently doing a capstone project developing innovative ideas for this key corridor
In 2022, we will begin a robust community engagement and design process in preparation for this critical reconstruction project
*Funding Our Future project
Highlight
900 East reconstruction from Hollywood Ave to 2700 South
FAQ
What’s the difference between street maintenance and street reconstruction?
Maintenance includes activities such as crack sealing and level patching, resurfacing streets, etc. that help prolong the life of the entire street network. Reconstruction is generally performed when a street has deteriorated to the point of no return, often requiring the street to be excavated and rebuilt from the bottom up using layers of rock and asphalt.
Why do all these projects need to happen now?
Salt Lake City recognizes the challenges all these projects will cause to residents and businesses, but we (along with other organizations) also need to plan and ensure continued investment in the community:
A good network of streets, sidewalks, utilities, and more for years to come
Long standing issues are addressed, like the fact that a 2017 pavement condition survey revealed that nearly 2/3 of Salt Lake City streets are in poor or worse condition; many of these streets are in such poor condition that they need to be entirely reconstructed.
Much of our infrastructure in the Sugar House community is aging and is in dire need of replacement. We have also seen a lot of growth in this neighborhood over the past 10+ years. We need to improve and upgrade our public infrastructure to meet the current and future needs of this important community within our City.
Stay Informed, Sign Up for Updates
Send an email with “Sugar House Construction Projects” in the subject line to mystreet@slcgov.com.
  
TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION PLANS UNPOPULAR TRANSIT PROJECTS
  The Legislature, in its wisdom, gave the Utah Transportation Commission authority to prioritize transit projects that are generally in Northern Utah. Unfortunately, it is one of the least publicly engaged government entities in the State that meets in many different parts of the State. You can email transportationcommission@utah.gov with your comments but almost no one listens to the meetings or comments. My recent comments included:
  I am against Combine Pins 16924 into PIN 15908NEWPROJ( )  money for 21st South SLC pedestrian improvements which could be used for a road diet on a 22,000 ADT road which would significantly increase pollution. Project 15908.
  In addition, against spending almost $4 million for a Westside SLC Hub since the area desperately needs more bus service not buildings. I remind the Transportation Commission that tbe Ogden and Provo BRTs are free for eastside riders in new buses while the Westside bus riders in SLC, Ogden and Provo ride in much older, noisier and $2.50 a ride buses. The inequity should be obvious. Project nr 17850.
  I am against spending $13 million of valuable transit funds on the Sandy TOD 8599 Transit Oriented Development (TOD) @ 10000 South TRAX Station.
  I am against spending over $4 million on the Newproject- O_STP- 013(2021) South Davis connector study. Regular enhanced buses (like 5600W) would be much more  fiscally responsible.
  I am against 14044 Layton FrontRunner Station Parking over $4 million since the parking is needed because UTA would give a developer property from the parking lot. The developer should pay for more parking.
  I am against restarting the 35 MAX since it was never successful. Project14046 33/35 MAX Expansion and Optimization. It got, at most 3200 riders a day while removing 2 traffic lanes that could handle 20,000 riders a day in cars. Pollution increases should not be funded.
  I am against the 200 S transit hub since there are no real cross transit buses!  Newproject-S_CMAQ- 002(2021).  $2 million can surely be better spent.
  I am against Newproject-027(2020)18828 Bus Rapid Transit - Operating Subsidy since it is inequitable and borders on racism. Minority riders on the westside of Ogden have to pay $2.50 but BRT students get free rides!
  I am against Project15927Transit Stop improvements since buses are ordered to stay 1-4 ft from curbs!  
  
DELTA AIRLINES GOT SLC TO MAKE TRAVELING ON OTHER AIRLINES AN EFFORT/GRIND/CHALLENGE
  Lost in all of the celebrations about the new Airport is the important fact that Delta Airlines was able to encourage traveling on Delta by pushing all of the other airline companies into a terminal a mile away! Until the complaints got overwhelming, the Airport stopped the carts for those who are mobility challenged due to lawsuits. But Delta was the biggest beneficiary while the City Council and Administration trusted that the design would be good for the Airport but in reality was super duper good for Delta.
  
FLUORESCENT BULBS CAN BE DROPPED OFF AT COUNTY LIBRARIES BUT NOT SLC LIBRARIES
  We have tried for several years to get the Salt Lake City Libraries to accept fluorescent bulbs. They contain mercury and without a convenient drop off point, they end up in the last place one would want, in the County landfill. The County realizes the danger and recently reimplemented their collection of fluorescent bulbs. But Salt Lake City still is not making a convenient drop off available.
  
SLC DOES NOT UNDERSTAND WATER MANAGEMENT
  Short note, Salt Lake City does not understand water management. The City budget guesses at water needs for parks and open spaces in the year ahead and when it runs out, it stops watering! And it encourages wasteful and useless greenery on parkstrips! Wider sidewalks would do a better job of encouraging walking than bulbouts and would stop wasting water on parkstrips and adjacent sidewalks.
  
SLC TELLS ROOFTOP BAR IT IS NOT AUTHORIZED BUT IT IS BUILT ANYWAY
  The building owner of the property at 2166 South, 900 East decided to build a rooftop structure that could be used as a rooftop bar. It wasn't in the design but I guess that they figured that once built, the City couldn't stop them. But the City said that they couldn't without a text amendment Citywide since they do not like amendments to code for just one building. So for over a year, the community has expressed concern. The recent text amendment proposal was heard at the Sugar House Community Council Zoning Subcommittee meeting. Parking was the biggest concern since the significant increase in use did not increase parking available on site! The plan assumes that on street parking would be available for a very popular bar. Noise was another concern. 
  Planning said that "we told the building owner that the rooftop would not be able to be used, but there was nothing in the code that prevented it from being constructed if it complied with height.  One of the fun things about zoning:  it can prevent the use, but if the building fits the dimension requirements, one can build whatever they want; whether they can actually use it is a different story. As far as noise, there could potentially be some things to limit some noise generation (like music) but probably very little that could be done to limit noise generated by people using a rooftop.  There may be some barriers that could be put up that may deflect some noise, but it doesn’t eliminate it." 
  The Planning Commission would be the next step. If the City approves the text amendment for this form based code area with minimal parking requirements, since the City has recently rezoned several properties for form based code with minimal or no parking requirements, everyone who wants a probably popular rooftop bar will want one and the nearby residents will have to suffer through the on street parking issues.  Note that there is also minimal parking requirements for the rooftop bar at 1100E and 1300S.
    
SLC SURVEYS ARE POORLY CONSTRUCTED, JUST EMAIL COMMENTS TO PERSON IN CHARGE
  Salt Lake City is using a Utah company to provide surveys and supposedly encourage public engagement but the surveys are so poorly constructed that they tend to force one answer that the City seems to want. Surveys from the City also have a potential for being misused and get an overwhelming input that is fake. The livable streets survey is a good example of a bad survey but the locallink study (see previous blog entry) is also a problem. I recommend emailing the project manager. My comments on the livable streets survey include:
From the Livable Streets Survey: Are there other factors not identified above that make you feel uncomfortable when walking, biking or otherwise traveling on your neighborhood street?  
  "This survey should include reducing congestion, pollution, supporting family biking (not in streets), supporting and encouraging bicycling with wide/9 foot bike lanes with rumble strips, removing separated bike lanes since the City only cleans them every 7 weeks, support raised shared bike lanes and remove prohibition of bicycling on sidewalks downtown. This survey is very poorly done and ignores the fact that 90% of citizens use vehicles on streets. Livable streets should include vehicles as a priority.
From the Survey: This program presents the opportunity to make some change with a limited budget. Please indicate whether you feel funding allocated to the program should A) be spread across as much of the City as possible with lower-cost/less durable installations, or B) implement higher-cost, more durable installations in fewer areas across the City.
A) More neighborhoods receive improvements, but lower-cost/less durable installations in each
B) Fewer neighborhoods receive improvements, but higher-cost/more durable installations in each
Do you have other thoughts about the Livable Streets Program you would like to share?
"Poor questions again.  Just buy more steel plates since every area  needs more traffic calming. They don't impact biking like bulbouts. They are cheap and more effective than speed limit signs."
  
SLC CIP COMMENTS AUGUST 17, 6 PM, COUNCIL WON'T ALLOW SPEAKING ON SAME ITEM, ADDED $1.2 MIL
  The Salt Lake City Council will have another and final public hearing on the CIP projects list that has been given a $1.2 million increased funding by the Council and that will increase the number of projects that are possible. Unfortunately, some CIP projects take 5 or more years. Miller Park, Hollywood Boulevard Traffic Calming, McClelland Trail, Seven Canyons Fountain, etc, all have been applied for or approved around 5 years ago. Previous approved CIP projects should have priority. 
I urge all community councils to tell their residents to call into the public hearing and push for their projects, or write to their councilmember.
My comments on the CIP presentation (in the downloads) includes:
Number 8, number 30 rail adjacent pavement improvements on 900S will require much more than $70k, like starting a RR crossing study but pavement upgrades would help now.
Number 26 - all parks and trails need shade sails. This City should buy a bunch of sails to shade playgrounds that are dangerous for kids when the sun is on the equipment.
Fairmont Park also needs a playground and bench seats between the playing fields. Things like that shouldn't need a CIP. It should be part of good government.
Nuumber 58 - 1300S camping resistent landscaping (worked at King Ctr) so why not approve it now.
  The best traffic calming is steel plates, and this City should buy more than 8 and have them available to not require traffic calming every year in CIP. They can provide immediate, effective and cost effective traffic calming, that will not impact biking when correctly placed. 
  Although the City Council pointed out at the last meeting that they would not allow speaking on the same item as before, this issue has come up before since limiting speakers to 2 minutes for a 100 different items in a list is disrespectful. The City Council has lifted the prohibition before for multiple public hearings.
  
20 IS PLENTY WILL INCREASE AIR POLLUTION AND MAKE BICYCLING UNSAFE
 20 is plenty is a nationwide effort to decrease speeds on most streets to prioritize streets for bicyclists and pedestrians. But, the effort WILL INCREASE POLLUTION and it could make bicycling unsafe. For those of us old enough to remember how cars operate, transmissions generally shift to a higher gear at around 22 MPH. That is why, I believe that most streets in Salt Lake City are posted for 25 MPH. If you check car manuals a few years old (newer transmissions have more speeds and may allow reduced engine speed and lower emissions at slower speeds), even automatic 3 speed transmission say 22 MPH, at cruising, not accelerating, is the shift point to 3rd gear that reduces engine speed and lowers emissions. It has to do with torque. At lower speeds, more torque is needed to move the vehicle and that requires more engine speed.
  I am against the 20 is plenty since I believe that it is wrong to prioritize streets for bicyclists. The best example of poor government decisions that increase pollution is the 500 East reconstruction that provide sharrows, a shared bicycle vehicle lane going south, that can slow down traffic to 5-20 MPH behind a bicyclist since they have the full lane width. Ironically, the City removed several bus stops to speed up bus travel in the belief that it would encourage ridership. But slowing the buses down behind cyclists discourages ridership and increases pollution (like several road diets that this City has implemented). I do not think that this City should require most streets to be like school zones. Vehicles should have priority on streets.
  I still want better bicycle infrastructure in the City but 20 is plenty is not better.
  
SEVEN CANYONS TRUST NEEDS TO ENSURE WATER FLOW OR PLAN FOR MOSQUITO INVASION
  The effort to daylight 21 miles of creeks in Salt Lake City without ensuring appropriate water flow will increase mosquitoes and require spraying which people will object to. The Seven Canyons Trust group should help ensure steady stream flow in Red Bute Creek in Miller Park, and other streams but during the drought, it seems almost impossible. The Seven Canyons Trust is led by former City Councilman Kyle LaMalfa and can be reached at info@sevencanyonstrust.org. The daylighting plan, which is really wasteful after all of the money spent recently covering up the creeks, should require constant flow and no ability to create standing water that could increase mosquitoes.
  
INLAND PORT MAKES SLC PAY FOR MOSQUITO ABATEMENT
  The Legislature, in its wisdom (should be a bumper sticker) in 2019 gave the Mosquito Abatement Board of Salt Lake County the ability to increase taxes despite not being elected to office (remember taxation without representation). So they did. They did stop the plan to use aerial spraying with National Guard Aircraft but that could change. In another insult, the Board gave a presentation to the Salt Lake City Council that had to have the public hearing without any influence over the Mosquito Board's vote. And the Mosquito Board's presentation showed that since 2017, there have been almost no tax increases. But in 2016, the mosquito taxes increased over 50%. Leaving that out of the presentation was insulting and disrespectful.
  The mosquito tax increase is an insult when the Inland Port, the biggest beneficiary, should be funding an increase in mosquito abatement. Salt Lake City taxpayers should not be getting a big tax increase to benefit the Inland Port, an area that SLC citizens are not responsible for. This City Council should fight against this increase at the Board, at the Legislature and with the Governor. (But it is not fighting it. There were no negative comments from the City Council. This City's residents and businesses should not have to pay for the Inland Port. This Council and Administration can remove the Mosquito Board members to stop the tax increase. The City could have refused to have a public hearing to allow the Mosquito District to increase the property tax.  UTA Board of Trustees and former SLC Councilman Carlton Christensen is on the Board. The Council and Mayor should be complaining in public and not saying thank you Carlton.
  
SALT LAKE CITY'S WAR ON HOUSING CONTINUES
  The Salt Lake City RDA discussed the SLC Affordable Housing Plan but only Councilman Dan Dugan gave any real input. His comments are below. They make sense. But the Council/RDA Board, despite the highest priority being family housing, seems to be pushing microunits and SROs?  Microunits and high density housing for low income is not okay because I think that it is an insult. Saying that the poor can only have a kitchen or a bathroom but not both is an insult. Again, the top priority for the City's Affordable Housing Plan is a family house. So this City should protect single family home neighborhoods that is 12% of city property and push to allow housing on the 80% of the property in this City that does not allow housing. Higher density housing in single family home neighborhoods destroys the American Dream of most people to be in a home, a house and it is supposed to be the highest priority of the Affordable Housing Plan. High density housing, SROs and micro units are not the dream for most people. 
  When this City Council does not allow housing on 80% of the City, that is a war on housing. When this City Council has helped construct almost no housing in the State Street redevelopment area for 7 years (except for the housing authority's Capitol Motel and Coachman's private development), that is a war on housing. When this City does not allow housing for the 50,000 plus workers in the International Center, that is a war on housing. When this City plans to tear down homes that house over 10 in an extended family and replace it with 5 rental units that rent for 5 times what the house was renting for, that is a war on housing (RMF30 proposal). When this city plans to put high density micro units with either a kitchen or a bathroom, not both, in single family home neighborhoods, that is a war on housing (SROs). If this City continues to not allow housing on the 80% of the City that does not allow housing, that is a war on housing. 
  Note that the City Council just gave a million for housing in the same zone as the International Center so it can be done.
  
  Councilman Dan Dugan's comments on the RDA Affordable Housing Plan housing priorities:
  "My thoughts on the 13 original priorities listed on the housing funding priority attachment.
Interest reduction priorities
Family housing
Target populations
Missing middle and unique housing types
Homeownership
Expand opportunity
Commercial vitality
 
Thresholds to receiving interest rate reduction.  Sustainability, as Tammy outlines, plus one of the other three is required for interest rate reduction.
Sustainability 
Neighborhood safety
Neighborhood impact
Transportation opportunities
Others. Nice to have but not a priority.
Historic preservation/adaptive reuse
Public art
Fund leveraging"
  I agree with Dan's suggestions. 
  
UTAH'S FIGHT AGAINST UNDERAGE DRINKING IS WARPED, PERVERTED AND ENCOURAGES UNDERAGE DRINKING
  There is a barrage of ads to target underage drinking from a Utah Legislature, in their wisdom (I really want a bumper sticker) funded Parents Empowered ads is one of the stupidest ads that I have ever seen. It makes families that discourage underage drinking look comically dumb. That would usually encourage underage drinking. It ranks up there with the anti smoking ad with a multi organ transplant recipient who was a smoker. That ad discouraged organ donation. Who wants their organs going to a smoker?! Who wants to act as dumb as the anti underage drinking family? 
   
SLC REFUSES TO HELP STOP EVICTING RENTERS DESPITE FUNDS TO PROVIDE RENTAL ASSISTANCE
  Salt Lake City should provide an attorney to every renter that is being served with an eviction in 3rd District Court since if they are evicted and become homeless, they will probably end up homeless in Salt Lake City. This city spends millions on rental assistance but it is all wasted when the renters are served with eviction papers.
  
SLC COUNCIL BANS DOGS FROM PAVED ALLEN PARK
  This City Council rushed through what I considered to be a clueless ordinance that banned dogs on leashes from Allen Park. Dogs have always run loose in Allen Park (very inappropriately) since it was private. Now that it is public, dogs are not even allowed on the paved areas. the Exception is serrvice dogs. The ordinance passed unanimously.
  
SLC IGNORES EAST CAPITOL BLVD WHARTON MENDENHALL SPEEDWAY
  I put a picture of the sign that is posted on East Capitol Boulevard that expresses the community's frustration at lack of respectful response to discourage speeding on East Capitol Blvd. I told the City Council to just buy more steel plates. On steel plate in the middle of the road would stop most speeding. A CIP could take 5 years but you can put down an $8000 steel plate immediately! The whole City should be getting access to the best and most cost effective traffic calming without waiting 5 years for a CIP. And it would save a lot of City Council time and thousands of complaints to the City.
  
LEGISLATURE PUSH TO CHARGE EVERYONE FOR MILES DRIVEN MAY BE STOPPED
  At the Legislature's last Transportation Interim Committee hearing there was a presentation about how great the proposed Utah Road Usage Charge  Program is. It increases the  number  of available future policy levers, such as congestion pricing, tolling, local options, and demand  management - despite the fact that the pandemic and remote work decreased significantly the need for it. I also costs the State more than it gets in revenue! The Committee then heard the other side of the issue. The Road Usage Charge Program is focused on Vehicle Miles Traveled and taxing drivers for each mile that they drive!
  Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) is a tracking system that was developed because of concern that people were driving too much. Governments were building freeways and they would fill up with bumper to bumper traffic. That, in reality, shows that the American Dream, owning a single family home, is available with a car. Even if they have to drive a couple of hours like Governor Cox, the American home is the American Dream. 
  VMT is a way to discourage driving with congestion pricing and tolling with Road Usage Charge (RUC). It is very complicated but government is not the solution. It implements a new giant bureaucracy to track everyone's mileage. We already track mileage with gasoline sales. We shouldn't need individual vehicle mileage.
   Although it is promised to be anonymous and protect individual privacy, it is government and government doesn't always keep promises. We removed license plate reader privacy protections after a year. We significantly increased registration fees for electric vehicles after keeping it stable for years. Governments don't have to keep promises.
  The Road Usage Charge is, to me, a war on families and cars. It does not differentiate between big families or vehicle weight or pollution or whether a road is paved. And most electric vehicles only travel on local roads. If Utah needs new money for roads, why did the last transportation tax increase give 40% to transit, used by 1% while roads are used by 99%.  $300 million could build a new east west freeway for the Southwest County for 100,000 citizens, fourteen times more than transit!
  The report says that policy action is needed in 2024 to force drivers into this big mother government system. It uses the term "foster enrollment". I interpret that to say force drivers to do what the government wants. The goal is to change the behavior of drivers. This is a war on cars, on families and on our economy. Cars, trucks and roads make our families, our economy and our Country more efficient.
  Drivers like internal combustion vehicles and they can last decades. They like the noise and the design and the acceleration. Until electric vehicles have the charging infrastructure, they will not constitute a majority of the vehicles on the road in Utah. The important takeaway from the presentation should be that in some states, electric vehicle sales may be the majority of sales after 2035 but they will not constitute the majority of vehicles on the road nationally until well after 2050. And in states with wide open spaces like Utah, they may not become the majority ever.
  The Legislature should consider, like the California Pilot Program report suggested, that there should be a tax at the charging pump for electric vehicles since it is the easiest and most cost effect way to collect taxes without creating and operating a burdensome government bureaucracy. It also eliminates pushback against tracking mileage. 
  During discussion, the Chair, Senator Harper agreed that it would be simpler to pay at the pump. But he asked about taxing solar panels that could charge electric vehicles in homes. Trying to tax solar panel installations that feed into electric vehicle charging should not be considered until there are a lot more electric vehicles on the road since it could cost the government more than it gets in taxes. Utah's State Tax Commission efficiently captures tax revenue and adding an inefficient new tax system would be bad government.
  Utah should keep the pilot program but remove the plan to track every vehicle's mileage by 2031. 
  
COMMUNITY COUNCILS PROVIDE LOCAL NEWS MISSING FROM NEWSPAPERS
  I have recently been impressed with several local community council chairs that have filled in the missing news that newspapers are ignoring. One of the best is the Yalecrest Community Council's regular email. Toby Larson at tobylarson@icloud.com writes the email. The Sugar House Community Council website and newsletter (by Landon Clark at minnesotaute76@gmail.com) is full of significant news, much of it generated by the long time activist Judi Short. East Liberty Park's Jason Stevenson at jason.stevenson@gmail.com also has a regular newsletter that is very informative.
  
UTAH ATTY GENERAL AGAINSST GOOGLE PLAY STORE THAT DECREASES MALWARE
  Utah's Attorney General is suing Google about requiring programs and apps to go through the Google Play Store. He is suing because he thinks that anyone should be able to provide apps to users on their own. But the Google Play Store increases assurance that a programmer will not install malware. Although it is not perfect, it has resulted in many apps being identified as malware and removed from the Store. Part of the Store is Google Play Protect which is a further scan to ensure no malware proliferates in the Google Android system. It works. Sean Reyes is wrong to sue.
  
SLC REFUSES TO PUSH UTA TO SPEND SOME OF $355 MIL IN BANK FOR $1 FARES
  Salt Lake City refuses to push UTA to provide $1 fare, despite having $355 million cash in the bank (Zion's). Please tell the City, the Mayor and the Council to push for $1 bus fare. Unfortunately, UTA does not have enough rail parking lots (using them for TODs) and ticket machines for rail to allow more riders.
  
HIGHLAND DRIVE RESIDENTS EXPRESS FRUSTRATION AT SLC SURVEYS AND PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT
  Savehistorichighlanddrive is a new organization (Google it) that is upset at what appears to be an effort to run the TRAX S-Line south on Highland Drive which would destroy mountain views and require eminent domain for many properities. To add insult to injury, the LocalLink survey is messed up. SLC surveys, historically, seem to me to direct answers to a limited preordained answer (biking, rail etc).
  UTA feels that 700E did not have the retail to get enough transit ridership and we failed to shift traffic to 700E from the 1300E road diet (it went to 2100E and Foothill). The big driver to this Circulation Plan, IN MY OPINION, is Millcreek Mayor Jeff Silvistrini's effort, with his Economic Development Director and Representative Mike Winder, to get rail to his Millcreek city center. His City, in his opinion deserves the S-Line since he feels that, and UTA keeps telling people that, the S-Line led to the hyperdevelopment of Sugar House. SLC Planning believes, and I agree, that the large amount of parks, trails and golf courses led to the hyperdevelopment. (I did several opeds in the Sltrib about it.) UTA and the Legislature pushes to build more projects with the assumption, in my opinion, that UTA has a bottomless barrel of money. UTA did not have the S-Line expansion in their 5 year capital plan until the Legislature passed the S-Line $12 million (one day notice with just one public comment about it - Mayor Silvistrini testified for it). The Legislature and Millcreek seems to be pushing this more than UTA and SLC.
  As a side note, Salt Lake City has tried to expand rail in many areas (I participated in the effort to stop the expansion of the S-Line north on 1100 East.). I am fighting the City's continued efforts to expand rail on 400 West, 400 South (to Central Station) (see recent blog entries and downloads presentation), 100 and 200 South to the University and the S-Line that the City still dreams of connecting to the 4th South TRAX.
  The limits of the 1300E bridge should have predicted that Highland Drive would be the path for rail since the bridge cannot handle a TRAX train which is the S-Line.
  UTA has developed a list of properties needed (in my understanding) but holds the information secret to not increase negotiation values. Their corridor preservation presentation (in the downloads section of georgechapman.net) alluded to the properties in the map but it is comprised of more properties. In their May 2021 Legislature Transportation Interim meeting UTA said that they were spending $1.6 million buying properties around Highland Drive. They will likely remain secret unless the property owners, who may have already been approached, tell us first. Utah law allows secrecy when governments are buying property to limit value increases. UTA also has the ability to use (in my opinion misuse) eminent domain. It sometimes takes 10 years and goes to the Supreme Court, but it is difficult to fight.
  I agree about the survey demographic questions and the only solution is to email Lynn directly. He reads everything and I think that emails are more informative that misdirected surveys. You should also complain to Rachel.Otto@slcgov.com, the Mayor's Chief of Staff.
  Transit is just buses and rail and VIA the UTA UBER competitor at $19-$40 subsidy per rider in areas with no transit or after hours transit. It is cheaper than running a big bus. Transit is not personal vehicles or UBER.
  The survey is misdirecting and I urge you to email your concerns about the survey misdirecting your answers to the SLC infotech department manager Aaron.Bentley@slcgov.com. We have complained before to him about the surveys misdirecting answers.
  The community can emphasize that they want to restore 15 minute service to bus 220. The enhanced bus is usually just a regular bus with green light priority at intersections with often a separate lane at the intersection. It's cost is assumed to be about $1.5 million a mile. BRT is about $15 million a mile while rail is $75 or more per mile. Part of my fight against running rail to Millcreek is that Salt Lake residents should not pay $100 million of their taxpayer funding for Millcreek rail. (I also against removing more parking, against mobile billboards, concerned about property values and destruction of the mountain views.)
  There is an effective and inexpensive UDOT/UTA system on Redwood Road that turns lights green if there are a lot of bus riders. just a few riders will not change the lights. It is almost no extra cost.
  You can also emphasize that you want quieter electric buses, which may have a million dollar cost. But that still is cheaper than any other option listed. Quieter buses on the route which has a lot of residential properties would be more attractive.
  You can also tell Lynn (and UTA -boardoftrustees@rideuta.com) that you don't want to see billboards on the buses, especially alcohol ads which are now allowed. You should tell Lynn every concern that you have. The survey should not limit you.
According to the County Assessor (in December), rail next to properties, decreases property values. I put his concerns in a blog entry earlier (CTRL F assessor) on my blog.
  Bottom line - emailing Lynn Jacobs directly will provide him with better and more accurate information. You should also participate in the Sugar House Community Council meetings to emphasize your opinions. I have argued before against running anything new down Highland but more people need to speak up. There is not enough participation in the SHCC Transportation Committee that are against the S-Line going south. (Note that UTA thought that they could defer the $12 million expansion for a year but the Legislature is pushing for faster implementation. You can testify at the next Legislative Interim Transportation Committee meeting in September against rail expansion.)
  The rail to Millcreek is in the Utah RTP which the Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC.org) developed. The Utah RTP , that has been used to express concern about the billions in unfunded future transit needs, is really a wish list of projects that may not really make sense, like the tunnel and rail up the Wasatch Canyons, a high speed rail station at the Airport and a flying bridge elevated TRAX line that were in previous RTPs.
  The costs of previous projects are: the Ogden BRT $94 million,  Midvalley 48th South BRT $44mil, South Davis SLC connector BRT $107 mil, each which is hoping for 2000 riders a day (I am against because they remove 2 lanes that can handle 10,000 plus vehicles a day.)
  The ridership of bus 220 (Highland Drive) is 513 a day.
  Bus 21 is about 905 a day.
  Bus 33 is about 1966 a day.
  S-Line ridership is now 700 a weekday.
  It was about 80% more before the pandemic but UTA does not believe that ridership will return for a few years. At best it will be 50% more than now in the next year. The S-Line ridership on weekdays never went over 1300 a day despite promises to the federal government that it would have 5000 a day.
  A group, led by former City Councilman Soren Simonsen is pushing to extend the S-Line east to Sugar House Park. Ridership data, which shows higher ridership on weekends, would seem to show that the biggest and best destination in the area is the Park and destinations make rail successful. Soren has consistently argued at Sugar House Community Council meetings that the extension must go to the Park. I support his efforts and plans (including in an oped in 2013) and I urge you to join his efforts in the SHCC Transportation Committee.
  The outcome of the LocalLink study will be followed by much argument, negotiation, influence (at the Legislature) and many more public hearings to start extending the S-Line as the Legislature has told UTA. The issue that impacts potential transit riders and transit proponents is whether projects will take away further from the promised service increases. Another important issue is the high fare which many believe should be set at $1, especially since UTA has hundreds of millions in the bank and sales tax revenue is increasing. I am pushing for $1 fare and using the bank cash for electric buses which are even quieter than TRAX and would be embraced by residential neighborhoods, especially if UTA stops the mobile billboards.
  I urge continuing to email Lynn.Jacobs@slcgov.com about any concerns and survey responses. Again, the surveys should not limit your responses. I also urge those interestd to participate in the Sugar House Community Council meetings. The first few meetings regarding the LocalLink study did not effectively represent, in my opinion, the Highland Drive residents.
  
SLC COULD GET 65 UNITS ROOMING HOUSE AT 129S 700E IF COUNCIL APPROVES BUENO AVE APTS
  The Planning Commission has approved mostly and proposal to convert houses that now provide housing to over 20 individuals into rooming housing for 65. This project/proposal will make almost 20+ renters homeless. This will emphasize that government is not the solution. It is the problem. This proposal will create serious negative consequences for renters.
  Due to the large loss of housing, this project should wait until SLC updates and passes their new Housing Loss Mitigation ordinance. The City seems to recognize the problems that projects like these have because they deferred action on the new RMF 30 proposal until the new Housing Loss Mitigation ordinance is passed. But the Planning Commission essentially, with conditions, approved it which means it goes to the City Council.
  
UTAH HAD 443 OPIOID DEATHS IN 2020
  Utah has had 443 opiod deaths in 2020. It is an 8% increase. 
  In my opinion, as long as drugs are easily available, people will die of drug overdoses. As long as drug dealers are not incarcerated, addicts will continue to steal to get drugs since drug addicts do not generally commit victimless crimes. As long as drug dealers are not incarcerated, there will continue to be an increase in abuse, rape and trafficking of women and boys and girls.
  
SLC ALLOWS CAR TOW LOTS NEAR PARKS, NEW WALKABLE STREETS, REDEVELOPMENT AREAS
  SLC appears to be on the verge of approving, at the Planning Commission, a tow yard within a block from the 9-Line Trail. But the line shouldn't have anything like this nearby. The linear park idea is to encourage walkable neighborhoods and tow yards are the exact opposite, like car lots. My point is SLC should have a policy restricting car lots away from potential housing and new (and expensive) street prettifying like 300W and State Street. It should be a policy issue. It is up to the City but allowing these lots after or when planning million dollar projects (like $14 million for 300W) seems like a big clueless mistake. Car lots and tow yards discourage walkability.




JUNE 2021
SLC WILL NEED TENS OF MILLIONS AND 5 YEARS TO RECOVER FROM POLICE OFFICER LOSSES
  Salt Lake City is losing so many sworn police officers that it will take $20 million and 5+ years to recover. Out of 523 sworn officers in Salt Lake City, this City only has 401 available. The SLC Airport Police are only down 1 officer. I put Chief Brown's slide show in the downloads. Despite the obvious crisis (according to Chief Brown), the City's new budget proposal only gives the police a 5% raise. Taylorsville (along with Herriman and Riverton who have new police departments) is giving 5 to 10 year Salt Lake City cops $8 to $10 an hour! Salt Lake City lost 69 officers last year and they will lose many more than that this year. The last two weeks saw over 20 leave the Department! 
  In an almost useless effort to hire more officers, the Chief reported that of 84 applicants who had filled out cards, 30 were invited for the physical test and 24 passed it. 20 passed the written test. The Chief said that they will probably get 8 to 10 out of the 20 going into the Police Academy. The starting wage for police is $21 per hour (in the downloads). The Chief is looking to hire another lateral class in June that will only take 5 months to go through the Academy versus the regular 10 months for new officers. The Chief expected 7 laterals may go through. The Chief wanted 10 laterals in a new class in July and 30 new hires in August which may result in 10 finishing. But only one lateral from Las Vegas applied.
  What should be remembered by this City's Administration is that each of our police officers receive the best de-escalation training in the State that I believe is worth $500,000. Logan's Police Department estimates the cost of their training is well over $100,000.
  The last chance for Salt Lake City to stem the loss of officers is the Budget Amendment 9 if the regular budget for the next year does not change the 5% salary increase, which is not enough to stem the losses. Retention bonuses are the only way to stop the losses. They should be in Budget Amendment 9.
  10,000 callers a months beg for police response. We had the best de-escalation trained cops in Utah and we are losing them. If this City is losing over 10 a week, to departments that value those cops and their valuable de-escalation training, this City needs to stop catering to defund the police minority. The City should implement a retention bonus and a respectful salary that recognizes that they regularly face criminals with guns and risk their lives. Most City employees do not risk their lives. Chief Brown said that the City may be able to hire 30 in the next 6 months but before they are effectively trained, this City will be down 200 cops. What will it take for this City to start listening to the 10,000 a month who want more police. These are the best trained de-escalation cops in Utah. It doesn't matter where they are going. They are going. Salt Lake will be left with just new cops that get $21 an hour, less than a starting bus driver (Despite what a commenter about starting bus driver salaries being $16 an hour, it was changed to around $20 in 2019 - I used to complain about their salaries too).
  We are losing 10 year experienced cops with hundreds of thousands of dollars of training in de-escalation simulation training! Former Chief Burbank told  councilmembers when they bought the $500,000 de-escalation simulation system that he could have shot 13 justifiably in his career but his training and experience resulted in no one shot. This City's de-escalation training IS the best in the State due to former Chief Burbank.
  This City needs to implement a $10,000 retention bonus, even for those who have left for those with 5 years of experience. Budget Amendment 9 is the last chance to stop the bleeding of cops. The regular budget can work on a respectful salary remembering that other departments value our best trained de escalation cops 8 to 10 dollars an hour more. Otherwise the concern about police critical incidents will increase with situations that inexperienced and under trained officers are going to face. we don't even have enough cops to hire social workers.
  Ironically, the defunding the police protesters are demanding better focus on de-escalation training for police but the best trained in Utah are leaving Salt Lake City Police for other departments and de-escalation trained cops are being lost. Maybe we should tell the protesters that we lost the best trained de-escalation trained cops due to the defund the police protests. 
  We don't even have enough cops to hire social workers! The City wants to hire 6 more social workers but there aren't enough cops to provide the police to form teams. Although some have said that the social workers don't need cops to team up with them, the reality is that when the homeless are on drugs or they have mental issues, it is safer to have a team. When the Fire Department used to respond to Rio Grande for drug overdoses and other medical emergencies, they asked for police to accompany them. Even the Fire Department personnel were afraid of the homeless! Not all homeless were a problem. But the drug dealers that embedded themselves in the homeless, the ones that preyed on the homeless, also were aggressively threatening anyone who tried to help, including the SLC Fire Department personnel. So it would not be wise to send in social workers without police. And the SLCPD has also realized that it is safer to send in two cops to respond to potential serious reports.  
  If other cities believe our cops are worth 8 to 10 dollars an hour more, this City needs to quickly increase salaries or wait 5 years to restore well trained de-escalation department.


LEGISLATORS PUSH TOLLROADS FOR EVERYONE CLAIMING PROMISING INITIATIVE
  Despite several protests behind the scenes, Senator Harper's efforts to require all registered Utah vehicles to have their mileage tracked and charged by 2031 is not getting much attention. During public relations efforts, the proponents said that the Road Usage Charge (RUC) is a "promising initiative". Rep. Pierucci did not think that many people will be crazy about it. Rep. Nelson also expressed concern about rural, unpaved roads.
  Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) is a tracking system that was developed because of concern that people were driving too much. Governments were building freeways and they would fill up with bumper to bumper traffic. Rep. Christoffersen's favorite picture is a 17 lane freeway with bumper to bumper traffic going home at night. That, in reality, shows that the American Dream, owning a single family home, is available with a car. Even if they have to drive a couple of hours like Governor Cox, the American home is the American Dream. 
  VMT is a way to discourage driving with congestion pricing and tolling with Road Usage Charge (RUC). It is as complicated as filling out federal income taxes. It implements a new giant bureaucracy to track everyone's mileage. Although it is promised to be anonymous and protect individual privacy, it is government and government doesn't always keep promises. A few years ago, the Legislature passed a bill protecting privacy of drivers from license plate readers but the next year, they gave UTA free reign to use license plate readers. Utah set registration fees for electric vehicles a few years ago and the next year significantly increased them. Governments don't have to keep promises. That's why we don't want to register guns.
  The RUC is, to me, a war on families and cars. It does not differentiate between big families or diesels or vehicle weight or pollution or whether a road is paved. If Utah needs new money for roads, why did the last transportation tax increase give 40% to transit, used by 1% while roads are used by 99%. $300 million for double tracking FrontRunner will give it 7000 more riders according to UTA but $300 million could also build a new east west freeway for the Southwest County for 100,000 citizens!
  Even more bothersome is the new term used to explain how government will force everyone into this big mother government system. The report says that policy action is needed to force drivers into it. It uses the term "fosters enrollment". The goal is to change the behavior of drivers. This is a war on cars, on families and on our economy. Cars, trucks and roads make our families, our economy and our Country more efficient. 
  China tried it but when cars were available, they threw their bikes in the rivers. Soviet Union tried it and look where their economy is now.
  I have to describe this report by quoting a great Senator: “A person can go through and find whatever they are looking for based on what they choose to read, and I think that is what happened in this presentation. It is biased and fallacious.” (Senator Harper who is the source of this effort to track all vehicles.)
  
HIGHLAND DR RESIDENTS FLAME SLC TRANSPORTATION & SLC COUNCILWOMAN FOWLER
  Salt Lake City's war on cars and parking continues with the City's plan to remove parking on the westside of Highland Drive. The area's residents had a community meeting with the area's Councilwoman Amy Fowler, who was told that no one appreciated the plan and the City needed to rethink it. Despite warnings to the City several months ago that the residents would fight the plan, the City ignored the warnings and even tried to explain that the City's previous promises about parking on both sides of the street were not enforceable! The residents expressed their ire to Amy Fowler. 
  Police brutality is nothing compared to the pedestrians that will be forced to cross a busy street and risk death by forcing people to cross a street that used be 4 lanes.  Forcing residents to drive around the block on formerly quiet residential streets increases pollution and destroys the character of the neighborhoods. This City should not increase pollution! What really bothers me is that this City puts in bulbouts and crosswalks to protect pedestrians but forces them to cross the street, despite jaywalking laws!
  Elizabeth Street and 1100 East were supposed to be a safe bicycling route. Remember the Mayor's million dollar McClelland Trail. It used alleyways as safe bicycling paths but almost no one uses it (and the plantings died due to lack of watering).
  When this City did something similar on 1300 East (forcing pedestrians to cross busy streets), it resulted in a death that led to the Yale Crosswalk light. 
  Maybe we should defund the Transportation Department.  
  It remains to be seen if SLC will go through with the plan.
  
SLC IN PROCESS OF CONVERTING ALL ROADS AROUND STATE STREET TO BICYCLE PRIORITY
  SLC is in the process of planning to convert almost all of the roads parallel to State Street to bikeways! At the same time, despite encouraging bike racks on State, the City is refusing to provide bike lanes. Instead the City is planning to plant (during a drought!) the center median instead of converting the useless median to bikelanes and restricting left hand turns to cross streets (left hand turns are dangerous for bicyclists and pedestrians). I think that State Street should have bike lanes. It should not have its speed reduced to 20 MPH and the parallel streets should not all be converted to bikeways. There will be a virtual workshop for the Disneylandification of State Street on June 23. Email kyle.cook@slcgov.com who is in charge of the bikeways study for more information.
  
30 YEAR OLD CAR LICENSE PLATES REMOVE EMISSION CHECKS
  Surprise, the antique car license plates that are available for any car that is at least 30 years old, effectively eliminates emissions checks! Rep. Thurston is working on a bill to reverse that law. 
  Out of about 1.1 million automobile and light truck license plates, 30% of the special plates have less than 100 users. Most have 500 or less users. There is no real guidance on how they are created. The State Tax Commission handles it but they do not want the job. The Legislature gets an average of 10 license plate bills each year but it is unclear how donations are handled. Essentially, anyone with 500 prepaid applications will result in new license plate. There are 2 using the prostate license plate! 11 have been approved but not implemented. 
  
HOMELESS MENS SHELTER LOSES 50 TO NICER CAMPING OUTDOORS
  The weather is so nice and the homeless men's shelter in South Salt Lake is so uninviting that recently over 50 men stopped using it. It was almost fully used during the winter but it is so much nicer to camp out now that there are 50 empty  beds at the men's shelter.
  
900 EAST PROJECT ENCOURAGES DRIVING AND MAKES SLC LOOK POORLY MANAGED
  The 900 East project is closing 900 East for 2 weeks while they put in the 48 inch water pipe to supply water for the Inland Port. Based on the City's construction history, it may take longer (and Highland Drive Canal Project is still not finished!). The City is also ignoring the mobility challenged and closing the wide sidewalk (and wide unwalkable parkstrip) on the westside under I80 that should have been safe for pedestrians. Surely Mayor Mendenhall is not asking mobility restricted persons to walk or drive their wheelchair or have it pushed an extra 4 blocks to avoid the construction of the water pipeline! It should be a no brainer to allow people to use that sidewalk. To not keep it open, even if it takes a temporary fence, is disrespectful, harmful to mobility impaired, and essentially encourages buying an old polluting car and driving. 
  Along the same line, Salt Lake City government will look really stupid if they block the Fairmont Park west parking lot during the well used sports clubs games. They did. The sidewalk was kept open for an extra week but is closed for the week of the 14th of June!
Hopefully, the City will re-evaluate the plans and make a respectful decision. Too many people need to walk or use a wheelchair to get to the store and medical prescriptions from the residences south of I80.
  
UTA LOSES CAROLYN GONOT WHO KNEW MORE THAN ALMOST ALL TOP 10 AT UTA TOGETHER
  Except for UTA Board of Trustee Jeff Acerson, who has been involved in UTA issues for almost 10 years, no one else in the top 10 managers at UTA has the experience that UTA General Manager Carolyn Gonot had. She has accepted a job at her old Santa Clara VTA (the same one that had the mass shooting at their railyard). She spent most of her career there. She will be starting there in July.
  To me, it seemed like she was treated as a gofer, instead of as an experienced transit expert and manager. The UTA Board of Trustees, led by Trustee Carlton Christensen, seemed to have their own agenda and effectively gave her marching orders instead of using her knowledge to make better decisions. Utah's Legislature should investigate the issue of the loss of a great transit manager to ensure that inappropriate Board of Trustee decisions did not lead to her loss.
  
PALMER COURT A DANGER TO FAMILIES
  Palmer Court is getting families. It always was the second biggest medical response draw due to drugs and alcohol. The situation regarding drugs is getting much worse and it is unsafe for families. It used to have cops but now it is just security and they really can't do anything. There are needles just lying around. In other words, Palmer Court is becoming like the Road Home, a place kids should never be exposed to.
  
DRUG DEALERS ENDANGER SOCIETY AND HOMELESS BUT SLCO REFUSES TO INCARCERATE
  The new Utah homeless czar, Wayne Niederhauser was not aware that drug dealers are a threat to the homeless! During a discussion with the Pioneer Park Coalition members, he indicated that he was not aware of the threats and intimidations that homeless endure from the dealers that the Salt Lake County Jail refuses to keep in the County Jail (due to lack of Jail personnel and lack of DA funding. During the audit of the Homeless Resource Centers, it was proven that drugs are still an issue and drug sniffing dogs were recommended. It should also require a better system of security around the Resource Centers since flagrant drug use will get the person kicked out and they will end up just outside being victimize, especially if they are women, by the drug dealers waiting outside. Matt Harris of the U.S. Marshal's office said "We do our part. We expect the system to do their part.
  On another note, Salt Lake City is adding another medical response SUV to the 2 already on call focusing on the Rio Grande area.
  
CONSULTANTS ARE KILLING THIS CITY
  They screwed up Miller Park when they were hired to design an approved CIP to make Miller Park more accessible (but spent so much that there was no money left for the project). They screwed up Foothill Trails. And now they are screwing up one of the great artworks in Salt Lake City by suggesting grinding down the art and suggesting lifeguards if there is any water even 2 inches at Liberty Park's Seven Canyons Fountain. So I guess that we are now supposed to add lifeguards to splash pads!?
  This City is spending over $5 million on preserving buildings that are considered art (the old brick box Mattress Building, but is, at the same time, considering grinding down the Seven Canyons Fountain art donated by O.C. Tanner. It deserves to be protected from consultants.
  
SLC WAR ON CARS CONTINUES WITH REDUCED PARKING ON 2100 S PROJECT
  The Salt Lake City Planning Commission forwarded a positive recommendation to the City Council on CTAG 203 and 221 East 2100 South and 1991 South 200 East for a mixed use project that changes zoning from RMF45 to FB-UN2. The zoning changes to high mixed use from medium high residential. What is important is FB-UN2 is scheduled to eliminate parking requirements with the new parking ordinance since it lists FB-UN2 as a transit area, which does not need parking.
  
SLC IGNORES WATER EMERGENCY, SUSTAINABILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL GOALS
  For several years some of us have encouraged the City to stop planting trees on 2 foot wide park strips because they are not watered enough to live. The City has 7000 trees planted in City parkstrips. The City ignored that and 75 trees died last year due to not being watered. Some died because the bags put on new trees were not supposed to place water around the tree trunks in winter and the City is no longer using them (they also get super hot in summer). So to ignore that and continue to put trees where they don't belong, and waste water, the City is setting up neighborhood friends of trees groups with the community councils so that they can continue to plant trees where they should not be planted, in a drought! Instead of planting the 1000 trees promised for the westside of SLC in park strips that already are underwatered, the City should plant the thousand trees in parks, like the new Glendale Park or the Fleet Block or any other park where the watering of trees can be designed to be appropriate and not wasteful. The Urban Forestry group agrees that they should not plant trees now and will wait until fall to continue planting.
  And the City should stop putting in park strips. The City is removing parking on the eastside of 900 East north of 2700 South but was planning to keep the park strip instead of adding it to the raised shared pedestrian and bike path! 
  Please, if you are reading this, tell the City to stop planting trees in the park strips. The City policy now is to only plant them where they are 3 plus feet wide and volunteers agree to take care of them. But we are in a drought! Stop planting trees and greenery in difficult to water areas (like medians and planter boxes). Some want to extend the tree medians on 700 East (east of Liberty Park) but the City stopped watering those trees during the last drought. They also stopped watering the cemetery then until they got too many complaints. The City guesses how much water Parks and Open Space needs during the budget and then has to make do with that amount. No extra allotment!
  How bad is the City's management of water? They spent a million on the McClelland Trail and plantings but most died due to lack of water. Same with Miller Park, most new plantings died. Interestingly, the Park/Bird Refuge does not have water, so no birds since Mt. Olivet has taken all of the Red Butte Creek water AND the City is planning on cutting down more trees and spraying herbicide to increase fire danger (I am being sarcastic on the very real fire danger.). The City was given some greenery on the 1300 East exit from I80 going west years ago after the first new bridge but since the City didn't water it, it died. The trees just north of that circle also weren't water and died. They died a second death with a fire started by fireworks a few years ago.
  The City also plants trees under power lines (like on Sugarmont) and when the trees grow into power lines, Rocky Mountain Power can remove them and replace them with a small tree someplace else.
  Salt Lake City does not know how to manage water.
  
SLC TRYING TO USE TRANSPORTATION IMPACT FEES FOR OTHER THAN BASIC MAINTENANCE
  The City has decided to use transportation Impact Fees for other than basic maintenance. It is going to use them for prettifying projects, road diets and lane reconfigurations to give higher priority to bicycles.
  
UOFU, WESTMINSTER GETS FREE SLC FIRE DEPARTMENT HAZARDOUS RESPONSE
  The Salt Lake City Fire Department does not charge colleges and universities for hazardous chemical calls! They are essentially free of charge. Although Research Park pays some property tax, the rest of the University of Utah does not and therefore gets free fire services.
  
AGAIN, SLC RDA IGNORES HOUSING POTENTIAL OF STATE STREET
  I am against spending the limited tax increment money from the State Street RDA on making State Street pretty and not putting in bike lanes. I also am against making the UDOT road 20MPH.  The plantings designs during a drought are also questionable since SLC stops watering street plantings during droughts.
  Each TRAX reconfiguration, at $200 million each (see downloads), would cost local taxpayers over $100 million to match the fed money. That $100 million, in my opinion would be better used to buy up the crime magnet motels and close them or buy a hundred electric buses or implement $1 fare or build several pocket libraries or pay cops more. It would take 10 years to get a new TRAX configuration but parks and trees along the 13th South rail spur would be more attractive and used by residents. The alternative proposal by UTA and SLC RDA is to have high speed TRAX trains use it.
  Where are the thousands of affordable housing that RDA staff predicted on the State Street CRA. Salt Lake City has dragged their feet for 7 years with just 2 projects approved. A good form based zoning would open the flood gates to affordable housing construction but the local community councils haven't been told about potential plans so it looks like Salt Lake City is going to wait another 7 years to build the thousands of promised affordable units. The Legislature just passed HB1003 which may force SLC to approve the projects.
  Again, Salt Lake City does not allow housing on the 80% of the City's area despite just approving low income housing in an area that the City said that can't have housing, remember the Airport Inn. We want more housing for the 50,000 International Center employees and in the areas outside of the single family home neighborhoods.
  
SLC COUNCIL WANTS MORE CIP FUNDING

  I put the CIP presentation in the downloads. The City Council increased funding for CIP to 7% so the CIP presentation is a little old (presented June 1). The new CIP will have public hearings on July 13 and August 17th.
  The CIP Capital Improvement Program involves the construction, purchase or renovation of buildings, parks, streets or other physical structures. Generally, projects have a useful life of five or more years and costs $50,000 or more. The Council approves debt service and overall CIP funding in the annual budget process, while project-specific funding is approved by September 1 of the same year. (The City is scheduled to approve the $58 million bond for the Mayor's listed projects at the same time since the $3+ million first interest payment on the proposed bond has to come out of it.)
  
UTA APPROVES INEQUITABLE FARE ANALYSIS
  UTA has approved their latest fare analysis that says the lower income areas of the Wasatch Front (generally west of I15) are getting adequate and equitable treatment of bus service! I disagree. When UTA provides free fare to college students using the new VMX in Provo and the soon to be Ogden BRT for Weber State, the riders can ride free, unlike all of the rest of the riders who have to pay $2.50. That is wrong and inequitable.
  
SALT LAKE CITY RECOGNIZES NEIGHBORS OF RESOURCE CENTERS TRASHED
  The Homeless Outreach Team, HEART, is working with Advantage Services to place and service trash receptacles throughout the City in places that frequently see abandoned debris. The following locations have been suggested:
• North Temple from 800-900 W
• 800 S from Main to West Temple
• Near Geraldine E. King Center
• Near Gail Miller Resource Center
• Rio Grande Street
• Cottonwood Park/Jordan River Trail
 
SALT LAKE CITY PROPOSING A 900 SOUTH BRIDGE OR TUNNEL OVER THE RAIL TRACKS
  Salt Lake City is asking the County and State for transportation funds ($4.2 million) to design and start a 900 South bridge or tunnel for pedestrians and bicyclists to go over or under the rail lines at 650 West and 900 South. The City believes that it will take 10 plus years but it should be done sooner. I hope most of the money is used for the bicycle pedestrian and wheelchair bridge on the north side of 900 South (required for 23.5' spacing above rail cars) and it is not wasted on consultants. 
  There is also a grant application for a Red Butte Creek Trail to go under Foothill Drive.
  
SLC MOSQUITO ABATEMENT WANTS ANOTHER TAX INCREASE
  The SLC Mosquito Abatement group is asking for another "moderate" tax increase and showed a presentation of the tax increases from 2017 that showed small increases. But in 2016, the Mosquito Abatement group got a 50% tax increase. In addition, a lot of funding was lost when the Inland Port took some of their funding, despite Mosquito Abatement being very important there. Mosquito abatement is scientifically justifiable but the budget increase after a 50% increase in 2016 and a decrease in Inland Port property assessment is wrong. Until the Inland Port contracts for appropriate mosquito abatement, the mosquito district should not increase their budget.
 
SLC CUTTING AND POISONING TREES THAT STABILIZE MILLER PARK SLOPES AGAIN
  Salt Lake City appears to be clueless about why deep rooted trees like black locusts should be planted on slopes. Colleges keep teaching that the trees are nuisance trees but farmers and real life land managers know that the 20 foot deep roots of the black locusts are important for stabilizing slopes like in Miller Park. In addition to cutting them this month, they are also poisoning them during bird nesting season! So the birds, the few that remain, are going to see their little birdies die of herbicide poisoning. The herbicide poison is not supposed to be used in a riparian corridor but SLC keeps ignoring herbicide applications. They killed a lot of cemetery grass a few years ago. Salt Lake City does not know how to manage parks. 



 M
AY 2021

SLC USES UOFU TO REDESIGN 22K ADT 2100 SOUTH
  During the Sugar House Community Council Transportation meeting in May, Lynn Jacobs, the SLC Transportation Local Link manager, presented the University of Utah student class findings on a proposed redesign of 2100 South. The groups were broken up into 4 categories - transit, bike, pedestrian and emerging technologies. Vehicles were surprisingly absent. I put a summary of the findings in a short PDF presentation in the downloads section. The plan is to reconstruct 2100 South in 2022. There is significant pressure to prioritize 2100 South for bicycling and reduce travel lanes to 2 from 4. The categories that did not include vehicles is evidence of the pressure to prioritize 2100 South for bicycling and pedestrians.
  The 4 travel lanes, with several left hand turn lanes at major streets, have an average daily trips (ADT) of 22,000 to 28,000 according to a 2019 UDOT study. In 2010 there were 22,000 to 26,000 ADT.
  In 2019, bus route 21 had about 2100 daily ridership while it is about 700 now. The S-Line ridership in 2019 was about 1300 daily ridership (1600 on weekends) while it is about 650 now. Ridership on 21 was about 2000 daily ridership before the S-Line.
  The pedestrian analysis suggested removing the minimal on street parking and widen the sidewalks and eliminating the center median to reallocate space to sidewalks. It also suggested restricting left hand turns (I agree). The analysis also suggested narrowing sidewalks to 6 feet on the north side and widening the sidewalk on the south side to 12 feet. This is called offset sidewalk. BUT THE SOUTH SIDE GETS ICE AND THAT REMAINS DUE TO THE SHADOW OF CLOSE TO SIDEWALK BUILDINGS! It also suggested going to 3 lanes in select areas! ROAD DIETS INCREASE CONGESTION AND POLLUTION WHEN IMPLEMENTED NEAR 20,000 ADT. The 900 West road diet increased accidents three times!
  The bike group recommended raised bike lanes and eliminate one through lane in each direction (increasing congestion and pollution) and add a separated bike lane (which the City does not respectfully maintain except once every 7 weeks). It recommends eliminating park strips and adding bike lanes.
  The transit group suggested using one lane in each direction for a shared bus and bike lane. The emerging technologies group suggested using intelligent traffic lights that give priority to buses. UDOT has a better system on Redwood Road that only gives buses a green light if there are a large number of riders on the bus. UDOT is also suggesting an advanced bus system on 5600 West (where UTA wants to build a BRT, that UTA has never proved to be successful).
  During the presentation to the SHCC group, Lynn asked for feedback and "What should be our priority? Transit? Bike/Ped?" Note that vehicles, despite over 30,000 individuals use it in vehicles per day, was not considered. I encourage readers to email lynn.jacobs@slcgov.com with your comments.
  Other subjects that Lynn is looking for feedback on include:
  4-5 lanes vs. 3 lanes + amenities? (IT IS OBVIOUS THAT VEHICLES SHOULD HAVE PRIORITY WITH 4-5 LANES.)
  Trees? (SLC IS CUTTING TREES IN SKINNY PARK STRIPS AND NOT REPAIRING SIDEWALKS SO WHY IS SLC STILL TRYING TO PLANT TREES IN PARK STRIPS? THE POLICY IS NOW NOT TO PLANT TREES IN PARK STRIPS LESS THAN 3 FEET WIDE BUT TREES STILL DIE SINCE THE PARK STRIPS ARE USUALLY NOT WATERED.)
  Parking? (I AGREE THAT THE MINIMAL ON STREET PARKING IS NOT NEEDED SINCE THEY HAVE NEARBY SIDE STREETS AND PARKING LOTS. THE ON STREET PARKING DOES NOT ALLOW A DOOR TO BE OPENED SINCE IT INTERFERES WITH TRAFFIC.)
  Bike Lanes? (RAISED BIKE LANES ON WIDER SIDEWALKS MAKE MORE SENSE AND BICYCLISTS USE SIDEWALKS NOW ANYWAY.)
  Wider Sidewalks? (YES)
  Transit Enhancements? (NO EXCEPT PUT THE BUS STOPS WHERE THEY MAKE SENSE, NOT AWAY FROM STORES AND TRANSFERS.)
  Park Strips vs Tree Wells? (REMOVE THEM AND MOVE THE TREES THAT SLC EVENTUALLY CUTS DOWN.)
  Street Furniture? (REMOVE FURNITURE SINCE THEY INTERFERE WITH SHARING THE SIDEWALK WITH BICYCLES, PEDESTRIANS AND STROLLERS.)
  Center Islands/Medians? (NO! THEY SHOULD NOT BE USED ON A MAJOR TRUCK ROUTE!)
  Turn Restrictions? (YES EXCEPT AT TRAFFIC SIGNAL CROSS STREETS. LEFT TURNS ENDANGER PEDESTRIANS AND BICYCLISTS.)
  Frequency of Pedestrian Crossings (I WAS WRONG BEFORE WHEN I OBJECTED TO THE CROSSING LIGHTS EVERY HALF BLOCK IN THE SUGAR HOUSE BUSINESS DISTRICT. THEY SEEM TO WORK WELL.)
  
ARMED ROBBER PALACIOS CARBAJAL WAS JUSTIFIABLY SHOT ONE YEAR AGO
  About a year ago, Bernardo Palacios Carbajal was shot by police after robbing 3 victims at gunpoint. He had pled guilty to robbery 6 months before and was sentenced to 1-15 years in prison. Instead of being sent to prison, the judge sentenced him to 30 days in Salt Lake County Jail. That should tell you that there is a systemic problem with our public safety system. After robbing the 3 victims, he was chased by and surrounded by 2 officers who ordered him many times to drop his gun. But each time he did, he picked it up! The last time, he picked it up with two hands and it was obvious that someone was going to die. In my opinion, the officers were within a second of death and they started shooting. Despite being shot full of bullets, Bernardo was able to turn over and raise his gun which led to the officers shooting him again. It bothered a lot of people to see that he was shot in the back but if you are next to him and you see him pick up a gun with two hands, an officer should not wait until they turn around to start shooting him. Many also were upset about the number of bullets shot into him. But if one understands why Utah's John Browning invented the 1911 .45 caliber (which Bernardo was carrying) and why the FBI went to higher caliber AND why they call assassins assassins, then this incident should not be a surprise.
  Black Lives Matter Utah's self appointed leader Lex Scott complained that this shows that police brutality and the DA's ruling of justified is evidence of discrimination against people of color. I find this incident to be one of the most justifiable police shootings. In my opinion, Lex Scott has abrogated her responsibility to the real Black Lives Matter movement. I still think that our Salt Lake City Police are the best trained officers at de-escalation in the State and the most fair and respectful at providing service. Most of people who cops shoot should be incarcerated since they are threats to society. Palacios-Carbajal was one of those.
  
UTA and SLC SECRETLY APPROVE S-LINE ON HIGHLAND
  At the end of a discussion of the S-Line and Local Link study that Lynn Jacobs is conducting for Salt Lake City, he hinted that the future path of the S-Line will be recommended for Highland Drive going south. The next day, the Transportation Interim Committee heard a presentation by UTA about corridor preservation and their plans to buy $1.6 million in property around Highland Drive when the study results are made public. Of course they seem to have already discussed it. I put the presentation in the downloads section.
  I am concerned about the rush to send the S-Line to Millcreek when the Salt Lake City residents on Highland have not been told that surprise, we are going to take millions of your property, hit you with eminent domain, ruin your mountain views, lower your property values (assessor believes rail decreases value - see story below) and destroy safe bicycling on your street in order to provide a fiscally irresponsible rail to Millcreek and fulfill Mayor Silvistrini's dream. This assumes that the Salt Lake City residents on the street won't mind spending hundreds of million of local taxpayer funds to match the bottomless federal barrel of money required for the project. I realize it is a dream of Millcreek. But it is wrong to even think of spending $1.6 million way before Salt Lake City agrees to this path. Despite dreams to the contrary, the S-Line did not encourage development of Sugar House. Salt Lake City Planning attributes the growth to the highest open space and parks in the City. And I agree.
  In 2013, Stacey and Witbeck said that $5 million would take it to Highland. Now, the $12 million that the Legislature, with encouragement from the Millcreek Economic Development Director Rep. Mike Winder, will take it to Highland but it seems that Millcreek is encouraging it to wind around to I80 then go south on Highland Drive. A recent UTA presentation shows using the $12 mil to go west on Sugarmont. Millcreek is pushing to go south. Soren Simonsen (and I) is recommending it go to Sugar House Park since it is the area's greatest destination and destinations make rail successful. It is the best destination evidenced by weekend S Line ridership on weekends that is higher. During the 2013 riot at City Hall that resulted in the City Council setting the preferred alternative as going north on 1100 East (something that Erin Mendenhall, several times has endorsed), the SLC Council did not consider that the 28 foot right of way needed for 2 S70 vehicles is not available on 1100 E plus the mountain views impacts. Both will result in a fight whether it goes north or south.
  I need to also point out that UTA has been misusing eminent domain (in my opinion). They were slapped down by the Utah Supreme Court for trying to lowball a land grab from the Carlsons in Sandy. That land grab was much bigger than needed for the TRAX station and was used to give a developer free land. UTA got 5% of the profit from the future profits, if any. UTA destroyed a small business, the Hamblin Furniture Company for a parking lot! The Hamblins valiantly fought for almost 10 years before giving up. The UVX property took 5 years to get and was not finalized until 2 years of operation. The Ogden BRT needs the property of a 7/11 according to UTA instead of an empty parking lot 100 feet north! That 7/11 is one of the most important stores in the area but UTA does not believe that anything is as important as UTA. And again, I think that UTA is being disrespectful to bus riders by making the Ogden BRT free for 3 years at the same time as insisting that $2.50 a ride on a regular bus makes sense!
   
SLC IGNORES PROMISE AND REMOVES PARKING ON HIGHLAND DRIVE
  Several times, during discussion in the Sugar House Community Council, we indicated that the idea of removing parking on the westside of Highland Drive is a really dangerous and bad and disrespectful idea. Salt Lake City Transportation insisted that all of that parking is not needed as it has on 500 East, 27th South and several other streets. During an attempt to remove parking in the 9th and 9th area, there was a near riot at the East Liberty Park Community Council and the City backed down. Interestingly enough, the 1700 South road diet was being pushed by developers that wanted more on street parking. Councilman Mano has a career specializing in infill projects that depend on on street parking. 
  In 2006, the City implemented a road diet on Highland Drive with the promise that the residents south of I80 would have on street parking. But the City said, when reminded of that promise, that they don't have to keep promises! So now, under pressure from Millcreek that is the impetus to reconfigure Highland Drive in the way that Millcreek wants (that effort was slowed down last year under protest from SLC citizens), the City has decided that parking on the westside will be removed when the street is chip sealed and restriped. So the jaywalking law will be ignored and the many older, long term residents of the street will have to cross a busy road (be quick or die) to get to their cars! I expect a lot of deaths from this SLC Transportation Department.
  I have an idea! What do you think of DEFUND SLC TRANSPORTATION?
UTAH PLANS TO REQUIRE ALL VEHICLES TO USE MILEAGE TRACKING BY 2031
  During a presentation at the Transportation Interim Legislature Committee, UDOT showed a slide that suggested plans to have all registered vehicles in a Road Usage Charge (RUC) program by 2031. That plan is due to the Legislature, particularly Senator Harper, putting pressure on UDOT to report on their RUC efforts and force personal vehicles to pay for their mileage! I still think that it sounds like big brother and it discriminates against rural citizens and businesses.
Gasoline taxes can provide fair road funding
  Discussion on how to fairly and adequately fund road maintenance should include whether a ten cent a gallon gas tax increase would resolve concerns. The Road Usage Charge (RUC) program has about 2000 electric vehicles providing data to help determine if changing Utah's road maintenance funding from gasoline taxes makes sense. The UDOT report is due in this summer. 
  Other states also have pilot evaluations in progress or completed. California's program report recommends "exploring the feasibility of a pay at the pump model" for road charging (due to pushback with other methods). That appears to be the only way to alleviate significant pushback due to big brother concerns. (Note that Salt Lake City provides free charging stations.) Electricity users already pay taxes and Utah should consider shifting some of those funds to UDOT when the electric vehicle use significantly increases.
   Even if half of the vehicle sales in 2035 are electric vehicles, the majority of vehicles will use gasoline for at least another 10 years (based on vehicles historically being used for decades). Utah gasoline sales have been increasing for the last 10 years, except for 2020 due to the pandemic. Despite more fuel efficient vehicles, a larger majority of vehicles on the road are larger and are less fuel efficient. One can watch all of the commercials for gasoline vehicles on evening news to understand the continuing interest in gasoline powered vehicles. Gasoline vehicle sales have doubled in the last 10 years.
  As mentioned during a recent legislative hearing, there is no evidence that electric vehicles are a big burden on roads. It was pointed out that most electric vehicles usually don't drive as much or as far as gasoline vehicles and they usually are slowly driven on local roads.
  The effort to shift road revenue from gas taxes to RUC also ignores the impact that larger vehicles have on the road. A small electric vehicle may weigh less than 4000 pounds but a big SUV or truck may be double that. Large commercial trucks can pay almost $20,000 in fees to compensate for their impact on roads. Big SUVs pay more with gasoline taxes since they are usually less fuel efficient. The RUC systems do not presently take into account vehicle weight, road impacts and whether they are driven on local roads or highways. A 10 cent a gallon gasoline tax increase would solve that problem.
  Ironically, a lot of the complaints that Utah does not collect enough for road maintenance is due to the gasoline tax system that was changed a few years ago to increase taxes to a percentage instead of a simple and larger 10 cents a gallon increase. Former State Senator Van Tassel's proposal was replaced by a more complicated system that is still not providing the recommended revenue to maintain our State's highways.
  As of 2021, there were 10,569 electric vehicles on Utah's roads and 51,873 hybrid vehicles registered out of a total of 2,539,729 Utah vehicles. Electic vehicles have increased 940% since 2015 and hybrids have increased 101%. All vehicles have increased 21% since 2015. In 2020, there were 97,000 gasoline vehicles sold, 11,582 diesels, 4170 hybrids, 2227 electric and 454 plug in hybrids sold in Utah.
  A UDOT 2015 study suggested that with current trends, hybrid and EV adoption in 2040 would be either 5%, or with moderate adoption 57%. Aggressive adoption would give 75% in 2040. But Bloomberg expects EV sales to increase and comprise 10% of sales by 2025 and 58% by 2040. So gasoline vehicles will still be the majority of vehicles on the road up until 2050. I put the report in the downloads section.
  
SLC LOSES 7 OFFICERS IN LESS THAN 2 WEEKS DUE TO POOR PAY
  We have discussed this many times in previous stories, Salt Lake City does not pay its Police Officers enough to keep them. In 2020, this City lost 38 to resignations and 14 to retirement! There were 7 resignation in the first 2 weeks in May! Chief Brown said that it could be that Taylorsville is picking some of them up but Riverton and Herriman are also staffing up their new police departments. Here is a reality check, the starting wage for SLCPD officers is $21 and hour! (See the FY21 Police salary in the downloads.) That is just a little more than a McDonalds worker and less than a new bus driver! This City trains officers (both new and ongoing) with the best de-escalation training simulation system in the State but it won't pay enough to keep them from taking their training to another department! 
  This City is down around 100 now and probably will be down 130 or more by the end of the year. About 16% of the sworn force is unavailable (the Chief said that we are down 84 this month). It will take 10 months to get through the Academy. Despite the new officers going through the Academy (24 to come online in December) and the 12 laterals that take 1/2 the time to train, the Chief said that "this is not a real lifting of the hiring freeze. It is an attempt to fill the authorized positions."
  Police losing 7 in a week should be a wake up call to pay our first responders more than this City thinks is appropriate. Police not being able to respond until the next day should be a wake up call to pay police more than this budget calls for (the Chief went on a ridealong and in one call, the SLCPD didn't respond until the next day). The Mayor, as a Councilwoman, fought to add 50 new cops years ago and won but now we are in the hole and we want police response to be within an hour not 24 hours.
 It is incredibly poor management to spend 10 months and run police through the best de-escalation training system in Utah and lose them to other departments due to poor pay. Police need funding now, especially if it will take years to recover to provide the service this City's citizens are requesting and were promised. It is a public safety crisis for residents who can't get police to respond to threats. It actually encourages people to buy and carry guns. If violent crime is up 60% in one area, they don't want to hear defunding the police, they demand more police. Hundreds may want to defund the police but I know tens of thousands want more police now. There are about 10,000 calls for police response in Salt Lake City a month. Ironically police are being forced to assist and protect anti police protesters, that's a really sad commentary on our City. This city promised a certain level of policing. I urge this City to keep its promise to provide an appropriate level of police staffing. This City's budget should be planning on 100 Academy graduates this year but the best they can do now is maybe by the end of 2022 when the City will be down 200 cops.
  In a similar vein, the Law Enforcement Interim Committee heard a presentation on the crisis in retention in law enforcement. Rep. Gwynn (ran HB151) is pushing a survey that at present shows that only 25% of sworn officers in the State recommend law enforcement as a career. He is studying how to keep officers from going to other states or retiring and going to other jobs. That loss of institutional knowledge creates a crisis in law enforcement. He said that Box Elder training costs $142,000. 
  As a way to increase law enforcement recruitment, the Legislature fixed the year old law that allowed non-citizens to apply to the POST Police Academy. Unfortunately, the Legislature forgot that the law had to be changed to allow non-citizen applicants to apply to police departments! That change in the law was recently made to correct the embarrassing oversight.
  Budget Amendment 9 in Salt Lake City also refunds $510,000 of police impact fees that could have/should have/would have gone to the promised east precinct. This City's officers have to drive 40 minutes from the Pioneer Precinct to answer calls in the east/Sugar House area.
  There was also an update on rape. In 2020, there were a reported 698 incidents. That was probably down due to COVID. 84 kits were sent to the lab. It looks like it will be up in 2021. Some of the kits are restricted labeled that are collected but are not tested and just generic info is collected due to the survivor is unsure what to do. 221 were sent to the DA. 131 victims were unsure what to do. Some reports by phone results in challenging prosecutions. Many survivors do not want to retell their story. They just want to move on. In 2014, it took a year and a half to get CODIS profile kits back. It is 30 days now but the investigation has to ensure that other consensual partners are not involved. This area is a difficult area to get better at.
  
SLC LIBERTY PARK BIKE SQUAD SUCCESSES
  A recent stabbing in Liberty Park led to SLCPD Bicycle Squad officers to quickly locate and apprehend the stabbing suspect who was booked into jail on multiple felonies. A vehicle was stopped for traffic violations. The driver had multiple felony warrants, as did the passenger. Officers recovered a stolen firearm, 14.4 grams of meth, 3 grams of cocaine and 5.1 grams of heroin. The driver and passenger were booked into jail on warrants and federal charges are pending. These situations were taken care of by the Liberty Park Bike Squad.
  The Central Bike Squad was able to apprehend a suspect in a recent shooting who had multiple felony warrants for his arrest.
  The Pioneer Bike officers conducted a vehicle stop after the driver committed several moving violations. During the course of the investigation, police discovered a stolen handgun, 16 pounds of meth (street value $130,000), and $770 in cash in the vehicle. This resulted in 3 arrested and booked into jail.
  The SLCPD also released statistics on Project Safe Neighborhoods:
58 defendants charged
17 drug trafficking cases
2 robberies
8 other federal charges
40 illegal firearms recovered
$116,435 in cash seized
drugs seized included: 3.8 kg meth, 2.5 kg of heroin, 1.8 kg of cocaine and .02 kg of crack!
  
SLC ROAD DIET HISTORY SHOWS SLC DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO MAKE ROADS SAFER
  Again, there is a significant effort to do a road diet on 2100 South. I think that that is wrong. Salt Lake City has tried several road diets, all of them were contentious and dividing the communities surrounding them. The 1300 East road diet provided parking for residents but the resulting mile long backup (ADT was beyond what was recommended by studies in order to not increase congestion and pollution) resulted in pollution surrounding the 1300 East homes that some scientists say were seven times the pollution in the rest of the Valley. The other effects were increased traffic on 1100 East, 1500 East, 2100 East and especially on Foothill. We tried to encourage drivers (during a SHCC Transportation meeting) to use 700 East and Foothill Drive and asked UDOT for signage that encouraged that. East Bench is still upset about Foothill's increase in traffic. Finally, the original goal of the road diet was to make the street more bikable but it did the opposite (to bike squad officers who tested it out). The previous 4 lanes with Utah's requirement to stay 3 feet away from bicyclists made that safer. Plus the parked cars made bicycling on the street much more dangerous, not just from the pollution. And finally, due to the decrease in traffic breaks, a kid was killed trying to cross 1300 East at Yale. That is why there is a pedestrian light there.
  Sunnyside was also going to have a road diet but the community rose up in arms against it and stopped it. The downhill sharrows was a compromise (sharrows work on 1700 S. and Sunnyside because they go downhill). The 2100 South road diet proposal also divided the community 50/50 and the resulting hate and discontent stopped the proposal. I know that some say that bad information was used against the proposal but I did not see that. The issue came down to not wanting to increase pollution on a road that has over 20,000 ADT per day and send traffic trying to avoid the obvious backups through adjacent, quiet side streets.
  The 900 West road diet is the best example of promises to reduce accidents being too optimistic. Accidents increased 300%! The community tried to sue the City. The City eventually realized that the 900 W. 1300 S. intersection was made more dangerous and was changed to increase safety. The 1300 S. road diet was also contentious but the City only gave the Community Council a month's notice and delivered the news by saying: " We are going to reduce the 4 lanes to 2 next month. What do you think about that?" That was not received well. The residents were furious after implementation since they couldn't get out of their driveways due to the constant line of traffic and lowered visibility since the road diet moved traffic closer to the curb. The 1700 S. road diet proposal also divided the community and resulted in a fight in the community council that is still simmering.
  Another important consideration that should be thought about when considering road diets is the potential for high traffic/volume stores and restaurants to back up traffic. Chick a Fil is notorious at evening rush hour for creating a backup at 1200 East and 2100 South (going east) due to the inadequate parking and drive through length. A road diet will effectively block traffic for blocks. When Monument Plaza was being reconstructed, when the road became 2 lanes due to construction, the backup went to 700 East!
  Many studies warn of the potential for increased congestion and pollution if traffic approaches 19,000 ADT. 1300 South was around 10,000 ADT and even then the resulting constant traffic was considered more dangerous by residents because it made it almost impossible to safely back out of their driveways. 
  I agree that 2100 South could benefit from a bike lane (even though Parleys Trail was held out to be the east west bike path). The best compromise for the hundreds that may be interested in a 2100 South bike path would be to have a shared sidewalk that is widened to take in the parking indentations that are from Lincoln to 1300 South. Almost all of the businesses that do use them, have on site parking. The CW Urban building requires residents to pay for on site parking so they also shouldn't need it. A raised and shared wide 10 ft plus sidewalk would help create a safer bicycling path. Bicycles already use the sidewalk. Again, 2100 South should be prioritized for the almost 30,000 in vehicles who use it daily. The hundreds of bicyclists who want to have a safer bicycle path shouldn't have to fight a war (it will come close to that) to get a safer bike path. The raised shared sidewalk (900 East is trying and it will be a good proof of concept) is the best reasonable and respectful solution for encouraging safer bicycling in Sugar House.
  I also have noted an increase in efforts to reduce speeds on 2100 South to 20 MPH. That would essentially make the adjacent, quiet, neighborhood streets a good alternative for traffic. But the single family home neighborhoods should not have to endure the increase in unsafe traffic. An arterial like 2100 South is important to have a higher speed limit that adjacent side streets.
  Another important safety concept that is missing from this City's plan to create 3 lane roads from 4 lanes roads is left hand turns and the center turn lanes that encourage left hand turns significantly increase dangers for bicyclists and pedestrians. That is why I encourage this City to discourage left hand turns except at cross streets. I walk a lot and I watch a lot of cars ignore pedestrians and bicyclists while turning left because they are watching for oncoming traffic.
  The lessons learned from Salt Lake City's history of road diets should be obvious. Road diets should not increase congestion or pollution or shift traffic to other streets or decrease safety for bicyclists or pedestrians. And finally, the community needs to buy in or almost totally agree to the road diet. In almost all cases, the proposals have divided the community and basic traffic engineering rules say that implementing traffic changes without community buy in does not work well. 
  
ANGER AT CONSULTANTS GROWS 7 CANYONS ART & FOOTHILLS DESTRUCTION 
  Another effort to destroy one of the greatest pieces of art in Salt Lake County, gifted by O.C. Tanner, is underway. Despite a previous consultant's suggestions to grind down the mountains, the City told the community that it would restore the water feature and art with minimal change. But a new consultant has decided that the City should destroy the artpiece and not put in a little water in the feature. The reasoning of the consultant is that County law requires a lifeguard if there is more than a 2" water level. Splash pads have more water!! This County has never said that lifeguards are necessary for splash pads!
  The original complaint was that there is bacteria in the water and kids shouldn't be in it with dogs. Kids were using it as a splash pad (dogs use splash pads too).  This City is now paying a consultant twice! This City should stop using consultants. The City should not be looking for an excuse to destroy one of this city's great pieces of art.
  This City encourages planting and overwatering park strips; and puts trees in useless park strips (next to parks); and puts in new planters that will probably never get watered; and spends a million on fixing up alleyways but doesn't water the plants (they died); spends hundreds of thousands on Miller Park plantings but doesn't water and many die, but this City is concerned about a little recirculating fountain!? This City has no problem spending $5 million on restoring an old brick box, the mattress store as an important piece of art but wants to destroy a much more important piece of art??!! What is this City thinking?
  Now, another consultant's clueless thinking. The Foothill Trails Plan, which I enthusiastically encouraged, is using a clueless consultant that thinks tearing up a path in a slope is going to be a stable path. Basic civil engineering should have been used to realize that cutting into a slope will destabilize it. It could result in a mudslide downhill into homes! This City needs to stop using consultants.
  I need to add something that I reported recently. The Miller Park ADA CIP was authorized several years ago to make Miller Park accessible to wheelchairs but the City hired and paid a consultant so much that there isn't enough money to make the Park accessible to wheelchairs. AGAIN, SALT LAKE CITY - STOP USING CLUELESS CONSULTANTS.
  
CATALYTIC CONVERTER THEFT CRIME WAVE
  In 2010, there were 110 catalytic converter thefts reported. In 2020, there were 654 catalytic converter thefts reported. In 2021, to April, over 300 catalytic converter thefts were reported. 
  The metal recyclers are getting away with murder. Out of the 13 audited, only 4 were in compliance and the rest received warnings! No charges on the recyclers that were a big part of the problem. It is even worse than reported since a vehicle owner needs full insurance to cover the cost. The converters do not usually have an imprint number that can be traced back to a certain car so it is almost impossible to return a recovered stolen converter to the car owner. The Utah Attorney General and several police agencies (not including SLCPD) created a task force that targeted catalytic converter thefts and 124 recovered in 3 weeks. But the Salt Lake County Jail does not consider these thieves to be dangerous and almost immediately releases them.
  
5G POLES NEED CAMERAS AND ANTI GRAFFITI PAINT
  This City is ignoring basic community engagement and is rubber stamping 5G towers. Instead of rubber stamping the poles that are showing up in very inconvenient places - mainly in park strips, the City should be requiring basic design standards to make them look like decorative lights, require anti graffiti paint and cleanup maintenance, allow City Police cameras (can be still cameras or a picture each second) that provide information to the police and engage the public to let them know what is coming and where. This City is not making residents happy.
  
AIRPORT PUSHES ONE MILE WALK
  The new SLC Airport is open and it is a bust. Many flyers have to walk almost a mile in the underground tunnel to many of the gates. The little electric carts that used to take mobility challenged to the gates were stopped due to lawsuits! So now the Airport supposedly has the longest walk in the U.S.! The Salt Lake City Council knows about it but it is not planning to fix it. Big mismanagement by Salt Lake City.
  
SLTRIB WRONG. PEOPLE WITH GUNS CAN BE SHOT JUSTIFIABLY BY COPS
  "Police officers in Utah are now prohibited from shooting at someone if the person is suicidal but isn’t a threat to anyone else."
I was the one during the public committee hearing that pointed out that officers shouldn't be punished for shooting someone with a gun. Senator Thatcher asked about that and the Asst SLCO DA assured the committee that it did not apply if that person was carrying a gun. ACLU Marina Lowe said that it would be very useful when the person had a knife and related her experience in a lawsuit involving a knife. The copresenter of the bill, Ms. James (whose son was shot by police after several robberies) said that it would have saved her son. I disagreed and the Asst DA emphasized that it did not apply to a suicidal person with a gun. The bill was changed to not apply to guns due to pushback from Legislators.
  The story by Pulitzer Class reporter Jessica Miller, did show that there is a need for better handling policies. Rep. Eliasen pointed out a couple of years ago that typical police response can make the situation worse. Surrounding  someone with a gun with cops, cop cars and emergency lights, can make it worse. It can justify shooting the person who is suicidal by saying that they were likely to shoot another cop. That is a policy issue that should be discussed further.  
  
CALIFORNIA RUNS UTAH POWER GENERATION
  The CAISO effort to combine western power ISOs seems to have evolved into the Energy Imbalance Market in the West. Although the EIM launched in 2014, the goal and greatest achievement of EIM (according to CAISO) is it reduces cutting renewable power when too much is being produced. Before EIM, the power cost could go below zero. Now the EIM, through CAISO, can send the renewable power to other states and ISOs. That removes demand for Utah generated power. PacifiCorp is part of this EIM.
  The President of CAISO, Elliot Mainzer, said recently (https://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/californias-path-to-carbon-neutral-grid) "We’re not going to be running coal and will be significantly reducing our dependence on natural gas plants.... The LA Dept of Water and Power plant is being retrofitted to run on green hydrogen..... Initially it will burn a combination of natural gas and hydrogen; the aim is to have it entirely powered by green hydrogen by 2045".
   It appears that Utah power customers and providers of fuel to the LA plant could be negatively impacted by CAISO. I still think that LA and CAISO should not be trusted. They seem to be controlling power generated and used in Utah. 
  
SLC WORKS ON TWO PARALLEL STREETS AT ONCE
  Despite warnings that this City should not be working on two parallel streets at the same time, Transportation and Engineering and the City assured us many times that they wouldn't. But the City tried to tear up 1100 East during the 1300 East project. We stopped them. They tried to tear up 1100 East this year too and even told the businesses along the street before they realized that 900 East would be torn up at the same time. So they put on their thinking caps and said nevermind. We warned the City about the Highland Canal project and we were assured that it would be finished before the 900 East project started. But it is not finished. AND the City wants to put a chip seal on Highland and IT WILL ONLY TAKE A DAY OR TWO OF BEING CLOSED! (While 900 East is going to be closed for 2 weeks in June for the 48" water line installation! I don't get it. Who doesn't get basic construction management?
  
LEGISLATIVE SUMMARY MAY 2021
  This Legislative Special Session for May had several important bill passed:
SB1003 tightens e-cigarette and nicotine product sales giving health department oversight
HB1004 gives Governor ability to give grants from ARPA funds to local governments special districts, housing security affordable housing, water, sewer, training matching with a grants committee recommendation.
sb1008 speeds up double tracking and S-Line construction using cash on hand and later using borrowing (UTA has over $355 million burning a hole in their pocket)
hb1003 returns vetoed hb98 which forces cities to allow developers to get a permit if the city does not quickly act on the application
hb1007 prohibits governments from forcing face coverings for students
hb1006 allows a sheriff or bail commissioner to release an individual from a county jail on the individual's own recognizance if arrested without a warrant or no probable cause, except for DUI or drug driving with serious bodily injury. It also requires the sheriff to have a public written policy relating to release.
  
SLC WILL NOT HIRE SOCIAL WORKERS FOR A WHILE
  Salt Lake City keeps promising more social workers but since they are in very high demand (they get paid more than starting cops!), the City won't start interviewing until July, hiring 3 in September, and 3 more in January. The social workers are limited by the lack of officers.
  In my opinion, social workers should not be considered an appropriate or safe response to homeless when drugs are endemic in most of our homeless population. I believe that drug use in our homeless population in the last few years have doubled or maybe even tripled. Partly due to the homeless being thrown out of homeless shelters for egregiously using drugs and you really have to openly use drugs to get thrown out. Many homeless use them to help with their mental issues. Due to the significant drug use, exacerbated by the County Jail refusing to jail drug dealers, social workers may be faced with a calm person who in less than a second can turn into a violent person who could need 5 officers to control. There may be some experienced and well trained people who can de-escalate critical situations but not everyone has help nearby if they get out of hand. People on drugs kill their loved ones.  
  Several cops have been killed trying to check on the safety or health of someone and they get shot in the process. Two cops were recently shot by someone hanging out on the grass (who should have been in Jail)!  
  What I am trying to say is that there is no substitute for a properly trained police officer response. that is a sad commentary on our situation but it is reality. THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR A PROPERLY TRAINED POLICE OFFICER.
  
SLC IMPACTS TRAFFIC SAFETY BY ALLOWING BUILDINGS TO SIDEWALK ON CORNERS
  Salt Lake City has made the 400 East and 2100 South corner dangerous by allowing a building to go up next to the sidewalk. Transportation authorized it as not having an impact on traffic safety but that is not true. The construction is making it worse and Transportation believes that it will be much better after construction is finished. According to Works Director Danny Astill “They have a level of service that they apply to each intersection and tells them what they have to do to make it safe and accommodate a development." But the only solution to residents that are afraid to turn left onto 2100 South is a light or to go to 500 East. The City needs to require wider sidewalks. This is a war on pedestrians and cars!
  
HOMELESS RESOURCE CENTERS ARE DRUG HAVENS
  During the Legislature's Interim Audit Committee hearing, (in the downloads section) the Homeless Resource Centers followup audit shows that drugs and drug use are still a problem inside AND OUTSIDE Salt Lake County’s three new homeless resource centers. Neighborhoods that hosted the homeless shelters were promised increased security to discourage criminal behavior around the shelters. That has not happened. In one recent case, a man was killed within a block of the Resource Center. Drug users do not have the right to use drugs in public, on sidewalks, or in parks but this City allows it. The auditors recommended a no brainer. Use drug dogs to stop drugs from getting into the centers and clamp down on drug use. This is the same situation that Matt Minkavitch was put into when Salt Lake County stopped keeping drug dealers in Jail. Unfortunately, kicking someone out of a Center can make it worse since there are people hanging out outside the Centers offering "help" for those kicked out. For a woman, it could mean more sexual assault in return for drugs. That is not a solution to this issue. Keep drug dealers locked up and stop the easy availability of drugs.
  
SALT LAKE COUNTY 911 STILL A PROBLEM
  I put the 911 followup audit in the downloads. As we have mentioned many times before, police response, whether from VECC, UPD or SLCPD is a problem. In this audit, the Valley Emergency Communications standards are poor.
  
PUBLIC DISCOURAGED FROM COMMENTING TO SLC DUE TO POOR WEBSITE
  During a recent Salt Lake City Council formal meeting, many commenters were confused about when to comment and how to tell the Council assistants what they were going to comment on. I agree that this Council's webpage is almost impossible to navigate. It needs to be simplified. It shouldn't take someone with 10 years of experience to navigate the documents. 
  It would be invaluable to encourage public engagement to create a simpler way to deliver meeting materials and, instead of making citizens guess if the materials are complete, this City should add new presentations in a separate packet after the meeting.
  Instead of the agenda items being separated out, they are available on one giant download (366 MB). I started separating them and putting them in my site's download section because the City stopped! 
  This City is also only giving 2 minutes to speak on a 302 page budget, including the library budget! This City needs pocket libraries. Neighborhoods need community meeting centers and pocket libraries rather than fancy new buildings. And I still think that spending $35 on a ride in an UBER like system of transit (SLC trips to transit in the budget) is irresponsible.
  
UTA SO FLUSH WITH CASH THAT THEY CAN DOUBLE TRACK WITH CASH
  As noted above, UTA is so flush with cash that they can double track now with that cash. UTA is hiring a consultant to study further FrontRunner plans but eventually they want to have 90MPH trains! That would require billions to electrify the system since that would require faster locomotives and only electric locomotives can accelerate fast enough for that. I do not think that Wasatch Front Cities will appreciate 90 MPH trains speeding through their cities every 15 minutes! UTA is going to double track before the study. 
  UTA is also pushing moving the Ogden FrontRunner station south and developing the present parking lot into a parking garage. UTA obviously does not know of Ogden's really poor history of managing parking garages. A parking garage, I am told, destroyed traffic in the Ogden Mall. The garage was scary! So if you are wondering where the bus service expansion is, UTA is putting a lot of money into projects. I put the UTA Depot District, the Ogden Depot and the corridor preservation plans in the downloads section.
  
SLC RDA SHOULD FUND PARKS AND INCLUSIONARY ZONING
  The guiding framework and priority for RDA is economic growth, community impact and neighborhood vibrancy. So why isn't the best implementation of those goals recognized as parks. Look at Singapore, Hong Kong, Sugar House, all are successful and they have lots of parks. So Where is the funding for more parks in RDA? 
  This City's RDA Affordable Housing Funding Strategy should be focused on inclusionary zoning with Salt Lake City. All RDA or Salt Lake City developments should include inclusionary zoning through impact fee mitigation or RDA funding. Creating a building with all low income is disrespectful and treats low income as less than people who can afford market rate. People who make 25% of AMI should be able to live, even in a micro unit, next to people who make 10 times more. Putting all low income in one building is treating low income like animals. It is very disrespectful.
  RDA should not be encouraging buildings with minnie mouse sidewalks that don't allow strollers or wheelchairs to function with pedestrians on sidewalks next to busy streets
  RDA should recognize and fund parks and inclusionary zoning.


UTA/SLCRDA DOWNTOWN TRAX EXTENSIONS STUDY LOOKING FOR EXCUSES TO SPEND $200+ MILLION
  UTA and the Salt Lake City RDA have completed a Downtown Salt Lake City TRAX Extensions and Connections Study that gave several options that cost $200 to $300 million. The big concern is why try to spend over $200 million when spending $20 million on a park on the Fleet Block would be more effective at encouraging redevelopment in the area. The 3 options are extending the Red Line to Central Station, another is move the Red Line and/or the Green Line via the rail spur north of 13th South to 400 West. I put the study in the downloads section. 
  "UTA prepared a feasibility study, with input from Salt Lake City, its RDA and certain private sector investment interests, as well as the University of Utah, all of whom were invited to participate by the City and its RDA". UTA would need to change the 5 year capital plan but that can be changed in a minute. SLC RDA thinks that with the new CDA on State Street, they have funds to push for the expansion and reconnections. UTA also is flush with cash with over $355 million in the bank (Again, another reason to implement $1 fares.). 
  "The scenarios and alignment alternatives identified in this feasibility study could serve as a starting point for a more detailed analysis involving conceptual engineering, cost estimating, ridership forecasting, and impact assessments. A typical alternatives analysis would also consider potential bus alternatives. Robust public and stakeholder engagement would be a key component of this step in the process. (Engagement for this study was handled at a high, partner level since the purpose of this study was to identify a reasonable range of scenarios that might be considered further in the future.)" Each scenario would need 22 new S70 vehicles at $4.5 million each for  a total of $99 million (part of the $200+ million project). The cost of TRAX operations per vehicle revenue hour is $197.
  There are significant questions about fiscal responsibility. There are only 992 TRAX boardings at Salt Lake Central. One reason for the poor boarding is it takes 10 minutes to go downtown due to the zig zag. One proposal is to make an Orange Line that extends from University of Utah via 400 South to 500 West then to Salt Lake Central and Airport(parking would be removed from 400 South). The goal is to provide a direct Airport to University of Utah route that increases the less than 1000 riders a day. 
  I think that the 200 bus is much more convenient and faster. Another option is to relocate the Red Line to 400 West from the 1300 South Station utilizing the rail spur. The new apartment proposed for just south of the 900 South Freeway on/offramp would need to ensure that there is plenty of space for the 28 feet wide double track of TRAX. It would require a station at Pioneer Park. The Green Line could also go to 400 West and then to Salt Lake Central Station via 200 South (the option is not in WFRC). 
  One of the goals of the study is to reduce the number of ninety degree turns which slow operations and create wear and tear, noise and other issues. In 2019 there were two separate TRAX derailments at the intersection of 400 South and Main Street, causing major delays for passengers on all three TRAX lines.
  Another statement in the Study said: "FrontRunner’s success in attracting riders has led UTA and other officials to seek improvements including new stations and double tracking that will allow for increased frequency and capacity." The daily ridership is now at about 5000 a day and the UTA survey indicates that only 7000 more may return to ride FrontRunner. Again, the effort to spend $300 million to double track FrontRunner is a misdirection, in my opinion, to force billions from taxpayers to electrify the system since the 15 minute frequency promised by UTA with double tracking will only be available with electric motor locomotives.
  Other UTA information from recent meetings include: The VIA micro transit system is now subsidizing riders at about $22 per ride! It is admittedly cheaper than a big bus and better than the first year of over $35 per rider. Salt Lake City thinks that this is the solution to mass transit on the west side and in Rose Park. The City Council is set to sign a contract with UTA to implement micro transit in Rose Park and other areas without transit.
  UTA expects that the 74% of FrontRunner that is single track now will be helped to double track with federal funds. The Point of the Mountain BRT is planning to take two lanes of traffic for 90% of the route from Draper to Lehi. It will have 6 to 7 stations with options for 2 more. I still think that a regular bus would be cheaper than the $15 million plus per mile that the BRT will cost. I still think that the bus seating is dangerous and that UTA still does not know how to do BRT. That is why the one real UTA BRT, the 35Max is no longer operating although two valuable lanes are still empty on 3500 South waiting for it to restart. I also find it fiscally irresponsible to get a federal grant to provide free Ogden BRT fares when it would make more sense to implement $1 fares across the system. But UTA wants BRTs to look successful and encourage more projects.
  The Midvalley BRT, Senator Harper's dream, got $11 million from the last session of the Legislature and UTA is hoping for $60 million from the feds. Just think what $60 million could do for bus transit in this Valley. UTA also received $30 million for bicycle infrastructure that will go to various projects in northern Utah.
  The dream of Governor Cox to have a passenger rail system going down to St. George is taking shape. Despite our successful efforts to stop Senator Escamilla's passenger rail commission bill, Governor Cox wants his $5 plus billion rail system. Studies tend to show that since driving is so convenient and faster to the final destination, only a handful a day will ride it. That means that the subsidy could be as high as $10,000 per rider! UTA's Sharp Tintic Rail project, that switches the rail pathway to allow extending FrontRunner south to Payson, is taking shape.
  On the funding issue, UTA expects that the third COVID package will provide more funding for bus and light rail expansion. The federal government has several programs that provide funding but UTA keeps ignoring the requirement that projects have "BROAD PUBLIC SUPPORT". UTA is looking at the Build Program and the Capital Investment Grant Program. Small Starts is another program but it requires a bigger local match.
    Another statement that I find questionable in the report is that increased rail ridership has decreased roadway traffic. That is arguably wrong (The 400 South study is flawed since it ignored new bicycle infrastructure and increased service on 2 and 9.). 
  UTA's Commissioner Christensen said that "bus service expansion plans are not being abandoned" and will go forward in 2022. But, in my opinion, bus service expansion is more important and should not have to wait and take a back seat to projects. Buses provide better and more convenient service than rail. The Airport ridership, the 200 South ridership and many other bus routes that are still standing room only prove it. Ridership on buses is returning faster than on rail. If UTA does not implement $1 fares, it encourages use of older polluting cars that can more cheaply go to the store and work than the $2.50 fare. In addition, rail requires parking lots while buses generally do not. More bus routes, frequency and span of service would make the Downtown and 1300 South to Downtown area more accessible. You don't need rail for that. Again, taxpayers do not have a bottomless barrel of money to spend on these fancy projects.
  
SLC RDA APPROVES AFFORDABLE HOUSING MONSTER ON 1300 SOUTH WITH MINIMAL SIDEWALKS AND PARKING
  Salt Lake City desperately needs more affordable housing. It desperately needs housing for the homeless youth that were in foster care. It desperately needs housing for mobility restricted individuals. All of those promises resulted in the SLC RDA approving a loan of $1.3 million to Colony to build a 5 story building up against (one foot from) the skinny sidewalk next to 1300 South's dangerous traffic. There is not enough room for a wheelchair or stroller to get by a pedestrian now. It is at 228W 1300S just west of the Ballpark TRAX station. It will have 52 parking spaces for 140 units. 15 are reserved for homeless youth ageing out of foster care, another 15 for mobility restricted renters and a total of 106 units for low income down to 25% AMI.
  The Ballpark area deserves more than affordable housing. It deserves mixed income not like this insult to appropriate parking and pedestrian/sidewalk amenities. In addition, mostly low income can end up like Palmer Court, the second biggest medical response draw in Salt Lake City (due to encouraging and enabling substance abuse behavior. Unfortunately, the City's RDA ignored the concerns of the area (almost no one knew about it) and approved the loan although, officially, it will confirm it on May 18.
  The area needs a wide sidewalk and that should be part of the project so that bicycles and pedestrians can safely and comfortably use the sidewalk. It is a bad project in a poor location that will destroy comfortable access to TRAX and encourage pedestrians to cross at the TRAX crossing gates. Skinny sidewalks next to congested roads are dangerous and impossible for bicyclists to share with pedestrians. The approved project violates this City's Complete Streets standards. The design (in the downloads area) looks like what I call a modern brutalist building and it will break ground in July. The City also will help Colony reduce interest rate for the other loans needed for the project. It is south of the CW Urban Townhomes that were sold for $400,000.
  
SLC IGNORES FLEET BLOCK PARK AND PLANS TO GIVE MORE MONEY TO ALLEN PARK
  Salt Lake City is planning a new revenue bond since the City is awash in money. The $50 million from the revenue bond does not have to go to voters since there is not a tax increase. Or looking at it in another way, citizens can't stop it and demand that the Prison Tax increase be rescinded. The plans are tentative and require City Council approval but the plan now is to use $10 million for the Glendale regional park conversion from the old water park. 
  There are also plans to use some of it for foothill trails and "shoring up" historic buildings. Some of the so called historic buildings include the Fisher Mansion, damaged in the recent quake and the Warm Springs Park building. I would rather see the money used for parks and trails, not for buildings. Salt Lake City's RDA also recently gave almost $5 million to preserve the old decrepit mattress company building which is nothing but a small box store, admittedly one of the first. Another bigger questionable plan is to use some of the money for creating an artist in residency program in Allen Park.
  Many residents and businesses in the area west of State Street have expressed concern about the $7.5 million that the City spent to buy Allen Park. They are demanding equitable funding for a park between I15 and State Street. This bond should include money to create a regional park on the Fleet Block and adjacent to the 9 Line Trail. It is only fair to distribute parks funding throughout the City. The City should be reminded that the parks impact fees from that area (to 4th South) were repurposed to Pioneer Park due to the City not being able to find a cheap plot of land to build the park south of Downtown. The area deserves their park.
  In addition, the SLC RDA/UTA study on justifying spending $200 plus million for reconfiguring TRAX downtown to encourage development of the area ignores the ability of parks and open space to encourage development. The Sugar House area, according to the Planning Department, super developed due to the significant percentage of open space, parks, trails and golf courses in the area , the greatest percentage in Salt Lake City. It was not due to the S-Line which has only about 700 riders a day. (That is another reason that the $12 million to extend the S-Line a block is questionable, even though I know that it is to push for Millcreek's rail line.) UTA's Allegra and former SLCO Mayor McAdams were wrong to give credit for Sugar House development on the S-Line. All their claims resulted in pressure from other cities to have rail.
  If this City is willing to spend $20 million on a soccer complex in the middle of nowhere that requires car use but not willing to spend 20 million on a park people can walk to, the City is not making sense. The Fleet Block is next to a bus route and Trail. The local businesses and residents should be asked what they want and the bond funds should be distributed. If this City wants to encourage an innovation center, a big park is the best way.
    
AUTHORIZED SLC POLICE OFFICERS WILL BE DOWN 132 BY THE END OF 2021
  During discussion about Salt Lake City's Police training, it was explained that this City uses their own Police Academy since the State's Post Academy would only provide 2 spots for new officers. The City has 26 officers in their Academy now. The Budget Amendment 8 takes about $300,000 from the $2.8 million so called Police holding account. The holding account was set up to look like the City is defunding police. It was explained that it was to be used by Racial Equity in Policing Commission for their use. But the City desperately needs to hire new officers and the REP Commission recommended using that $300,000 from the holding account for hiring and training 8 lateral officers (which would take half the time and have them available by October). The regular class in the Academy now will not be ready for street work until next year due to the required 18 week supervised patrol new officers need.
  The State's 22 week POST Academy is on Salt Lake Community College campus and has lots of room but Salt Lake City is running their Academy out of the Pioneer Precinct in Poplar Grove. It also is using the firing range at Murray since the Parleys range was closed. The City still has to use the State's POST for driver training which is very much needed because there have been a lot of accidents. The City bought a $500,000 virtual training system 6 years ago but it is old and a new one is needed. The new technology allows virtual training with virtual reality goggles and that is what the Department would like to buy.  
  Chief Brown said that the City is losing 6 to 8 officers a month now when a couple of years ago the City was only losing 2 to 3 a month. So the City expects to lose 72 more by the end of the year on top of the 12 that have left since January when the City was down 100 officers (see the report on the right in downloads). In addition, there have been 85 leaves in February 2021 to compensate for overtime. 
  The $2.8 million came from a reduction in the Police budget last year of $2 million and another $800,000 from the police hiring freeze. During discussion of the Budget Amendment, the Council decided to take the $300,000 from General Funds and save the $2.8 million for the REP Commission recommendations. They decided that before any public feedback. The Mayor also expressed concern that the issue "warrants a bigger discussion about using general fund" for this item. The REP Commission backed the original Budget Amendment request on the condition that the "right officers" are hired.
  Bottom line, this City will be down 132 officers by the end of this year! The City should tell the public that it will take over 5 years to provide appropriate police response that the public demands and return our police force to what was authorized a couple of years ago. Getting the right officers and a more diverse force requires more funding. This City's citizens and businesses deserve a more appropriate public safety response.
    
HOMELESS ENCAMPMENT REMOVALS DON'T WORK
 In a recent study by the the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, homeless encampment removals were found to be costly and they do not work. Each removal of a homeless encampment results in another one popping up. The result is a constant rousting and pressure on the homeless campers who just find another place to sleep.
  One of the big reasons for homeless camping is the significant increase in drug use by the homeless camping on the street. Six years ago, maybe 20% had drug issues that generally covered up mental health problems. Now, the drug use by homeless may be approaching over 75%. A study should be done. The City has said that more treatment beds are needed but treatment has to be voluntary and most, literally most, walk away from treatment. Even when police offer to not arrest the person if they go to a treatment facility, after the police drop them off, they walk away from it. The City has a homeless dashboard (Google it). But the typical stats are 20 rousted from camping, one accepts housing or a shelter bed and lots of needles are found.
  The City is operating on the legal position that "if we can show that we have offered shelter then we can enforce no camping.... It is a tool we can use if we can show we have a place to go... we can cite them but do we want to send them to jail for an hour....since it doesn't appear to work at getting people off the street... the accumulation of misdemeanors makes it harder to put people into housing ....but we will not take it off the table". Council Chair complained that Summit County sends homeless to Salt Lake City (Ogden does also) for treatment and housing and that is why the State should require more cities to provide shelter and treatment.
  On another homeless issue, the City is providing funding to convert the Airport Inn, now being used as a shelter, into a permanent shelter. It is in the middle of nowhere and disrespectful to low income without access to vehicles. Interestingly, it is in a zone that allows housing if there is a filtration and noise mitigation system. That is another reason how most of the International Center can have housing.
  
SLC GRANT APPLICATIONS WILL WASTE MONEY AND UPSET WEST TEMPLE RESIDENTS
  There were several grant applications during the May 4 City Council public hearing but almost nobody knew about them. Those that commented, I will have to correct their mischaracterization of the grants. Most wanted the grants but several would or could increase congestion and the local neighborhood should be involved before going forward. One grant is to implement a better traffic signal at 200 South intersections. One is at 700 East but, as UDOT has realized, turning the light green for a bus that is almost empty is not good for pollution when 40 idling vehicles are waiting to go through. The UDOT/UTA Redwood Road system counts passengers and determines if it is better to turn the light green for the bus or wait until vehicles go through. In other words, Grant Application 1 will increase congestion and pollution unless this City recognizes that vehicle pollution should be decreased. This City recently suggested that all lights be set up on 400 South to assume pedestrians want to cross, even if there are no pedestrians! UDOT refused since it would increase pollution. Several bike enthusiasts got upset and flamed UDOT on Facebook. UDOT is making the correct decision. Salt Lake City keeps ignoring pollution generators like itself.
  Grant Application 2 is to create a 200 South transit hub but it is useless for the bus routes now operating on 200 South. The local City match of $1 million of valuable streets bond money should be used for street maintenance instead of spending over $2 million to park buses which will continue to idle. There are better places being built on 200 South and at the UofU to park buses.
  Grant Application 3 is to make North Temple nicer for pedestrians and bicyclists but it should not increase pollution and encourage more traffic through Capitol Hill and the Avenues which the City keeps inadvertently doing.
  Grant Application 4 is to create a West Temple separated bike lanes! Putting a separated bike lane on streets with lots of driveways is unsafe. There is already a separated bike lane on Main Street although it is poorly maintained. The West Temple proposal will require removing already scarce on street parking. The plan also suggest refuge islands but they are dangerous and threaten pedestrians with left hand turning vehicles.
  Until this City recognizes that separated bike lanes are not maintenance free but are extremely expensive to maintain if done properly at least once a day (now they are only cleaned every 7 weeks). This City does not know how to do bike lanes, separated bike lanes, road diets and BRTs.
  
SALT LAKE CITY IGNORED HIGHLAND DRIVE RESIDENTS ON RESTRIPING UNTIL NOW
  Several of us tried to tell Lynn Jacobs that the residents of Highland Drive do not want parking removed and are against the 
proposed restriping of the street. Lynn Jacobs is developing the plan to remove parking on the west side of Highland Drive and 
restripe the road after the slurry seal coming in the next couple of months. He also is planning the future streetcar route but, again, he is ignoring the resident's concerns. 
  When we pointed out that the Highland Drive residents south of the I80 overpass had been given a promise in about 2006 to keep parking on both sides after the road diet from 4 lanes to 2 lanes, Lynn said that it wasn't a valid agreement. During the Sugar House Community Council meeting, a letter was read from over 50 residents of Highland Drive complaining about the plan. I agree with their objections. The City and Lynn Jacobs need a reality check and should be more respectful of residents. And the Sugar House Community Council should back those residents, some of whom were on the SHCC back then.
  The City has not determined if they will redo the 2100 South and Highland intersection with the 1100 East project. They are thinking about it. The plan for the bicycle path over 1300 East after the new bridge is installed this year is to have it run on the east side of 1300 East and then cross over to the west at Stratford Ave. I think that that is a convoluted and unsafe path. Left hand turning vehicles off of I80 going north sometimes turn wide and could hit pedestrians and bicyclists on that side. The alternative requires crossing two lanes of traffic going onto I80 but I often find that more comfortable.
  Please, if you live in the area, Google Sugar House Community Council and attend the virtual meetings. They are important.
    
900 EAST PROJECT IS CLOSING LEFT HAND TURNS INTERMITTENTLY AND IT IS GOING TO GET WORSE
  Traffic nightmares appear to be starting in Sugar House on the 900 East project that will reconstruct 900 East from Ramona to 27th South. We still have issues with the design (like useless park strips where parking is being removed and tree plantings are not recommended). In mid June, 900 East will be closed for 2 weeks for installation of a 48 inch water main (to service the new buildings at the Inland Port). I strongly urge residents and those interested to email 900east@slcgov.com with concerns or questions and the slcwaterprojects@slcgov.com for more information on the water line project.
  
REALITY CHECK YOUNG PEOPLE WANT SINGLE FAMILY HOMES
  Despite claims that building freeways encourages traffic growth, it is the other way around. If you are a couple and you want a home, the only way you will get it is by driving further. That is what increases traffic on freeways. The freeways are expanded to meet that demand. A recent study and survey showed that even the rising generation want a home and that will require driving further.
  The survey said: "most expect to live in something other than a detached single-family home at the beginning of their careers, but eventually “the vast majority expect to end up in a single-family home with enough bedrooms for a family and a yard,” 
  Only 4% expected to live in an apartment or condo in midlife. So Salt Lake City needs to stop their war on cars and single family home neighborhoods (and stop the war on cops).
  
SLCPD MOTOR OFFICERS BACK WRITING TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT TICKETS 
  SLPD motor officers were cut back during the pandemic but are now back to 10 on the squad (5 for nighttime and 5 for daytime). The impact was most felt with lack of enforcement on street racing. So the new stats for the East Bench are: 91 citations in March while there were only 51 in February. In other words, traffic enforcement is starting up.
  
RANKED CHOICE VOTING SHOULD REQUIRE CITY TO EDUCATE VOTERS ON CANDIDATES
  I agree with the Mayor and Councilman Rogers. This year's candidates will be hard pressed to make their points to the voters in the two months needed before the General Election. Ranked choice voting education funds should be used to host multiple candidate debates for each District while also popularizing community councils and educating voters on candidates and ranked choice voting. This should be in coordination with the Salt Lake City School District using neighborhood schools. 
    
SLCO ASSESSOR ENSURES EQUITABILITY AND TRAX DECREASES PROPERTY VALUE
  A recent New York Times article on property tax assessment indicated that low income households in New York were not equitably taxed. So I asked the Salt Lake County Assessor, Chris Stavros, who took office this last January from Kevin Jacobs about the story and how Salt Lake County ensures that values are equitable. I will be quoting him at length. "My primary statutory responsibility is to assess every property in Salt Lake County at fair market value as of January 1st of the given tax year.  Currently, we have over 375,000 parcels in the county that we need to value on or before May 22nd."
  Large property tax increases (over a $1000) can occur for several reasons. One reason is that the real estate market is "experiencing an overall increase in value of 20% on average and my statutory responsibility is to value every parcel in Salt Lake County at fair market value as of January 1st of the given tax year."  
  "One of the most critical and important aspects of Property Tax Law in Utah is that the law prevents Assessors from increasing valuations to create a “windfall of revenue”.  Specifically, taxing entities are permitted to only collect tax revenue equal to the previous year’s revenue plus “New Growth” meaning new parcels that are added from a new subdivision or from a new business unless the individual taxing entity elects to formally request more tax revenue or a tax increase through a public “Truth in Taxation” hearing.  During the last several years, numerous cities, and school districts have increased taxes through this process." Several  taxing entities may have increased their tax revenue through the “Truth in Taxation” process. "There is also a distinct possibility that the previous year’s assessment was low and we increased the valuations accordingly to reflect the current market value based on the sales and market data that we have analyzed of similar properties in the area."  
  "I would also like to point out that the Utah State Tax Commission (our regulatory agency) conducts a sales ratio study and audit on all of our assessments to measure that our values are accurate within +/- 10% of the median sale price of similar and comparable properties.  In addition, the Utah State Tax Commission audits our assessments on every property to make sure that our assessments are fair and equitable with other similar comparable properties in the same economic area.  Socio-economic areas don’t drive the valuation of properties, the market data and sales determine the market value and assessments accordingly.  The Assessor’s office merely interprets the market based on actual market transactions or sales as well as market leases and sales for commercial properties."
  "Property tax appeals are handled by the Auditor and Council Tax Administration with the final verdict/decision being rendered by the County Council.  For clarification purposes, the Auditor’s office is the clerk of the Board of Equalization and the Tax Administration office is a “third party” independent office that conducts and reviews the hearings/appeals at the Board of Equalization.  Their primary responsibility is to review the market evidence submitted by the taxpayer and the Assessor’s office and make a determination or decision on what the fair market of that property should be based on the evidence submitted by the taxpayer and the Assessor for the given tax year....the process makes sense because it would be a conflict of interest for the Assessor’s office to render decisions on the valuations that they are responsible for creating.....  After the hearing officer from the Tax Administration office reviews the case and issues a written decision, the final step of the Board of Equalization process would be for the County Council to approve all appeal decisions at the Salt Lake County level....if a taxpayer is unhappy with their appeal decision, they have the option to appeal their valuation at the next level of the appeal process which would be the Utah State Tax Commission.  
  "Analysis indicates that 70% of all of the appeals that are submitted to the Salt Lake County Board of Equalization receive some type of reduction in value." Although rare, mistakes can be made and the Assessor "encourages all taxpayers to review their valuation in late July closely when the valuation notices are sent out to make sure that our valuation is an accurate reflection of the value as of January 1st of the given tax year.... All taxpayers should visit slco.org/assessor in order to review the property characteristics that we have collected on their property such as the square footage, acreage, etc. to make sure that our data is correct.  Of course, accurate and correct data leads to accurate and fair assessments."  
  "Since 2017 when I was appointed Chief Deputy Assessor, and now as your Salt Lake County Assessor, Salt Lake County property tax appeals are at “historically low levels”.  I have implemented a very comprehensive value review process, and established internal quality control measures that we utilize to identify and correct data inconsistencies as well as valuations errors throughout the tax year to ensure  that we continue to produce accurate and fair assessments as well as the highest level of service for the taxpayers of Salt Lake County."
  The Assessor's valuation and statistical team have been analyzing the value of the addition of an ADU and/or near a rail, streetcar or BRT. "The complete answer is yet to be determined due to the fact the we only have a limited number or a small sample of sales that fit these parameters. The only significant trend that has become evident relates to properties that back or are adjacent to the transit rail. Our analysis indicates that there is a decrease in value of 3.5 to 5 % for properties that back or are adjacent to the transit rail line. The market data indicates that the typical buyer would pay 3.5 to 5 % less for a comparable property that backs or is adjacent to the rail line due to the associated noise issue. We think that there could possibly be a positive impact in value associated with being in fairly close proximity to a transit station or line as long as the property isn’t backing or adjacent to the line which in turn is a negative impact on the market value. Our instincts tell us that there probably is a positive impact on value if you are close to a station as long as you are not backing or adjacent although unfortunately we don’t have enough sales or a large enough sample of market data to clearly establish a clear trend that indicates a positive influence on the value yet.  Hopefully, over time we will see this trend supported with market data in the future."




APRIL 2021

  SLCPD AUDIT SHOWS GOOD DEPARTMENT & A FEW RECOMMENDATIONS
  I put the Matrix SLC Police Department Audit presentation in the download section on the right. The Audit is still in draft form and I assume that after the Police Department responds to the recommendations, it should be made public. 
  The Audit recommended a change in reporting to make it more transparent about what is the real costs for things like court time pay and workman's compensation. It recommends changing the accounting to reflect reality.
  It also recommends taking the very effective Community Connection system and expanding it by staggering workers to provide not just weekday service but also 24 hour service for every day of the week. It also recommends that 20 staff be hired to respond to the over 14,000 annual calls that do not need an armed officer response but can be handled by a civilian.
  The Audit pointed out that about 44% of the complaints to Internal Affairs are internal. That is significantly higher than the average nationwide of about 20% of Internal Affairs complaints coming from fellow officers. The Audit recommended that 20 videos per month be reviewed instead of the 5 per month now.
  The Audit recommended that police sergeants be authorized to "handle limited minor complaints in the field and provides that the complaint be entered into the employee management database." The goal is to have "minor complaints to be handled by division commands and more serious complaints to be handled by IA investigators." It also recommended that all IA complaint statistics be published on the public website along with use of force demographics.  This City has a working group that is already working on implementing these items before the Audit. I need to note that this City's Police Department has provided that information, even before they are asked. I have had several blog entries on these situations.
  The Audit also pointed out that the officers need more mental health help since 12% of officers have had suicidal thoughts.
  
SLC FORCES JAYWALKING BY REMOVING PARKING FROM 1 SIDE OF HIGHLAND
 Parking is going to be removed on the west side unless the residents of the area respond against it in survey
 https://www.slc.gov/mystreet/2021/01/14/projects/
  Residents can also email to Lynn.Jacobs@slcgov.com who is collecting data and community input on the design of the resurfacing of Highland Drive to 30th South (the City limits). This proposal of restriping Highland Drive is being pushed by Millcreek City which is insisting in a new scheme for Highland Drive that is more bicycle and pedestrian friendly. 
  The proposal, so far is going to add a center turn lane on Highland Drive (this is supposed to be standard for all new City road diets). I think that this increases the danger to bicyclists and pedestrians from left hand turning vehicles into the many driveways on the street. I still believe that left hand center turn lanes should only be at cross streets and the space of a center turn lane should be used for wide/9 foot wide bicycle lanes.
 The City expects the residents on the westside of Highland to be comfortable with walking across the street to park or park on side streets. In addition to being illegal (the City still has an anti-jaywalking ordinance although former Chief Burbank ordered the SLCPD to not write tickets for jaywalking - while other law enforcement like UTA still writes tickets), it is wrong and it continues, in my opinion, the war on parking, cars and families. I had another recent blog entry on the war on parking.
 City does not recognize the promise to provide parking when they went from 4 lanes to two lanes years ago.
 Concept design is planned to be completed in May. The resurfacing/restriping will take a few days and it is hoped that it won't interfere with the 900 East reconstruction and the 1300 East and 1700 East I80 bridge replacements. 
  The City is trying to remove on street parking throughout the City. The 500 East and 2700 South reconstruction projects removed on street parking on one side of the street.
  I still think that the Highland Drive residents were promised to have parking on both sides when they did the road diet (around 2013?) so it is wrong to remove parking on one side of the road. The residents should respond to the survey.
  
SLC'S BEST CHANCE TO SOLVE HOMELESS ISSUES IS ANDREW JOHNSTON
  Andrew Johnston is the new Director of Homeless for Salt Lake City. As an amazing Councilmember representing almost all of the westside (south of I80, west of I15), he has been a reasoned and respectful elected official. His appointment to solving the homeless issues in this City is, as a commenter during this week's Formal Council said, is a home run appointment for the Mayor.
  I can't think of a better person that will have a better chance, the best chance, to solve the homeless issues in our City. I know that he, like several councilmembers, has devoted his life, in and out of his career, to making life better for even the so-called least of our brethren. Andrew thank you. I would wish him luck, but I know he has the skills, the experience and the knowledge that are better than luck. I look forward to seeing you in action. When I asked if I should call him Czar Andrew, he said just call him Andrew. I will miss his blog entries of City Council meetings. It filled a big hole that the local news refuses to cover.
     
IDLE FREE ORDINANCE PASSES TICKETING BY CIVIL CODE ENFORCEMENT
  Despite not emphasizing fighting the idling by diesels (which create the most pollution), the City Council voted into effect the anti-idling ordinance. When several commenters expressed concern about police ticketing idlers, the Council emphasized that this would generally be enforced by civil code enforcement, although law enforcement could also.
    
SLC REMOVES 2021 PRIMARY & MOVES DECLARATION OF CANDIDACY TO AUGUST 10 TO 17
  With only James Rogers expressing a concern and voting against it, the City Council approved rank choice voting for the General Election which will remove the City's Primary. The Mayor pointed out that it would make it more difficult for many candidates to run campaigns since they will have to spend more money without knowing if they will make it through the Primary. She disagreed with the Council and said that she agreed with ranked choice voting but felt that a Primary would help candidates determine if they should spend more money in the General Election. The biggest issue, in my opinion, is that there will be a problem in providing constructive debates to educate voters before the General Election. I am hopeful that the City will step up and host several debates at local schools for debates with the candidates for the 4 open council seats.

NEW AIRPORT PRESENTATION IN DOWNLOADS
  I put the new SLC Airport presentation (along with the Police Department Audit presentation in the downloads section on the right). One of the interesting issues during the City Council discussion was that, due to the lack of proper signage, the park and wait lot is not being used as much as it should which creates backups at the Terminal pickup areas. The Airport will rename the park and wait lot by the gas station and store to PARK AND WAIT LOT which should help.



SLC NEEDS 100 COPS BUT WON'T GET THEM UNTIL END OF 2022 IF EVER

  The Salt Lake City Council is considering shifting police hiring to laterals (hiring POST certified officers already trained as law enforcement) to speed up the restaffing of the SLCPD that is down to 406 available from a total of 569 authorized officers (FTE). That includes the 66 Airport Police Officers. The City has had over a 25% increase in calls since 2016 (see Page 9 in SLC Police increase due to losses BAM8.pdf in the downloads on the right) while the City has had an increase in loss of officers that have been exacerbated by the increase in leave to compensate for the overtime and patrol dedicated to ensuring that the street protests have been safe for everyone. (BIG LESSON - PROTESTS SHOULD NOT BE IN THE STREET IF THEY DON'T WANT INCREASED POLICE FUNDING)
  Salt Lake City has said that lateral hiring is for the short term and the Racial Equity in Policing (REP) Commission supports the increased funding in Budget Amendment 8.
  "The Administration indicates this urgent need is to address a shortage in officers available for call response....The current available officers after factoring in accumulated use or lose leave time is 406 officers as of March 26, 2021. As of the same date, the Police Department has a total of 489 officers on staff of a total 569 authorized officer FTEs of which 66 are Airport Police" (again Page 9 of the SLC Police increase due to losses in the downloads). This budget amendment would transfer $314,899 from the $2.8 million Police Holding Account to hire the lateral class of officers.
"It’s important to note that the Department’s staffing is cyclical as employees retire or leave for other reasons. The total number of hired officers on staff and the number of available officers can change daily. The assumptions in the projections such as four officer retirements per month could be higher or lower next fiscal year."
  What this means is that Salt Lake City may not be up to authorized police officers for over 2 years if ever (due to the continued loss of officers from the Department). This City desperately needs to increase the salary/compensation of officers to adequately staff the Department. For too many years, the City has treated officers as regular employees and they only received the same salary increases as regular employees. POLICE ARE NOT REGULAR EMPLOYEES!
 
SLC MAY SUPPORT LOW INCOME SENIOR HOUSING IN MIDDLE OF NOWHERE
  In a very questionable discussion at the next SLC Council Session, the City is considering helping Switchpoint buy and convert the Airport Inn, presently used for a "temporary" emergency homeless shelter. The $2 million proposal in Budget Amendment 8 (in the SLC Police increase due to losses BAM8.pdf in the downloads - after the SLCPD report) is to buy the hotel for $6.5 million and spend $2 million to renovate it to 100 housing units at $415 rent per month. 25% of the units are proposed to be for veterans. "The total cost of purchasing and refurbishing the housing units and common areas will be about $80,000 per unit, significantly below the new construction costs of about $200,000 per unit."
  "In addition to housing, Switchpoint will provide access to on site integrated treatment services for physical and behavioral health....Ongoing operating costs of the project, including professional support for needed services will be fully supported by the rent paid by our residents....To date, Switchpoint has secured $1.75 million, and is working to secure additional funding from private donors and other entities. If the Council approves the request, the purchase/renovation funding gap would be $4.75 million. The proposed shelter would not be permanent supportive housing but rather transitional, extended hotel stays. This is different than single-room occupancy (SRO) or shared group living housing (although it really sounds like an SRO).
  The biggest problem is that the proposal sounds like Palmer Court, that despite significant social services, is still the second biggest draw on the City's medical response. I still think that homeless and low income shouldn't be stuffed into one building. Mixed income housing has been much more successful in providing respectful housing for low income. Another important issue is the hotel, west of I215 off of North Temple, is far from services, stores, restaurants and transit which puts low income individuals in the middle of nowhere! This should not be approved by the City.

 

I WAS WRONG TO REPORT IN AN EARLIER STORY THAT "Mayor Ralph Becker increased taxes for street repair (about $8 million, against the City Council objections)." I should have said that Mayor Becker tried to veto the increased taxes for street repair that the City Council voted for, but repurposed the raised taxes, the next year, without the City Council noticing. The corrected line and correct story is below:

RALPH BECKER HYPOCRITICALLY CLAIMS THAT RAISED TAXES SHOULD BE FOR STREET REPAIR
  Ralph Becker took the City Council's raised taxes for street repair and repurposed them! 
It was hypocritical for former Mayor Ralph Becker to be quoted on street repair. Mayor Ralph Becker vetoed the City Council's 2013 tax increase for street maintenance but the City Council overrode the veto(about $8 million). But the next year, he repurposed the increased street maintenance tax for the general fund and other issues (without the City Council noticing right away). The former Streets Maintenance manager said that the City needed at least 8 million more a year more for proper streets maintenance. (The Salt Lake Tribune and Chris Smart did a story on this.) I was involved in organizing a fight against the tax increase which we felt would be used for other uses than streets.
  The Police category of Funding Our Future is being used to play a shell game to try to say that SLCPD is getting reduced funding (firefighters and 911 dispatch get some of that). We were told that one extra street maintenance truck and team would be funded. But the biggest loss on street maintenance was the repurposing of the $87 million bond to "prettify" streets instead of providing basic maintenance. The reconstruction of streets involves a lot of new designs and road diets. The City claims that it is for bicycling but the bicycle amenities are mickey mouse in my opinion. It is still dangerous to bicycle in Salt Lake City. 
  And on Ralph's comment in the KUTV2 story on the negative impact on streets by JCLDS Church, I did an oped in one of the local papers years ago that argued that educational institutions and the churches help the City (UofU is an asset and the JCLDS Church saved the City by bankrolling City Creek during the Great Recession). It is one of the reasons I ran against him for mayor.  

 

WAYNES CORNER CRIME MAGNET DRUG DEALER KEEPS GETTING OUT OF JAIL
  In a frustrating case revolving door jail is making public safety worse, the SLCPD have tried to arrest and charge a drug dealer four times recently. But they are still able to work their trade at Wayne's Corner. The Sheriff says that non- violent criminals are not kept in the County Jail, generally, but this egregious example of inadequate County public safety funding shows that the County policy is not good government or protecting the County's citizens and businesses.
  Wayne's Corner, at 1300 South State Street is so bad that UTA removed the bus stop there. The only other bus stop removed due to crime issues was next to the Road Home/Rio Grande homeless area. Buses that had stopped at Wayne's Corner were attacked to steal bicycles! Last year, after Senator Mayne's anti-gambling machines bill passed, the store was raided and criminal activity temporarily was reduced. But it quickly returned as did the gambling machines in a different form.
  The SLCPD has been trying to decrease the criminal activity with a Police camera trailer and intense bicycle patrols. There have been many arrests and still the criminal activity continues.
  There are many high crime areas that seem to be concentrated around crime magnets like State Street and North Temple motels and 24 hour stores. No matter how many times that the drug dealers are arrested, they are quickly returned to the street and crime problems, complaints and victims grow. 
  The Rio Grande area became known as the biggest open air drug market in the west due to this County's release of arrested drug dealers within a few hours. Operation Rio Grande's biggest accomplishment was to spread the drug dealing throughout the City. This can all be traced back to Salt Lake County's inadequate funding for public safety. 
  The crime problems at Wayne's Corner, Rio Grande, Skyline Inn (solved its problems with a new owner), Gateway Inn (seems to have solved its problems with a new owner), Georgian Apartments (being redeveloped with a new owner) have been typical in this County. The criminals don't stay in jail; they stay in the community and continue to find new victims. 
  
PUBLIC UTILITIES RATE INCREASES WATER 8%, SEWER 18%, STORMWATER 10%
  SLC Public Utilities gave their budget presentation that will continue the rate increases that essentially doubled rates for water, sewer and stormwater from 5 years ago. Although the water rate increase was deferred last year, it returns with an 8% rate increase due to the large capital project to meet the new water requirements. That will include identifying and replacing pipes that are old and have an increased chance of breaking. (I put the report in the downloads on the right.)
  In addition, the Department is proposing to add 17 more employees for a total of 465  FTE (employees). Many of the new employees are to allow the City to reduce their use of consultants that are charging $160/hour. The expected new employees will be making about $51.68/hour (after overhead and addons). The Department expects to have a lot of engineering work in the next 5 years that will require the use of the 17 new employees. The future efforts to upgrade/design/construct new facilities/piping more than justifies more in house personnel. I still think that SLC uses too many consulants.
  SLC Public Utilities also has identified the water and sewer pipes and age and will attempt to plan replacements to decrease the water main breaks. I put the information on the rate increases, their impacts on various customers, comparisons with other areas, the age of pipes and the use of attorneys in the downloads section on the right. The use of outside attorneys was necessary due to the increased need to adjudicate many water rights over the last few years from the Legislature's efforts to find and correct water rights overlaps.
  There is also a new rate study on lighting study, last done in 2017, to decide on a new rate for street lighting. Most of the cost of maintenance of street lighting is due to the use of outside maintenance. The City has 15,500 street lights. The City implemented the street lighting fee to collect fees from the numerous government and religious properties that were not paying for the service. But the fee allows for consistent fee increases with lower visibility and pushback than with a tax increase.


SLC'S WAR ON PARKING
  Salt Lake City is pushing a big reduction in off street parking requirements. Among the many suggestions in the extensive proposal is reduction in parking minimums of 25% for affordable units (60% AMI) and a further reduction for being close to transit (including 15 minute bus frequency).
  But real effective transit is not just buses or rail. Real useful transit isn't just frequency. It also needs encouraging fares and bus stops. Realistic, reasonable fares, in my opinion, are the most important way to encourage mass transit use. But this is not recognized by Salt Lake City. The fare elasticities on buses are very different from rail fare elasticities (-.4 which means cutting fares in half gives a 20% ridership increase). If this City wants to reduce use of cars, which are needed by all, whatever their income, they need to encourage more transit use of buses. That's what studies show. Until then, as Councilman Andrew Johnston said at the April 13 work session, and on his blog, cars will continue to be necessary. Cars make our families, our economy and our time more efficient. In other words, this plan says that BUSES MAKE NO PARKING ACCEPTABLE!
  The big issue with the Council is how to get a full education on what this significant parking ordinance will do. Other questions are: is transit really going to reduce parking requirements; are developers really going to build projects with less parking; how to discourage car use and should parking requirement reductions have a maximum (should affordable and a bus and bicycle parking be allowed to reduce parking requirements more than 50%?). The developer next to the 650S Main St TRAX wants more parking.
  There was a large discussion about Central Ninth (west of State and north of 10th South). Although it is part of the transit context, the 1/2 space per studio and one space per one bedroom may not be enough. It was pointed out that a new development with over 400 units was going to have less than 1/2 a space per unit for parking in an area of Ballpark just south of Central Ninth that already has on street parking problems. The proposal suggests not requiring on site parking minimums for multifamily! The City expects that this area will be rezoned. If the area is agreed to be part of neighborhood context, or rezoned, it may be a stopgap for the area. That area, including State Street, Main Street, the Fleet Block and Granary is planned to be rezoned.
  Councilman Mano thought that there was a study that showed that Central Ninth needed parking (it does but the study is not public which is bad government and really disrespectful to have a parking study be secret when the City is planning to change parking requirements). The parking study is part of the 9-Line Trail Plan and it includes 9th and 9th and Central Ninth and it should be available in 2 to 3 months. Councilman Mano thought that the area says that parking is a really big concern now. He said that he is "not incredibly strong on moving forward with the plan for Central Ninth". It maybe should be changed to FB-UN2 and maybe the area should be moved into urban central context for parking. He is proposing corridor commercial for most of State Street, Ballpark and  South State Street. He is concerned that there are a lot of residential properties that do not allow redevelopment with present setback with 25 foot wide buildings. Developers can't redevelop them with parking. That is why he wants no parking minimums with these properties. That is his business as an architect specializing in small properties without off street parking. He does not feel that small infill parcels under 5000 Sq Ft should need parking. He also wants a graduated parking requirement that doesn't set a hard parking requirement. He wants a 6 months leeway for developers to quickly or slowly follow the ordinance.
  An important question for the Ballpark residents is if transit station areas get a big decrease in off street parking requirements and an increase in higher density, will residents near 1700 South really want a TRAX station.
  Councilwoman Fowler wants to give developers leeway and make the parking ordinance slowly kick in to give developers direction now. She feels comfortable with the ordinance now and is all for building smaller. Councilman Rogers agrees.
  Councilman Johnston was concerned about no on street parking if 1/2 space per unit is implemented. It would be incredibly painful for that neighborhood. The City needs to work on transportation. He is nervous that it may push affordable housing to certain areas next to TRAX stations. He also expressed concern that low income individuals with cars, if they have no on site parking, will park on the street and they may end up getting tickets which makes it harder to stay out of low income. This fact should be emphasized: AFFORDABLE HOUSING WITHOUT OFF STREET PARKING HURTS LOW INCOME INDIVIDUALS! This proposal effectively hurts low income drivers.
  Despite claims that developers don't want more parking (Councilman Mano says that he hopes that they don't want more parking and thinks that the requirements should be lower.), the parking maximums in multi-family in the proposal is high due to the consultants initial suggestions. Planning Director Nick Norris repeated the claim that when it is super easy to park, people will drive and this City is concerned about encouraging driving. He said that from what he heard from the 400 South developers, utilization rates are generally less than one stall per unit but that is anecdotal. He thinks that it may be .6 now. In the Gateway area, residents want off street parking due to safety concerns. If one has off street parking available, it will be used "since it is perceived as safer"
  Developers that I talk to say that as the tenants become longer term renters, they tend to buy cars. At first the new apartments get a lot of turnover but after a while, when the tenants are comfortable and know the limitations of mass transit, they buy cars. Portland showed that, even next to streetcar stations, 80% still drove personal vehicles.
  There was also a discussion on why affordable housing needs a loading berth instead of more parking. Trucks should be able to pull into the median! But that means that bikelanes are ridiculously unsafe. Medians are not a good idea if you want to encourage bicycling, since they take away from wide bicycle lanes. (A loading berth can be 45 ft by 50 ft width and 65 ft deep.
  Council Executive Director Cindy Gust-Jensen suggested that the proposal is so far reaching with unintended consequences (understatement of the year) and that not everyone on the Council can follow it, that the Council would benefit from small group meetings (supposedly 3 or less Councilmembers at a time meeting out of public to hear and discuss parking). Councilman Wharton agrees that the issue will not be settled tonight. Planning Director Norris agreed and said that the staff would take some time and then present a summary for the small group meetings.
  My three takeaways from this push to reduce parking minimums is: the parking study is still not public and this should not go forward without the public seeing the study and being able to comment on it; the State Street CDA should have a plan that may decrease pressure on reducing parking minimums in residential areas; and I STILL THINK THAT THIS IS A WAR ON CARS AND PARKING AND FAMILIES. I like Councilman Johnston's point that low income renters should be able to own cars comfortably.


BUSINESS DISRUPTION CONSTRUCTION NEXT WEEK, WAIT, NEVER MIND
  Salt Lake City went door to door around the 1100 East and Hollywood area in the last few weeks telling businesses and residents that there would be a major construction project to reconstruct the gutters along the street. But the City realized on April 6, after many complaints from many of us that it would eliminate a detour for the 900 East reconstruction, that it was not a wise project now. So the City cancelled the plan and went back to the neighborhood, door to door, saying never mind.
  What is so frustrating is that many of us for years have asked for reasonable coordination of the projects to stop increased congestion by working on all of the streets in the neighborhood at the same time. Last year, during the discussion on the 5 year Sugar House large number of proposed construction projects (https://www.slc.gov/mystreet/category/upcoming/), we asked that there be coordination to eliminate interference between projects. 
  One concern was the 1100 East gutter reconstruction project that ignored the 2023 1100 East reconstruction and would interfere with traffic detours of the 900 East reconstruction that is starting in a few weeks. We were able to convince the City Council, after many complaints, that the 1300 East reconstruction project detours would create congestion on the 1100 East detour if road work was to be done on 1100 East at the same time. But the City Council only ordered the 1100 East gutter project to be delayed one year. That kept pressure to do the project as soon as possible, despite the duplicate project to reconstruct 1100 East in 2023. This bad government decision was stopped at the last minute by complaints. Don't stop complaining about bad government.
  
SPRAGUE LIBRARY DECREASES IMPORTANT SUGAR HOUSE MEETING ROOM
  Sprague Library has almost finished its reconstruction. The biggest impacts that users may complain about is the removal of the popular reading room (converted to a make lab) and the shrinking of the well used meeting room. Over 300 have sometimes attended Sugar House Community Council meetings and that history seems to have been disregarded. The community computers have been moved to the meeting room which may create conflicts. And the restrooms are now unisex downstairs. I am not sure how the community will handle the new Sprague.


UTA GET FREE FARE ON OGDEN BRT BUT REFUSES $1 FARE ON BUSES
  To increase ridership on the new $120 million Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), UTA has received a grant to provide free fare for the first 3 years. This should increase ridership to compete with the duplicate 603 bus route. This will encourage transit projects instead of putting money into better bus service. It may also create arguments to remove the popular 603 bus route that has more convenient stops.
  UTA, in my opinion, has never proved that BRT projects are popular. The only real BRT that took two lanes from congested 3500 South never had more than 3200 riders a day (the lanes could handle 15000 riders a day in vehicles). It turned out that riders liked the more convenient and frequent bus stops instead of the BRT stops every 4 blocks. So the 35MAX BRT on 3500 South competed with the popular 33 bus. The end result was the 35MAX was stopped, temporarily according to UTA - so the 2 unavailable lanes on 3500 South can't be used by vehicles (increasing pollution), and the 33 bus ridership increased (see recent ridership in the downloads area).
  It will be interesting to see what happens when the UVX Provo/BYU/UVU BRT fare returns to the $2.50 per ride. It seems to be a no brainer that UTA should implement a ONE DOLLAR FARE. A free fare may attract so called undesirables (Ogden has a significant problem with homeless, not as bad as Salt Lake Valley but much, much worse than Utah County) to the free fare BRT but, again, it will prove the concept, or not. Tell UTA to implement $1 fare on buses by emailing boardoftrustees@rideuta.com.
  
SLC REFUSES TO DECREASE WATER USE LIKE LAS VEGAS
  Salt Lake City has less water use per person than Las Vegas. But Las Vegas has realized that water is wasted in park strips and in planted medians in the desert City. But Salt Lake City does not seem to acknowledge that water is wasted on park strips, planted medians and seems to plant greenery without planning to water them or actually water them.
  One of the worst cases is the 900 East reconstruction which shows the plan to be a park strip on the east side, despite parking being removed on that side. The result is more water use and skinnier sidewalks for pedestrians and bicyclists. Much of the east side in that area is park space (Fairmont Park and the Forest Dale Golf Course). So a green park strip seems to be a waste of water. It is really difficult to water a park strip without watering the sidewalk. 
  There are several other cases of poor water management in the City. The 9-Line Trail has wide park strips. The City spent a million on alleyways for the McClelland Trail but most of the plantings died. The City spent hundreds of thousands on Miller Park (cutting hundreds of old trees) and planted a lot of new plants but most died due to not planning to water the new plants. On the other hand, Salt Lake City Parks kept the water on full force during the hottest part of the day after the new grass in Fairmont Park was planted and growing well. Salt Lake City still, after complaints, goes after water wise homeowners who try to minimize water use by reducing greenery in their front yards. Stephanie.Duer@slcgov.com at the City may be able to help if you happen to get a visit from Zoning Enforcement. 
  And finally, there is an effort to get UDOT to plant the center medians of 700 East and State Street. But that will reduce potential bikelanes (SLC is not planning on State Street bikelanes!) or wider bikelanes. During the last major drought a few years ago, the City stopped watering the medians and cemetery (they started watering again after cemetery visitors complained). SALT LAKE CITY IS NOT WATERWISE, in my opinion.


HOMELESS BURNING DOWN WAY TOO MANY VACANT BUILDINGS
  In a sign that the homeless situation (lack of affordable housing) is getting worse, disaster cleanup firms are reporting an increase in contracts to cleanup vacant buildings that have had fires caused by humans camping inside. 
  The demolition ordinance is not working since the housing mitigation ordinance (requiring equivalent housing to replace the demolished housing) has to be updated and it is slowing down and discouraging demolition and rebuilding with new housing.


UDOT PLANNING FOR NEW CONCRETE I80 CONSTRUCTED FOR LOWER NOISE
  As mentioned in an earlier blog entry, "Longitudinal tining is an effective method to reduce noise and provide the added safety of hydro-planing reduction". UDOT confirmed that the contractor will be required to tine the pavement with shallow, uniform grooves (longitudinal tining) as per their contract specifications. UDOT said that they do anticipate that this will help to reduce road noise along the new I80 reconstruction in East Salt Lake City. For updates, email saltlakeeast@utah.gov.
 
WAYNE NIEDERHAUSER NOMINATED TO BE UTAH HOMELESS CZAR
  I do not know how this will help, but former Senate President Wayne Niederhauser has been nominated to the new Utah Homeless Czar by Governor Cox. This reminds me of the placement of Josh Romney on the Homeless Committee. I still think that the Homeless Czar should be someone who has been involved in the issue for at least 10 years. It takes years to understand the issue and putting a new person in charge, can make it worse. The best example is former Lt. Gov. Cox (now Governor) was point and in charge of homeless issues in the State. In that position, he unilaterally closed the Road Home against the recommendations of those who were most knowledgeable on the homeless issues. That made the homeless camping issue much worse. We will see what this means.


WHY ARE LAWS PROTECTING PUBLIC IGNORED DUE TO PROPERTY RIGHTS
  The biggest interest in the East Bench community is a relatively high density project on a severe slope that does not look stable enough to be safe for a new building and that looks like it will destabilize and negatively impact adjacent residents. The project on Donner Way is on the edge of a small valley, probably caused by runoff and that indicates, or should indicate an unstable geologic area. The Wasatch Front has many slope hillside avalanches that should warn developers about building where water can create problems. The property owner insists that it is safe but it also is asking for a height variance and an easement from Public Utilities to tie into their sewage pump station. This project has not gone to Planning Commission yet and there is talk of lawsuits. The City feels that property owners have the ability to build on such a severe slope even decades after restrictions on hillside development are set. This project may end up at the Utah Supreme Court or be required to have an extremely large insurance to protect adjacent homeowners.
  Salt Lake City Public Utilities should consider buying this slope and canyon since it will protect the water table.


FLEET BLOCK HOMELESS IGNORE HELP
  Salt Lake City social workers reached out to the many homeless that were camping on the Fleet Block before the camp abatement this week but only got 1 person placed in housing! Workforce services did engage with 19 but the only real success was that one person who accepted housing! We have thousands of homeless and one success a week will not help.


SLC ROAD WORK PROGRAM IN THE DOWNLOADS
  I put the new road work plan in the downloads but it is missing the equity analysis that provided each district with an analysis compared to other districts. But it is very informative and I recommend reading. I still think that the City is trying to prettify streets more than provide basic and needed maintenance. Tell the City Council what you think. Their emails are on the left.


SLC 911 DISPATCH DIRECTOR RETIRING
  In an important change in the Salt Lake City Public Safety system, the Director of 911 Dispatch, Lisa Burnett, has decided to retire. Although I didn't agree with all of the City's policies with regards to 911, she was always responsive to our concerns and I consider her a great public servant. I think that the City will have a big loss with her retirement. She took over a Department that was under significant pressure to respond to an overwhelming number of complaints that were listed in the Matrix 911 Audit (in the downloads) that showed up to an hour response time due to inadequate scripts, personnel (many were not certified dispatch operators and underpaid), and problems taking crime reports (solved by making all certified dispatch operators). 
  Lisa Burnette implemented the recommended changes and made the City's 911 system much, much better. We are still down around 100 authorized police but at least the City is paying dispatchers more than McDonald's wages.
  
ANDREW JOHNSTON NEW SLC HOMELESS CZAR, BIG LOCAL NEWS LOSS WITH HIS DISTRICT 2 BLOG  
  Councilman Andrew Johnston, who also works outside of City government at VOA, is, in my opinion, one of the most valuable elected leaders in the City, if not the best. He almost always knows the wisest path and he attends many community meetings, even outside his district. He is the third best expert on Utah's homeless that I know of. Mayor Mendenhall made one of her best decisions to appoint Andrew Johnston to the City's new position in charge of homeless. Although it is a big loss for his District, and a big loss for one of the best news blogs of the City Council's meetings, I can't think of a better person to positively impact the homeless issue in Salt Lake City. I may not always agree with him but his reasoning is better than most elected officials.
  
 
RALPH BECKER HYPOCRITICALLY SAYS RAISED TAXES SHOULD BE FOR STREET REPAIR

  KUTV2 and Wendy Halloran had a great story on the lack of Funding Our Future money going to adequately maintain our streets.  I urge you to Google it. It started with an interview with Ralph Becker who is the last person interested in maintaining streets in my opinion.
It was hypocritical for former Mayor Ralph Becker to be quoted on street repair. Mayor Ralph Becker vetoed the City Council's 2013 tax increase for street maintenance but the City Council overrode the veto (about $8 million). But the next year, he repurposed the increased street maintenance tax for the general fund and other issues (without the City Council noticing right away). The former Streets Maintenance manager said that the City needed at least 8 million more a year for proper streets maintenance. (The Salt Lake Tribune and Chris Smart did a story on this.) I was involved in organizing a fight against the tax increase which we felt would be used for other uses than streets.
  The Police category of Funding Our Future is being used to play a shell game to try to say that SLCPD is getting reduced funding (firefighters and 911 dispatch get a significant portion of that). 
  We were told that one extra street maintenance truck and team would be funded. But the biggest loss on street maintenance was the repurposing of the $87 million bond to "prettify" streets instead of providing basic maintenance. The reconstruction of streets involves a lot of new designs and road diets. The City claims that it is for bicycling but the bicycle amenities are mickey mouse in my opinion. It is still dangerous to bicycle in Salt Lake City. 
  And on Ralph's comment in the KUTV2 story on the negative impact on streets by the JCLDS Church, I did an oped in one of the local papers years ago that argued that educational institutions and the churches help the City (UofU is an asset and the JCLDS Church saved the City by bankrolling City Creek during the Great Recession). It is one of the reasons I ran against him for mayor. 


FORMER CONGRESSMAN MCADAMS WANTS TAXPAYERS TO THANK LEGISLATURE FOR SECRET $12 MILLION S-LINE FUNDING 

  Former Congressman Ben McAdams, who lives a few houses from the S-Line in Sugar House, attended the Sugar House Community Council's April meeting and asked that the Community Council send a letter to the Legislature thanking them for the $12 million appropriation in HB433 to extend the S-Line. But the HB433 that was released to the public for the one day noticed public hearing at the Legislature, did not have funding for the S-Line. Although Millcreek Mayor Silvistrini testified for the bill that allocated $300 million to the double tracking of FrontRunner (carrying 5000 a day now and UTA surveys expect up to 7000 more after the pandemic with greater frequency), the next day, the $12 million S-Line funding showed up in the bill which passed without any more public hearings. I assumed that Rep. Winder, the Economic Director of Millcreek, added the $12 million for Millcreek because that is the dream of Mayor Silvistrini, to run the S-Line south through Millcreek. 
  But the Sugar House Community Council, in general loved the idea that it will take the S-Line into the heart of Sugar House at Simpson and Highland Drive. I think that the heart of Sugar House is further north and the first plan to turn the rail north was to take it to the heart of Sugar House. I guess that the heart is moving south towards Millcreek.
  Councilwoman Amy Fowler was almost giddy at the potential extension, which is essentially one block for the 700 who ride the S-Line daily. I have to say this, NEVER HAVE SO FEW BEEN GIVEN SO MUCH TO NOT HAVE TO WALK ANOTHER BLOCK. Ms. Fowler also mentioned that the Mayor is excited about the extension. Mayor Mendenhall has consistently been trying to extend the S-Line north. 
  Lost to many is the significant negative impact that the rail of this "streetcar", which is in the roadway, will have on bicycling whether it is extended south (I expect that the next session will give Millcreek even more to send it south) on Highland or on 1300 East. Bicyclists have often caught their tires in streetcar rails with serious results. And, the S-Line, on a street, will destroy the mountain views, significantly increase property taxes, rezone for increased density since single family homes do not provide enough riders to be cost effective for rail and, worst of all, require Salt Lake City taxpayers to help fund the Millcreek rail line to the tune of $100 million (local match needed for federal funding)! These are the same arguments that we used to stop the streetcar extension north. 
  Former City Councilman Soren Simonsen pushed for taking the S-Line to the east and Sugar House Park. He is right that any extension should go east. Sugar House Park is the biggest destination in the area. The pre-COVID ridership was 1600 per day on weekends but only 1300 per weekday. That shows that most used the S-Line for recreation and probably the parks. But the suggestion and effort seems to be to prepare the S-Line to go to Simpson and then via Highland to Millcreek. If the streetcar went up Wilmington, at least it would have easy access to Hidden Hollow and the Draw into Sugar House Park. There is no safe way to access Sugar House Park except via Wilmington.
  The UTA outreach coordinator, Megan Waters will be taking public comment on the S-Line extention at mwaters@rideuta.com.
  
LOCALLINK.COM STUDY PUSHES EVERYTHING BUT INCREASED BUS SERVICE
  At the Sugar House Community Council meeting, Lynn.Jacobs@slcgov.com gave an update to the effort by Millcreek and Salt Lake and South Salt Lake to increase transportation options. Unfortunately, the City asked to take a survey that seems to deliberately skew the responses away from the cheapest plan, buses. The survey asks which transit system they prefer from TRAX, enhanced bus, streetcar or BRT. No buses were suggested! This survey is inappropriate and poorly constructed. 
  Bus service needs to be returned to 15 minutes on the 1100E/1300E route 213 first, and if ridership returns, then consider other projects. Look at bus ridership on 213 first. Spending hundreds of millions when ridership doesn't exist does not make sense. If it did, UTA wouldn't have reduced service on 213!  BUSES/BETTER SERVICE/SPAN OF SERVICE SHOULD HAVE BEEN AN OPTION.
  The cheapest transit solution with the best potential ridership would be a bus on 1100E. Half hour service is not going to increase service (plus transfers are very poor and away from connecting service).  Save money and put in wider shared sidewalks so families can safely bike in the area.
  I still think that the Highland Drive residents would block the Millcreek plan for the streetcar (due to power lines obstructing mountain views, parking removal, rail impact on bike safety, property tax increases and SLC having to pay for a Millcreek plan).  Again UTA has not proven that they can successfully design and operate a BRT. (UVX is not a BRT. It is a free benefit for students.)
  The Locallink.com study should result, if done right focus on wider sidewalks first. The survey should also put the local taxpayer predicted match at the beginning of the survey. It is a minimum of a hundred million for rail.
  There was also a presentation on the potential road diet on Highland to meet the Millcreek designs that want a three lane road with center turn lane. But they are suggesting allowing parking on the street! That is not allowed now! That destroys the potential for 9 foot wide bike lanes and any safe bicycling path! In addition, it was suggested to remove parking on one side of Highland south of I80 but one reason that residents on Highland accepted the road diet from almost 20 years ago was they got on street parking! That parking on the street is often full on weekends! 
  As I keep saying, Millcreek Mayor Silvistrini wants his rail and he won't let little ole Salt Lake stop him, not with Rep. Mike Winder in his corner.
  Please got to locallink.com and take the survey, whatever your opinion. 
  
UDOT PROVIDES I80 PROJECT DATES FOR 2 BRIDGE REPLACEMENTS AND NEW CONCRETE LANES
  Another presentation on Sugar House projects was given by UDOT and they covered the 1700 East bridge replacement (in one day in August of 2021) and the 1300 East bridge replacement in the fall of 2021. The work will keep three lanes open during the day in each direction. UDOT will also add another lane for a total of four lanes westbound.
  The new concrete should be a little quieter but the residents around the area still have to contend with the noise of engine brakes on heavy duty trucks. UDOT says that the area does not meet noise requirements for a sound barrier. If it did, UDOT would have to put sound walls on each side of the freeway. The new concrete should have new less noisy tining. "Longitudinal tining is an effective method to reduce noise and provide the added safety of hydro-planing reduction". I am still trying to confirm that it will be used on the new concrete. New concrete, even without tining, is less noisy than old concrete. For updates, email saltlakeeast@utah.gov.
  During discussion, several complained that building more lanes results in more traffic. The reality is more lanes make it more convenient to have a home further away with a bigger yard. I know several who gave up on Salt Lake City and moved to Heber! The increased traffic is due to the ability to have a better life with a better home with a larger yard. Driving half and hour or an hour is not an issue with cars that almost drive themselves. Ask Governor Cox why he drives two hours each way, each day (when he is not in his central Utah office).

RANKED CHOICE GENERAL ELECTION HURTS CANDIDATE DEBATE POTENTIAL
   I believe that using ranked choice voting for municipal candidates (4 SLC Councilmembers up for election this year - note that Amy Fowler has not decided if she will run for re-election) in the General Election will interfere with the potential debates that voters depend on to help decide who they will vote for. If the City decides to forgo the Primary, allowed with a ranked choice General Election, candidates would apply by August instead of by June 7. But the biggest effect on the voters and particularly on the community councils is that there could be a large number of candidates in the election and that would make debates impractical and laughable. If more than two candidates for municipal offices are on the General Election ballot, community councils and voters will have less time to hear the two best candidates debate. From years of hands on experience both managing campaigns and running for office, I have found that the problem with more than two candidates is that the community councils, and other groups hosting debates, have to allow all of the candidates into the debate. Even the ones that may not have a chance at winning. That decreases legitimate debates.
  Several examples show the problem. Nationally, during the Presidential Primaries, the number of candidates on the debate stage was almost laughable. Locally, in 2013, there were way too many running for office in District 5 to allow a good debate that could cover more than a couple of questions. In other words, there was not enough time for the community councils to allow all to participate in debates until after the top two were chosen in the primary (I helped set up the one debate.). In the 2015 mayor's election, the 5 candidates made effective debates at the community councils almost impossible. Greater Avenues settled the issue by choosing who they felt were the top two candidates for a first debate and let the last three debate at the next month's meeting. That could have resulted in a lawsuit if any of the candidates felt slighted (we didn't). The first mayoral debate in 2015 may have seemed to stay on point and provided good points but subsequent TV debates were rushed and didn't allow a good defining of the candidates, in my opinion. 
  I expect many to run for municipal offices this year for each opening and that will make the hosting of debates almost impossible until after a primary that chooses the top two candidates. The best example is the large number of candidates that applied for the last opening on the District 5 City Council seat. I believe many activists will apply to push the issues that were common in the last year, including defunding police, police brutality, homeless camp cleanups, affordable housing, etc. 
  My main point is that over the years, candidates for municipal offices cannot provide a good education for voters without debates and debates with more than the top two candidates are difficult and do not really provide more than a couple of questions answered. Without debates, voters have to rely on candidate marketing materials. With more than a couple of candidates, potential debates will turn into a bunch of slogans by activists hoping to get their point across. And the candidates who will be most negatively impacted are those with minimal funding who will have a much more difficult time trying to get their name out there.
  If the City really wants to educate the voters, the City should consider hosting debates for each Council District at local schools. In 2014, the Legislature made all public schools civic centers (all charter schools were added in 2015) so that the only cost for using the school facilities is a modest rental fee (and damage deposit) since added insurance is not needed. Local schools would provide a large audience and educate voters better than candidate marketing materials. The City should host these voter education debates for the Primary and for the General Election. It would also publicize the local community councils and increase community engagement in those councils. 
  Salt Lake City expects to vote on a resolution on whether to have a primary on April 20 at their formal meeting. If you have comments, see the list of emails in the transit rides for millionaires below. 


IDLING
  Salt Lake City is finally going to push for a new anti idling ordinance, a year after the Legislature allowed ticketing for idling after one warning. The City was a leader in an anti-idling ordinance but the Legislature, encouraged by many of us, overturned the ordinance and insisted that it only be educational and only allowed tickets after 3 warnings. Our concerns were mainly that low income families with older vehicles would be targeted. Mothers should not have to be threatened by police. In the last 2 years in Salt Lake City, only 17 warnings and no citations were issued. The Airport has a big problem with idling and the City is unsure how to handle it.
  I think that the City should consider emphasizing discouraging diesel idling. I can make an argument that diesels contribute most of the transportation particulate contribution to our airshed since newer vehicles have only 3% of the pollution of vehicles over 30 years old. Diesel engines are refurbished, not usually thrown away and that results in excessive air pollution. The Inland Port complaints generally center on diesel trucks and this is the chance for Salt Lake City to significantly decrease the pollution from the Inland Port. (Rail diesels are used in other states and Utah is unable to stop their use.) There has been an estimate that up to 25% of diesel vehicles have engine enhancements that significantly increase pollution. For that reason alone, the ordinance should prioritize diesel anti-idling. In addition, big rig trucks are sometimes parked in residential areas and they are started up and idled regularly which results in many complaints about noise. Again, diesels, should be a priority for enforcement. Police have excessive responsibilities and they should be focused on discouraging idling diesels before ticketing idling new cars. 
  Based on years of watching diesels performing work for the City, despite contracts that say no unnecessary idling, those diesels, performing City work, are idling for hours! The ordinance should specifically state that all City contracts are required to have anti-idling as a part of the contract and a signed agreement to limit idling in accordance with the ordinance. I did not see that in the ordinance even though Engineering tells me that contracts say that.
  Motorcycles should be specifically mentioned in the anti-idling ordinance.
  I still think that SLCPD should not have to address a low income family in an older car trying to keep their kids warm in the winter by idling. That could lead to situations that can rapidly escalate to what may end up being labeled police brutality.
  Line 53, new D. needs the word "testing" added for emissions testing.
  K-9 idling has been a big problem/issue at the State Capitol. The K-9 dogs are kept in the vehicles parked next to the Capitol for hours while the vehicle is idling! In addition to the concern for the dogs' sanity, the idling vehicles create a large source of pollution by government employees. There should be a one hour limit to idling with a dog inside. There should also be a limit for idling while waiting for someone (going into a store, waiting to pickup at the Airport, etc).
  Finally, noise is an issue. The City Council staff report mentions this and future ordinances may target this issue. The Legislature has been trying to address it (Sen. Bramble, Rep. Dunnigan). Much of the problem can be decreased by focusing police and other enforcement (allowing parking patrol to ticket idling vehicles) on diesels. But this City should also investigate future fine tuning of ordinances to discourage removing noise enhancements for vehicles and motorcycles. I am told that that is common. Federal regulations state that 80db is the maximum noise allowed on motorcycles but removing standard mufflers significantly increases noise.
  Bottom line, diesels should be targeted for anti-idling enforcement and the City should not legalize keeping a dog in an idling vehicle for hours! 
  
SLC GETS NEW 5 YEAR ROADWORD PLAN
  I put the 5 year streets projects plan in the downloads section in the right.


SLC ABOUT TO GIVE MILLIONAIRES FREE RIDES TO TRANSIT
  In one of the most questionable proposals in a year of questionable proposals, Salt Lake City Council is about to approve Budget Amendment 7 which provides $800,000 for UBER like rides in the Avenues, East Bench, Glendale and Rose Park to the nearest bus stops. The millionaires in the Upper Avenues and the upper East Bench must really need the lifts. 
  UTA provides the service called VIA (in the downloads) in a much larger area with much larger distances to the nearest bus stops in the Southwest Salt Lake County. UTA provides the service for a subsidy per rider of about $35! Admittedly, the cost per rider is less than the cost to run full size buses but UBER and LYFT passes are less expensive. 
  UTA gets about $1.6 million a month in cash fares. The $800,000, in my opinion, would be better utilized and result in greater mass transit ridership growth if the funds were used to jumpstart a $1 bus fare.
  Millionaires do not need rides to buses. But the citizens of Salt Lake City deserve a $1 bus fare. Please email the City Council and demand a $1 bus fare. Tell the City Council at:
james.rogers@slcgov.com,andrew.johnston@slcgov.com,chris.wharton@slcgov.com,amy.fowler@slcgov.com,dan.dugan@slcgov.com,darin.mano@slcgov.com,ana.valdemoros@slcgov.com


SLC COUNCIL AGAIN HEARS HORROR STORIES OF KIDS EXPOSED TO METH USERS
  During this week's SLC Council meeting, around 20 callers demanded that the City decrease police funding instead of increasing the funding with Budget Amendment 7. The new funds are to cover the cost of SLCPD work on homeless camp cleanups and to protect the protesters who insist that they protest in the street. What is ironic is that the $500,000 for the SLCPD protection of protesters who protest in the street is caused by the protesters of police funding marching in the street. If the SLC Police didn't have to worry about protecting the marchers in the street, they wouldn't have needed that extra funding. If you want less police funding, stop protesting in the street!
  Again, hundreds may want less police funding but tens of thousands want more police funding. Communities want more funding for the police and they want camps with criminal behaviors exposed to kids abated. Stop demonizing parents who want their kids to be able to walk safely to school. 
  Amy Hawkins, Chair of Ballpark Community Council, who has been fighting to provide more safety to her neighborhoods, summed it up better than anyone else at the meeting. She told of how the homeless drug addicts were camped out in a park strip across from an Elementary School and smoking meth in public! She said that "Homelessness is not a crime but it can't be okay to live in a park strip across from a school and openly smoking meth".
  
SLC ADU REPORT SHOWS ADUS ARE NOT THE SOLUTION TO AFFORDABLE HOUSING
  During the annual report on ADUs by SLC Planning Director Nick Norris (in the downloads on the right), Council Chair Amy Fowler related problems with ADUs in her area that rent out their ADUs to many as short term rentals. The City is not able to enforce the ordinances on ADUs. When neighbors complain, the City gives business license applications to the offending owner! It is happening Citywide. According to the Planning Director, enforcement, to ensure that owners occupy the residence, is time consuming, especially with short term rentals. The new ADU bill, HB82, significantly modified from the original bill, will allow basement ADUs to have a lien placed and that should work better as an enforcement tool. But putting owner occupied on the title as a deed restriction is almost useless. Liens work better.
  The report said that about 27 ADUs a year were predicted and 2019 had 33 and 2020 had 34 approved. So, since Salt Lake City has about 42000 single family homes (about 12% of the City's land), only .08% of single family homes have ADUs. It will take 12 years to get 1% of single family homes to provide higher density. 21 ADUs are under construction now and 9 have been completed. 
  The biggest impediment to more ADUs is the requirement for the ADU to be less than 150 foot from the street and firefighting equipment (SLC ordinance). All ADU conditional use permits have been approved and even in other designs requiring conditional use, they are almost never denied. Setbacks also limit expansion and placement of ADUs. 
  It can take 3 to 4 months for approval and certain up front costs result in potential landlords shying away from the ADUs. The costs can approach $100,000 and seniors often do not have the time, interest or money to build them. ADUs are the most controversial items in front of the Planning Commission. They can be limited to a portion of City land. Complaints are the only way to start an investigation and action on noncompliance with the ordinance and, as mentioned above, that often results in nothing.
  There was potential for the RDA areas to have ADU encouragement. That may happen in the future.
  A short note on SROs, the shared housing proposal (mentioned before/below) that the City is pushing: During general comments to the City Council, there were several complaints that SROs are an insult to low income since they either have a private bathroom or a private kitchen, not both and they appear to be market rate starting at $1000 a month! Several commenters complained that they treated low income renters disrespectfully. I agree. Mixed income housing is best and SLC needs to stop going around in circles and encourage redevelopment of State Street and North Temple, the best potential for large amounts of housing. Wasatch Tenants United (on Facebook) are against SROs.
BOTTOM LINE, ADUS ARE NOT A SOLUTION TO AFFORDABLE HOUSING


DANGEROUS CRIMINALS SHOULD NOT BE RELEASED FROM JAIL
  Let's try this again. If you believe this, email the County Councilmembers at:
RSnelgrove@slco.org,JBradley@slco.org,ARbradshaw@slco.org,ANewton@slco.org,Agranato@slco.org,sldebry@slco.org,DHTheodore@slco.org,LLStringham@slco.org,DAlvord@slco.org
  Many recent crimes in March have been reported to have been committed by individuals that I believe should have been incarcerated. The Salt Lake County Jail releases so called non-violent arrested individuals and that results in 1000 beds in the County Jail not being used. But many of those released are still a threat to the citizens and businesses in the County. 
  One recent death was committed by a man with a long criminal history that included aggravated robbery, burglary, running from police and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person. The arrested suspect was on felony probation. Another was arrested last week (and released from jail) after shooting a gun at people while he was on probation. Another arrestee is still in County Jail at the insistence of the police. He had numerous firearm charges over the last 5 years yet was released before. Any criminal with a gun is a violent criminal and should not be released! 
  Car thieves are able to get out of County Jail with a $100 bail since it is considered a non-violent crime! But driving a 4000 pound stolen and often speeding vehicle is a big threat of violence and there is a great hit and run potential. Stolen cars do not quickly stop for police and that is how innocent people die.
  We've been complaining for years that criminals are being arrested dozens of times in the act. The average number of previous arrests for SLCO Jail inmates is 10! When unemployed drug addicted individuals are released after being caught committing crimes, it should be assumed that they will continue to commit crimes. They do not commit victimless crimes and they should not be considered non-violent. When the police arrest and charge a thief with stealing $45,000 of catalytic converters, they should not be released (he was) unless there is an assurance that they will not commit similar crimes. The police should not be covering for the inadequate public safety funding of the County Jail and DA.
  Another serious situation existed when a robber who pled guilty to robbery, was sentenced to 1 to 15 years in Prison but only served 30 days in County Jail before being released. He was shot and killed by police 6 months later after robbing 3 at gunpoint and picking up his gun with two hands while surrounded by police. That shooting resulted in a riot which never would have happened if he had been incarcerated for the time Utah law requires!
  Admittedly, a large part of the problem is that the State is pushing to reduce State Prison bed counts and that shifts incarceration responsibilities to this County's taxpayers and the Jail. So called non-violent criminals is a bad deciding factor for release when they will continue to commit crimes. It should be obvious that if a criminal is carrying a gun while stealing a bike, they are more likely to shoot someone if caught in the act. Possession of a weapon by a convicted criminal should not allow him to be classified as non-violent and released.
  The County should re-evaluate how to decide on release of an arrestee. It should not be based on being so called non-violent but it should be based on whether they will present a threat to society. Criminals with previous convictions that carry weapons should be prioritized for incarceration. That will require the County, which is about to get a large amount of money from the federal government, to increase funding to the DA and Jail to open up and use all of the beds in the Jail.


SLC BUDGET AMENDMENT 7 LISTS CAMP CLEANUPS, COSTS OF PROTECTING PROTESTERS
  Most commenters to this week's City Council meeting (mentioned above were upset about the extra money for the police. The list below goes into detail about why. In addition, towards the end, I put in the complete transit plan which still has almost $2 million unused that I keep pushing to be used for $1 bus fares. So the below is the nitty gritty detail of BAM 7.
  
A-3: Encampment Reestablishment Prevention ($650,000 – Fund Balance)
The Administration is requesting this funding for police officer voluntary overtime shifts to provide security to Health
Department employees and outreach and social workers efforts as part of the Community Commitment Program.
Information about that program is summarized here: https://www.slc.gov/hand/community-commitment-program/
All the overtime shifts are voluntary so there is no guarantee they will be filled. Current reduced staffing levels in the
Police Department limit available use of on-duty officers during regular hours because reassigning those officers would
likely decrease response times to calls for service. Overtime shifts typically pay time and a half as reflected in the
$65/hour rate in the table below.
The Police Department has already supported 1,071 health department activities in 2020 including operations prior to,
during and after camp mitigation. The figure was 640 in 2019. The current estimate is that 500 additional
reestablishments (based on over 1000 camp health department cleanups in the previous 12 months) would take place
throughout the remainder of fiscal year. Estimating that there would be one major camp per month from January to
June for two days each and minor camps requiring resources equal to 1 day per week would mean the Police
Department would need $650,000 additional funding for FY2021 as shown below.
Activity # days/Officers/# hours/Rate/Amount Requested
Major Cleanups 12/40/10/$65/$312,000
Minor Cleanups* 26/20/10/$65/$338,000
Total Requested $650,000
*previously utilized on-duty resources that are no longer available
Some Council Members have asked why these services are not provided by other entities. The Salt Lake County Sheriff’s
department has largely moved away from law enforcement services and has moved those responsibilities to the Unified
Police Department (UPD). The UPD only provides those services in contracted cities and unincorporated areas of the
county. As a result, SLCPD has the sole law enforcement responsibility and jurisdiction for providing security to Health
Department staff during public health activities.
Council staff requested the total budget for the Community Commitment Program this fiscal year which was
forthcoming at the time of publishing this staff report.
Policy Questions:
 Program Update – The Council may wish to ask the Administration for an update on the Community
Commitment Program, which includes services and assistance for people staying in the camps, trash pickup,
power washing, biowaste pickup and portable restrooms with attendants. Note these services are provided at
different levels depending on circumstances at each location.
 Long-term Options – The Council may wish to discuss with the Administration long term options to address
homelessness such as new State and Federal funding for housing, coordination with the County and other cities
in the valley for permanent winter housing, new tools the City is exploring, etc.
A-17: Police Protest Costs ($537,337 – General Fund)
The Police Department is requesting budget allocation for costs incurred related to ongoing protests and free speech
events, including events related to the Presidential election and Inauguration. The costs include additional staffing and
an increase in workers compensation due to injuries incurred during these events.
 Overtime - $326,528
 Workers Compensation increase for protest related claims - $73,577
 The request also includes overtime costs associated with patrols set in place to maintain order in case of protests
during the Presidential inauguration. The cost of those patrols was $137,232.
D-5: Transportation On-Demand Ride Services (Trips to Transit Pilot Program) ($800,000 – Transit
Key Routes Capital Account)
See Attachment 7 for an infographic about the proposed pilot program
The Salt Lake City Transit Master Plan (2017) identifies On-Demand Ride Services (Trips to Transit) as a key strategy
for serving low-density, single-use areas of the City. The goals of the Trips to Transit program, consistent with those of
the Master Plan itself, are to improve air quality, increase the number of people taking transit, provide a safe and
comfortable transit access experience, provide a complete transit system that supports a transit lifestyle, provide access
to opportunity for likely riders who are underserved, and to create economically vibrant, livable places that support use
of transit.
This program will provide on-demand intra-zonal service, which will connect residents, visitors, and commuters
between fixed route transit services and areas of the City that are largely residential, as identified in the Transit Master
Plan. The areas in the plan include Rose Park, Glendale, the Upper Avenues, and the East Bench. Travel modeling has
yielded the recommendation that an initial pilot would be most successful and serve the greatest number of riders in
Rose Park, with a short connection to the Route 9 and Route 4 end-of-line near Redwood Road and 400 South. Adding
Poplar Grove and Glendale to this service area would make the pilot even more useful to more residents.
UTA has piloted such a service in Southwest Salt Lake County, and it has proven very popular and more cost effective
than fixed route service in connecting people to the major transit lines. City staff has evaluated the cost of contracting
directly with a provider compared with operating the same service in collaboration with UTA, and the latter is both
more affordable and better integrated with the existing transit system. In addition, if the pilot proves to be equal to or
better than current service provided by inefficient routes, resources for those routes can be reinvested in two Council
priority routes on 600 North/500 East and 1000 North/South Temple.
To launch those two routes in 2022, it is important to launch Trips to Transit as soon as possible, with a goal of August
2021. This will allow time for the service to become established and evaluated. This initial request will fulfill start-up
costs, and an additional request of approximately $1,000,000 from Funding our Future will be included in the FY22
budget.
D-11: Frequent Transit Network (FTN) CIP Funding Allocation
The Council adopted a transfer of $1,100,000 to CIP for the FTN. In the CIP funding log the Council approved $22,000
for cost overrun and $11,000 for Percent for Art, but did not approve the remaining funds of $1,067,000 for projects
associated with the FTN, including bus stop improvements, crosswalks, pedestrian safety, transit-related signal
upgrades, ADA enhancements, first/last mile connections, etc. This amendment is to acknowledge Council approval of
the use of these funds to complete these projects.
The Transit Key Routes capital account has a current available to spend balance of $700,285. There is also a holding
account created by the Council with a balance of $1,979,369. The budgets were higher than contract costs for the
frequent bus routes partnership with UTA in FY20 ($999,824) and in FY21 ($979,545). The Council decided to place
these Funding Our Future dollars into a holding account once Transportation’s formal recommendations are available
for discussion.


STOP THINKING THAT UDOT WILL CLOSE OR CHANGE THE 9TH SOUTH FREEWAY EXIT/ENTRANCE
  This keeps coming up at community council meetings. Why can't we move the 900 South freeway exit/entrance. In September 2019, the City reported on its study to do just that. But it was obvious that the result would significantly increase pollution, congestion and make other streets much more unsafe. I put the 2019 report in the downloads section on the right. BuildingSaltLake.com has a good story on it (slanted against cars but still a good summary and report). Google it. UDOT is really touchy about increasing pollution.




MARCH 2021
SALT LAKE CITY INSISTS ON PUSHING CHEAP APARTMENTS THROUGHOUT CITY
  During a discussion on March 23, the Salt Lake City Council seemed to insist that the City needs super cheap housing that they now call Shared Housing. It used to be called SRO but the bad reputation of SRO as crime magnets made the name change important. Despite the name change, the Planning Director did imply that the low cost motels on State Street and North Temple are effectively SROs. But the communities that surround these cheap apartments call them crime magnets.
  In my opinion, they are called crime magnets due to the fact that when police arrest criminals, the County Jail releases them almost immediately unless there is shooting of a person involved. The Jail does not look at shooting a gun as violent always. Only when a person is hit, in my opinion. These are people that should be in State Prison but the County does not give the DA and Jail funding to send them to Prison and the Prison is trying to reduce bed counts to match the much lower bed counts in the new State Prison. So when criminals get out of Jail or Prison, they know that they will be accepted without a problem at these crime magnet, low cost motels. 
  Councilwoman Fowler of District 7 was excited that there are 3 Sugar House areas that will have them along the S-Line! When a question was asked about limiting the concentration, it was pointed out that the City limited the concentration of payday loan companies. Amy Fowler hit the roof! She was upset that opposition to the SRO is an insult to low income people when they are compared to payday loans. But the question was can the SROs be limited to reduce concentration and objections. That was a legitimate question. Amy is looking forward to having them in her District and she says that the plan WILL MOVE FORWARD IN A TIMELY MANNER. 
  Andrew Johnston thinks that they are needed Citywide. Mayor Mendenhall said that geographic expansion is in the future and is planned. James Rogers wants a legislative intent to go forward. Dan Dugan mentioned that the Skyline Inn on 17th South and Foothill works well and is essentially an SRO. He said that the area needs to open up and he is more than willing to move forward. 
  Dan forgot that the previous owner of the Skyline Inn was unable to stop men coming out of Prison and gravitating to the Inn. There was a big almost riot at City Hall a few years ago about it after SWAT raids and many complaints. The solution was for the developer of the project across the street, Foothill's markets, to buy the Inn and surrounding property and clamp down on illegal activity. The developer is redeveloping the area, under some community protest (due to the efforts to have the entrance on 17th South).
  Darin Mano said "my constituents are against it". But he didn't try to argue against it. Ana Valdemoros said that she is concerned about the impacts on her neighborhoods.   
  The plan is scheduled to be adopted as soon as possible with a yearly review, a management plan for the developers, business license enforcement, an expansion of areas and a buffer zone limiting the SROs to one per area.
  Until this City understands how to increase affordable housing, they will be grasping at the wrong straws. This plan to implement SROs Citywide is going to result in a big riot at City hall.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING ANSWER NEEDS HOUSING ON 80% OF SLC WITHOUT HOUSING
  During the recent discussion on affordable housing and the RMF30 proposal, it was claimed that single family home neighborhoods are limiting affordable housing! But single family housing zoned neighborhoods are only about 10% of the City. 80% of the land in Salt Lake City is zoned to not allow housing! That is the issue that needs to be corrected.
  The RMF30 proposal will result in an eviction tsunami. I apologize for repeating myself, but if this passes, it will result in property owners getting offers that they can't refuse and sell their properties, that are rented now for affordable rents, for development.
  The ADUs that are claimed to be the solution are not the solution to affordable housing. Only about 25 were built up until the end of 2020 after over a year of essentially everyone would be approved. And only another 75 are in process but the cost of an ADU, even in a basement is over $50,000. The biggest cost is the extra emergency exit. ADUs are being encouraged in single family home neighborhoods that developed with an implied promise that it will create stable owner occupied home neighborhoods. ADUs increase rentals and turnover in those neighborhoods. Since Airbnb increases the cost of housing and there is no way to limit unrelated and owner occupied, it increases the cost of housing at the same time that it destroys stable neighborhoods. In other words, ALLOWING OR ENCOURAGING REDEVELOPMENT WITH ADUS OR RMF30 HISTORICALLY INCREASES HOUSING COSTS, DECREASES AFFORDABILITY AND ENCOURAGES GENTRIFICATION.

MOTHER OF ALL WASTEFUL SPECIAL INTERESTS SPENDING BILLS SIGNED
  Governor Cox signed HB433, the mother of all wasteful special interests spending bills. He released a comment: “Overall, I’m very pleased with the results of the 2021 Legislature....Major investments including historic funding for education, broadband access and double-tracking FrontRunner will benefit Utahns for generations to come. Utah is poised to emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever.”
  But the hundreds of millions of dollars are going to be spent on double tracking FrontRunner instead of spending the money on another month of in person schooling for our children. The double tracking of FrontRunner is the start of an effort to electrify the system (with billions more) since diesel locomotives can't accelerate fast enough to meet the 15 minute goal. The project does not have broad public support and that could kill any federal funding. It also will only add about 7000 riders (according to a UTA survey) to the 5000 that ride it now. That will result in each new rider getting a 30,000 subsidy, or the equivalent of a new electric vehicle!
  If you say that the only way to get better transit service is to spend hundreds of millions of dollars, that is disrespectful to taxpayers. UTA cut bus service on routes 30% a few years ago in order to finish the TRAX. The LA study from a few years ago, made it clear that after spending over $10 billion on rail expansion, the system got minimal increases in ridership after 20 years! 
  A recent Salt Lake Tribune article on the lack of earthquake safe school buildings show where the money could be much better spent.
  Jarret Walker was contracted to help plan the future of UTA. He is an respected expert in mass transit. He has said: “For my whole career there’s always been a reason transit agencies were spending money on something other than bus service...” 

SLC BUDGET AMENDMENT PROPOSES WASTING MONEY ON UBER COMPETITION
  Salt Lake City's Budget Amendment 7 is proposing to spend $800,000 on an UBER like system like UTA is using in the southwest of the County. That system, called VIA subsidizes riders with about $35 per ride! The money could be better used to provide $1 bus fare in Salt Lake City. If you believe that, tell the City Council at:
james.rogers@slcgov.com,andrew.johnston@slcgov.com,chris.wharton@slcgov.com,amy.fowler@slcgov.com,dan.dugan@slcgov.com,darin.mano@slcgov.com,ana.valdemoros@slcgov.com

GLENDALE NEEDS MORE POOLS TO ENSURE REAL EQUITY BETWEEN EAST/WEST SLC
  Although Sorensen Center has reopened their swimming pool, the westside of Salt Lake City, in my opinion should have several swimming pools. The Steiner Aquatic Center and the Fairmont Park Natatorium swimming pools are on the east side but the Ballpark neighborhood and Glendale and Poplar Grove deserve more swimming pools. A recent resident near the old water park on 17th South next to the freeway said: "Not a lot of people in the area have pools...kids should have the ability to get wet, not just rich kids." That summarizes the issue. It has to do with equity. Tell the City Council using the emails above. 

SUGAR HOUSE CIRCULATION PLAN IGNORES CHEAPEST OPTION BUSES
  Despite the fact that the 213 bus service was cut in half a few years ago due to low ridership, the new circulation study data refused to consider that as an option for mass transit expansion. The goal, I believe, is to justify spending hundreds of millions sending the S-Line to Millcreek to service Millcreek Mayor Silvistrini's dream of rail in Millcreek. But that would require Salt Lake City taxpayers to cough up much of the millions. The Legislature gave it a push with the $12 million to go an extra block to Highland with the S-Line, despite ridership below 700. It isn't worth it to decrease having to walk an extra block but it helps encourage Millcreek's dream and with the Economic Director of Millcreek, Rep. Mike Winder, and Mayor Silvistrini's Chair of the WFRC, it could happen.  I put the first report in the downloads.


BALLPARK PLAN MEETING HAS ONLY 3 PARTICIPANTS
  During a Saturday Ballpark Plan "Community Event" hosted by a consultant (SLC REALLY LIKES TO USE CONSULTANTS - see below), only 3 attended the virtual meeting (I was one). In my opinion, they did not know what they were trying to accomplish. They did not know the area or the problems. And one participant who lived in the area knew more about how to make a better Ballpark Neighborhood than all of the consultants in the virtual meeting put together.
  The recommendations, so far, include a streetcar, a BRT, a 17th South protected bike lane, shared roadways and multi-use paths. The streetcar destroys bikeable streets since the rails famously catch bike tires (over 50% of Portland bicyclists have had accidents on streetcar rails); destroy mountain views which is one of the most important issues in the community; it will require $100 million in local taxpayer funding and will take up valuable travel lanes for a few hundred (based on the S-Line ridership of less than 700 (1300 average pre-pandemic), lanes that could handle 10,000 riders in vehicles. 
  The BRT - Bus Rapid Transit, is 10 times the cost of an enhanced bus that has the same capabilities without taking up valuable travel lanes. The suspended 35MAX BRT only had 3200 riders a day, despite removing 2 lanes from vehicle use, lanes that could handle 15000 riders a day in personal vehicles. The UVX in Provo between UVU and BYU is not the same since it is free (free fare will not be responsible in an area that has a problem with homeless - so called undesirables discourage mass transit ridership); it is between two large destinations and in reality, only 1000 fewer parking permits were requested after the system started. In other words, UTA has not been able to show a successful implementation of a real BRT. I should add that the claims of economic development due to the BRT and streetcar are arguable. Arlington, Virginia wanted a streetcar but after wider sidewalks (see Tysons Corner sidewalks), economic development occurred faster and without the much higher expense of a streetcar. Arlington decided against the streetcar. In this City, a mayor lost his 2015 re-election campaign partly due to his plan to increase rail. This is an unpopular proposal.
  The supergentrification of Sugar House can be argued to be encouraged more by the community character, residents and the most open space in the City (2 golf courses, 2 large parks and a linear park that connects the Bonneville Shoreline Trail with a future connection to the Jordan River Trail). I recognize that some think that $100 million in local taxpayer funding (a match required for federal funding 25% -60% - last federal grant was 25%) is a good investment but the community has better ideas for using that much money than a streetcar. On a side note, only one development in Sugar House has some affordable housing, Dan Lofgren's Liberty Village.
  The recommended separated bike lanes are not being correctly and safely implemented in Salt Lake City. I do not consider cycle tracks to be an amenity since they are only cleaned once every 7 weeks (with super polluting equipment) and they limit emergency maneuvers. They are not recommended in areas with a lot of driveways and they limit building heights due to fire fighting barriers (ladder trucks are forced to be further from buildings). Wider 9 foot bike lanes with rumble strips separating vehicle lanes would be a safer amenity that encourages bicycling more. 
  The separated 17th South bicycle lane recommendation is going to rub salt in the serious fight over the 17th South road diet that was to allow parking on 17th South to benefit developers (who wanted more on street available parking). The 17th South 4 lanes allowed safer bicycling since Utah law requires vehicles to stay 3 feet from bicyclists when passing. When 13th East had a road diet from 4 lanes to 2 lanes, an attempt to make bicycling safer, it allowed parking and made bicycling very dangerous. It also backed up traffic for a mile, increasing pollution and pushed traffic onto adjacent streets. 
  If this City wants to make 17th South safer for bicyclists, they should remove parking first. The many driveways make a separated bike lane's safety questionable. I need to emphasize this from experience: SEPARATED BIKE LANES ARE NOT SAFE WHEN THERE ARE A LOT OF USED DRIVEWAYS.
  The recommended shared roadways are not recommended due to past experience. They tend to shift traffic to previously quiet neighborhood streets to avoid "slow" bicyclists. Shared travel lanes (vehicle/bicyclists) should only be considered with significant bicycle traffic, 4 lanes or downhill (in order to not block traffic and increase pollution). 17th South downhill from 1300 East and Sunnyside downhill from Foothill are two semi successful shared roadways. The 500 East shared roadway shifted frustrated and speeding traffic to 400 East which is causing significant neighborhood anguish. Although about 10% of the citizens think bicycles and pedestrians should have the highest priority over vehicles. 90% of citizens, in my opinion, think that vehicles should have priority on the roads. I think that there can be a better way than shared roadways and separated bike lanes. I do think that the significant bicycle accidents at 17th South and State can be decreased with a better traffic signal system, maybe with a longer yellow light. UDOT controls that intersection's traffic signal.
  The recommended neighborhood byways would be better served with wider sidewalks. The Kensington proposal is supposed to make the State Street crossing, which is still dangerous, safer. A better use of the $400,000 budget would be to provide very visible video cameras and big signs that say vehicles are recorded when the walk button is pushed to stop vehicles from continuing to ignore crossing lights.  
  Other suggestions that the consultants feel are needed include improving connectivity, Transit Oriented Development/TOD encouraged around TRAX stations (but single family home neighborhoods should be protected around those stations and off street parking minimums should be increased - the vacant Sears and other almost empty and unused buildings should be forced to be redeveloped), and respect the neighborhood character and homes. Respecting neighborhood character includes keeping residents' mountain views which streetcars and big buildings destroy.
  The study's consultants listed several "successful regional places" including the 9th and 9th Neighborhood Center (but parking is still an issue with a recent protest against reduced parking and a neighborhood lawsuit against the City) which is causing issues with adjacent neighborhood residents. On street parking around the Center is full already. Another "successful regional place" was listed as Sugar House but the walkability was destroyed when the City inadvertently allowed a developer to charge a $10 minimum for parking at a City funded parking garage. That resulted in all of the other parking lots in the neighborhood (including, temporarily, the Post Office parking lot) to limit parking times to generally 2 hours. That stopped people from parking their cars in a lot and walking through the neighborhood's stores and restaurants! The other "successful regional places" is listed as Downtown South Salt Lake! For over 20 years, development has been stalled due to questionable efforts and plans. The S-Line station is away from the bus line (one of the most used and crowded, standing room only bus lines in the City) and the grocery store access is now blocked by development! I do not think any of the "successful regional places" is what Ballpark wants to be.
  The consultants identified pedestrian issues as narrow sidewalks, sidewalk obstructions (SLC wants more sidewalk obstructions in their plans), ADA issues and no mid-block pedestrian crossings. My concern about mid-block pedestrian crossings is that it drives motorists onto other streets. I have not seen a good implementation of them. They belong where there are two high use retail/restaurant facilities across the street from each other. 
  For example, the 300 West project is proposed to place a barrier to pedestrian crossings east of Walmart to deter the many pedestrian accidents. The homeless, and many others, cross the street since the traffic light is further south. If the traffic light were further north, there would not be a problem and pedestrians wouldn't be encouraged to cross east of Walmart. The 1300 South and 300 West intersection needs better pedestrian infrastructure including wider crosswalks and better signal timing. I am against bulbouts since they make it more dangerous for bicyclists by shifting them into traffic. Despite identifying sidewalk obstructions as an issue, bicycle parking often is a sidewalk obstruction. 
  Wider sidewalks (literally the last of the "emerging ideas" from the consultants) should be at the top of the list and would cost less than a streetcar (see Arlington, Virginia's history). Other emerging ideas include improve connectivity to the west and north of the TRAX station (without destroying the single family, AND AFFORDABLE, housing neighborhood). Another idea is to complete the bike network (but vehicle travel should not be second priority). Another idea is to enhance game day experience by closing streets and incentivizing transit. Closing streets like 1300 South, an important access to I15, should not be considered. If businesses on a street all agree to close it for a day, it may make sense but with the car lots, and so many businesses catering to vehicle traffic, it is not realistic. Another idea is to install 1300 South mid-block crossing west of the transit station. But that blocks 1300 South traffic - which increases pollution. Widening sidewalks, especially on the north side which has a skinny and scary sidewalk close to relatively high speed traffic, would encourage pedestrian use of the north sidewalk going to the 300 West intersection. That should be the highest priority. Note that the recent project did not increase sidewalk width. ALL NEW PROJECTS SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO HAVE 10 FOOT WIDE SIDEWALKS!
  The last emerging idea is to "improve the pedestrian environment with pedestrian level street lighting, gateways at entries to neighborhood, improve/widen sidewalks. Like I said before, widening sidewalks should be the highest priority. 
  The consultants said that in their market assessment "there is demand for 62 renter-occupied units and 81 owner-occupied housing units that the Ballpark area can absorb on an annual basis". I think that the SLC RDA staff proved that the area, specifically around State Street, could provide thousands of housing units. 
  Other needs from the community included: "safe, vibrant, diverse in people and places, connected and accessible, balanced between old and new identities, thriving, a gateway, uniquely identifiable and aesthetically pleasing, affordable, year round destination, and family friendly". I think that family friendly should be the highest need and public safety is the most important issue to provide a family friendly neighborhood (include crime and road and sidewalk public safety).
  My suggestion for the highest priority is to keep criminals, drug dealers, catalytic converter thieves and car thieves locked up. A neighborhood wide security video camera system should be considered, mounted on light poles, to discourage criminal activities. Other suggestions to improve walkability is to remove the many car sales lots, implement convenient form based zoning on State Street to encourage wide sidewalks and mixed use, mixed income buildings (with more off street parking minimums) and increase bus routes (a main street bus would be useful to encourage mass transit use and a more frequent State Street bus).
  As I said before, the highest priority should be to widen sidewalks and require all new buildings to have 10-15 foot sidewalks. Mixed use and mixed income buildings should be the priority. Trying to redevelop homes is wrong since it decreases affordable housing and destroys neighborhood character. The area has plenty of vacant and underused buildings that should be pressured to redevelop. 
  There is no reason why the Sears Warehouse building is still vacant since it is next to the TRAX station unless the belief that rail encourages economic development is wrong (see South Salt Lake Downtown). Offstreet parking requirements should be increased since the area has had big problems with parking (like Sugar House and 9th and 9th and Central 9th). 
  Again, State Street can and should provide a great mixed use and mixed income housing and an important and encouraging area amenity providing restaurants, stores and pedestrian activity. The neighborhood would greatly benefit from being able to walk a few blocks to an active area that State Street could become. It should become the center of a big area wide redevelopment area. 
  Comments on the Ballpark Community Area Plan should be sent to: aegan@gsbsconsulting.com. The consultants are still taking input and everyone is encouraged to voice their opinions.
 

  

UTAH FOUNDATION (AND UTAH TAXPAYER ASSOC) ENCOURAGES TOLL ROADS 

  The recent opinion piece by Jay Evensen, one of my favorite columnists, deserves the other side of the argument. In his column ($4 for a gallon of gas? How about reconsidering the gas tax), he suggested that it may make sense to expand the UDOT pilot Road Usage Charge (RUC) program, currently testing with 2000 electric vehicles volunteering to provide data to help determine if changing Utah's road maintenance funding from gasoline taxes makes sense. The UDOT report is due in August. Changing or expanding the program before the report is available is bad government. Other states also have pilot evaluations in progress or completed. California's program report recommends "exploring the feasibility of a pay at the pump model" for road charging (due to pushback with other methods). 
  The recent effort to increase the electric vehicle registration fees significantly was partly to force a large expansion of the UDOT RUC program. Some, including Peter Reichard of the Utah Foundation, think that the RUC is a "more reliable revenue stream, fairer to drivers and better at predicting the funding need for road maintenance and repair". The Utah Taxpayers Association is also supporting efforts to transition to a RUC program for road maintenance, claiming that electric vehicle owners are not paying their fair share. 
  The belief that in 10 years a large portion of the vehicles on the road will be electric and won't be paying their fair share of gasoline taxes doesn't make sense when one realizes that, even if half of the vehicle sales in 2035 are electric vehicles, the majority of vehicles will use gasoline for at least another 10 years (based on vehicles historically being used for decades). Utah gasoline sales have been increasing for the last 10 years, except for 2020 due to the pandemic. Despite more fuel efficient vehicles, a larger majority of vehicles on the road are larger and are less fuel efficient. As mentioned during a recent legislative hearing, there is no evidence that electric vehicles are a big burden on roads. It was pointed out that most electric vehicles usually don't drive as much or as far as gasoline vehicles and they usually are slowly driven on local roads.
  The effort to shift road revenue from gas taxes to RUC also ignores the impact that larger vehicles have on the road. A small electric vehicle may weigh 3000 pounds but a big SUV or truck may be double that. Large commercial trucks can pay almost $20,000 in fees to compensate for their impact on roads. Big SUVs pay more with gasoline taxes since they are usually less fuel efficient. The RUC systems do not presently take into account vehicle weight, road impacts and whether they are driven on local roads or highways. 
  Ironically, a lot of the complaints that Utah does not collect enough for road maintenance is due to the gasoline tax system that was changed a few years ago to increase a percentage instead of a simple and larger 10 cents a gallon increase. Former State Senator Van Tassel's proposal was replaced by a more complicated system that is still not providing the recommended revenue to maintain our State's highways.
  The Utah RUC pilot program is managed by EMOVIS, a toll road company. Proponents of RUC even admit that this is a toll road system. UDOT has discouraged past efforts by the Legislature to implement toll roads. Governments should not try to solve problems with the most expensive or complicated systems. A simple 10 cents a gallon gasoline fuel tax increase would provide appropriate road maintenance funding and save all of the time that we are spending considering other options.
  During this past session, there was an effort to increase electric vehicle fees to force them to participate in the RUC pilot program. But increasing electric vehicle fees, at the same time that Utah celebrates how environmental its policies are by expanding power charging stations effort does not make sense. 
  Gasoline powered vehicles are not going away and electric vehicles are less than a couple of percent of vehicles on the road. The suggestions to change from our very successful system, used for decades, to pay for road maintenance and funding, needs fine tuning that a 10 cent a gallon gasoline tax will solve. It does not need an overly complicated and questionable RUC program without reliable data to show it makes sense. Utah should wait for UDOT's RUC pilot program report before discussing changing our system to a toll road system.
MOTOR VEHICLE THEFTS IN SLC STILL HIGH
  Salt Lake City motor vehicle thefts are way up. One of the big reasons, in my opinion, is the jail releases car thieves with just $100 bail! So they are only out of their elements for a few hours. Please report unusual prowlers to 911 and say prowler, not homeless!
  
COUNCILMAN MANO WANTS ALLEYWAY PARKS NOT CLOSED
  Many communities have been pushing to close their alleyways to the public since the City, the County and the State have not taken the criminals element, the drug dealers and the drug users out of society and they tend to congregate in areas like the alleyways of the City. As public and City owned areas, SLCPD do not have the ability to remove them permanently and their criminal activity and biowaste is a constant threat to the neighborhoods. So many neighborhoods that are tired of the constant threats coming from their alleyways are asking the City to close them to the public while keeping the easements for utilities. The City is trying to slow down the process.
  Councilman Mano sees potential in the alleyways that could provide increased densities and new buildings facing the alleyways. The alleyways could be activated with more buildings and commercial and residential buildings which would discourage criminal activities. But activating the area around Rio Grande does not and did not discourage drug and criminal activity for more than a couple of years. As I said before, in my opinion, and in the opinion of many police, the County Jail and State Prison do not keep the criminals and drug dealers locked up.
  The dream of Councilman Mano is similar to the dream of Mayor and former Councilwoman Mendenhall. She pushed through a million dollar funding for the McClelland Trail from Princeton to Brickyard. But the City overspent money and the funding was spent mostly on upgrading the alleyways around 12th East south of 13th South. Many of the plantings have died and the Trail effectively ends north of 2100 South. Former Councilwoman Lisa Adams' parting gift to Erin was a plaque that read "really likes alleyways".
  The area in Ballpark is the center of the efforts to close alleyways that seem to provide criminals with a place to do their business. Although it also provides a place for homeless to camp and sleep, the biowaste grows and eventually the cleanup is too much for the neighborhood. The City offers minimal cleanup support, although the City has been providing Advantage Services to cleanup biowaste. The frustration of the Ballpark neighborhoods is going against the City's plans. It will be an interesting fight.
  
SLC COUNCIL PARKING HEARING IGNORES COMMUNITY PARKING CONCERNS
  All of the community councils in District 5 have recently been complaining of the lack of appropriate and reasonable parking. The parking proposal makes it worse since it decreases off street parking requirements in many areas. It decreases parking requirements for old buildings that are repurposed. And it re-emphasizes no parking requirements for areas near TRAX and FrontRunner. 
  Interestingly, recent proposals near the future 650S. Main Street TRAX station asked for more parking than required. We fought this battle 8 years ago with the minimal parking requirements of the Brew Ha Ha proposal (shot down only by ABC, not the City. But the City doubled parking requirements until this new proposal.
  The consultant, Fehr and Peers, worked with developers and the Downtown Alliance but not with residents and businesses (that I know of). 
  Councilman Andrew Johnston say that "if it is being used to get people out of their cars, it may not work. It may not work to help affordable housing!"
  The proposal should be sent back to staff and the draft parking report should be made public before the proposal is reconsidered. The Council had the public hearing to help in their decision in the future. The parking proposal may go around in circles in the backrooms of the Council for another year. There is an election this year for 4 Council seats, the majority of Council seats. The proposal may wait until after the election. 
 


SLC'S RMF30 PROPOSAL PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED UNTIL  HOUSING TOOLS AVAILABLE
  The hearing on RMF30 almost was continued but Councilwoman Fowler made the motion to close the hearing until the new housing tools like affordable housing overlay and replacement housing ordinance is available. The proposal, in the minds of many knowledgeable citizens, will encourage redevelopment of affordable housing and result in an eviction tsunami. 
  Cindy Cromer, an affordable housing landowner gave one of the best arguments against this proposal. This proposal will result in affordable rental property owners getting an offer that they can’t refuse to sell and allow redevelopment of their properties. Even the City's affordable housing expert, Dan Nakerman (head of SLC Housing Authority) said encouraging destruction of affordable housing will result in building more market rate housing.
  Interestingly, Dan Nakerman also said that inclusionary zoning (where the City requires a portion of new buildings to be affordable housing) would help increase affordable housing. But the City is not considering inclusionary zoning. Inclusionary zoning with impact fee decreases got lost in the ozone 2 years ago after a very good City Council hearing.
  Despite all of the celebration about SLC spending almost $70 million to encourage over 2000 affordable housing units, only a little over 2000 affordable housing units have been built in the last 6 years. But 6 years ago, Matt Minkevitch, former head of the Road Home, said that SLC needed 7500 affordable housing units. In other words, housing in SLC is getting less affordable.
  Despite claims to the contrary, only about 10% of the area of SLC is zoned for single family. 80% of land is not allowed to have housing! The State Street RDA area, that has the potential for thousands of housing units has not gone anywhere for 6 years (although the Coachman project on 13th South and State was just approved and the Capitol Motel project is about to be completed). North Temple has also been extremely slow to redevelop as evidenced by the constant complaints of criminal activities.
  There is another secret report (just how many secret reports is Salt Lake City holding?!), there is a draft gentrification plan. This City, again, is asking for public comment without all of the information and reports that it secretly holds. I consider it bad government.
  If Salt Lake City wants more housing, it should put a park on the Fleet Block. The supergentrification of Sugar House came about due to the large amount of open space in the area, the 2 golf courses, Sugar House Park, Fairmont Park and the Parleys Trail. A park in the area would exponentially increase developer interest in building more housing. 
  Respecting residents through respectful housing plans is important for a good affordable housing plan. This proposal should be returned to staff for a better analysis until you release the super duper secret gentrification study and have a complete understanding of the other alternatives including affordable housing overlay, SRO (to be discussed on March 23 at the City Council work session) and ADUs. 
  SLC affordable housing plans need a reset.
 


SLC PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT IS FAILING WITH MILLER PARK AND 900 EAST PROPOSALS
  Several years ago, a CIP was approved by Salt Lake City to improve ADA access to Miller Park in Yalecrest. But at the last Yalecrest Community Council meeting, it was announced that the City gave a big contract for a consultant that spent so much money that the ADA component of the CIP is no longer viable! Yalecrest Community Council members were not happy. Salt Lake City spends too much money on consultants (as I keep saying). 
  And, in the same week, the Sugar House Community Council was told that the City has finalized plans for 900 East and that the community is not allowed to make other changes. But one month ago, the community was told that the design was only at 70% and that the City was still taking comments. But on February 8, the City did finalize the plans without telling the community. It put sharrows (shared traffic lanes with bike lanes) in the southbound travel lane just north of 2100 South! Sharrows are not recommended in such areas where traffic is high and cyclists are endangered. Vehicles back up for a block at rush hour and a vehicle will not wait for a slow bicyclist to go through a yellow light. The City realized this and on the March 15 meeting that announced that the design was caste in concrete, the City changed their minds and recognized the poor design and placement of the sharrows and rescinded the sharrows design. 
    The 7.5 foot planting strips South of Hollywood would be better used as an addition to the skinny and not in compliance with Complete Streets standards, 5 foot sidewalks!
The center pedestrian islands interfere with turning vehicles that will be forced to go into the bicycle lane at Sugarmont (turning left from Simpson going north). The area in the center is needed to ensure that vehicles from Simpson can safely enter 900 East. The design will slow down the left hand turning vehicles in an attempt to not hit the island (if they do, the pedestrians on it are in danger). The island by Fisher is the same situation. The island will slow down turning vehicles and increase accident potentials. Watch them turn. They speed up, not slow down. Do not create traffic conflicts. This is bad engineering. 
  The City also has not released the traffic study for 900 East area.
  The City also ignored the community and after taking away a parking lane on the east side of 900 East and the center turn lane, the City replaced them with a 6 foot bicycle lane! SALT LAKE CITY TOOK 20 FEET OF ROADWAY AND REPLACED IT WITH A 6 FOOT WIDE BIKE LANE!
  The City plans on street parking just north of 2100 South when there is plenty of off street parking and the road would be better used for left and right hand turn lanes. In addition, the plan could increase backups and shift traffic onto 800 East and Hollywood! The City also plans a center median by Smiths on 900 East when traffic desperately needs the center turn lane there for entrance and exit into Smiths!  In general, this City messed up bigtime in this project, in the Miller Park project and in the S-Line proposal (see the next blog entry).
  Citizens should send their comments, despite the design being finished, to jena.carver@slcgov.com and tell them that the City should make 10 foot sidewalks and 9 foot wide bike lanes standard, including on this project. 
  Citizens should also email the City's Public Engagement Manager at  weston.clark@slcgov.com and complain about these issues (include the 900 South center parking redesign that is not being publicly discussed).
  
SLC MAYOR CELEBRATES $12 MIL S-LINE TO NOWHERE FUNDING INSTEAD OF $1 FARE
  Mayor Mendenhall, despite running her first campaign against the S-Line extension north, subsequently insisted on putting "a head on the snake" and push it north along 1100 East while removing parking, destroying mountain views, increasing taxes, rezoning single family homes for higher use and property taxes and destroying a popular bicycle route (bicyclists' tires catch in rails).
  I still think that spending $12 million for the S-Line from the rushed, last minute and essentially secret HB433 would be better spent on $1 bus fares. The idea that it makes sense to spend $12 million to have the less than 700 daily S-Line riders not have to walk one more block to Highland is absurd. A $1 bus fare (and maybe free S-Line) would have a greater impact on increasing ridership on SLC transit than the S-Line funding. UTA surveys suggest, at best, that only about 300 more will return to riding the S-Line. So the questionable utilization, spending $12 million to get 300 more riders is not justifiable, in my opinion. There is also the temptation from several elected leaders to extend the S-Line north or south and in each instance, the community would fight the removal of parking, installation of power lines obstructing mountain views, increased bicycle dangers from tires catching on rails, and obvious property tax increases (since rail is considered to be an amenity). If the S-Line is pushed to go south by Millcreek's Mayor Silvistrini and helped by their Economic Development Director and Representative Mike Winder, SLC SLC taxpayers should not pay for Millcreek's rail.
  
900 SOUTH STREET REDESIGN HAS CENTER PARKING BUT ALMOST NOBODY KNOWS
  There is a proposal, difficult for many to access online, to place 45 degree parking on 900 South a little west of State Street. The street is used as an access and exit from the 900 South I15 bridge! Trying to divert traffic to other streets is wrong and unsafe.   
  In addition, it destroys bicycling in the street since 45 degree parking is notoriously dangerous for bicyclists. Trying to make a so called old fashioned neighborhood center via center lane parking is wrong and a misuse of very valuable roadway. A super wide bicycle lane would be a better use of the center turn lane and two lanes of traffic that the City is giving up.  The sidewalks also need to be wider in the area but the landowners do not want to give up property. Developers should be required to give up property for wider sidewalks for new developments. 
  I walked the 300 South area east of State Street during a past campaign and most businesses did not like the center parking. Although the speeds are reduced (I do not think that businesses realize this and if they do, they think that it will increase business.), it is still questionable to not have parking by the sidewalk.  
   Finally, for now, UTA does not like the conflict and businesses are concerned about buses on that road (Ogden is a good example of why 45 degree parking and buses do not go together.). I strongly urge SLC Transportation to rethink their proposal of 45 degree parking and ensure that all in the community agree with it first after knowing all of the pros and cons. I know that my points were not included in previous discussions on this issue and they should have been. Also please reach out to UTA about the 45 degree parking. 
   And again, the City has not released the parking study nor the traffic study promised for 900 South.
   I urge everyone to sign up for emails and comment on this proposal at:
https://www.slc.gov/mystreet/2019/05/02/900-south-900-east-to-900-west/
 


SLCO JAIL RELEASES MASTER CATALYTIC CONVERTER THIEF QUICKLY
  This City has been inundated with catalytic converter thefts. 14 City vehicles in one night at the Sorensen Center had their catalytic converters removed! But our SLCPD caught the thief, in the act. The jail released him because the Sheriff felt that his crimes were not against a victim! Please complain to the County about releasing criminals from jail within hours. Their emails, are so conveniently listed here, ready for cut and paste:
RSnelgrove@slco.org,JBradley@slco.org,ARbradshaw@slco.org,ANewton@slco.org,Agranato@slco.org,sldebry@slco.org,DHTheodore@slco.org,LLStringham@slco.org,DAlvord@slco.org

WHY SPEND 12 MILLION FOR 700 RIDERS WHEN $1 FARE WOULD GET MORE TRANSIT RIDERS
  There seems to be a celebration in Salt Lake City's Administration and Millcreek's Administration on the $12 million that HB433 gave to the S-Line extension, tentatively scheduled to move it to Highland Drive, 1/2 block east. There are two competing interests in this plan. Salt Lake City has a preferred alignment going north (the preferred vision of Mayor Mendenhall to "put a head on the snake"). Millcreek's Mayor Silvistrini envisions the S-Line going south on Highland as the needed centerpiece for his vision of a Millcreek City Center. 
  I believe that the community, whether 1100 East or Highland Drive, would fight the removal of parking, installation of power lines obstructing mountain views, increased bicycle dangers from tires catching on rails, and obvious property tax increases (since rail is considered to be an amenity).
  Years ago, during the 2013 streetcar riots, Councilman Simonsen suggested that it should go east to the area's best destination Sugar House Park. That plan was shot down by the Council and I believe that the Mayors of Millcreek and Salt Lake City want a different route.
  Going north or south will require over $100 million in local taxes and if it goes south, SLC taxpayers will be paying for Millcreek's rail.
  The $12 million tentatively set for the S-Line should instead go to $1 bus fare (and maybe free S-Line) to have a greater impact on increasing ridership on SLC transit than the S-Line funding. Present ridership is less than 700 and UTA surveys suggest, at best, that only about 300 more will return to riding the S-Line. So spending $12 million to get 300 more riders is not justifiable, in my opinion.  
  That $12 million could fund $1 bus fares, AND complete the Foothill Trails Plan or provide most major streets with 9 foot wide bike lanes. Any one of those would get more daily utilization that extending the S-Line one half block.
  
900 EAST RECONSTRUCTION PLAN THROWS BICYCLING SAFETY OUT
  Despite earlier recommended redesigns for the 900 East reconstruction from Ramona to 2700 South, the City sprung a big change on the local community council and it appears to be ready to go to contract without listening to the community input. The plan place sharrows going south on 2100 South from Hollywood to 2100 South! it also does away with the "promised" 9 foot wide bicycle lanes further south.
  I am concerned that the backup one block north during evening rush hour will be worse with the proposed sharrows. It will result in vehicles going east on Hollywood or west on Ramona (to 800 East which is supposed to be the safe bicycle route we encouraged - remember the lights and markings). During rush hour, due to the long waits, cars often rush through red lights to avoid another wait to turn green. A bicycle is not going to stop them. Sharing a lane with a bicycle makes sense only going downhill when traffic is not impeded (27th South and Sunnyside - although Sunnyside has issues). Sharrows are complicated to install since other traffic calming is recommended. That intersection is not amenable to traffic calming without a significant increase in congestion, pollution and traffic diverting to other adjacent streets. To quote a Dutch bike planner "(Sharrows) should be used in tandem with significant traffic calming measures - on a street with fast traffic, to put down sharrows alone would be considered "unethical". And sharrows, in a recent Colorado analysis, did not increase bicycling as much as doing nothing.
  Although the City has not indicated what will be the speed (it is 30MPH now), there is an effort to reduce speeds at other reconstructed streets to as low as 20MPH. The speed should not be lowered from 30MPH unless the City wants traffic to move onto adjacent streets. There should be NO PARKING on street parking from Hollywood to the S-Line, despite what the City suggested.
  The City decided that 6 foot bicycles lanes would do. But the 6 foot bicycle lanes are not realistically going to increase bicycling. 9 foot bicycle lanes should be standard in the City if this city really wants to encourage bicycling. 6 foot bicycle lanes do not allow side by side bicycling and are a safety hazard since it is still difficult to avoid open door accidents. Parking strips are really useless from Hollywood to 2700 South on the east side of the street that is supposed to have parking removed (on the south side from Hollywood to Simpson). Since 900 East is losing the usually useless center turn lane of 11+ feet, why are bicycles only getting 6 ft?!! And on the east side, the parking strip is useless and not really used so why not make the raised bike lane 9 feet??!! 

CONSULTANTS TAKE 30% OF MONEY FOR MILLER PARK CIP
  For some reason, despite a very clear CIP application to the City to restore parts of Miller Park that are falling apart due to the City's inappropriate and ill conceived massive tree cutting and illegal streambed redesign, the City decided to use 30% of the approved funding for a consultant! The presentation to the Yalecrest Community Council resulted in a large number of complaints about the inappropriate use of important CIP funds for a questionable and obviously unknowledgeable consultant. The City struck out big time on this. Will Miller Park ever be restored? Not if the City has anything to do with it. (in my opinion, the opinion of the Vice Chair of the Friends of Miller Park)
  
MAYOR'S LIBERTY WELLS DISCUSSION COMPLAINS ABOUT ALLEN PARK & SEWER TAX
  Mayor Mendenhall made a short appearance during the Zoom Liberty Wells Community Council and took just a couple of questions. One was about the increased sewer taxes and why was Salt Lake City using them for Allen Park! Public Utilities does use funds to buy and protect streambeds (although with Miller Park's Red Butte Creek they messed up). They also spent money to help buy Bonanza Flats in Summit County. But the $1 million used from Public Utilities (much of the funding came from Impact Fees from the many developments in Sugar House) was minimal and important to ensure protection of the streambed that would be negatively impacted by development. The City buys property in the Wasatch Canyons regularly for the same reason.
  
HB98 MAY MAKE IT EASIER FOR DEVELOPERS TO GET NEW BUILDINGS APPROVED
  There were two important bills that the Legislature passed this Session that I forgot to discuss. One was HB98 that would make it easier for developers to build buildings if a city did not approve the building in a reasonable amount of time. It also restricts cities from overburdening developers with things like specific materials for buildings (like in Salt Lake City's transit districts and form based zones). This could have a big impact on building construction in cities, especially in Salt Lake City. It also could impact other City requirements that developers balk at. This may result in a big fight in the future.
  
SB70 MOBILE CRISES MENTAL HEALTH EXPANSION DESPERATELY NEEDED BUT DEAD
  Senator Riebe's SB70, one of the most important bills sponsored in this Session, would have expanded the 4 MCOT Mobile-Mental Crisis Outreach Teams to 14. But the State balked at the $4.2 million yearly cost plus more provided by the federal government, that would have resulted in over $6 million in cost. I think that it would have been worthwhile. But it died. Rep. Eliason was not consulted initially and he was the expert driver on the original MCOT funding. He should have been consulted with before the bill was developed since he could have helped it through with changes.

CITY WEEKLY CALLS FEMALE MAYOR SEXIST?
  Chris Smart, one of Utah's best reporters, just wrote a story about an obvious case of sexual harassment and sexual discrimination in Salt Lake City. It is sadly ironic that the present Mayor Mendenhall has a degree in woman studies but at the same time refuses to acknowledge an obvious case of injustice that appears to be coming from City attorneys that are telling her not to settle. Martha Ellis was on a fast track to rise fast in the ranks of one of the most difficult professions to women, firefighting. She was lauded as a great manager, and firefighter and she was also recognized nationally, going to training at Naval Postgraduate School for Homeland Security. But, in a department infamous for sexual harassment, she pushed too far in her dedication to her job as Fire Marshal. She reported lack of operating fire alarms at a fire station that later caught on fire and had extensive damage and she refused to approve a separated bike lane plan on 300 South that interfered with fire fighting of high rise fires (the City Council recently approved liberalizing the rules to make the cycle track legal). The Transportation Manager at the time said, in an oped against my oped, that high rises do not need firefighting ladder trucks since they have sprinklers! (She is now President of the National City Managers Association.) 
  So Martha Elles was pushed out of her job as Fire Marshall and hounded out of the Fire Department. This will remain a black stain on the City's claim of equality. Chris Smart's article is at:
https://www.cityweekly.net/utah/no-woman-need-apply//content?oid+16497594

NAVAJO/DINE` USED TO NAME MARS' FEATURES
  I have considerable respect for Dine`/Navajo. As a veteran, I am in awe of the Navajo that volunteered during World War II to be code talkers, despite the secret fact, known to them, that it was expected that they were to be shot if they were in danger of capture. In other words, their language was so valuable to keeping communications secret, that they could not fall into enemy hands. They essentially volunteered for a suicide mission. All of them, in my opinion, deserved the Congressional Medal Of Honor. In 2020, the Legislature named several highways near the Navajo Reservation in honor of the Navajo Code Talkers.
  My point is, that this week, this Nation recognized the Dine`/Navajo contributions to this Country by naming geologic features on Mars in the Navajo language. I could not think of a better way to honor their contributions to our Country. The story is at:
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/nasa-s-perseverance-mars-rover-mission-honors-navajo-language

PARKING ORDINANCE HEARING MARCH 16 WITH COUNCIL PLANS SECRET
  The new Salt Lake City Parking Ordinance is to be heard on March 16 but the Council is expected to make major changes to the plan before adopting it but the Council will not have to return for a public hearing. The Council has said that they want to hear what people say (it should not decrease off street parking minimums) before proceeding. This has happened several times before. After a public hearing on a leash ordinance that banned keeping dogs on leashes in a yard for a long time, the City Councilwoman, Erin Mendenhall, changed the ordinance significantly to outlaw long leash times that was not part of the original ordinance. Surprise!
  
LACK OF PARKING CREATES COMPLAINTS FROM EMERGENCY SERVICES
  The Fireclay Transit Oriented Development (TOD) had minimal off street parking requirements since many thought that transit/TRAX next to the development would decrease the necessity of cars. But it recently came to light that emergency response services are complaining because of all of the parked vehicles on the side streets surrounding the TOD buildings interfered with the ability of emergency response vehicles to get to an incident. I wish that people could understand that when we report that less than 2% use mass transit, we mean less than 2% use mass transit. Even in Portland, next to rail stations, 80% use personal vehicles!
 
BALLPARK SURVEY PLANS NEED MORE PUBLIC INPUT
  The Ballpark neighborhood between 900 South and 2100 South and west of State Street to the I15 Freeway is being redesigned by the City. There is a survey that the public is encouraged to take at: 
  https://www.calltheplay.org
  
LEE DAVIDSON, BEST, MOST EXPERIENCED REPORTER LEAVES SALT LAKE TRIBUNE
  Lee Davidson, who spent most of his career at the Deseret News, moving to the Salt Lake Tribune in 2011, has left the Salt Lake Tribune. Lee was, in my opinion, the best, most knowledgeable and experienced reporter that still reported on Salt Lake City and Utah news. Others may have been in the news industry longer but they were not still reporting. They moved up to editors or management. Lee was an on the ground reporter with decades of experience. His story of the Thai pig farmers was Pulitzer Class in my opinion. The recruiter of those pig farmers, who had to be given charity to live a reasonable life while working in Utah, was charged but let off years after his outrageous actions. 
  The reporters at the Salt Lake Tribune are good and generally hustling but they lack the history and experience that is necessary for great reporting. That lack of experience, history and knowledge that comes from decades in the business leads to stories that are little more than press releases and interview stories. A good example is a story on the large charge for travel (gasoline) by Senator Thatcher. If the reporter had experience, they would have realized that Senator Thatcher has to represent a large area including Salt Lake County and Tooele County! 
  Lack of experience can also end up with reporters trusting elected leaders who keep saying "trust me". It is a sad commentary on our news system that the best and most experienced reporters are no longer working for the Salt Lake Tribune. 
  
LEGISLATURE SECRETLY ADDS STREETCAR EXTENSION AND RUSHES THROUGH FRONTRUNNER DOUBLETRACKING
  In one of the most fiscally irresponsible actions of this 2021 Legislative sessions, Rep. Schultz revealed HB433 a business day before the hearing on the last week of the Session. It ignored the Executive Appropriations and Infrastructure Committee's recommendation that "only" $150 million be given to FrontRunner double tracking and forced $200 million for the double tracking and borrowing $100 million more for it! It included, according to UTA suggestions, over $100 million for new train cars when it can't even fill up one train car now. Only 4401 ride FrontRunner each day and UTA surveys recently found that only half of those who used to ride it (7000) would return after the pandemic concerns are gone. 
  After the public hearing when only one spoke against it, it was sent through the House and Senate with a new surprise, a $12 million appropriation for the S-Line expansion! Millcreek Mayor Silvistrini wants it to go via Highland Drive through Millcreek but the Salt Lake City residents along Highland will fight removal of parking and overhead power lines that will destroy their mountain views. Millcreek Economic Development Director Mike Winder, a Representative in the Legislature probably had a say in this. It will require, if the S-Line goes north or south, hundreds of millions in taxpayer subsidies, at least half of which will come from local residents and businesses. It will also destroy an important north south bike path on 1100 East and Highland Drive. 
  Salt Lake City, Holladay, Millcreek and South Salt Lake are in the process of developing a new circulation plan for the area that could be used by Millcreek to justify a rail in their area. Lynn Jacobs, who used to work with a regular SLC consultant, Fehr and Peers, is now working for Salt Lake City on the new Circulation Plan that envisions a road diet on Highland south of 27th South and many other expensive alterations in the area to make it "nicer". Millcreek has been pushing Salt Lake City to make the change this year since Millcreek is changing their portion of Highland Drive this year. I was one of the leaders against the S-Line preferred alternative path north of 2100 South. Mayor Mendenhall has several times indicated that she wants to "put a head on the snake" but it will require removing parking (14 foot recommended path for each direction) and trees along 1100 East and in the process, businesses and residents will suffer. I intend to protest any application for federal funding for this project (UTA and SLC have tried to keep applications secret in the past) by showing that it does not have broad public support. We were able to stop several grant awards in the past.
   Fiscal responsibility demands analyzing projects by their utilization. Spending hundreds of millions on rail that is predicted to be utilized by 12,000 a day is not fiscally responsible. UTA also predicted 5000 a day would use the S-Line when in reality only 1300 used it before the pandemic and only 748 a day use it now. California belatedly learned that passenger rail is not cheap, fiscally responsible nor effective at increasing mass transit ridership. LA spent over $10 billion over 20 years and got minimal increases in transit ridership (47 million a month to 54 million a month).
   Roads would be better utilized and rural areas that provide Utah products and resources to market desperately need funding for the unfunded mandate from the Legislature to develop those resources. I don't mind borrowing for the Louisiana Purchase, for World War II or for sending Americans to the moon. I do mind this Taj Mahal of a project, spending hundreds of millions on double tracking FrontRunner since it will be used to justify spending billions on electrtifying the train. Diesel locomotives are not able to accelerate fast enough to meet the promised 15 minute frequency. And don't forget the subsidy amortized that may approach thousands of dollars a rider.
  The bill, was shoved through due to Rep. Schultz wanting to avoid his continued concern over double decker freeways. $200 million could have allowed an extra month for the 600,000 Utah school students and an extra month of pay for the 26,000 teachers. The education of our rising generation, our best resource, is more important than this plan.
  The other questionable part of the bill is the effort by several influential past and present leaders to direct money to the Little Cottonwood Canyon area, specifically across the street from La Caille (UDOT's description of the property). This has come up several times to direct money to that developer for a mobility hub/garage for the development that is owned by several past, famous and infamous leaders. When the SB71 failed to provide toll revenues for the garage, and Sen. Cullimore failed last year to appropriate $15 million for the garage, they now have much more to start building the garage. 
  I don't expect  the tramway/gondola/rail to get started for at least 5 years but UDOT could use the money to build snow sheds now and solve most of the traffic issues within a year. Their estimates top out at $87 million. Unfortunately, no other news organization is reporting this.


SUFFOCATING PETS STILL LEGAL IN UTAH
  Despite Senator Hinkins heroic efforts to stop the cold and inhumane deaths of pets in carbon monoxide chambers in Utah, the bill failed literally at the last minute in the House, which adjurned early! 


LIST OF BILLS PASSED/FAILED
  For a list of bills that passed, see https://le.utah.gov/asp/passedbills/passedbills.aspl
  My list of interesting bills includes:
HB0075S03 Ranked Choice Voting (see below) Municipal Alternative Voting Methods (Rep. Stenquist) passed/enrolled
HB0082S05 ADUs Single-family Housing Modifications(Rep. Ward) passed/enrolled
HB0115S03 Municipal Boundary Modifications(Rep. Waldrip) passed/enrolled
HB0133    Law Enforcement Recording Release Amendments(Rep. Wheatley) failed
HB0142    Utah Yield Cyclist Traffic Amendments(Rep. Moss) passed/enrolled, 
(give credit to Dave Iltis for organizing support for this common sense bill)
HB0154S03 Use of Force Revisions(Rep. Birkeland) filed
HB0197S03 Voter Affiliation Amendments(Rep. Teuscher) passed/enrolled (see below)
HB0219S01 Inmate Phone Provider Amendments(Rep. Acton) passed/enrolled (finally clamps down on overcharging for phone service)
HB0220S02 Pretrial Detention Amendments(Rep. Schultz) passed/enrolled (overturns the bail reforms from last year - an overreaction)
HB0223S04 Alternative Fuel Incentives Amendments(Rep. Ballard) passed/enrolled (gives tax credits for hydrogen use - see below ctrl f)
HB0228S01 Jail Photo Distribution Prohibition(Rep. Stratton) passed/enrolled (stops new criminals from having their pictures released)
HB0237S03 Lethal Force Amendments(Rep. Dailey-Provost) passed/enrolled 
(recommends de-escalation when confronting suicidal individuals - does not apply to criminals with guns)
HB0271    Home Child Care Amendments(Rep. Pulsipher) failed
HB0284    Minimum Wage Amendments(Rep. Collard) failed
HB0302S02 Preserving Sports for Female Students(Rep. Birkeland) failed (I still think it is wrong to require hormone therapy for sports.)
HB0329S01 Expungement Revisions(Rep. Pierucci) passed/enrolled (encourages staying away from criminal behavior)
HB0353    Barber Licensing Amendments(Rep. Lyman) passed/enrolled (allows basic haircutting without years of school)
HB0373S01 Conviction Reduction Amendments(Rep. Teuscher) passed/enrolled (encourages staying crime free)
HB0388S04 State Energy Policy Amendments(Rep. Albrecht) passed/enrolled 
(adds hydrogen to Utah energy policy -California wants to stop using our fossil fuels - see big hydrogen story below ctrl f)
HB0433S04 Amendments Related to Infrastructure Funding(Rep. Schultz) passed/enrolled 
(see above for more on the most outrageous bill of the session)
SB0070S02 Mobile Crisis Outreach Team Expansion(Sen. Riebe) failed (stopped by Rep. Eliason and cost/fiscal note - one of the best bills but..)
SB0086S02 Amendments to the Price Controls During Emergencies Act(Sen. Fillmore) passed/enrolled (allows prices to reflect shipping costs)
SB0063    Domestic Violence Amendments (Sen. Iwamoto) passed/enrolled (gives prosecutors more options to stop the major cause of murder in Utah)
SB0104S02 Tax Levy for Animal Control(Sen. Weiler) passed/enrolled (allows governments to tax property for animal control)
SB0111    Records of Residential Property Owner Zoning Violations(Sen. Mayne) failed (would have made violations secret)
SB0146    Emissions Testing Amendments(Sen. Bramble) passed/enrolled (continues diesel emissions checks in Utah County and soon to be expanded)
SB0147S04 Confinement of Egg-laying Hens(Sen. Sandall)  passed/enrolled (big farms with thousands of chickens would need more space for hens)
SB0189S04 Tobacco Retailer Amendments(Sen. Vickers)  passed/enrolled
SB0217S02 Housing and Transit Reinvestment Zone Act(Sen. Harper)  passed/enrolled
SB0221    Short-term Rental Amendments(Sen. Anderegg) failed (see below - with Airbnb, this bill hurts affordable housing)
SB0235    County Tax Amendments(Sen. Kennedy) failed
SB0237    Animal Shelter Revisions(Sen. Hinkins) failed (got to House 3rd Reading for Senate Bills #4 on agenda before early adjournement)
SB0245    Net Metering Amendments(Sen. Cullimore) failed
SCR003S01 Encouraging the Evaluation of Interstate Passenger Rail Opportunities(Sen. Escamilla) failed (almost brought back with backroom deal)


UNAFFILIATED VOTERS GET MORE RIGHTS THAN DEMOCRATS
  In a fight to stop voters who did not have the same fundamental beliefs as Republicans, from voting in the Republican primary, HB197 attempted to stop Democrats and Unaffiliated from changing parties after March 31. It was changed, after our objections, to allow Unaffiliated to vote in the primary, even if they only changed to Republican just before the primary (see language below). So only Democrats and other political party voters will not be allowed to change to Republican and vote in the Republican primary if they don't change party affiliation before April 1.
  The language is: 
  "In an even-numbered year, a form described in Subsection (2)(c) received by the county clerk after March 31 takes effect on the day after that year's regular primary election if  the form changes a registered voter's affiliation with one political party to affiliate with another political party. Subsection (2)(d) does not apply to the party affiliation designated by a voter on registration form if the voter has not previously been registered to vote in the state. (c) for an unaffiliated voter who was affiliated with a political party at any time between April 1 and the date of the regular primary election, a form ... takes effect on the day after the regular primary election. ... An unaffiliated voter who affiliates with a political party as provided in Subsection (1)(b) may vote in that party's primary election.


COMMENT TO BOARD OF TRUSTEES WITH YOUR OPINIONS PLEASE
 Please send your comments to the UTA Board of Trustees at boardoftrustees@rideuta.com and tell them what you think of the hundreds of millions that the Legislature is suggesting should be spent on FrontRunner double tracking. Please remember that the money could have gone to the 600,000 students and 26,000 teachers instead of the 4781 a day who ride FrontRunner. There is also the matter with the S-Line since it is not in the UTA 5 Year Plan! Please comment on that also. My comments are:
  I realize that the Legislature gave UTA $12 million to expand the 748/day S-Line. But it only makes sense to go east up Wilmington and close to the Hidden Hollow connection to Sugar House Park. That is only if no other funding is needed. Going north or south will result in requiring hundreds of millions of taxpayer funding that is not fiscally responsible. 
  Weekend ridership is higher which indicates Sugar House Park is a popular destination.  Running north or south on Highland/1100E is a minefield since parking, trees and views would be impacted (14 feet is the recommended spacing for S70 and that is not attainable on 1100 East). An important north south bicycle route would become dangerous (as seen in Portland - streetcar rails catch bicyclists resulting in serious injuries).  
  Going south (as Rep. Winder and Mayor Silvistrini want) is going to destroy parking and mountain views that residents on Highland value. The federal government is not a bottomless barrel of money. The S-Line should be free unless so called undesirables that discourage mass transit ridership start overwhelming the Line. 
  TRAX and FrontRunner cannot expand or get more frequency without an extraordinary subsidy per rider. The money would be better spent on more buses on standing room only buses (200, 217, 200, 209, 33, etc). Subsidy per rider should be driving this decision. I know that $40/rider on VIA is unsat but better than buses. Fares should be $1 until pandemic scare is over. UTA has the money. The previous survey from last year said only 1/2 riders that left will return. Weekend canyon bus service would be a better plan and should be implemented with liberal carryon bike rules. FrontRunner only gets 4781 a day and $200+ million to double track ignores the LA rail failure and the obvious lack of fiscal responsibility and effectiveness of passenger rail projects. Rail does not attract as many riders as convenient, quiet, high frequency, low cost, span of service buses.


TARGET SUGAR HOUSE GRAND OPENING MARCH 14
  The Sugar House Target will be opening on March 14th south of the Park Avenue UofU hospital/medical office building off of 13th East. The area needs a good replacement for the popular ShopKo that was there previously. It should help the area's walkability.


SHORT TERM RENTALS EXPANSION BILL DENIED
  Senator Anderegg, one of the best legislators and a big proponent of affordable housing efforts in the Legislature, tried to get his SB221 through the Legislature. It would stop local authorities from limiting or enforcing limits on short term rentals when the rental is owner occupied. It would remove efforts to combat Airbnb expansion through neighborhoods that have resulted in the loss of affordable housing. 
  Houses that were $1500 a month a few years ago, now go for $5000 a month and rooms rented through Airbnb and other systems can result in even higher income. A recent case in Salt Lake City's Eastbench area was an example of the problem. A so called owner occupied house was renting out 5 rooms to individuals but it didn't become known until the owner asked for an ADU on the property! Due to Utah law that allows Airbnb to operate on the honor system when paying taxes but not report addresses of owners that are using the service to municipalities, the only thing that the City could do is give the owner a business license application! The Planning Commission had no choice with the new Salt Lake City ADU ordinance but to give the owner approval with a parking requirement.
  The biggest problem with Senator Anderegg's bill is that owner occupied is almost impossible to determine legally. The question came up during discussion that if the owner is only there one day a week, or if one of their relatives is one of the renters or something similar, is the property owner occupied. Salt Lake City requires owner occupied for ADUs but it can't be effectively enforced. So the bill is an unfunded mandate to local governments in order to assure owner occupied.
  Owner occupied housing stabilizes neighborhoods. The discussion centered on availability and affordability since cities like Moab and those near recreation areas and ski resorts have a problem with affordability and availability that is exacerbated by services like Airbnb.
  The bill did not move forward and Senator Davis moved to go to the next item with only Senator McCay, the chair voting no. Something needs to change to get control of this problem area. It is an important issue of affordability and availability.
  
ATTEMPT TO BAN CARBON MONOXIDE CHAMBERS FOR KILLING PETS IS BARELY ALIVE AGAIN
  For many years, several legislators have tried to ban carbon monoxide chambers used by several shelters, now two in the State, to kill shelter animals and wild animals like raccoons and skunks. But the chambers are expensive to maintain and calibrate to ensure a quick and relatively painless death. To ensure that requires shelter personnel to watch the animal while CO is put into the chamber. But shelter personnel do not want to watch the animals die so they do not watch the animals to ensure that they don't suffer. If the CO is not set right or calibrated or maintained, the animals will panic and whine and scream while they suffocate. If it is set right, the animal is supposed to drop unconscious almost immediately and death comes within a minute.
  But because the animals are not watched, and because the cost is so high, often the chambers do not work right and the animals suffer and do not die. In fact, the standard operating procedure for the chambers is to put the animal in a freezer for a day to kill them, again! In an egregious case a few years ago, a cat was "killed" in a chamber, placed in the freezer, and when taken out, it was still alive. It was adopted out eventually.
  Although the last two chamber operators contend that they are needed for raccoon and wild animal euthanasia, the certified USDA pest removal services (SLCO has one for several County municipalities) can and should remove the animals to a wild area if they do not want to inject them with the preferred pentobarbitol method. In addition, putting a skunk in a chamber is not recommended since it may seriously contaminate the chamber.
  Several spoke for the bill and several county representatives from around the State spoke against it. Although it passed the Committee to the Senate, it is so late in the Session, it should not be expected to pass. This late hearing is what stopped the last few efforts, including by former Sen. Knudsen, Sen. Weiler and Rep. Romero. Sen. Hinkins sponsored the bill, SB2237, this time although he was against it before.
  

FEBRUARY 2021


SO CALLED WORLD CLASS RAIL DIES WITH REALITY CHECK
  Senator Escamilla tried to sponsor a bill to set up a Passenger Rail Commission to consider and gather input and hopefully capture billions from the proposed federal infrastructure funding coming from Congress. Before it was presented to the first Senate Committee, it was substituted with just a study. But it assumes that there is a bottomless barrel of federal money and Utah has enough extra money to help match those funds.
  As California has belatedly learned, building a passenger rail system is not easy, cheap nor fiscally responsible. Those billions should be used on infrastructure projects that are better utilized. The Sanpete County Courthouse at $20 million would be more utilized than this multi billion dollar rail system.
  A better use of any government infrastructure funding would be, could be and should be for rural roads that are needed, desperately needed, for bringing products to market. Roads, trucks and passenger vehicles make our families, our economy and our Country more efficient.
  A $10 plus billion dollar passenger rail project would not be efficient, especially with our efficient air travel system ESPECIALLY after spending billions on a new Salt Lake City Airport and celebrating the Airport in a recent legislative resolution.
  The matching funds would take away from potentially increasing education funding, even adding an extra month to get our students up to speed on their education. I asked the Committee to not approve this resolution, save the money for education and roads. Utah should not be following California in fiscal irresponsibility.
  During discussion, several Committee members agreed with my comments about roads and poor utilization. The proposed resolution failed to pass the Committee.
 
CATALYTIC CONVERTER THEFT CONSPIRACY ENDEMIC IN SALT LAKE CITY
  As mentioned a couple of months ago, catalytic converter thefts are exponentially increasing. In one night, at the Sorenson Multi Cultural Center, 14 City vehicles had their catalytic converters stolen in just a few minutes! It can cost up to $3500 to replace. We asked law enforcement at the State, County and City level to check car parts suppliers to ensure that they aren't buying stolen converters and providing them to repair shops. It could provide much more value to crooks than selling to metal recyclers for recovery of valuable metals. Also, we asked UTA police to step up security in UTA parking lots to deter vehicle thefts.

CAR THEFTS DOUBLE DUE TO JAIL RELEASES
  In Salt Lake County, there is a large increase in car thefts. Part of the reason, in my opinion is that car thieves can get out of the County Jail with just $100. Arresting officers are still watching the car thieves walk out of jail while they are in the Jail parking lot doing their paperwork for the arrest. Salt Lake City has had an 84% increase in car thefts in the last year! Poplar Grove has had a 115% increase in car thefts. The whole City has the problem. There is also a large increase of 133% in car prowls in the Poplar Grove area and that is similar to the crime increase in the rest of the City. Please complain to the County Council about the lack of funding that allows hundreds of Jail beds to remain unused.
  Incarceration stats from Legislative hearings, as of January 14, 2021: There were 5,505 incarcerated individuals in Utah's prison system. There were 4,425 individuals on parole supervision. Combined, the Board of Pardons has jurisdiction over nearly 10,000 individuals. Utah is still encouraging fewer prison beds be used to justify the fewer beds in the new State Prison building along with the inability to appropriately man the State Prison with corrections officers (due to poor compensation). That still results in judges in Utah being urged to sentence criminals to county jails instead of State Prison despite the obvious threat to citizens and businesses.
  There is an effort to overturn last year's bail reforms that allowed judges to release criminals based on their threats to society, not just based on their ability to pay. HB220, sponsored by Rep. Schultz, is still not assigned to committee but it is a red herring. Former Rep. Hutchings' efforts and Justice Reform Initiative is not the problem, it is not the problem with last year's bail reform. It is a problem with lack of adequate funding at the State and local county level. If Rep. Schultz is able to present his HB220, I will point out the inappropriate misdirection.

ANTI-CELLPHONE BILL DIES FASTER THAN YOU CAN DIAL A NUMBER
  Rep. Moss presented, again, her effort to outlaw handling in any way shape or form, cell phones while in a vehicle. The present law already makes it a crime to text and drive, especially when violating a traffic law. That law already  makes the violation a misdemeanor. But Rep. Moss' bill makes the violation an infraction like speeding. Despite her presentation that included complaining about distracted driving being worse than DUI, her bill decreases penalties!
  I also complained about law enforcement refusing to ticket drivers that were violating traffic laws while using cellphones. Several testified for this bill during the presentation. After Sen. Urquhart passed the present law, there were a lot of tickets written for these violations. But now it seems that drivers are too sneaky for law enforcement! Several complained that they find that it is hard to see if they are violating the law. The final insult, in my opinion, is the reason for Sen. Urquhart's bill was the death of a Mr. Hansen and permanent injury of his wife by a woman who was texting and driving. The remarried Mrs. Hansen was part of the presentation. I still don't see why she was supporting a  bill that significantly decreased penalties for texting and driving, and her friend Sen. Ipson was cosponsoring it!
  Because it makes texting and driving like speeding, even though it is much more dangerous, it encourages texting and driving, I think.
  Committee members were mostly upset that the bill is unchanged from last year and felt that the Representative should have changed it and engaged during Interim to see if it made sense to bring it back again. They also felt that distracted driving comes in so many ways, like eating and holding hands. So they dealt it a final blow by moving it to Rules which is the kiss of death, usually. The Committee is also very intolerant of overreaching of government.  

BILL FOR ALLOWING ONLY FUNDAMENTAL REPUBLICANS WATERED DOWN AND TABLED
  HB197, the bill from Rep. Teuscher that is to stop voters from jumping to the Republican Party from other parties. The concern, according to the sponsor, is: “We don’t want people to jump into the party and pick our representatives when they don’t have any of the same fundamental beliefs of the party.” That phrase, the fundamental beliefs of the the Republican Party has been used to denigrate fellow Republicans who have differences of opinions when they are discussing bills in the Legislature. It was also used to justify an effort to ban the Beach Boys from playing Washington DC during the Fourth of July celebrations (President Reagan overruled his Secretary of the Interior.).
  It discourages participation in our political process. The Utah GOP's goal is and should be to provide the best candidate for the ballot. This bill kind of reminds me of states in the past who demanded that everyone in the state not be a certain religion. It reminds me of political parties that demand that everyone follow the party line and platform, like communism. There are 110 million different opinions in this country and trying to put everyone of one opinion in one platform does not make sense.
  The Utah GOP Party had a incredible depth of field, candidates for Governor, last year. Each had a completely different philosophy. That has resulted in more Unaffiliated and non-GOP registered voters to look at the Republican Party as a realistic, viable and potential Party.
  Despite concerns about Democrats trying to influence the Republican Primary, encouraged by former Senator Dabakis (people should stop listening to him), the Legislature forced the bill to be changed to allow changing from Unaffiliated to GOP until the Primary. Democrats and other party's voters are required to make a decision by March 31. But, the Senate debated the bill and it was tabled during the 3rd Reading. That means that there is a big issue and potential debate. It is up in the air. We won't know until the end of the Session if it will pass.
 
LEGISLATURE SUPPORTS BURYING MORE RADIOACTIVE WASTE CALLING IT NON-HAZARDOUS
  The Legislature did pass and the Governor is expected to sign the bill to agree to the burying of buildings of decommissioned nuclear plants, including the "slightly radioactive" containment vessels in EnergySolutions' Clive facility in a separate so called non hazardous waste dump. The only thing stopping it will be the Radiation Control Board's evaluation that it will be safe. Again, anything labelled radioactive is unsafe by definition.
 
REP. SCHULTZ TRIES TO RESURRECT $150 MILLION FRONTRUNNER DOUBLE TRACKING PROPOSAL
  Is it alive or dead? We won't know until the end of the Legislature's session! The effort to spend $350 million to double track FrontRunner has had several wins and losses in the last few weeks. The Governor endorsed it but the Appropriations Infrastructure Committee lowered the funding to $150 million (and the Executive Appropriations Committee approved the priority of the project at number 21 on the infrastructure list). During discussion, several legislators were concerned about several projects with limited utilization, including the $20 million for the Sanpete County Courthouse. There were also additions by Senator Kennedy for a million for local roads in Rep. Hawkins' area that are used to induce labor since they are so poorly maintained.
  But just before the Executive Appropriations Committee approved the list, Rep. Schultz shoved HB433 into the mix with one day's notice and something for everyone funding with an offer they couldn't refuse. It is like the F35 budget that gives money to every state and balloons the formerly low cost into an outrageous cost. He proposed $200 million borrowing for FrontRunner double tracking (line 66) and $100 million from the General Fund (line 308). Only one person in public comment argued against it.
  My comments included: This legislature has generally been fiscally responsible and analyzed projects by utilization. But even UTA, in their own survey, has said that only 50% of riders may return to riding UTA! So, at best, within 5 years, only 7000 more riders can be predicted to join the present ridership on FrontRunner of 5000 per day. California belatedly learned passenger rail is not fiscally responsible and a recent study showed that LA spent 10 billion over 20 years and got minimal increase in ridership.
Roads would be better utilized and especially in rural areas that provide Utah products and resources to market, something that Utah encourages. But that demands better roads and maintenance. Any of those would be better utilized than $200 million for FrontRunner. Double tracking will require billions more to make use of it since diesel locomotives can't accelerate fast enough to meet the 15 minute projected frequency. Utah should not be building this Taj Mahal of a project.
  The $350 million for double tracking would be better utilized for increasing funding for our 650,000 students and 26,000 teachers. Education is the great equalizer, energizer and enabler. Rep. Schultz' belief that if you build it they will come is for baseball not rail. His concern about "we can't keep building roads" (also used by UDOT to justify the Governor - the boss of UDOT) is not real when we can still build roads and less than 2% use mass transit! He did put in a $39 million budget for active (bicyle and hiking infrastructure) transportation.
  Fiscally responsible governments and Republicans shouldn't solve problems with the most expensive solutions if more cost effective solutions are possible. Other priorities on the Infrastructure Priority List (see the downloads) asked UDOT to plan to improve traffic flow through improvements to or redesign of roadways near the Bluffdale railroad trestle by oct 2021. Senator McCay said that 146th South is not walkable and the 11,000 population in Bluffdale is now responsible for the road but fire trucks can't go under it. FrontRunner goes over it.
  Another item is number 33, the Governor's dream to give former Senate President Niederhauser a million dollar development deal with a gondola from his property to the ski resorts, is number 33 on the Priority List and is not expected to go forward. It would take a decade to build anyway if ever (like rail that the Central Wasatch Commission claims is the consensus plan). But, during discussion of the LCC/EIS and proposals, it was pointed out that the cost to build snowsheds on the most avalanche prone road in America, Little Cottonwood Canyon, would be $70 to $90 million! So, if we want to solve 80% of the winter traffic problems in the Canyon, we can do it in a year with less than $100 million! Snow sheds would be needed for rail or BRT buses. But that seems to have been lost on the legislators this year.

HB237 PASSES SENATE COMMITTEE UNANIMOUSLY BUT DEMONIZES POLICE
  HB237 "encourages" de-escalation by police if the person that has a weapon is not a danger to anyone else. One of the presenters of the bill was the mother of person that the Cottonwood Heights. Her son had a gun (fake) that was used to rob several pharmacies just before the police caught him and shot him. Only one spoke against it because the bill was changed to require de-escalation in cases of suicide. It appears to demonize the justifiable actions of police against criminals that refuse to drop their weapons when surrounded by cops. One could argue and some public comments argue that these individuals that had just committed armed robberies were suicidal and not a threat. But one should argue that any criminal after numerous armed robberies who does not surrender their weapon when surrounded by cops is suicidal, and is a real big threat.
  This bill is being used by citizens whose loved ones were justifiably shot by police to demonize police actions that one of Utah's most ethical public servants has found to be justifiable. They don't want to shoot people but they often have no choice if they keep picking up their gun or refuse to drop their gun while surrounded by police. It is disturbing to watch. It is even more disturbing for police to have to make that decision. A discussion on how to help police make good decisions is appropriate but this bill that demonizes police is not appropriate and should not be passed.
  Committee members were concerned about the effect in situations where the person is armed with a gun. Despite the mother of the robber who was shot in Cottonwood Heights saying that it would have stopped her son from being shot, the Assistant Salt Lake County DA said that it would not change the decision making authority of cops when the individual had a gun. But it could change the decisions made with knifes. ACLU attorney Marina Lowe mentioned that she sued police for shooting someone with a knife to their throat. I still think that this bill will demonize police. We won't know if it passes until the end of the session.

POPLAR GROVE PUSHES CLOSING GLENDALE GOLF COURSE
  During the last Poplar Grove Community Council meeting, there was a big presentation to drum up support to close the Glendale Golf Course and convert it into a Park. Ray Wheeler has been trying to do that for years. Former Councilman Kyle LaMalfa, who ended up marrying the present day Mayor Mendenhall, tried to encourage support at Glendale Community Council meetings but failed. It was so upsetting to residents in the area that it was the first major political event kicking off Jackie Biskupski's run for mayor of Salt Lake City (which she won, barely). Former Mayor Becker had ordered the Council to close 2 golf courses or he would. He claimed that they were losing money. But only two had a problem with maintenance costs and the Council pulled a fast one and closed Wingpointe which was going to close anyway due to FAA requests to increase payments and suggested Nibley Golf Course which would have returned that property to the family which donated the land! Former Councilwoman Mendenhall joined Mayor Becker in pushing for a $150 million bond to spend the $45 million needed to convert the Glendale Golf Course to a regional park but the Council balked and despite a needs analysis for parks that was used to justify the bond, even the $100 million compromise was not agreed to by the Council.
  Even the University of Utah has had classes redesigning the Golf Course as an exercise. But residents who live near the Golf Course moved into the area because it was open space and there was a golf course. There is that implied promise that it will stay a golf course that should be the priority. Dreams of some individuals, that may be great, are not always agreed on by the majority. Even if the majority wants it, the tyranny of the majority should be a warning. This is another reason why citizens should get involved and participate in community councils. The list is in the downloads section.
 
UTA BRT MAY ONLY SUPPORT 50 RIDERS PER DAY
  UTA now has a locally preferred alternative (LPA) for the Draper to Lehi mass transit system. It is a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)! It "will only cost" less than $500 million! The rail "would have only cost $850 million". The reality is that rail, has been estimated to cost almost $2 billion (in WFRC documents) and the BRT would still take up two lanes of valuable roadway that could handle 18,000 riders a day in personal vehicles and the BRT may only carry 2000 riders a day (according to other BRT estimates.
  UVX is being held out as an amazing success but it is free! It has only led to 1000 fewer parking permit applications for UVU. The BRT on 3500 South, 35MAX is "temporarily suspended" due to low interest. It never got above 3200 passengers a day and the two dedicated lanes are unused and unavailable for the traffic that is increasingly congested. Some have said that the 35MAX led to the redevelopment of West Valley City. I give the credit to former Mayor Mike Winder, not the BRT.
  My main point is that UTA should not be planning a BRT in the locally preferred alternative for the Point of the Mountain Plan. Only 53 ride the bus that parallels that plan and obviously, it will take a decade to develop a reasonable and responsible and justifiable plan, if ever, for a BRT on that route. UTA should prove that the BRTs in process will actually have the ridership to justify hundreds of millions of funding.
  The buses that UTA seems to be interested in are not safe. The seats will not hold passengers in a rapid movement or crash. Recent autonomous shuttle pilot projects were suspended due to that safety concern. The shuttle seats are the same as the new BRT seats.

OGDEN BRT COSTS NOW $122 MILLION AND RISING
  The Ogden BRT cost is now $122 million. It started out as a $67 million dollar project. If this is typical, and I think it is, UTA will have to double cost estimates of projects to be more realistic. They are going to use electric buses but if they try to put up power lines in that area, an area that values the views of the mountains, there will be a big backlash. UTA expects $78 million from the federal government. They have received a letter of "no prejudice" that will allow them to start construction. They expect to start operations near WSU by late 2022 and have the full route in operation by late 2023. I still expect a big fight on power lines, stations and eminent domain. Again, this $122 million boondoggle/Taj Mahal project does not do better than the cheap and effective 603 bus at 1/20th the cost.

SLC PARKING REQUIREMENTS HEARING SET MARCH 16 WITHOUT ALL REPORTS
  The Salt Lake City Council is rushing to have a public hearing on a new parking ordinance to be heard on March 16. But the City just received a preliminary parking study from Fehr and Peers consultants but does not intend to release it! This happened before when the City tried to decrease parking requirements. The infamous Downtown and Sugar House Parking study was buried by the Council and Mayor a few years ago due to public pressure against reducing the off street parking requirements.
  Originally, a restaurant proposal in the East Bench area, Brew Ha Ha tried to develop a 150 seat restaurant with only 6 parking spots, saying that they should be able to use the on street parking to meet their customers' needs. The backlash resulted in a doubling of the parking requirements even though Mayor Becker tried to stop it.
  All of the community councils in District 5 have recently been complaining of the lack of appropriate and reasonable parking. The parking proposal makes it worse since it decreases off street parking requirements in many areas. It decreases parking requirements for old buildings that are repurposed. And it re-emphasizes no parking requirements for areas near TRAX and FrontRunner.
  Interestingly, recent proposals near the future 650S. Main Street TRAX station asked for more parking than required. We fought this battle 8 years ago. Former Mayor Becker tried to decrease parking requirements. One of the reasons for the proliferation of abandoned buildings is the City required a new plan to be approved before the old buildings could be demolished in order to stop buildings to be demolished and result in more ground floor parking. The City has tried for years to discourage parking and personal vehicle use. Brew Ha Ha, a proposed 150 seat restaurant on the East Bench tried to open with 6 off street parking slots and using the rest of the parking requirements with on street parking. The DABC turned them down. And the City doubled parking minimums after that, over the objections of Mayor Becker.
  There are so many questions and complaints on parking and that should be expected to result in significant changes to the parking proposal. It is not fair to call a public hearing on an ordinance that will obviously change and without the public able to see all of the information that the Council has.
  Councilman for District 5, Darin Mano, expressed concern that small properties will be unable to provide on site parking and they have to rely on on street parking. That happens to be Councilman Mano's specialty, designing for small properties. The car is still the primary use throughout the City.
  Some of the questions asked by the Council during the last discussion on parking were: Why are we changing the parking ordinance? Was the old parking ordinance, Transportation Demand Management working? Why only 4 contexts, Transit high density with lowest parking demands; urban center like Sugar House and Downtown with some parking in demand; neighborhood center like 9th and 9th with the most parking needs and finally the general context for single family areas and industrial manufacturing.
  The problem with the present ordinance is that the low minimums and concessions like bicycle amenities have been putting impacts on adjacent neighborhoods. But the overall minimums proposed are generally lower. There is a 40% combined reductions from the current minimums with proximity to TRAX and 15 minute bus routes reducing parking requirements further.
  The consultant, Fehr and Peers, worked with developers and the Downtown Alliance but not with residents and businesses (that I know of). The proposed parking minimums are lower for Sugar House, RMU and other areas. Studios have lower parking requirements but one bedrooms need more parking. The FB-UN1 zone, next to rail stations, is being given more parking requirements.
  A development on Cleveland, a block from State Street around 13th South had a Form Based UN1 designation approved, against neighbors' objections. It did offer parking off street but the zone does not require parking on site. There is another project going through Planning that is trying for FB-UN1 on 200 East and north of 2100 South that will also be contentious, even though the community council for the area hasn't seen it.
  Councilman Mano likes where the proposal is going but since TRAX runs through Ballpark, why is parking the same as Redwood Road? That is despite parking minimums are reduced 40% within 2 blocks of TRAX. As mentioned above, he was concerned that his small infill and office projects do not have a reduction in off street parking. He wants on street parking to be allowed to allow and encourage infill projects. The proposal takes away using on street parking to count for parking. The problem wss that allowing on street parking "creates a sense of entitlement, getting people up in arms".
  Buildings built prior to 1944 that change their use will not get new parking requirements. The new Ballpark Master Plan being discussed may change that. Councilman Mano hoped that there is a buffer period of 6 months to allow developers and architects to not be impacted. The RMF zone is general context but the 1/2 stall per unit is a reduction. The City's proposed affordable housing overlay is likely going to change how it is applied.
  Councilman Andrew Johnston say that if it is being used to get people out of their cars, it may not work. It may not work to help affordable housing. He thought that the City needs a better sense of options. The parking study for the 9th and 9th area, which was in the preliminary Fehr and Peers report, said that parking is essentially full at 70% as perceived by visitors and neighbors. New developments will make that worse. The report also suggested mor parking for residential use in FBUN1. The study suggests that .75 space per unit of residential parking is suggested for FB-UN!
  Councilman Wharton was concerned about pushing cars into neighborhoods. All "TSA zones that surround the Guadalupe neighborhood impacts neighbors so maybe our TSA zones are too low in parking minimums".

RANKED CHOICE VOTING STILL UP IN AIR
  Ranked choice voting is still up in air according to testimony from the Salt Lake County Clerk to the Salt Lake City Council. The City Council wants rank choice voting implemented for this year's municipal elections for 4 City Council seats which would save money by having the primary election skipped and only the general election held. The County Clerk signed the contract on December 31, 2020 but they still do not have equipment to test and certify that it works. Until the County Clerk can appropriately test and certify equipment, they cannot do rank choice voting for governments in the County. In addition, there are several bills in the Legislature that could change procedures. We won't know until April if everything is working and the City has until April 14th (depending on the Legislature) to make a decision on how to conduct the election. Salt Lake County had a 90.11% turnout with over 600,000 voters in 2020.

AIRBNB AND NOT ALLOWING HOUSING IN ALL PARTS OF CITIES HURT AFFORDABLE HOUSING
  Several bills being considered in the Legislature include affordable housing. One is a bill to force municipalities to allow short term rentals (Sen. Anderegg) and another by Rep. Ward forces municipalities to allow ADUs. The ADU ordinance is in the Senate and we won't know until the end of the session if it will pass.
  SB221 allows short term rentals, but, as cities in Utah have discovered, Airbnb allows and makes it easy to rent out homes and individual bedrooms and that results in a $1500 a month home to be rented out for thousands more! The bill requires owner occupied but, again, as cities have found out, it is almost impossible to ensure owner occupied. Since Utah allows Airbnb to rent homes in Utah and pay taxes using the honor system without providing the individuals renting homes, it forces cities to endure the problems that renters cause cities. Owner occupied homes help provide a more stable neighborhood. That is not the same as the same argument used to red line homes and that is being used as justification to increase density and destroy the stability of single family home neighborhoods.
 The solution to affordable housing is to agree that mixed use housing is best and allow the 80% of City property that does not allow housing to have housing. There are over 50,000 workers in the International Center and, except for the hotels, there is no housing. The result is that this City encourages driving and air pollution (since there are just a handful of buses going through the area each day). The International Center could handle and should be allowed to build tens of thousands of housing units. Salt Lake City should allow housing on the 80% of the City that does not allow housing. This policy encourages air pollution.
  ADUs are not a solution to the affordable housing crisis in Salt Lake City. Rep. Ward's HB82 is still in the Senate. (Salt Lake City's RMF30 proposal will hurt low income renters and is being discussed in the next month.) Only 100 are in process.

MOBILE OUTREACH BILL PROBABLY DEAD DUE TO COST
  Senator Riebe's incredibly important SB70 that expands the Mobile Crisis Outreach Team to 14 has been moved into Rules due to the significant cost involved. There also appears to be some political issues since Rep. Eliason, who has been sponsoring most mental health bills was not consulted on the bill. It stalled and may be dead in Rules.
  MCOT is now in 2 counties, including Price due to the problems with opioid abuse. In 2017, there were 1012 pink sheets that had involuntary commitment. In 2018, there were 736 involuntary commitments, a 27% reduction. The MCOT teams had a 62% reduction in hospitalization and an 81% reduction in arrests. Rep. Eliason was very concerned about removing the rural county MCOT. The bill was changed to remove the local government match but they still would pay 20%. There were questions about why is the State trying to control a system when counties would be better.
  Unified Police Department in Salt Lake County responds with MCOT when they are available. MCOT can stay, when it is evaluated to be safe, and the UPD can leave to respond to other calls. MCOT can stay for many hours.

SLC WAR ON TREES CONTINUES WITH MILLER PARK
  Miller Park has a new study that is public. The City is asking for feedback. But one of the proposals from Alta Planning is cutting "non-native trees" ("remove non-native trees")! Part of the reason is that there are a large number of black locust trees. Unfortunately, university forestry departments teach that black locusts are an invasive species and should be cut down.
  In the real world they are deep rooted (to 20 feet down), surviving hurricane force winds, providing windbreaks, stabilizing banks and are rot and insect resistant. They are or were extremely valuable to keeping the slopes of Miller Park from sliding into the Creek and providing bird habitat. Farmers knew this but for some reason, new forestry graduates seem to have lost that ancient wisdom.
  The so called restoration after the oil spill resulted in hundreds of old trees cut down. THE BIRDS HAVE NOT RETURNED!! Even when the Miller Park web page says:
"The native vegetation in Miller Park, such as river hawthorn, supports many birds, including black-chinned hummingbird, downy woodpecker, and ruby-crowned kinglet." IT IS NOT TRUE. BIRDS HAVE NOT RETURNED TO MILLER PARK.  A couple of years ago, the Natural History Museum had a bird tour through Miller Park but did not find any birds!
  Cutting trees hurt. Super widening the channel hurt. Spraying oil based herbicide hurts.  Miller Park is no longer a bird refuge. Until SLC recognizes how to correct its missteps, the reference to birds should be taken off the website. Salt Lake City has to stop its war on trees.

SLC POLICE TICKETING FOR TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS AGAIN
  The Salt Lake Police Department is again ticketing for traffic violations. In the East Bench area (east of 1300 East), there were 10 traffic citations in January. There are 50 so far this month (to the 17th of February).


FRONTRUNNER DOUBLE TRACKING UNJUSTIFIED WITH UTILIZATION ANALYSIS 
  During discussion at the Executive Appropriations Infrastructure Committee, there was a vigorous discussion of the double tracking of FrontRunner. The fiscal responsibility of the Legislature often analyzes projects by utilization. So the FrontRunner, which now serves 5000, finds it difficult to justify $350 million that Governor Cox recommended. The priority list ended up suggesting that the Legislature's intent was number 21 on the priority list and suggested "only" $150 million. 
  The Wasatch Canyons $50 million request was number 33 on the priority list. The proposed gondola will take 10 years to build if ever. The fastest way to help solve the winter traffic issues in Little Cottonwood Canyon is to spend the $50 million on snow sheds. That would solve much of the traffic backups in a Canyon with over 50 avalanche zones and one of the most active avalanche roads in the Country. The maximum cost would be $86 million. 
  
UTA DECLARES WAR ON IMPORTANT NEIGHBORHOOD MARKET
  UTA has asked UDOT to start eminent domain for an Ogden BRT station that is presently a 7/11 store. The popular and essential neighborhood market on 32nd South and Harrison is wanted by UTA for a station but there is a big, virtually empty parking lot just a few feet to the north! Instead of being respectful and responsible with taxpayer funds, UTA is trying to create one of the most expensive BRT stations ever. Hopefully someone will stop this travesty of big bad UTA.


SLC PARKING REQUIREMENTS HEARING SET MARCH 16 WITHOUT ALL REPORTS
  Fehr and Piers turned in a preliminary parking study to the City Council the morning that the Council decided to set a public hearing date for the new proposed parking proposal for March 16. The preliminary report had recommendations but they are not public! It was mentioned that the Central 9th area parking minimums were too low and due to the land uses, automobiles are still needed. Portland parking minimums were found to be higher than Salt Lake City. The proposal has overall minimums generally lower with a 40% combined reduction from current minimums. The Form Based zones do not have parking requirements but the new proposal requires parking minimums.
  Despite a lot of feedback from the public on multifamily parking, the City is proposing lower minimums for Sugar House and many other areas. TSA areas has lower parking minimums for studios but higher for one bedrooms. Due to many concessions in the present parking ordinance, Transportation Demand Management Plan, there were few on site parking requirements and that was impacting adjacent neighborhoods. In some cases, there were no on site parking requirements. Sugar House, East Bench, East Liberty Park, 9th and 9th, Liberty Wells, Central 9th and Ballpark all have had a lot of parking complaints.
  Councilman Wharton expressed concern about parking issues in his area. Councilman Mano said he likes in general where it's going, but since TRAX runs through Ballpark why is parking requirements in the area the same as Redwood Road. He was told that within a quarter mile from TRAX or a 15 minute frequency bus route, there is a 40% reduction in parking requirements.
within a quarter mile from TRAX allows a 40% reduction! 
  Councilman Mano was concerned that, in his business as an architect focusing on small infill, he needs the on street parking to meet project viability and hoped that there would be changes before the ordinance is adopted.
  The City is disrespecting citizens and businesses with this attempt to pass an ordinance that will not be shown to the public until after it passes. That is what they seem to plan.


LEGISLATURE PUSHES UTAH COUNTY DIESEL EMISSIONS BILL
  Senator Bramble has passed SB146, Diesel Emissions Testing through the House Committee and it looks like a sure thing. This is one of the great unsung hero bills that will have a significant impact on air pollution. It requires diesel vehicles that are older than 5 years to have emissions checks to ensure that they aren't emitting too much pollution. Studies show that up to 25% of diesel vehicles are modified to defeat pollution control devices. Utah County had a large number of diesel vehicles that escaped emissions testing. Senator Bramble expects to bring back full diesel emissions checks for even newer vehicles in the next session. This bill modifies the previous law generated from the VW emissions scandal to continue it and make it more effective.


SLC ENCOURAGES AIR POLLUTION WORSE THAN INLAND PORT
  Salt Lake City does not allow housing on 80% of its land. The worst case scenario is the International Center with up to 50,000 employees and soon to be 100,000 employees has no housing except for a handful of hotels. So the City is actually pushing vehicle use when it ignores the best policy of mixed use building in all areas of the City. 
  Instead of trying to rezone single family home neighborhoods with Affordable Housing Overlays and RMF30 changes and ADUs, it can have tens of thousands of housing units where they will do the most good and significantly decrease pollution that I can arguably compare to the potential pollution of Inland Port.


LEGISLATURE DEBATES DIVERSITY OF THOUGHT
  I argued against Rep. Teuscher's HB197 that limited changes between registered parties by voters to after April. Teuscher said "We don’t want people to jump into the party and pick our representatives when they don’t have any of those same fundamental beliefs as the members of the party". It should be pointed out that that phrase, the fundamental beliefs of the the Republican Party has been used to denigrate fellow Republicans who have differences of opinions when they are discussing bills in the Legislature. This Country has 110 million different opinions and it is only in communist countries that government can force everyone to believe all of a platform. That is what this is about. Some are concerned about diversity of thought. 
  That issue has also been discussed by the Utah State GOP. “The differences between our own Utah Republicans showcase a diversity of thought, in contrast to the danger of a party fixated on ‘unanimity of thought,’” according to the statement. “There is power in our differences as a political party, and we look forward to each senator explaining their votes to the people of Utah.” That was referring to the different Senate trial votes by Senator Lee and Senator Romney. But it applies to Teuscher's bill also.
  Senate President Adams also recently said that "no one person has all the answers" but each member contributes", referring to the different opinions in the Utah Senate.
  In 2020, in Salt Lake County, 21,066 changed from Democrat to Republican. In Salt Lake City, Independents were twice as many as registered Democrats who were twice as numerous as registered Republicans. The bill is now in the Senate after just barely passing the House by 3 votes. This will be an interesting fight to ensure the question of whether the State GOP is a big tent party.


THE OTHER SIDE ACADEMY OPED BEST REALITY CHECK IN DESERET NEWS 
  The Deseret News published an oped by The Other Side Academy that is one of the best summaries of the issues of drug use, addiction and criminal behavior. The Other Side Academy is one of the most successful drug addiction treatment programs. I urge everyone to read it. It is at: https://www.deseret.com/opinion/2021/2/7/22269173/the-other-side-academy-in-criminal-justice-reform-accountability-is-true-compassion
  
SLCO NOT GUARANTEED RANK CHOICE VOTING
  During discussion February 16 at the City Council, SLCO Clerk Swenson indicated that rank choice voting in the County is not assured since the contract with the new vendor was just signed December 31, 2020. The scanners will not be available for testing until next week and the other equipment is still to be delivered. The City Council needs to make the decision on whether to use rank choice voting by April 16th. SLCO Clerk said that she expects to have a decision for the City by the middle of March on whether all of the rank choice voting equipment is certified.


LEGISLATURE UPDATES 
HB17 Rep. Handy's attempt to stop municipalities from limiting utilities available 
in their cities was modified during debates to allow utility limits for projects 
developed by city funds. Salt Lake City wants to only allow electricity for its 
affordable housing projects which will double the cost of heating (up to $400 a 
month!) for so called low income housing! The bill goes to the Governor for signing.
HB 20 is the DUI bill that stops DUI drivers from getting out of jail without a judge
hearing the case. Before, DUI drivers could get out on $5000 bail ($500 cash). This 
should stop those who injure or kill others while DUI or on drugs including THC, to 
not get out of jail with just a few bucks.
HB82 The effort to stop municipalities from limiting ADUs has not made it out of the 
House. It was circled, meaning that it will not easily pass without a significant debate.
HB160 Rep. Moss' distracted driving bill is still not assigned to a committee. Maybe 
legislators are tired of having to hear the same thing every year for the past 5 years.
HB209 The electric vehicle tax was also circled in the House. It will be an interesting 
debate.
HB219 Rep. Acton's bill to stop overcharging for inmate phone calls was also circled
in the House.
SB87 Sen. Bramble's bill to allow hair drying and shampooing without a license passed
the Legislature and has been sent to the Governor for signing. There is a significant
Utah beauty school business that can cost as much as $20,000 to get a license. They 
have argued forcefully but failed to stop this bill. Utah has over 300 different 
licenses that limit businesses and protect license holders. This is just the start of 
what I feel will be a long term process. Libertas has been the best proponent of getting
rid of obviously useless licenses.
SB168 The effort to allow resort towns (less than 20 in Utah) to limit noise after 
hours from ATVs and motorcycles has been circled. It was generated by complaints 
Moab and other cities that motorcycles and ATVs were racing through town early in the
mornings.
HB228 The bill to stop jail photos from being distributed is going to the Senate 
Committee on Feb. 17. It is being protested by news media.
HB271 A bill to expand child care by allowing providers to handle one more child than
before is also in committee Feb. 17.
SJR 7 That gives EnergySolutions that blessing to open up a supposedly "nonhazardous" 
waste dump for nuclear reactors and their buildings passed the Legislature. The bill, 
in my opinion, jumps the gun and it should have waited until the Radiation Control 
Board Staff agreed to the safety of the plan.


SLCPD NEW CLASS OF 20 HAS 7 OF "MORE DIVERSE BACKGROUND"
  Chief Brown celebrated a new Police Academy class of 20 with 7 of a "more diverse background". He pointed out that out of 60 training officers, only 6 were of the "more diverse background". We need more cops faster. This will take us years to get back to what we need in the City. Interestingly, Minneapolis has changed their defund the police plan and budgeted for more police! The reason is that there were too many complaints about not a fast enough response from the police.
  
SLC GOLF COURSES CLOSE FOR GRASS
  I asked why some golf courses were closed during 50 degree weather. It turns out that the golf courses' grass does not handle the winter well and has to be allowed to rest sometimes. The City rotates open golf courses to allow the grass to recover. 


SLC APPLIES FOR $400K KENSINGTON BYWAY GRANT
  SLC is applying for a $400,000 grant from WFRC to increase the safety of the Kensington pedestrian light and make the street west of 700 East a neighborhood byway with slower speeds and an encouraging bicycle route. I still think that the money would be better spent on the Foothill Trails Plan. A couple of cop cams on State Street along with big signs that say they are watching for drivers who are unsafe would be much cheaper and more effective. 
  On the Foothill Trails Plan, the County Bicycle Advisory Board is sending a letter out to all potential funding sources to ask for priority funding for the Foothill Trails Plan. It will turn out to be a world class destination for hikers and mountain bikers.


100 ADUS A YEAR WILL NOT SOLVE AFFORDABLE HOUSING CRISIS
   In a very emotional speech in the House committee hearing the HB82 ADU bill, he spoke about how he was only able to afford his first home (he bought for $100,000 with a loan from the previous owner) by buying it in Sunset, an area with low cost homes. He contended that the bill will make a difference in affordable housing.
   Rep. Ward is sponsoring HB82 that essentially opens the door to ADUs throughout Utah with restricting the ability of cities to control where they can go. Although cities can require a license to ensure owner occupancy, prohibit extra utility lines and require parking, the ADU bill does little to solve our problem.
  I believe that the ADU bill is a threat to single family home neighborhoods that developed with an implied promist that it will create stable owner occupied home neighborhoods. ADUs increase rentals and turnover and can decrease perceived safety of families that want their children to be able to walk in their neighborhoods safely.
  In addition, since Airbnb increases the cost of housing and there is no way to limit unrelated renters in a home (limited to 4) and requiring owner occupied (SLC has tried but is unable to solve the issues.), it increases the cost of housing.
  Salt Lake City has spent the last couple of years allowing these supposedly low cost units in the City with minimal restrictions through conditional use permits. Salt Lake City, since 2019, has completed 9 ADUs with 21 under construction and 17 permits under review (in zoning districts that allow duplexes, townhomes and apartments). But conditional use approved applications number 40 with 8 more pending.  Many were objected to by neighbors. The cost can be over $100,000 and obviously 100 extra housing units are not going to be a solution.
  If the State wants more affordable housing, they, and the cities, should allow housing on the 80% of land (in Salt Lake City) that does not allow housing. The International Center has over 50,000 employees but almost no housing (mostly hotels). That results in increased air pollution from 50,000 personal vehicles

GOVT. SHOULDN'T TRY TO SOLVE PROBLEMS WITH THE MOST EXPENSIVE SOLUTIONS
  Governor Cox has proposed spending $50 million on UDOT's efforts to solve the Little Cottonwood Canyon traffic issues. UDOT has prioritized "a mobility hub", which is a parking garage on a private developer's property. Former Senate President Wayne Niederhauser admitted that his bill from a few years ago to toll the Little Cottonwood Canyon was to provide funds to build the parking garage. If his property is across the street from La Caille, that is the property that UDOT wants to build the mobility hub/parking garage. The plan now is to connect the parking garage to a gondola. But the gondola may take a decade to build since previous gondola proposals in the Canyons met vigorous opposition.
  In addition, the State still uses howitzers to trigger avalanches on some of the 64 dangerous avalanche runs in the Canyon ( a howitzer missed a few years ago and the shell went onto the next Canyon over). The gondola proposal will benefit ski resorts but not provide public transit for hikers and bikers that also use the Canyons. The proposal to use buses would be helpful but even more helpful would be if UTA provided more buses in the morning instead of one every half hour. It is common knowledge that skiers can wait for up to 3 hours for a bus in the morning to go to a ski resort. And UTA and Utah should start weekend bus trips up the Canyons for other seasons for hikers and bikers.
  To fix the Canyon traffic and transportation problems within a year, the $50 million should be used to build the snow sheds that would benefit vehicles and buses. The maximum cost is predicted to be $86 million but they could be solving the issue before the next ski season. I put the costs breakdown in the right downloads area.
AGAIN, FOR $50 MILLION, THE PROBLEM CAN BE SOLVED BEFORE NEXT SEASON

LEGISLATURE ABOUT TO SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE PENALTIES FOR DUI + DRUGS
  Rep. Eliason's bill to significantly increase penalties for DUI with drugs and to stop DUI drivers who have injured or killed someone to be able to get out of jail with a $5000 bond passed the Senate committee. This will be a big change to Utah's DUI laws.

UTAH BICYCLE YIELD IN SENATE
  Rep. Moss' bill to allow Utah bicyclists to not have to stop at stop signs if no traffic or pedestrians are in or could be in the intersection is now in the Senate.

LEGISLATURE CIRCLES E VEHICLE TAX INCREASE
 The bill to increase electric vehicle fees and push UDOT to toll roads, HB209 has been circled in the House. That means that there is significant opposition to passing the bill without a lot of debate, that could result in the bill dying. Suspense time.

UTA FORCES SKIERS TO WAIT 3 HOURS FOR BUSES
  Proponents of billion dollar transit projects pointed to skiers waiting for hours in crowded parking lots for buses to go to the ski resorts in the Wasatch Canyons. But a common sense review of the issue would make it obvious that UTA should provide more buses in the morning and more parking. This will push skiers to avoid UTA. That is not how a service agency is supposed to work.

21ST SOUTH ROAD DIET TO 3 LANES WITH UOFU SUPPORT
  During a discussion with SLC employees and the Sugar House Community Council, it was mentioned that the University of Utah is planning a redesign of 21st South to a 3 lane road, going from 4 traffic lanes to 2 traffic lanes on a road that has close to 20,000 ADT (average daily trips). That is a great recipe for significant air pollution increase and congestion and backup. There is already backup on 21st South's right hand lane going east at the Chick a Fil parking lot since there is not enough of a fast food lane in the parking lot.
  There also is not enough of a sidewalk to allow bicycling and walking. Buildings also go up to the sidewalk so the only way to increase sidewalk width is to the parking strip and also remove the parking on some portions of 21st South in Sugar House. But the City is concerned about removing on street parking that can contribute $40,000 a year in revenue to businesses. But most have off street parking lots and some of the on street parking is a safety issue.
  There is significant pressure to do a road diet with the argument that those against it are using false information to sway surveys. But many surveys on many streets, including on 21st S, 17th S, 13th S, 13th E, and Sunnyside have all been 50/50 or against road diets. On streets with high traffic, it is almost impossible to get out of their driveways. It also increases congestion which results in air pollution that can be 7 times higher than the rest of the City and can shift traffic to adjacent streets. The 600 East bike boulevard along with the 500 East shareways shifted traffic to 400 East with significant complaints of increasingly dangerous traffic.
  I don't believe that the majority of Sugar House residents want a road diet on 2100 South. Proponents contend that that is only because they have not been given the "correct information". This another battle in the war on cars. The proponents of a road diet insist that a road diet will force residents and businesses to walk and bike more. I disagree. Please become involved in the 7PM first Wednesday meeting of the Sugar House Community Council. The Zoom meetings are convenient and well managed by the Chair of the community council.

STATE STREET GETTING POLICE ATTENTION ON CRIME MAGNETS
  The new SLCPD liaison for District 5, 6 and 7, Detective Nathan Meizner, has hit the ground running in Ballpark. He helped in the removal of the homeless camp on 9th South on the railroad tracks. He has had the Liberty Bike Squad hit Wayne's Corner (13th S and State) every single shift. They have arrested many drug dealers and users on charges, including some on federal charges. He has asked for a mobile cop cam trailer for the corner. He has asked the Gail Miller Homeless Shelter to consider providing security to discourage loitering around the shelter. That is due to the many complaints from neighbors. The vacant property next to the Shelter has just been sold and there is hope that that will help decrease some loitering. The bike squad will also check on the buildings south of Coachmans (13th S State) to address complaints of drug use.
  Finally, he is working on a nuisance case. Several years ago, the present Mayor, as a Councilwoman, developed a nuisance ordinance that was supposed to solve a lot of the properties that were crime magnets. But in the last few years, only one business was targeted.
 

SLC ADUS NUMBER ALMOST 100 SINCE 2019
  Salt Lake City removed most of the restrictions on Auxiliary Dwelling Units (ADU) over a year ago. Since about a year ago, ADUs have been allowed in almost all areas with minimal restrictions through conditional use approval by the Planning Commission. Before that new ordinance, the only legal ADU was by being within 4 blocks from a rail station and that only resulted in one or two ADUs built.
  Since 2019, the numbers as of January 1 provided by Salt Lake City Planning Director are:
Conditional Use applications 2020: 24
Conditional use Approvals (total): 40 ( includes some applications were submitted in 2019)
Conditional use Denials (total): 0
Conditional use Pending: 8 (incomplete applications, applications that have not yet gone to the Planning Commission)

  Permitted Use Applications
2020: 10 (located in zoning districts that allow duplexes, townhomes, and apartments)
Building permit Information
Total Applications: 47
Completed ADUs: 9
ADUs under construction: 21
ADUs building permit under review: 17

"Public Utilities Dept. reviews all building permits and conditional uses to verify that they can be served by existing utilities and what upgrades, if any, are needed."

  The biggest impact to the neighborhoods can be increased noise, parking, sewer and other utilities. Impact fees can be used to increase the sewer and water infrastructure. But, in a surprise, it turned out that some home owners have also been using Airbnb to rent out their rooms and homes. In one recent case, in the East Bench, it was noted during the Planning Commission meeting, that the homeowner  was renting out 5 rooms and it was assumed that the ADU would help in the renting of rooms. Although the homeowner is supposed to reside onsite, it is very difficult to prove and enforce. Utah's laws also interfere with enforcement since, in Utah, it is illegal to use Airbnb and other services, to rent homes or apartments for less than 30 days. There is no way to prove that since the Legislature has allowed Airbnb to pay taxes on the honor system and municipalities are not given the data to enforce the 30 day limit.
  Ironically, ADUs are supposed to increase the supply of affordable housing but Airbnb has been blamed for increasing the price of housing. The biggest negative impact, in my opinion, to affordable housing, is the City does not allow building on 80% of Salt Lake City property. It also has not made much headway on the best and biggest potential for housing (thousands of housing units) in the City which is the State Street corridor. For 6 years, the City has been going around in circles on the effort to provide housing in the area with just a few exceptions.
  In my opinion, ADUs can decrease the character of single family home neighborhoods. Moving into a single family home neighborhood is often due to the quiet and uncrowded streets but ADUs can impact that character. Owner occupied housing helps to keep the character of the neighborhood. Single family home neighborhoods are not impacting affordable housing.
  The Legislature is also considering, with HB82, requiring all governments in Utah, to approve without restrictions, internal ADUs (generally in basements). But several cities objected since it could create big issues with sewer, parking and traffic. The bill has been held in the Legislative Committee while the sponsor, Rep. Ward, tries to address those concerns.
 
ROUNDABOUT TOLL ROADS/E-VEHICLE REGISTRATION FEES ESCALATING
  In another of the efforts of Senator Harper to increase taxes or fees to pay for roads, he and Rep. Christofferson (who is recovering from Covid 19) has sponsored a bill, HB209, to make electric vehicles pay for what they say electric vehicles cost in road upkeep.
  The goal is to make registrations so high that the owners will move to the experimental Ride Usage Charge (RUC) Program that Senator Harper has been pushing to ensure that everyone is paying their "fair share". The proposal will increase fees to up to $300, depending on the type of vehicle. The new fees are so high that it is hoped that most will accept and join the RUC Program.
  This is being rushed in an effort to plan for a belief that in 10 years a large portion of the vehicles on the road will be electric and won't be paying their fair share of gasoline taxes. During the hearing at the House Transportation Committee meeting, several Committee members expressed concern that there is no evidence that electric vehicles are a big burden on roads. It was pointed out that most electric vehicles usually don't drive as much or as far as gasoline vehicles and they usually are slowly driven on local roads.
  About 2000 vehicles (electric, hybrid) are enrolled in the RUC test. Sen. Harper admitted that this bill will push UDOT to rampup this program that was supposed to be experimental. The program monitors mileage of the enrolled vehicles and charges them a fee that is guaranteed to not be higher than the registration fee.
  There are about 43,000 hybrids, and 5,000 plug-ins. 10% of the plug-ins are enrolled.  
  Even worse is the attack on the implied promise, when buying an electric vehicle, that the registration charge will not go up each year. But in some cases, the registration fee is up over 500%! So buyers beware. Utah is out to make electric vehicle owners pay more each year. The registration fee was raised a couple of years ago. It is a great way to stop people from buying e-vehicles.
  At the same time that Utah is discouraging buying electric vehicles, it is celebrating how environmental its policies are with the $50 million Rocky Mountain Power charging stations effort. It is also claiming that Utah will be zero emission to the Olympic Committee to encourage awarding another Winter Olympics to Utah.
  Rep. Harrison pointed out that the proposal will result in the highest electric vehicle fee in the nation. She recommended that it would make more sense to increase the tax on heavier vehicles and more polluting vehicles. (Big rigs already pay thousands a year in road charges.)
  The Utah Taxpayers Association is pushing this bill claiming that electric vehicle owners are not paying their fair share. The experimental RUC Program was scheduled to provide valuable data within a year but Senator Harper wants the tax increase now before the data proves or disproves it.
  The bill passed the Committee 6 to 4 with several Republicans claiming that electric vehicles will soon be the majority of vehicles on the road. It should be noted that the programs in Oregon, Colorado, California and Utah are supposed to be pilot programs. California's program report recommends "exploring the feasibility of a pay at the pump model for road charging. Oregon's registration fee for EVs is $110. Overall, bottom line, Utah is overcharging EVs.
  This is nothing more than a roundabout way to create toll roads. Proponents even admit that this is a toll road system. This is not equitable or fair. This is like Senator Harper's attempt to change the name of UTA, questionable at best and bad government at worst. Lee Davidson at the Salt Lake Tribune had a great summary at:
  https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2021/02/02/registration-fees-utah/

 


JANUARY 2021​


HB142 UTAH BICYCLE YIELD LAW BARELY PASSES HOUSE COMMITTEE
  Despite passing through the Utah Legislative House last year, the House Transportation Committee gave a lukewarm support (8 to 3) to move Rep. Moss' bill that would allow bicyclists to not stop but yield at stop signs when there is no pedestrian or vehicle traffic. Last year the bill was stopped in the Senate since it had questions about the safety of running a red light. This year's bill removed traffic lights and only referred to stop signs. UDOT expressed concerns about safety with statistics showing that, even in daylight, automobiles (and trucks) don't see bicyclists and that is when most accidents occur. But UDOT admitted that they have not dug into the statistics while saying that it is a visibility problem. The bill had pushback also from a private citizen that expressed concern that his kids were taught to stop at stop signs while on a bicycle and that this bill would decrease safety for kids on bicycles. Rep. Ballard attempted to amend the bill to say except for motorized bicycles and under 16. Another amendment to table the bill failed 5 to 6. Then the Committee agreed to send it to the House floor with a favorable 8 to 3 vote.
  Based on the discussion and pushback, I feel that without significant pressure and messages to the Legislature, this bill will fail. I urge the bicycling community to step up and let the legislators know your opinion.
  My support for the bill essentially is that it is safer for a bicyclist to enter an intersection when no traffic is around than to stop for a few seconds. That could result in traffic coming up behind them and running them over (cars don't stop for bicyclists in my opinion). The faster a bicyclist can get out of the way of traffic, especially at intersections, the better and safer for bicyclists. In addition, since 90% of cyclists do not stop at stop signs, a law that is ignored by 90% of citizens decreases respect for the law and government. And finally, this bill will ensure that cops, who have been discouraged from giving out tickets (see fines and tickets report in the downloads), will focus on the highest danger, speeding and dangerous drivers, not the least dangerous, bicyclists.
 
HB165 VEHICLE ANTI NOISE ORDINANCE FAILS TO ADVANCE
  A bill that has failed for two years has again failed to advance. The effort by Rep. Wheatley, encouraged by residents of the Wasatch Canyons that want to decrease noise from vehicles that have muffler cutouts, was defeated when the House Transportation Committee moved onto the next item. This bill would have required checking for legal muffler installations during emissions checks. It does not apply to motorcycles which do not get emissions checks, despite studies that show over 25% of motorcycles have muffler modifications that increase noise above the legal (in America) 80db. The only way to return it to Committee is to have the Chair of the Committee agree to hear it again.

LEGISLATURE COMMITTEE PASSES BILL STOPPING CITIES FROM CREATING ENERGY MONOPOLIES
  The Legislature's Public Utilities Committee passed the bill (discussed below) that would stop cities from requiring all new buildings to be electricity (being considered since it decreases natural gas use and improves local air quality). Interestingly, the Mayor of Salt Lake City implied that the City is working on such an ordinance in her State of the City address. Rep. Romero, during the Committee hearing denied that the City was thinking about it but the Sustainability Director Vicki Bennett said as much to the City Council in the last month. Other reasons that the bill makes sense is that it would stop cities from doubling the cost to heat homes and a $400 a month electric heating bill in so called affordable apartments, instead of a $200 typical gas heating bill, is not very respectful of our low income and fixed income residents. Municipalities should not create monopolies. Finally, this State has pushed natural gas production (and is building a $100 million natural gas refueling system garage for UTA). If the natural gas wells are not producing, they will leak.

LEGISLATURE DECLINES TO REMOVE PRICE CONTROLS
  Senator Anderegg, one of my favorite Senators, tried to pass a bill through the Senate Business and Labor Committee that would have removed price controls. This was developed with the concern that price controls create scarcity and encourage hoarding. But there have only been a handful of charges with Utah's price control law and many were settled. A recent study by a Weber State professor claimed that price controls could increase scarcity.
  But panic buying is also encouraged by high prices, in some cases more than scarcity. In our modern world, there is a multiplier effect due to today's technology and systems that can create panic buying with a notice that prices are doubling or there is price gouging. Removal of price control laws during emergencies would affect rural areas more than urban since rural areas do not have the competition of urban areas to keep prices down. It could double gasoline prices. It would be like the Arab Oil Boycott.  


LEGISLATURE SUPPORTS EFFORT TO BURY NUCLEAR REACTORS IN UTAH
  With no public comment, (I would have objected but I was tied up in another meeting.) SJR7 passed the Senate committee. It supports EnergySolutions constructing and operation of a Class VI landfill that may have residual levels of radioactivity and the landfill may be considered a radioactive waste facility. EnergySolutions already has a Class V waste facility next to this plot of land. What is concerning is that the Class VI landfill is supposed to be for burying non-hazardous waste. Radioactive waste is not non-hazardous. This was a conditional approval that is required from a previous session's resolution, SJR11 in 2018, along with requiring the approval of the governor and the Director of the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control. The Legislature is obviously pushing that Utah become known as the home of decommissioned nuclear power plants. Maybe we should create a new license plate with a radioactive symbol.

LEGISLATURE PUSHES INCREASING MENTAL CRISIS UNITS TO 14
  SB70 passed its first test at the Senate Committee. It
"Requires the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health to create and monitor additional mobile crisis outreach teams (to 14 from 4); and requires local mental health authorities to provide matching funds". This will cost $4.2 million for the State. The counties that usually provide mental health services' funding to Utahns will have to match the State contribution. It is sorely needed since the 4 MCOT (Mobile Crisis Outreach Team) units are often unavailable to work with police. They cost around $450 to respond to a mental health crisis versus around $1500 for a 23 hour hospital evaluation. In addition, a police officer that has to arrest someone with a mental health crisis has to wait at the county jail while the jail nurse evaluates the person and may recommend taking the arrestee to the hospital. That can take up to half of the officer's shift! This is one of the most important bills at the Legislature and is sponsored by Sen. Reibe. Similar bills that create a good foundation to create professional standards for mental health treatment include two by Sen. Thatcher, SB53 that "creates a new license for behavioral emergency services technicians" and SB47 that "Creates the Mental Health Crisis Intervention Council to establish protocols and standards for the training and functioning of local mental health crisis intervention". 

UTAHNS MAY SOON BE ABLE TO DRY HAIR WITHOUT A LICENSE
  SB87 passed the Senate Committee. It "creates an exemption from licensure under the cosmetology act for an individual who only dries, styles, arranges, dresses, curls, hot irons, shampoos or conditions hair".

LEGISLATURE PLANS TO USE MEDICAID FUNDS TO PAY FOR RESPITE CARE FOR THE INN BETWEEN
  HB34 passed its first legislative committee hearing. It would ask the federal government to approve a waiver for using Medicaid funds for respite care, specifically for the InnBetween homeless hospice that recently was allowed to increase their bed use from 50. The TIB expects to have over 33% of its residents on respite care. Interestingly, at the recent City Council meeting, one commenter mentioned a homeless person walking in the Ballpark area with a hospital drip for cancer treatment. That is what TIB is supposed provide - housing for those getting regular respite care. Hospitals in this State still dump patients at the Weigand Center via taxi. Hospitals should be paying for this now. News organizations should be reporting on the fact that hospitals ARE dumping patients.  

LEGISLATURE MAY STOP SLC FROM REQUIRING ONLY ELECTRIC UTILITY BUILDINGS
  During a lengthy presentation and discussion on HB17, Utility Permitting Amendments sponsored by Rep. Handy (who generally sponsors most of the air quality bills at each legislative session), there was a pushback from representatives of municipalities. The bill would stop cities from requiring only one type of power, like electricity, in a questionable effort to be environmental. Many cities across the U.S. have tried to stop use of natural gas. That is what is generating this bill. Several of the public commenters and a couple of legislators argued against the bill saying that it is not now a problem and it is a bill looking for a problem.
  But at a recent SLC Council meeting with the Sustainability Director, the idea was brought up that Salt Lake City should require all new buildings to not use natural gas. Rep. Romero, who works for the City, denied that (I heard it since I was listening because I had been having a regular discussion with the Sustainability Director about diesels idling for hours.).
  The arguments for the bill include that it stops municipalities from creating monopolies. It protects the pocketbook of citizens since heating via electricity is at least two times more expensive than heating with natural gas. Electric heat pumps, depending on the installation may be a bit better, but natural gas is much cheaper for heating. Utah has invested a lot in creating a natural gas production infrastructure, that, if not used, will result in a lot of non producing wells leaking natural gas. So it is not environmental to stop use of natural gas. Rep. Handy was also instrumental at creating the legal structure to encourage converting pig farm waste into natural gas.
  Finally, this State has had several serious losses of electricity including, several decades ago, a loss of electricity for almost a week around Christmas and our home lost electricity for almost a week due to last year's windstorm. Only those with natural gas fireplaces were able to heat their home with relatively low emission natural gas. All those that didn't convert their fireplaces to natural gas burned wood, dirty, super polluting wood. Not very environmental. This is a good government bill that passed the House Public Utilities Committee.

SLCPD WILL PROVIDE FREE RECOMMENDATIONS TO REDUCE CRIME
D5,6,7 SLCPD liaison Detective Nathan Meinzer, nathan.meinzer@slcgov.com, will provide neighborhood watch recommendations to residents and businesses. He recently worked with residents at a gated condominium that has had a significant number of car breakins. Among his suggestions are: appropriate lighting, landscaping under 2 feet, tree canopy over 6 feet, cameras and how to make a home look lived in to deter potential crime.


  

BALLPARK COMMUNITY CONVINCES SLC TO OFFICIALLY LIFT POLICE HIRING FREEZE
  In a SLC City Council meeting that continued the onslaught of demands that Salt Lake City defund the police, there was a new wrinkle in the meeting. Ballpark Community Council members gave horrifying testimony of non-responsive 911. The result was the Salt Lake City Council adopted Budget Amendment 6 which had an item that effectively lifted, officially, the police hiring freeze.
  Ballpark members reported calling cops when criminals were trying to break in and being told by 911 dispatch that there were no cops available to respond. Cars were broken into three times in a week. A knife attack was thwarted by a citizen with a bat when police didn't show up. Residents were giving up and arming themselves instead of relying on non-existent cops. Drug dealing was in the open. Businesses and their customers were continually threatened. And residents said that it was getting worse.
  Many commenters at the SLC Council meeting repeated demands that funds should not go to police when the City needs more funding for mental health (a County and State responsibility), homeless (SLC hosts 3 homeless shelters, a VOA teen homeless shelter, a homeless emergency hotel and many of the homeless service providers), affordable housing (SLC has helped build 1500 affordable units in 5 years, more than any other city) and education (a State and school board responsibility). It seems like they run off the same script and pass the script out to anyone. The same language is always used.
  The anti-police protesters argue that the City and Council doesn't listen to them and blames the Council for the problems. But many on the Council have years of experience in their careers helping homeless and they have fought for reducing police brutality, successfully for years, more than any of the protesters. It is ironic that the police in Salt Lake City are so short handed due to the police protecting the anti police protesters who have protested on hundreds of days.
  Salt Lake City promised more cops years ago. They promised more visible police in the neighborhoods to reduce crime. Ballpark has had a 60+% increase in violent crime in the last year. Ballpark Community Council Chair Amy Hawkins, who focused the Council on crime prevention when she became Chair, organized the biggest pro police group that I have seen give comments to the City Council in almost 10 years. I think that it made a difference.
  The Budget Amendment gives direction to the City to try to start another Police Academy class this month, or next, and try to staff the SLCPD which is down around 80 officers now. The Chief had said, in a previous City Council meeting, that it could take years to restore staffing to what it was at the beginning of the year. There was an unofficial lifting of the hiring freeze since October with the interpretation that the Police Department could hire to fill authorized staffing levels. This vote, officially, makes it public. There still is an issue with salary which, in the past, has treated police officers the same as other City employees with a standard 3% raise (except for a year ago).
  Ballpark has made a big difference.


FREE ZOOM WITH SLCPL MEETING ROOMS 
  Over the last year, we have been asking Salt Lake City to fund our virtual community council meetings. In several cases the low budget Zoom service, which is limited to 100, was maxed out and many were not able to participate in the meeting. A very contentious project on Foothill, that the East Bench Community Council was against, did not allow many to participate due to the 100 limit. The City eventually offered to host either Zoom or Webex or another service but community councils balked at the perceived influence and control that the City could exert. After many months of back and forth and a promise to solve the issue, the Administration suggested that community councils use the virtual meeting rooms services of the Library.
  Elizabeth King is the SLCPL Events Services Manager (eking@slcpl.org, 801-524-8218) that provides the service. She said that "The Library has multiple licenses and can accommodate the various community council meetings as listed on the City's website (authorized community organizations). We aren't limiting the number of times groups can meet, and we're accepting requests for the remainder of 2021. Although we advertise rooms are available in two-hour blocks, meetings can extend beyond the two hours. Zoom does not automatically end sessions and there are no conflicts since we don't book back-to-back meetings. (in other words, the virtual meetings can go past 8PM but the reservation must begin by 8PM)...... The maximum attendance is 300 and there's an option to live stream to Facebook or YouTube for overflow. We can provide assistance with setting up the live stream, but it would have to be hosted on the council's Facebook page or YouTube channel. Additionally, someone from the council would be responsible for managing the streaming. Many community groups have been using this service and have not encountered major problems. The role of library staff on the day of the event is to meet the organizer for any final questions and to start the meeting. After turning over host controls to the group, our staff leaves. We also offer practice sessions for those unfamiliar with Zoom and would like an opportunity to test out its many features. We welcome other community councils and organizations to use our virtual room service.... The application and more information about the service is available online https://rooms.slcpl.org/request-a-virtual-meeting-room. If you have further questions, please reply to this email or contact me at eking@slcpl.org.   Elizabeth King   Events Services Manager 801-524-8218 
reservations@slcpl.org 
 
SLC OFFERS FREE SLOW DOWN TRAFFIC CALMING SIGNS DELIVERED
  Salt Lake City is offering free traffic calming that urge traffic to slow down. There are several different versions. Google slc.gov and livablestreets.  lara.handwerker@slcgov.com will hand deliver up to 3 signs to your door. This is an effort to try to get traffic to slow down. It appears that speeding traffic is increasing. Whether it is due to frustration about street projects or lack of police (which have been encouraged to not give tickets due to the pandemic which would require a lot of face to face contact), speeding traffic is increasing.

LEGISLATURE BEGINS TUESDAY. FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS
  The significant Legislative dates are:  
Tuesday, 19 Jan 2021 First day of the annual General Session
Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 Last day for a legislator to designate priority bill request number four

       (House) or priority bill number five (Senate) 
Thursday, 28 Jan 2021 Last day for the Legislature to either pass or defeat each base budget

       bill 
Friday, 29 Jan 2021 Last day to request bills or appropriations without floor approval 
Friday, 29 Jan 2021 Last day to approve bills for numbering without floor approval 
Monday, 22 Feb 2021 Last day for the Legislature to present a bill to the governor, where the

     governor is required to act on the bill before the end of the session (governor must act

     within 10 days after it has been presented to governor)
Saturday, 27 Feb 2021 Last day for Executive Appropriations Committee to complete all

    decisions necessary to draft the final appropriations bill 
Tuesday, 2 Mar 2021 General appropriations bills, supplemental appropriations bills, and s

     school finance bills shall be available to legislators 
Tuesday, 2 Mar 2021 Any bond bill made available to legislators 
Tuesday, 2 Mar 2021 Last day for a motion to reconsider 
Tuesday, 2 Mar 2021 Last day to consider bills from own house 
Wednesday, 3 Mar 2021 Last day for legislators to prioritize fiscal note bills and identify 

   other programs for new funding 
Wednesday, 3 Mar 2021 Last day final action must be taken on bond bills 
Wednesday, 3 Mar 2021 Last day final action must be taken on each general appropriations

   bill, supplemental appropriation bill, and school finance bill 
Thursday, 4 Mar 2021 Last day to pass any bill with a fiscal note of $10,000 or more 
Friday, 5 Mar 2021 The final appropriations bill shall be made available to legislators by

   calendared floor time and final action must be taken 
Friday, 5 Mar 2021 Last day of the annual General Session 
Thursday, 25 Mar 2021 Last day the governor may sign or veto bills 
Tuesday, 4 May 2021 Last day a veto-override session may begin 
Wednesday, 5 May 2021 Normal effective date for bills 
 

SLCPD DOWN 76 POLICE OFFICERS
  Chief Brown told the Salt Lake City Council January 12, that Salt Lake City is down 53 vacant funded positions with 3 looking to leave in January. 20 more were allowed but were unfunded so the SLCPD is down 76 sworn officers plus dozens of civilians. The Chief said that staffing is at a critical point now and there is no debate, this was a year like no other and it has had a huge impact. The Chief said that it will take 2 years to at least restaff to handle this. It is expected that the SLCPD expenses from the protests and COVID will be in a future budget amendment. (There will be another discussion on police staffing next week.) So far, the SLCPD is using attrition funding to remove the hiring freeze and use the 2021 budget. But the Chief and Administration asked for and got a straw poll to express support for hiring of more police through a class. It officially takes 40 days to remove the hiring freeze legally. But this will allow the City to start the increased effort to hire more officers. I put the synopsis and report on SLC Police in the downloads section.
  In addition, the SLCPD reported on a virtual training on diversity called Culture City (given virtually due to COVID restrictions). There were some complaints that virtual diversity training is not as good as face to face but that is the world we live in. The Administration is still looking for an Eastside Precinct property but the costs are still outside of budget. 
  This City has lost 2 employees to COVID and as of January 12, 40% of the Fire Department has been vaccinated. The City expects 80% vaccination rate by next week and have agreed that SLCPD and 911 dispatchers will be vaccinated next. 
  The police still have issues with maintaining homeless camp removals at 700S, 900S and 500W. The City has 7 social workers on duty with 3 vacancies. After Operation Rio Grande, the police/social worker teams moved back to c0-responder and suicide, welfare checks, unwanted individuals on property and homeless. They work closely with MCOT. The Chief keeps repeating the success by giving the example of a woman, who from 2013 to 2016, had 70 police calls and was taken to emergency rooms 69 times for a total taxpayer cost of $238,000. Now, with help from the SLCPD and social workers, she is in her own residence and stable.
  The City Council had a vigorous discussion on the fact that mental health is a County issue but they aren't funding it. The County cut mental health 50% over 10 years ago and gave it to a private company. Councilman Andrew Johnston, who works with the homeless at VOA in his day job, said that the police and social workers are underfunded and he is not sure that Salt Lake City can handle it alone.

FREE LIMITED STORAGE FOR HOMELESS WHICH LIMITS WORKING
  The City is continuing the homeless storage program but the normal storage hours are 7 to 9 AM and 5 to 7 PM Monday through Friday. There is some flexibility in changing the hours to work with the homeless and, as an example, this week in January, the hours ar 9 AM to 4 PM to "accommodate outreach workers who are trying to get people in to the new SLC Temporary Winter Housing Program." The facility is located at 502 W 300 S. It is generally pretty full. I think that the homeless deserve more. This facility seems to encourage homeless camping  
  
SALT LAKE CITY REVENUES SO GOOD THAT FUND BALANCE IS $13 MILLION HIGHER
  Salt Lake City's Mayor gave a report that the emergency fund has a balance of 16.5% which is higher than any fund balance since Mayor Rocky Anderson. That equates to $13 million above the targeted 13% fund budget. The State has a similar 13% rainy day fund balance.

WASATCH GARDENS, 
  The RDA approved loaning money to Wasatch Gardens for redevelopment of 3 homes around 8th South into 7 small apartments and a big office. I am against the Wasatch Community Gardens' loan since it decreases affordable housing in SLC and could decrease student population at the local school. It replaces 3 homes that could house 3 families of 4 each, equalling at least 12 (including 9 students). The 8 studio units for 70% AMI are over $10,000 rental revenue but 3 homes are less expensive to rent. In addition, it is not mixed income which is more appropriate for the area and better from a sociological perspective. The rent can still go up each year and the proposed rent of $1200 a unit still is too high for most workers in the City. I think that this is a poor investment and should not be considered affordable housing. I put last month's affordable housing stats for the City in the downloads section.

GLENDALE WATER PARK NEEDS TO RETURN TO ACTIVE RECREATION WITHIN 3 YEARS
  It turns out that the City is required to return the Glendale Water Park that is being completely demolished to the ground needs to return to some kind of active recreation within 3 years or federal funds could be impacted. So the community needs to quickly step up and push for the best project they want, within reason. I personally think that the best and quickest way to return the Park to use would be to build several swimming pools for the community, finishing off with an indoor pool.

SPRAGUE LIBRARY TO OPEN TO LIBRARIANS WEEK OF JANUARY 19TH
  Sprague Library, which just finished reconstruction, will open to librarians next week. The Sprague Firehouse Library Pickup will remain for pickups since the City's Libraries are all closed due to the COVID issue. The Library is looking at recording a video of the new interior changes and hopefully, that will be online soon.  
  
ARCHITECTURE FIRM WANT TO DO PERMANENT CONSTRUCTION NEXT TO SINGLE FAMILY HOMES
  Architectural Nexus wants to regularly construct tiny homes (about 12 by 20 feet) in their back parking lot on Parleys Way. Although the area is mainly offices, the parking lot that they want to construct the tiny homes is adjacent to a single family home neighborhood and they want to do their construction at the back of the parking lot next to the homes! They already built one tiny home but there were complaints about the noise from homeowners. The firm wants permission to regularly build tiny homes as an educational experiment but the zone does not allow that. The City would have to change the zone or allow a text amendment. 
  I feel that the construction of tiny homes is an important educational learning experience but it belongs next to a community college or university, not next to single family homes. Let's see if the City will respect the single family home neighborhood.

RDA HOUSING POLICY MISSING LANGUAGE TO NOT DECREASE PROPERTY VALUES
  The RDA Board reviewed and approved the RDA Housing Policy which includes:
"Foster a mix of household incomes in projects and neighborhoods and to disperse affordable housing projects throughout the City to achieve a balance of incomes in all neighborhoods and communities.
c. Promote equity and anti-displacement efforts through the development and preservation of affordable housing in low-income neighborhoods where underserved groups have historic ties, including neighborhoods where low income individuals and families are at high risk of displacement.
d. Contribute to the development of sustainable, walkable neighborhoods to expand housing choice near transportation, services, and economic opportunity."
  The RDA and the City should adopt an addition that says that the Housing Development Fund should have a policy that priority should be given to projects that will not decrease property taxes of adjacent properties. Among the many reasons is that placing high density projects like SROs next to single family home neighborhoods will decrease the value of the properties. If the adjacent properties are owned by the City or are part of a CDA-Commercial Development Area, if the value of adjacent properties go down, it defeats the purpose of a CDA/RDA development area.

CAPITOL HILL UTAH HAS TOO MANY GUNS TO BE THREATENED
  Utah seems to be afraid to open the State Capitol to the public during the first week of the 2021 Legislative Session. There appears to be a plan to protest the election and law enforcement is afraid of armed conservatives will invade the Capitol grounds. Note to law enforcement, Capitol Hill has more concealed carry individuals concentrated in one area in the State than anywhere else. I would expect that anyone who actually enters with a gun (which is not really allowed and would be confiscated) and draws it would face at least a dozen legislators who carry the biggest guns available. They carry them proudly and often show them off. Note to criminals: don't mess with super armed legislators.
  
KILLER SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN COUNTY JAIL 
  A killing in January was committed by a killer that should have been in County Jail, but like most serious criminals, he was loose, on the street and killed someone in Glendale. He was arrested within a couple of days but it was obvious he should have been in Jail a long time ago. Even criminals were afraid of him.
  
SLC CITY COUNCIL GIVEN WOODEN TREE BOWLS FOR THEIR SERVICE
  It actually is a nice gesture and wooden tree bowls can be quite the art. Sometimes they are very valuable. This was an opportunity to provide funding for an artist, publicize his work, and make use of a tree that the windstorm destroyed. 
  On a similar note, the President finally declared the area that experienced hurricane force winds in September in Utah to be a disaster area so Salt Lake City can utilize FEMA resources and funding to help mitigate that disaster. The earthquake disaster did not affect the City but citizens and businesses can apply for FEMA funds and FEMA has received 279 applications.


SLC/UTA TRIES TO JUSTIFY SPENDING $170 MILLION ON QUESTIONABLE BUS
  UTA gave the SLC Council a briefing on the $170 million South Davis Connector that Davis County wants to spend all of their new transportation taxes on. The project's path will be either 400 West of 300 West in SLC and terminate at the North Temple FrontRunner Station. Although the Davis County portion with be a real BRT with bus only lanes and stations every 4 blocks, the Salt Lake County version on either 300 or 400 West would be essentially an Enhanced bus system (at 1/10 the cost of a real BRT) and have stations every 2 blocks. The goal is to have a bus frequency of 10 minutes. 
  The argument is implied that it will require spending $170 million to get a 10 minute bus frequency. That is a bad argument since $10 million will provide 10 frequency. Another argument is that a BRT will lead to redevelopment. Ogden is betting on that for their 25th South BRT. But Ogden's problems in that area are compounded by a landowner that denies any attempt to redevelop his vacant and unused property. There is also a halfway house and the rest of the streets in the path are stable residential homes. Trying to rezone and redevelop those properties will take decades. I know San Diego tried for years to rezone and redevelop light rail station areas without success. Single family homeowners are very effective in fighting against rezoning their areas. UTA contends that West Valley City was successfully redeveloped due to the BRT, the only UTA real BRT ever built. I can make a better argument that former Mayor Winder was more instrumental in redeveloping his City's center. The UTA BRT was temporarily suspended, with the 2 unused bus lanes saved for future restart of the BRT. The BRT never garnered more than 3200 passengers a day despite taking away lanes that could handle 10,000 vehicles a day.
  The biggest takeaway, in my mind, was the contention that the 455 and 470 buses currently have around 4000 a day ridership. The reality is that the ridership now is around 2100 passengers a day. The predicted ridership is 2000 to 3000 riders a day. For $170 million, in my opinion, it would be cheaper to buy 5000 potential riders an electric vehicle.
  
SALT LAKE COUNTY PUBLIC SAFETY, AGAIN, IS INADEQUATE
  A recent shooting and killing in Salt Lake City's Glendale neighborhood appears to have been committed by a known gang member implicated with many shootings that include homicides and had been charged with violent felonies! WHY WAS HE ON THE STREET KILLING PEOPLE?! BECAUSE OF INADEQUATE COUNTY PUBLIC SAFETY FUNDING! Although he does not appear to be allowed bail for the killing (all arrestees are considered innocent until proven guilty), he has a $100 bail for his driving a vehicle without a license!
  
NEW STUDY IMPLIES TRAX ALONE DECREASES VEHICLE USE
  There is a new study on 400 S. TRAX reducing vehicle use. I agree that it has in the past but the present ridership is 7419 riders a day vs 23513 just before the COVID pandemic (March). It will be interesting to see how fast ridership returns. Car sales seem to have picked up (which saves SLC due to sales tax - just down 5%!) and some experts do not expect a return to those ridership figures for years if not a decade. I do expect the Red Line TRAX to be the first to return to normal ridership. FrontRunner is still under 5000 and even the Davis County bus runs are around 2000. The Governor just released his recommended budget with $350 million for FrontRunner. I would think that those 5000 riders would prefer to take the $70,000 instead of the new FrontRunner project. 
  I have a concern about giving TRAX all the credit for reducing vehicle use. 200 S. ridership has expanded significantly and bicycling infrastructure on 300 and 200 S. seems to have helped increase bicycling. 200 S. was also the beneficiary of a span of service expansion due to SLC Prison Tax. Interestingly, UTA equated the ridership increase on 200 S (before span of service increase) to new bus stop amenities but a study specifically said that the reason for the increased ridership could not be attributed to the new bus stop amenities. (I have an issue with spending money on bus stops when bus drivers are ordered to stay 1 to 4 feet from the curb!)
  The BRT proposals are also questionable since spending $170 million on the South Davis Connector for a predicted 2000 ridership is not a good idea. I also do not like the seating in BRTs. It looks like UTA is using the BRT projects to buy electric buses but I think UTA should buy regular electric buses for regular routes. $170 million could buy over 100 electric buses!
  The 900 S. bus service expansion and the new 4 bus on Foothill is also part of the reason for decreased vehicle use on 400 S., in my opinion. My point is that giving all of the credit to TRAX will tend to make people think that "if you build it they will come". It has created pressure to build projects that I do not believe are economically viable or realistic. The worst case was the S-Line, promised with a 5000 a day ridership but is now around 600 a day (used to be 1400 a day). The supergentrification of Sugar House was due to the large amount of open space in the area (in my opinion and in the opinion of SLC Planning). 
  During the report on the study, Prof. Reid Ewing said inclusionary zoning might help increase ridership. I agree that we need inclusionary zoning but SLC Council refused to implement it 2 years ago (November 2018). In that meeting, the potential plan was to give a 200 unit apartment building a $500,000 credit for Impact Fees in return for a 10+% affordable units. But it still is not being implemented in SLC, despite many big projects and SLC not being able to spend all of the Impact Fees (transferring over $5 million to Pioneer Park because SLC was unable to find a space in the Downtown area for another park - one of the reasons that we are fighting for the Fleet Block park). A recent oped in the SLTrib assumed that we did have inclusionary zoning but you are right, we do not and we should be making that the highest priority. I give credit to SLC for the number of affordable units that they did help produce (I put a list in the downloads section.)
  But to encourage more use of mass transit, which I push for, requires more bus service, not projects,in my opinion. This week's UTA meeting will discuss the Draper Lehi BRT but there are only 105 riders a day on the 871. The VIA system is subsidizing riders at $35 a rider! You probably saw my FrontRunner oped in the Trib. I also have pushed for $1 fares but UTA and SLC keeps resisting! UTA actually raised the reduced FarePay fare. SLC did not spend $1 million of their Prison Tax last year and HIVE is not popular. UTA got $187 million for COVID but still refuses to reduce bus fees (fare elasticities of buses are much different than rail due to parking and ticket machine throughput). 
  One last potential to decrease vehicle use, in my opinion is to require much wider sidewalks. Walking on skinny sidewalks encourages driving, even less than a block! But SLC keeps approving skinny sidewalks with projects despite a Complete Streets ordinance. I am against the Street Typologies proposal since it decreases speeds and will, in my opinion, send a lot of new traffic to formerly quiet neighborhood streets. That is already happening with new street projects that decrease speeds.
  Rail is not a build it and they will come plan. Spending money on projects instead of more service is not a good way to increase ridership. I want all bus service, and span of service to significantly increase before spending money on projects. Especially spending $170 million on a BRT when that money would be better spent on new electric buses (with regular bus seating). Note that a new electric bus can have as much interest and comfort as a rail (if the bus goes to the curb).
  Interesting study but I still want to see more bus service first before more projects.  
  
IT IS OFFICIAL, CYCLE TRACKS ONLY ARE CLEANED EVERY COUPLE OF MONTHS
  SLC is committed to expanding the use of the separated bike lanes called cycle tracks. Although they were listed as not creating a maintenance cost, they require maintenance. Depending on weather, the City's plan is to clean them "every 6 to 7 weeks". That is also the schedule for regular bike lanes. The separated bike lanes are swept with specialized equipment, that, in my opinion, is super polluting. "The Fleet Division is considering electrification and alternative fuel options across the entire fleet with a priority on high use and heavy equipment as funding and new equipment options are available." I still do not like cycle tracks since they are not adequately maintained, they create dangers for cyclists with driveways and they cost 10-20 times more than wide 10 ft bike lanes with rumble strips.


BALLPARK VIRTUAL MEETING ON NEW SLC CRIME PLAN
  I put the new SLC Crime Plan developed with the U.S. Attorney, the Sheriff, the SLCPD and the U.S. Marshals offices in the downloads section in the right. This discussion on increased crime has been accelerating over the last few months and I am republishing some of the old blog below to show what has been involved.
  On January 7, Ballpark Community Chair Amy Hawkins gathered a group of almost 150 interested community members and law enforcement in a virtual meeting to understand the new efforts to fight the increase in crime in Salt Lake City. The Plan will focus on the so called Apex criminals, the less than 10% of criminals that commit the 80% of the crimes. Ogden was able to see over a 20% decrease in crime in a specific area with a similar plan. 
  Chief Brown said that Salt Lake City was not going to limit the stepped up enforcement to an area. Tha question was asked by an ACLU employee but legally, enforcement can be focused on an area by providing more law enforcement into the area, even if it is much more patrolling than in other areas. An example is using Compstat data to see where most crime is reported and increasing patrols in that area with the expectation that it will result in more arrests. It was also used in the 2015 "broken windows" quality of life enforcement, the Operation Diversion efforts and the Operation Rio Grande.
  The Sheriff and her staff explained in detail the standards that the County Jail has to meet that result in maybe 50 being booked into Jail a day and 50 are released. The Sheriff said that there have been no Jail restrictions since July of 2017! That is not true. I have several opeds in the Tribune that point out a different report from Chief Brown and SLCPD officers. The Jail Dashboard shows that misdemeanors, which could include simple assault, do not seem to be a large portion of the Jail population (Google slco.org and Jail Dashboard). Only very serious felonies constitute the big portion of incarcerated. 
  The Sheriff said that COVID has required more isolation and reduced beds with hundreds of Oxbow Jail beds not used. That is a misdirection. One of the reasons for the State paying for 300 beds in other counties during Operation Rio Grande was due to the County Jail not opening the 300 open beds at Oxbow due to lack of funding!
  Essentially, the County Mayor and Council refused to provide funding to staff, and open all of the Jail beds along with funding for the DA to properly prosecute and incarcerate criminals. A DUI that results in injury or death can get out of jail with $500 (requires a $5000 bond) and the Jail releases car thieves with a $100 bond. For a year, the Jail was authorized to reopen the hundreds of open beds at Oxbow but there was such a big turnover in Jail personnel (due to 20% being assaulted a year and very low pay - same problem with lack of beds at the State Prison) that those beds were not utilized. About 10 years ago, over the objections of Sheriff Winder, the Mayor and Council repurposed the $9.4 million a year Oxbow Jail bond that was paid off into other projects. One was the Pay for Success that argued that paying for drug treatment would be better than funding more Jail beds. The problem is that each Pay for Success person, when arrested for criminal activity, is sent back to the treatment program that they can walk away from anytime! No jail for regular criminal activity! At best, the cost of the program, paid for by private companies as an investment, would cost the County $11.7 million. But around $100 million were repurposed from the Jail bond for other uses by the County. If the DA and Jail and Sheriff had use of some of those funds, it would significantly decrease crime in the County.
  I go into more detail below with the November and October blogs.
  Another issue brought up was the inadequate nuisance ordinance that has only had one success in two years (as of the end of 2019). Mayor Mendenhall, when she was a Councilwoman, developed a new ordinance that was supposed to identify and focus solutions on crime magnet stores and motels like Wayne's Corner and the State Street and North Temple low cost motels. She said during this week's Council meeting that she is restarting the effort to fight the nuisance properties. She is going to have regular meetings with County Health, law enforcement, Zoning and her staff (like the last several years focusing on Ballpark properties) to identify and find solutions to crime magnet properties. 
  In one case, a motel owner of two properties is refusing to sell their properties on North Temple and Main Street to the City for redevelopment. The major successes in stopping crime in these motels were the result of the properties being bought by the City. The Capitol Motel on 17th and State is being redeveloped by HASLC. The Skyline Inn on 17th S and Foothill was bought and is being redeveloped by Foothill Shopping Center developer. The Georgia Apartments was declared a hazard by the Fire Department and bought for redevelopment (HASLC tried but failed to get budget approval until a week after the deadline!). All were significant crime magnets.
  Mayor Mendenhall agreed, during Tuesday's Council meeting that the County Jail restrictions were a problem, especially with the City getting 16,000 more calls a year than expected. They intend to focus with the new Crime Plan on felonies, not misdemeanors. With the City sworn officers down 64 as of November 30, the City is starting a new Academy but there is a problem attracting new recruits due to the public disrespect for officers during the many recent protests.
  IT WAS NOTED THAT SALT LAKE CITY HAS THE WORST PROPERTY CRIME IN THE COUNTRY IN ANOTHER RECENT COMMUNITY COUNCIL MEETING.
  
THE BELOW IS FROM THE DECEMBER BLOG:
PIONEER PARK COALITION MEETING CONFIRMS SLC NOT TAKING CRIME SERIOUSLY
  During the December Pioneer Park Coalition meeting, the U.S. Attorney celebrated the success of the Ogden and Federal Government law enforcement efforts to decrease crime. The goal was to find the so called apex criminals that commit most of the most dangerous crimes. Ogden was able to get a 25% violent crime reduction in 3 to 5 years. By focusing on just 72 criminals, Ogden was able to reduce reported crimes 20 to 30% in 2 years. U.S. Attorney Huber said that there is no reason Salt Lake can't do it. All they have to do is call me. He added "Maybe I should call."
  Chief Brown also mentioned that many of the shelter resistant homeless (only around 22 out of 160 homeless campers accepted housing and shelter beds) refuse help.
  We have been witnessing this for almost a decade! For almost 10 years, undercover cops would complain that they would buy drugs, arrest the dealer and book them into jail, only to have them laughing a few hours later next to that cop who was trying to make another buy.
  What will it take for the Legislature, the counties and law enforcement to work together to ensure that counties are compensated for jailing criminals that really should be in prison (even for dozens of misdemeanors), that APP and prosecutors get enough money to keep threats in jail or under effective supervision and that the majority of prisoners get effective mental health treatment in jail and afterwards to decrease their threat to residents and businesses?
  A good example of how bad it is concerns a car thief who was caught earlier this month and immediately released on $100 bond! He was arrested on several felony counts including probation or parole violation but released with $100!! He almost killed a cop when he was on the street and he gets out after stealing a car with $100!
  Chief Brown recently said that they had to roust the homeless camp around St. Mark's in Salt Lake City. They directed their efforts to pull the drug dealers out of the homeless in the area. There is constant frustration in law enforcement about arresting the same criminal dozens of times. 
  My Salt Lake Tribune oped in November summarized the issues at: 
https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2020/11/05/george-chapman-well/
  In addition, in the last few months, I have provided emails from law enforcement that go into detail about the issues.
  
CATALYTIC CONVERTER THEFT RING OPERATING NEAR LIBERTY PARK
  There have been many complaints about questionable loitering and criminal activities in the area around 13th South and State Street. I recommend that everyone keep an eye on the Registered Sex Offender List since there is a large concentration of former prisoners in the 1200 South and State area. Another big issue that was noted in the last Liberty Wells Community Council meeting in December, is several residents had their catalytic converters stolen! The replacement can be as much as $1000! Please report any questionable activity to 911. 

SLC REARRANGING POLICE TO COUNTER LOSS OF OVER 60 OFFICERS THIS YEAR
  Over the last few months, this blog has gone into detail about the loss of sworn police officers from Salt Lake City. This year, with the pandemic, the protests, the overtime and retirement, has resulted in Salt Lake City losing 70 cops (around 10 just graduated from a new Police Academy) this year. In 2019, there was a loss of 25 cops. In 2019, 37 left by October 30. In 2020, 52 sworn officers left by October 30. At the same time, there was a around a 10% increase in calls for service. There were 232 days of protests that were monitored by the City's police. Between July 1 and October 31, 45 officers left out of 569 authorized FTEs which is about 8% of the force!
  There is a grant that the City applied for to add 10 more police with federal funding. The October class of 10 (laterals that were former police transferring from other areas) can hit the ground running and there will be another class in January.
  The Police Chief and Mayor is under pressure to provide more visible police and will disband the 8 member Community Intelligence Unit that liaisoned with community councils and worked on trouble complaints from those groups. They will go onto patrol. The bike patrol with the Chief's killer bumblebee uniforms will continue (I still think that they should be called murder hornet uniforms.) and will try to have a meet and greet in January.
  A captain or lieutenant will now attend each community council meeting and liaison with the bike squad. The Council was concerned about the change since the CIU officers were very popular with the community councils. The police will try to have the command staff at each community council meeting but there are conflicts (5 on first Wednesday). 
  The Chief asked the City Council for $300,000 for 30 more shotguns that fire a plastic lead sock to decrease the use of lethal force.  The $600 shotgun is accurate to 20yds and more. The 30 shotguns will be added to the 89 older models..

SLC MOBILE COP CAMS DEPLOYED TO SMITHS AND FAIRMONT SKATE PARK
  The Sugar House Community Council asked for a mobile cop cam to discourage drug sales at the Fairmont Park Skate Park and it got one in December. Several Smiths parking lots also got the camera trailers due to a rash of car burglaries in the grocery store parking lots. Chief Brown said that they were effective at discouraging criminal element loitering after the St. Mark's homeless drug dealing rousting. "The sheer presence moves the element out." They were used for two weeks since after that they decrease in effectiveness.
  The SLCPD said: "We have obtained the trailers over the last 5 years with grant monies, some of that money is no longer available. However, we still utilize grant money to repair damaged trailers or for the routine upkeep of the units. We currently have six trailers, 5 of an older style ($50,000 +) and one new style ($27,000 ish), however the new one has had integration issues so we have yet to deploy it mostly due to getting it fixed during the height of COVID, so it remains to be seen whether that kind will be viable long term yet. 
  I cannot speak about budget funding as that is out of my purview.  We are currently designing and building a few longer term high visibility cameras that will be mounted on semaphores or utility poles to be less vulnerable to vandalism, which is a significant problem with the trailers.  They should help with areas that have long term issues or areas that might leave a trailer more vulnerable to damage, and cost much less around 10K.   Overhead security light systems will not be useful for us as they generally too intrusive in neighborhoods (shining into bedroom windows at night, and would kill the trailers batteries way too quickly).  We are currently low on storage/recharge space with our current cameras trailers and due to the design of the masts of the old style trailers we can’t get them into an underground parking structure for storage or recharge.  So due to the storage, and budgetary constraints in it’s current state we can’t effectively afford to bring more cameras trailers online until a stable long term funding and storage solution is established."
 
FROM NOVEMBER BLOG
JRI NEEDS MORE ATTENTION PUBLISHED
  The Salt Lake Tribune published my commentary on the Justice Reinvestment Initiative this month (at https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2020/11/05/george-chapman-well/).  I pointed out that the U.S. Attorney was right to complain about criminals not being taken off the street for more than a few hours and many had been arrested dozens of times.  I also agreed with a previous oped that JRI needs a bigger budget since it is essentially an unfunded mandate on the counties.  I also agreed that the JRI effort made sense since drug users should not be in prison (the main objective of JRI).  But drug addicts that commit crimes everyday that they are on the street should be incarcerated and the system should be re-evaluated by the State to ensure that.
  One of the best legislators, in my opinion, is Rep. Hutchings who has been sponsoring the JRI bills and trying to fine tune the effort to make it effective.  Unfortunately, he has lost re-election.  He will be missed.  I can't think of anyone else who knew as much about justice reform in Utah.  He was considered so knowledgeable that he has testified in Washington DC about it.  Rep. Eliason did win re-election and he has been instrumental in pushing for better mental health funding and systems including MCOT, the mobile mental health team.  Rep. Dunnigan also won re-election and he has plans to sponsor a noise ordinance that will target those vehicle owners that remove their muffler systems.  Vehicle noise is not supposed to be over 85 db but many remove the mufflers and replace them with equipment that results in much louder noise.

JRI DISCUSSIONS AT LEGISLATURE IGNORE COUNTY PROBLEMS
Following on the JRI Audit, CCJJ (Utah's Committee on Criminal and Juvenile Justice) had a report that I questioned.  The CCJJ Report page 4 says: "county jail populations do not appear to have been negatively impacted by the JRI reforms, though more data is needed"!!!
  But the recent JRI Audit pointed out that Adult Probation and Parole is not able to provide appropriate services to the recently paroled.  Part is due to the indirect pressure to reduce bed use at the State Prison and it is also caused by the inability of Corrections to fully staff the beds that are supposed to be provided (mainly due to low salaries).  The Audit showed the result.  Too many violent criminals are being released with not enough supervision.
  That has resulted in the U.S. Attorney and other law enforcement and government prosecutors complaining about being inundated with criminals who have been committing many, many violent criminal actions.  The unfunded mandate put on the county jails and prosecutors from discouraging sentencing violent criminals to prison is a burden on local taxpayers and victims.  Many of these criminals should not be released and should be in prison.  
  Using a gun should result in prison no matter how hard APP argues against that. APP is actively discouraging sentencing violent criminals to prison.
  Again, I urge the Legislature to analyze and study the realistic need for Prison beds (which shouldn't affect the Point development - which can start now); what are the salary requirements to fully staff the Prison and what do counties need to help prosecute violent criminals and send them to Prison.  The Prison should also be available to provide extra beds for counties that are not able to provide enough beds to take criminals who may be committing over ten felonies while released. 
  When asked by the Judiciary Interim Committee Chair about the county jail populations issue, Kim Cordova said that she did not think that there was an issue!  Asking any Salt Lake County police chief should confirm that the Jail does not accept booking for less than third degree felonies. (with a few exceptions).  The actual number of criminals that should be on the Salt Lake County Jail graph should be two to three times more.  The Jail Dashboard  which I am familiar with, and I have written about in newspapers, showed many have over 100 arrests until recently and some have over 200 arrests.  The Jail IS REFUSING misdemeanor arrests.
  Sen. Hillyard was correct to say that police often take arrested criminals back to treatment instead of jail (Salt Lake County's Pay For Success in particular).  County jails implement limits and police are told what crimes are accepted for booking.  
  The Legislature should continue collect data and accept testimony from police chiefs and DAs and sheriffs to show the real life situation.  This Committee and I have been having this same argument (well before the Audit) for two years.
  
  Sheriff Rivera was asked about this issue and responded with this (MY RESPONSES ARE IN CAPS):
 "First, there have been no booking restrictions in place at the Salt Lake County Jail since July 2017. The reason our population appears consistent is largely due to a carefully monitored Over-Crowding Release program that affects those in our facility following the booking intake process." (THAT IS NOT  TRUE.  THE JAIL BOOKING RESTRICTION EFFECTS REPORT FROM 2017 IS STILL IN EFFECT.  SLCPD STILL COMPLAINS ABOUT IT!)
  "When you look at the current jail dashboard numbers it is important to understand that due to COVID-19 we have reduced the overall number of inmates in our facility so that we are better able to protect the health and safety of inmates." (ONLY 184 BEDS ARE BEING USED AT OXBOW INSTEAD OF THE OVER 500 BEDS AVAILABLE)
  "In terms of our felony population, at the time I am writing this our dashboard shows that 45.4% of the jail population has been booked on charges below a second-degree felony.
Felonies
First-degree - 398
Second-degree - 368
Third-degree - 507 
Misdemeanors
Class A - 108
Class B - 19
Class C - 3
  Additionally, the prison does not have the authority to hold anyone prior to conviction and sentencing. Currently, in our facility 81% of people have not been sentenced, including those charged with first- or second-degree felonies who we are required to detain pre-trial. The number of individuals awaiting trial is most impacted by the challenges COVID-19 is having on the courts rather than with the prison or their staff.
  You are correct to say that JRI impacted county jails. The reclassification of possession charges from felonies to misdemeanors impacted us in two ways:
  People convicted of misdemeanors now serve time in jails rather than prison.
Jails are no longer eligible for Conditions of Probation (COP) reimbursement for the individuals serving misdemeanor possession sentences in our jails. When these charges were felonies we were reimbursed when time was served in our facility.
  I hope you find this information helpful. JRI is well intentioned but its success will be dependent on all five parts becoming fully implemented. Having alternatives to the jail for individuals being detained with nuisance crimes like intoxication can both reduce costs to the jail and give that individual a chance to receive resources outside of the criminal justice system. It is important to look at the whole criminal justice system. The court process, community-based services, and incarceration alternatives like receiving centers will all play a critical role in this initiative being fully realized."
  (IN OTHER WORDS, JRI HAS PLACED AN UNFUNDED MANDATE ON COUNTIES THAT HAVE RESULTED IN MANY CRIMINALS STAYING ON THE STREET AND COMMITTING CRIMES.)
 
 
FROM THE OCTOBER BLOG
JUSTICE REINVESTMENT INITIATIVE NOT WORKING
  The JRI Audit (in the downloads section on the right) showed that JRI is not working as intended.  Too many individuals are being arrested again and again without resolution of their mental issues or drug and alcohol issues (usually covering up their mental issues).  The goal of not incarcerating drug users in prison is an appropriate and respectful effort.  But when criminals misuse the system to continue criminal behavior, it is not working.  The vast majority of drug users do not commit victimless crimes and if they commit crimes everyday they are on the street, they should be incarcerated.  In addition, the State forced an unfunded mandate on counties.  There is a systemic problem with the JRI efforts, in my opinion.
  When the County refuses to fund appropriate jail space but leaves 184 beds open there is a problem.  (Note that the County Sheriff's budget is $5 million less than last year! - The County budget is being discussed in public hearings now - DA and Sheriff presentations are in the downloads on the right.)  When the DA has 14 prosecutor positions unfilled there is a problem.  When judges admonish Adult Probation and Parole (the Audit showed APP was underfunded and undermanned) for recommending probation for someone who empties a gun into a car full of people, there is a problem,
  When a robber is sentenced to 1 to 15 years in prison, ends up in jail for 30days and 6 months later tries to shoot some cops who surround him, who shoot him until he stops being a threat, there is a problem.
  He should have been in prison and you don't need an audit to tell you the system isn't working.  You don't need the US Attorney to tell you there is a problem (he recently complained about the lack of enforcement of laws by Utah government).
  The Legislature should study the cost to properly incarcerate threats to society and fund either the State or County to take those threats out of society and demand that all treatment centers that receive federal funds, track and report all results for a year.  The Audit was unable to show the results for treatment!  It appears from the Utah Department of Health scorecards that success after a year is less than 40% and in 5 years, it may be less than 10%.
  One important finding that was missed is the Audit shows that the Salt Lake County Jail inmate population expanded but has been stable for many years!  That is due to the SLCO Jail's booking restrictions.  (The Audit missed that data!)  The JRI Audit graph in the Appendix should show a doubling or tripling of jail inmates but the Jail only allows first and second degree felonies to be booked!  Law enforcement can influence some flexibility but they are told to try to follow the rules since arrestees tend to walk out before the arrest reports are finished!  The Audit provides a dashboard that goes into more detail at:
 https://public.tableau.com/profile/utah.legislative.auditor.general.s.office#!/

SLC INTERNAL AFFAIRS SENDS TWO POLICE TO POST INVESTIGATION
  During the last few months, there have been many complaints that the Salt Lake City Police Department is out of control and regularly exhibits police brutality.  The cases that turned up that did show police brutality were immediately corrected when reported.  There have been many times when the violence of a critical event has not been reported but the result has often been the person responsible for not reporting the incident has been forced to retire (as in the case of the police canine officer who did not report these incidents).  There have also been complaints that the Police Union/Association is too powerful and the State is too lenient with police.  The reality is that Utah has a vigorous system that targets unprofessional law enforcement conduct called POST.  Utah is ensuring appropriate police conduct with POST.  In the past, officers have been terminated from law enforcement positions in the State, or suspended from practicing for a time or punished in other ways.  The following are statistics for the last five years for SLCPD, DPS and UDC (provided by POST): 
?
Complaints:
Salt Lake City PD - 26
Department of Public Safety - 42
Utah Department of Corrections - 84
Cases:
Salt Lake City PD - 9
Department of Public Safety - 19 
Utah Department of Corrections - 67
?
Breakdown of complainants and if a case was opened for each Salt Lake City PD complaint:
2020 - 2 referred from SLCIA, and were opened as cases
           1 citizen complaint that was not opened.
2019 - 4 citizen complaints, 3 were not opened and 1 was
           1 referred from another agency during background investigation, was opened as a case
2018 - 5 referred by SLCIA, 4 were opened, 1 was not *as we were being audited
           1 anonymous complaint was not opened
           1 incident was observed by POST on the media and was opened as a case
2017 - 3 incidents were observed by POST on the media, 1 was opened as a case, the other 2 were not
           2 citizen complaint, neither were opened as cases
2016 - 1 referred by SLCPD, opened as a case
           1 anonymous complaints, not opened
           3 citizen complaints, none opened
           1 incident was observed by POST on the media and was opened as a case

UTAH JUSTICE AUDIT PROVES OUR CLAIMS OF POOR PUBLIC SAFETY
  There is an important Audit on Utah's Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) that hit the Legislature this month.  It showed that our criminal justice system is not working well.  JRI stopped sending drug users to prison and forced counties to incarcerate them in the county jail which was costly and effectively an unfunded mandate.  The vast majority of drug users do not commit victimless crimes.  The Audit is in the downloads on the right.  The appendixes show the incarceration numbers and drug and alcohol (SUDs) treatment numbers.  But, as the Audit mentioned, they couldn't get the treatment providers to prove their success.  The State has indicated that the 1 year successful treatment is around 40% but it may take as long as 5 years to reflect real life percentages of success.  The federal government believes successful opioid addiction treatment is around 5%!  Interestingly, I have seen only one person that has gone through the system after Operation Rio Grande that has been able to continue working and stay away from drugs.  She keeps being mentioned as a success and i congratulate her.  But is there anyone else?  The problem, as I indicated several years ago in a commentary in the newspaper, is without jail or incarceration for more that a day, there is no real incentive to enter and continue drug treatment.  The Salt Lake County Jail refuses to book anyone except for first and second degree felonies and they are released, usually, within a day.
  Not noted in the graphs, Salt Lake County limits jail populations and releases everyone, even felonies to not get above a limit. and refused to jail drug users.   In other words  it is worse than the graph in the appendix of the Audit shows.  
  When judges admonish APP (which the Audit said is underfunded and understaffed) for recommending probation for someone who empties a gun into a car full of people, there is a problem.  
  When a robber is sentenced to 1 to 15 years in prison; ends up in jail for 30 days; and 6 months later tries to shoot some cops who surround him; who shot him until he stopped being a threat; there is a problem.  It also created riots and a lot of damage.  He should have been in prison.  You don't need an audit to tell you the system isn't working.
  When the county refuses to fund appropriate jail space and leaves 184 beds open there is a problem.  When the DA has 14 prosecutor positions unfilled there is a problem.  You don't need the US Attorney to tell you there is a problem.
  I urge the Legislature to study the cost to properly incarcerate threats to society and fund either the State or County to take those threats out of society and demand that all treatment centers that receive federal funds, track and report all results for a year. 
  
IT'S BACK - SRO/MINI CABRINI GREEN/CRIME MAGNET MOTELS
  The renamed Single Room Occupancy proposal, now Shared Room housing, is set for public hearings on November 10, and November 20.  The City insists that it solves the issue of affordable housing.  This is Pamela Atkinson's push and dream.  She has been pushing this proposal for years.  It will allow SROs throughout the City except in single family zoned areas.  
  Interestingly, the City's Housing Authority tried to build an SRO next to a single family home (on 1725 S. Jefferson St.).  It was 74 units and the RDA turned it down only because it was noncompliant with the zoning.  If the City's SRO proposal passes, that project can receive City funding to proceed!  It is zoned RMF35 now.

THE ABOVE IS FROM PREVIOUS BLOG ENTRIES BUT RELATED TO CRIME FIGHTING IN SLC
  


BELOW IS THE REST OF JANUARY BLOG (FIRST WEEK)

SLC WOULD RATHER SPEND $5 MILLION ON A BUILDING THAN A PARK
  It appears that the Salt Lake City Council along with the arts community would rather spend over $5 million on the Fisher Mansion along the Folsom Trail rather than the Fleet Block. The Mayor told the Council last month that there wasn't enough money for two regional parks, Glendale Park that was the old water park and the Fleet Block. But there is enough money for a $5 plus million to stabilize and renovate the old Fisher Mansion. 
  $5 million was about the same amount of money that was repurposed from the southern end of Downtown park, at one time supposed to be around 5th South and Main Street, to Pioneer Park. This City promised another Downtown park from park impact fees. The park impact fees should be used for a downtown park and not a vanity project, the Fisher Mansion.
  The plans may also not be legal since ADA requirements are ignored. The plans call for an upstairs without an elevator but the City says that the upstairs will not be available to the public and therefore does not need to be ADA accessible. That is not correct. I expect an expensive legal fight on this.
  On another note regarding the Budget Amendment 6 that had the Fisher Mansion funding, there were funds proposed for a consultant for redesigning the Glendale Water Park. At a minimum, it should have a big, Olympic size, public swimming pool along with a generous park area.
  There was also a budget item for more police (A-5) but the funding was deficient and I expect that Salt Lake City will be down 100 officers by summer. They are down over 65 now.
  The budget amendment also had funding transferred from unused land bank and landlord proposals and repurposed for acknowledgeably more important increased rent assistance, service models for the vulnerable and $750,000 for the winter shelter at the Airport Inn. The State is providing $525,000 for operations for the Millcreek and Airport Inn winter shelters. The County is providing $234,320 for the operations at the Millcreek shelter.


PICTURE OF THE YEAR IS UTA THROWING BUSES UNDER THE BUS
  I am making the picture of the year the sign that UTA placed at a bus stop that tells the bus driver to stay away from the curb. What that means is that bus riders have to step into the street to step up into the bus. It also makes the UTA plan to raise the curb 6 inches as part of the millions budgeted for bus stop amenities (along with Salt Lake City) questionable and "WHAT WERE THEY THINKING".
  The reason for the sign is UTA's frustration over scuffed tires (that are leased) and broken mirrors. The broken mirrors were because, after firing the bus stop manager (who won a big lawsuit against UTA for his termination ), bus stops were placed in illogical places like right next to power poles, or trees or other signs which bus drivers had a problem maneuvering around.
  The bus stop manager was fired because he questioned UTA's plan to quickly build bus stop amenities on 200 South without proper ADA specifications. UTA wanted to quickly build the bus stops to get public good will and approval of Prop One, the old proposed sales tax increase for UTA. UTA claimed a 20% improvement in ridership due to the new bus stops as a selling point for the tax increase. But an analysis and report actually said that the increased ridership COULD NOT BE ATTRIBUTED to the new bus stops! Prop One failed but Senator Harper passed the tax increase a few years later in return for a $100 million 48th South Mid-Valley Connector BRT (in my opinion).
  So while UTA and Salt Lake City (using prison tax money) insists on spending money on raising curbs 6 inch, buses will avoid getting close to the curb and riders will have to step down one foot into the street from the new and "improved?" expensive bus stops and walk to the bus, in the street and step up one foot into the bus (if it isn't lowered). Picture of the year -  WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?

SLC SALES TAX REVENUES DOWN ONLY 5.4%
  Many have asked about Salt Lake City's sales tax revenue during the pandemic. Overall, it appears that sales tax receipts, including projections, are just 5.4% less than the projected sales tax revenue before the pandemic! 
  The biggest group of businesses projected to be negatively impacted are the "Accommodation and Food Services" which is down 45.4%. Real Estate and Rental and Leasing is projected to be down 20.9%. Along with Retail Trade, Wholesale Trade, Manufacturing, these groups are the top 5 sectors and are over 79% of Salt Lake City's sales tax revenues. Vehicle and grocery sales are obviously a big deal for the City's sales tax receipts and they were up.
  The City's biggest revenue decreases are in parking and tickets. I put the November sales tax report to the City Council in the downloads section to the right.
  
  ​
DECEMBER 2020
I RESPECT SLC MAYOR MENDENHALL FOR LEADERSHIP THIS YEAR
 Over the years, I have had many fights over policy issues with Salt Lake City’s present day Mayor and former councilwoman Erin Mendenhall. Many of the arguments have been reported in many commentaries by me in the Salt Lake Tribune. The issues have included lack of solutions to homeless issues, too much emphasis on rail transit, bicycles, higher density in single family areas, traffic calming with road diets and tax and fee increases. I gave many reasons to support her opponent for mayor during the last election.
  In one of the most unusual years ever in the history of our State, this City has endured an earthquake that damaged the City and County Building. The COVID 19 pandemic dealt the City a serious blow to providing services and public hearings. The pandemic resulted in a potential tsunami of evictions. The Road Home was closed by the Lieutenant Governor with the loss of up to 1000 beds for the homeless and homeless camps proliferated throughout the City. 
  The City had the most serious riots ever and daily protests in the City’s streets demanding defunding of the police. One of the City’s police K-9 officers was charged with aggravated assault by the DA.  The City also endured hurricane force winds that destroyed thousands of the City’s mature trees. 
  Mayor Mendenhall had a lot to do with this City’s successful resolutions of the worst problems any mayor could expect. She led the City’s identification and repair of the earthquake damage to the City’s buildings. She helped create a very successful virtual meeting system that resulted in hundreds of citizens being able to provide public comments to the City Council. She created a winter emergency shelter for the homeless earlier this year and identified and agreed to using a hotel for this year’s winter shelter. She changed the system for rousting homeless camps by insisting on a more respectful plan of offering services including housing, court/ assistance with citations and addiction treatment before allowing the County Health Department to remove the biowaste and encourage the homeless to not congregate together.
  She and the Chief of Police were adamant that protesting was a legitimate right at the same time that destructive riots would be aggressively stopped. She expressed solidarity with Black Lives Matter and implemented a complete audit of the police budget. She followed through on releasing bodycam recordings within 10 days of disturbing but justified shootings. She suspended the City’s K-9 force immediately on learning of a disturbing use of force that was not reported. She removed the police hiring freeze when the force lost many more than usual to retirement, competition with other agencies, extended overtime due to the constant protests, and the public perception of police brutality.  
  She started a renter’s assistance fund to help decrease evictions in the City and started planning on affordable housing solutions. She was able to procure Allen Park before it was bought for high density development. 
  This has been a difficult year for not just Salt Lake City but cities worldwide. Our City has been able to keep some semblance of normalcy with tax revenue a little less than normal (ABOUT 10% down) and the City’s public servants still able to be responsive. Our Mayor deserves credit and recognition for that.  I still will push her and my City to be better but she has impressed me this year.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING DISCUSSION AFTER BUILDING 1500 UNITS SINCE 2015
  At the beginning of December, the Salt Lake City Council had a big discussion and review on affordable housing. From the notice:
"Housing issues are at the forefront of this discussion, which covers affordability, increasing housing supply, diversifying housing options, and neighborhood compatibility. Additionally, an update from City staff on the adopted Growing SLC Housing Plan will help provide valuable context to this discussion.
The Council is currently reviewing a few housing-related land use petitions including RMF-30 Zoning changes and a Shared Housing proposal. The Council anticipates other petitions, including an Affordable Housing Overlay and off-street parking changes, in the foreseeable future.
The goal of the discussion is to link these proposals together and consider them with a “big picture” policy context. Alone, these proposals each impact City housing policy. Combined and coordinated, they become part of a clearer vision. This briefing will help inform the City’s efforts to expand housing opportunities within Salt Lake City. The Council will not take action on these proposals at this meeting. Each item will have future stand-alone briefings and public hearings before the Council takes action."
  The Council noted that relatively affordable housing is only available in Glendale. The recently passed demolition ordinance may not help much since only about 160 properties seem to be involved. There is an RFQ on a gentrification study. Despite the fact that the public hearings of the RMF30 and SRO proposals are closed, BEFORE ANY BIG CHANGE IN ZONING, THE GENTRIFICATION STUDY SHOULD BE FINISHED AND ANALYZED. Growing Salt Lake City expires in 2022. The City hopes that the housing mitigation program will decrease loss of affordable housing (requires landlords to replace affordable housing lost during reconstruction). The City Council would like to discuss the housing mitigation program more, an ordinance for anti-displacement right of first refusal (to allow tenants to buy a building before eviction) and identify neighborhoods that need help and develop mitigation measures. They also noted that the demolition of the Overnighter Motel was complicated by a fire that delayed final demolition for a few months. 
  The City staff provided an updated number of affordable units that "includes only those units that the City helped fund. There may have been other affordable units built without public funds but (SLC doesn't) have access to that information.
The short answer is that 1,500 new units of housing that is affordable to people earning up to 80% of AMI (Area Median Income) were built and opened since 2015.....
This year (2020) was the biggest year on record for opening new affordable units, with 723 total. That volume of new affordable units is in part a reflection of the Council’s greatly increased investment in affordable housing since 2016/2017.
 Most of these affordable units are guaranteed to remain affordable for the next fifty years. Levels of affordability vary depending on the project, ranging from no income (permanent supportive housing) to a maximum of 80% AMI. The size of affordable units also varies, from studios to 3-bedroom units.
In 2021, 567 additional new affordable housing units are scheduled to open.
The attachment (IN DOWNLOADS) includes names and addresses of each project that received City funds for meeting the requirements for incentives for building affordable housing units."
  I still think that affordable housing plans need a reset to not negatively impact the implied promise of single family zoned areas. The City should realize that well intentioned plans can lead to much higher housing costs like in the Sugar House area where rents increased 300% in the last ten years.
  The City’s SRO/Shared Housing proposal would put affordable rooms in many stable residential neighborhoods with many long term owner occupied housing. Why would a developer spend money to build apartments if there is a chance that an SRO is going to be built next door? The problem is the low rent proposal is similar to the budget motels on State Street and North Temple. If Salt Lake City can’t stop the increase in crime near the budget motels, it shouldn’t be proposing to put similar housing in other residential neighborhoods. 
  Another proposal is to encourage redevelopment of rental properties with a new RMF30 ordinance that will effectively encourage the removal of many older and affordable housing units and replace them with market rate higher density. Even apartment owners have an issue with this proposal. This proposal will result in affordable rental property owners getting an offer that they can’t refuse to sell and allow redevelopment of their properties. This will result in an eviction tsunami.
  The affordable housing overlay proposal is designed to increase density in all areas of the City by making more flexible use of all space including odd lots, alleys and big lots. But the proposal will increase traffic and parking issues that are already a contentious issue in the City. Owner occupied housing cements neighborhoods and trying to increase density with higher density homes, apartments and rentals (which developers contend provide more return on investment) destroys neighborhoods and encourages flight to the suburbs.
  Another proposal is to decrease the parking minimums to encourage using alternate forms of transportation that are more socially acceptable to some. Recently, the City had to rescind removing a few parking spots in the 9th and 9th neighborhood due to broad community opposition. Other areas are increasingly concerned about the lack of on street parking in front of their house and businesses. Red China proved that encouraging riding bicycles does not stop people from wanting to drive vehicles. In China, there are 50 lane roads that are congested!
  Another threat to quiet residential streets, lowering speed limits, is being discussed. Lowering speed limits to 20 or 25 MPH on arterials will effectively treat neighborhood residential streets that are not for through traffic, as arterials and encourage through traffic. There won’t be any difference between the speed limits on residential streets and arterials! 
  Many of the new higher density developments do not provide wider sidewalks. In fact, most sidewalks in front of 3 and 5 story apartments are the same 4 feet width which is not enough for a wheelchair, a stroller or even a bicyclist to share the sidewalk together (side by side). Skinny sidewalks do not encourage walkability. They encourage driving and the need for more parking!
   Some of the best proposals to encourage affordable housing are being ignored. Housing should be allowed on the 80% of the City not zoned for it.  The City considered inclusionary zoning two years ago but dropped it. It would have required affordable units in new developments with Impact Fee credits. Parks encourage new housing but the City has been slow to consider new parks like the Fleet Block. Another proposal for thousands of new housing units is the State Street area which has not advanced the plan much in the last 6 years!
  Respecting residents through respectful housing plans is important for a good affordable housing plan. If this City keeps increasing density in low density residential areas, it will drive residents out to the suburbs, increase the cost of housing in the City and do the exact opposite of what the City wants to do. The SRO, RMF30, affordable housing overlay and parking and speed limit proposals should be returned to staff for a better analysis.

PIONEER PARK COALITION MEETING CONFIRMS SLC NOT TAKING CRIME SERIOUSLY
  During the December Pioneer Park Coalition meeting, the U.S. Attorney celebrated the success of the Ogden and Federal Government law enforcement efforts to decrease crime. The goal was to find the so called apex criminals that commit most of the most dangerous crimes. Ogden was able to get a 25% violent crime reduction in 3 to 5 years. By focusing on just 72 criminals, Ogden was able to reduce reported crimes 20 to 30% in 2 years. U.S. Attorney Huber said that there is no reason Salt Lake can't do it. All they have to do is call me. He added "Maybe I should call."
  Chief Brown also mentioned that many of the shelter resistant homeless (only around 22 out of 160 homeless campers accepted housing and shelter beds) refuse help.
  We have been witnessing this for almost a decade! For almost 10 years, undercover cops would complain that they would buy drugs, arrest the dealer and book them into jail, only to have them laughing a few hours later next to that cop who was trying to make another buy.
  What will it take for the Legislature, the counties and law enforcement to work together to ensure that counties are compensated for jailing criminals that really should be in prison (even for dozens of misdemeanors), that APP and prosecutors get enough money to keep threats in jail or under effective supervision and that the majority of prisoners get effective mental health treatment in jail and afterwards to decrease their threat to residents and businesses?
  A good example of how bad it is concerns a car thief who was caught earlier this month and immediately released on $100 bond! He was arrested on several felony counts including probation or parole violation but released with $100!! He almost killed a cop when he was on the street and he gets out after stealing a car with $100!
  Chief Brown recently said that they had to roust the homeless camp around St. Mark's in Salt Lake City. They directed their efforts to pull the drug dealers out of the homeless in the area. There is constant frustration in law enforcement about arresting the same criminal dozens of times. 
  My Salt Lake Tribune oped in November summarized the issues at: 
https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2020/11/05/george-chapman-well/
  In addition, in the last few months, I have provided emails from law enforcement that go into detail about the issues.
  
CATALYTIC CONVERTER THEFT RING OPERATING NEAR LIBERTY PARK
  There have been many complaints about questionable loitering and criminal activities in the area around 13th South and State Street. I recommend that everyone keep an eye on the Registered Sex Offender List since there is a large concentration of former prisoners in the 1200 South and State area. Another big issue that was noted in the last Liberty Wells Community Council meeting in December, is several residents had their catalytic converters stolen! The replacement can be as much as $1000! Please report any questionable activity to 911. 

SUGAR HOUSE GAINS CITY ACTION ON 2100 S. BUT CRISIS UNFOLDING
  The December Sugar House Community Council Transportation Committee had a big community meeting (virtually but well attended) that focused on what to do to increase safety on 2100 South east of 1700 East. Some residents continued to press for a road diet (which left the community fighting 50/50 for and against it a couple of years ago). SLC Transportation Direct Jonathan Larsen provided a solution with radar detection speed signs. It seems that the City bought a few of the signs years ago but had problems finding residents and homeowners willing to have them permanently installed. The residents who had asked for the meeting volunteered to permanently host the speed signs. It is expected that the 30MPH speed limit will be better adhered to with the very bright and visible signs.
  One of the big issues that brought the big turnout was based on recent road closures and construction, any change to 2100 South would send traffic to adjacent streets like Ramona and Hollywood (to get to 2100 East).
  Other issues were four lanes are better for bicyclists on a congested arterial or collector like 2100 South. The road diet on 1300 East destroyed any possible safe bicycling on 1300 East (although the City disagreed, Bike Cops said that they didn’t feel safe on it after the road diet). This State has a 3 foot clearance requirement for motorists going around bicyclists which are allowed in the right hand lane.
  Since the road is already 30MPH, it should not be reduced and more traffic calming should not be implemented unless the neighborhood, including Parleys Canyon Road (east of 1700 East), Ramona and Hollywood agree with it. They will have to endure the increased traffic and pollution and negative impacts on their streets from major street changes on 2100 South.
  The traffic on 2100 South is such that a road diet would increase pollution which can be up to 7 times higher next to congested roads than the rest of the Valley.  
  Based on past experience with road diets on well traveled roads, residents (and businesses) on the street would find it almost impossible to get out of their driveways, side streets and even pedestrians would find it hard to cross when there is no break in vehicles. That can happen if there is over 10,000 Average Daily Trips on a road.
  The community should not recommend anything major street changes until the Highland, 1300 East bridge over I80 and 900 East road projects are finished.  Even without a new project, the area is going to be construction central for the next few years. Residents and businesses should expect mitigation plans to help and not make it worse.
  The 21st East and 21st South intersection needs improvement. Schoolkids, and pedestrians and bicyclists are constantly in danger crossing through the area.  But suggestions like roundabouts actually can hurt safety. Four lanes on a roundabout are unsafe for bicyclists especially and are difficult for pedestrians to cross. Discouraging driveways and left hand turns near the intersection would help (like eliminating the north driveway into the gas station, not allowing left turns into Blue Diner parking, etc). The best example of the danger is at 900 East and 2100 South where Walgreens has a driveway on 900 East so close to the intersection that left hand turning vehicles is a constant danger to pedestrians, bicyclists and even cars.  
  The more important pressing issue is ensuring appropriate mitigation plans for the I80 bridge and 900 East construction plans, that 4 lanes remain on Highland at least from 27th South to Richmond due to the high traffic,
that businesses on Highland are appropriately notified about the upcoming road redesign to ensure that they can participate (I am not sure that they understand what a potential road diet that Millcreek wants will do to businesses and bicyclists. It may require a shared raised wide sidewalk like the 9 Line Trail around 1000 East, in both directions. Supposedly the 900 East reconstruction design has one on the east side. (SHCC deserves to see the final draft design next meeting in January).
  Note that we were able to get the IZZY South design to decrease driveways (to help bicyclist and pedestrian safety) but the SHCC should have a blanket plan to discourage more driveways on 2100 South.  
  SHCC should demand NOW that some funding for adjacent street traffic calming should be available from the Highland and 900 East (and I80 bridge) construction budgets.
  Highland should get more attention now since construction on Sugar Alley is removing parking for restaurant pickup, making it worse by closing the right hand southbound lane (putting covered sidewalk in the road!).  Suggestions include stopping left hand turns into Sugar House Commons (the light is half a block away – the left hand turn lane should be lengthened at the lights) and at Sugarmont (in both directions), removing parking across from the liquor store since it backs up traffic going north due to left hand turns encouraged for liquor).  
  There will be a chip seal on Warnock to Millcreek this next year that will take a day or two. The recent road construction on Highland by Sugarmont was due to a water line break. Lynn Jacobs, the SLC point of contact for the major Highland Drive redesign, expects a survey to go out in January to firm up designs. There will be a sewer line installed on 2100 South next summer from Yuma to 2100 East and a future 700 East to 1700 East reconstruction soon.

SLC PUSHING MORE TRAFFIC ONTO ADJACENT STREETS WITH STREET PLANS
  Traffic management during road construction is difficult. Salt Lake City acknowledges that and understands the concerns of many communities that will be impacted during streets’ reconstruction that are part of the $87 million bond passed by voters two years ago. Street reconstruction, especially the projects with large design changes that take a long time, shift rush hour traffic through streets, often single family and residential, that were not designed for large traffic volumes. In addition, trucks also divert onto neighboring streets to escape the construction project streets. Many diverted drivers express their frustrations with higher speeds. All of that results in a significant decrease in safety and much more traffic, pollution and noise for those neighborhoods. Often, the traffic continues for years after the projects.
  When 1300 East and 1300 South had lane reductions (from 4 to 2 traffic lanes), traffic diverted to nearby streets and the traffic stayed higher. It did not go down. When 2700 South and 500 East were reconstructed, traffic significantly increased along with more speeders on nearby parallel roads. The residents on those streets have been complaining about the need for traffic calming to slow down the increased volume and decrease speeding.
  Some of the streets scheduled to be reconstructed in the near future include 300 West (which will shift traffic to West Temple), 900 East and 1100 East (which will shift traffic to 800 East and 1000 East), 900 South (which will increase traffic on nearby east west streets) and 200 South (which could shift traffic to the Avenues and 300 South).
  When Salt Lake City reconstructed 1300 East over the last two years (the time required to replace old water and sewer pipes at the same time), traffic increased significantly around the single-family neighborhood street north of Sugar House. The area asked for a traffic study (which they got) as a prelude to preparing a CIP request for traffic calming. But the neighborhoods that are impacted shouldn’t have to wait for reconstruction to start. In every street reconstruction project, traffic in adjacent, formerly quiet neighborhood streets, increased.
  The problem in Sugar House will be much more difficult for residents and businesses since UDOT will be closing 1300 East at times next summer to replace the bridge over I-80! Although the City and UDOT have been meeting for over 6 months to work on mitigation measures, the detour routes that they are suggesting are often ignored and that create serious safety issues in adjacent neighborhoods. Although UDOT and SLC Engineering and Transportation are trying to plan for and mitigate impacts on neighborhoods, more should be done.
  Potential plans are to install local traffic only signs or use temporary speed bumps. There will also be adjustments made regularly to offset unexpected motorist responses to detours. And to make it even more complicated, the plans have to include not impacting emergency services. 
  Salt Lake City residents and businesses should not have to endure the long road reconstruction projects without mitigation measures put in place before the projects start. For those neighborhood streets already impacted by past projects, the City owes the neighborhoods traffic calming measures to decrease speeds and volumes of traffic. Neighborhood streets should not have to tolerate the destruction of their neighborhood character when minimal traffic calming is a very inexpensive funding addition considering that the streets reconstructions can be over $10 million. Traffic calming can be had with raised crosswalks (as on 2700 South and 500 East) for $8000. The City’s proposed temporary speed bumps or any traffic calming should be permanent.
  Trying to apply for CIP funding sometimes takes years to result in a project. That is too late. The City Administration and Council should require all road projects to plan for and implement traffic calming on streets that could be impacted. SLC time to step up and do the responsible thing.
  The same issues are cropping up in other areas. The effort to install bulbouts and mid-block crosswalks on State Street will increase pollution and encourage traffic onto adjacent neighborhood residential streets. State Street is a vehicle corridor. It needs a wide bike lane instead of median planters and BRT.  Spending $100 million on those plans would be better spent on more frequent bus service, mixed income housing and parks with lots of trees. State Street has a lot of car lots so the idea of planting a lot of trees around them will reveal that CAR LOTS DO NOT LIKE TREES. Anything that pushes bicyclists into traffic (like bulbouts) is not safe.
  Salt Lake City is planning on spending RDA tax increment on Life on State implementation. I can think of better uses of the money and the adjacent communities should have a list instead of "look what we can give you for free". There is a proposal and CIP application on Kensington and State for further traffic calming. This is where a little girl was killed by a negligent driver. A camera system would be more effective at making drivers more careful. The proposal is to spend up to half a million on the project. Would you rather spend half a million on this project or increasing frequency and span of service on the 200 State Street bus, or a park or moving car lots, putting up cameras with lighting (Ubiquity GE lighting -they did it in San Diego but got backlash)? 
  Neighborhood streets should not be expected to perform as arterials. Arterials like 300W are for vehicles and should accept higher speeds. Neighborhood streets like Kensington, West Temple, 800E, 1000 E and even 600E (without the right hand turn only concrete) can continue to be slow 20-25mph streets but slowing traffic whether by road diets or speed limits push traffic into other areas. Twice in the last decade, work on 1300E increased traffic on the formerly quiet and bikeable 1100E to the point that it is no longer sage to bike on 1100E. I should point out that the former 4 lanes on 1300E was safer for many bicyclists that I knew after the road diet (I was spending most of the week in San Diego for work). They preferred using the outside lanes and got the legally required 3 ft clearance.
  My issue is neighborhood streets should be comfortable for everyone and shouldn't function as through roads.  That is what arterials are for. I contend that they should keep through traffic out of residential and quiet low use streets.   
  There is road for through traffic and a safer road for pedestrians and bicyclists and kids. All roads shouldn't be everything to everybody. One of the budget items agreed last June, is a traffic calming study. 
  Recently, West Temple and 400 East have been complaining about increased traffic and speeding on their streets. The West Temple street will be significantly negatively impacted by the new 300 West street reconstruction. Traffic calming for that should start now. The 400 East street deserves attention now since the 500 East project, which implemented a questionable shared street going south that can backup traffic to 5 MPH, was responsible for the 400 East impact. 500 East is a collector! At least the Fire Department insisted on minimum raised crosswalks.
  BOTTOM LINE, ARTERIALS NEED 4 LANES FOR THE 90% OF US WHO USE VEHICLES.

SLC PUSHING TO INCREASE DENSITY AND HEIGHT IN NEIGHBORHOODS
  Salt Lake City is about to embark on a major planning effort to expand housing density in the Ballpark area! The goal is to encourage housing development with so called "compatible infill". There will be a steering committee review of the information to ensure public engagement on January 14 (tentatively).
  The concerns of many in the neighborhood about increased density include:
PARKING
  There is a continued lack of parking. Seniors should not be expected to walk 100 feet to transit stops.  The Taylor Springs parking lot managed by HASLC is usually full and shows that seniors and low income DO drive. The 900 S. Bennion apartments are 200 feet from a bus stop and another 100 feet from TRAX. The Book Cliffs' nearest bus stop is over 1200 feet. Ironically, the recent meetings of the Central Ninth Community Council complained about lack of parking (a consistent problem from 9th and 9th which caused an almost riot during the roundabout construction and the arguments of hundreds against a rezone at 400 East and 9th South). Some are so desperate that they a placard restricted area!  Parking requirements should be close to the number of apartments.  Bicycle safety is significantly decreased if there are so many cars parked on the street that safe bicycling is not available (due to dooring and lack of visibility from driveways).
MOUNTAIN VIEWS AND SHADOWS
  SLC has had this discussion many times before. Residents should have a right to morning sunshine and mountain views and sunshine in their gardens and yards.  The mountain views should not be impacted through non compliant zoning (achieved with a conditional use permit or otherwise). The City's efforts to ignore the importance of morning sunshine (remember the infamous Life, the Universe and Sugar House report) are a constant irritation.
  The increased height will also intimidate neighbors and other potential residential building projects. In other words, don't destroy neighborhood possibilities with high density projects. (My arguments against SROs apply - who would want to build apartments next to a potential SRO site?)
TREES
  SLC has a tree ordinance that is not being implemented. Removing a tree should result in planting the number of trees equal to the radius of the tree removed (it is unfortunately not leaf equivalent). Trees removed from before demolition of the homes should be replaced with one tree per 2 inch of diameter of old trees removed. 
SIDEWALKS
  Sidewalks should be wider to allow a wheelchair and or stroller to be walked with by a pedestrian side by side. Sidewalks should not be so limited to not allow side by side walking or use by wheelchairs. If sidewalk is not wide enough for two wheelchairs, ADU lawsuits should be expected. I know the people who sue on this issue (they end up with a mediator that forces SLC to make right). HASLC should not be ignoring ADA fairness since they should expect some ADA residents. In addition, if easy access to mass transit is part of the reason for lack of parking, sidewalk widths should reflect that and allow more than one person at a time to use the sidewalk width. Also when buildings are close to sidewalks, there is a danger from falling ice.
SRO PROPOSALS
  SLC appears to be poised to approve an HASLC SRO on 1725 S JEFFERSON that the RDA turned down due to not meeting zoning requirements.
  All apartments in the City should have wide sidewalks, ground floor retail, cameras accessible by cops and enough parking to not impact the neighborhoods.
  
SLC INADVERTENTLY PITS EASTSIDE AGAINST WESTSIDE FOR NEW PARK
  During public comment in the December Salt Lake City Council Formal Meeting, the Mayor said that the City could not afford 2 regional parks pointing out that the proposal to make the Fleet Block a park is not viable financially since the Glendale water park (being demolished) has to remain a park. I disagree that the chances are slim for 2 regional parks. Mayor, you should not be setting up the Westside against the Ballpark and Central Ninth and Downtown area for who gets the next park. I know you didn't intend to imply that but that is what it sounded like. SLC repurposed around $5 million that was supposed to be used for a Downtown park and used it to redevelop Pioneer Park to discourage homeless (it didn't work). The area deserves a park and the City planned on it until a couple of years ago. The park will create a healthy area and it will attract businesses and more redevelopment of the commercial area surrounding the Fleet Block. Why isn't the city asking companies in Utah to contribute. Kennecott took over the proposed Rose Canyon Park and they should welcome a good will generating proposal. They also recently destroyed an ancient irreplaceable Australian cave with important ancient human tools!
SLC IGNORES POTENTIAL FOR UTA $1 FARE
  The City approved an ILA with UTA to continue to provide increased service on 2, 9 and 21 routes. Those routes were going to get better service in August of this year (2020) and UTA should be providing more service for this City's money.  The City did not spend around a million of the Prison tax promised for transit expansion. The City refused to discuss the idea of encouraging UTA to lower the fare to $1 which could be significantly effective at increasing ridership, due to the bus fare elasticities. Instead, Salt Lake discussed using funds to provide on call service like Uber and Lyft similar to UTA's VIA service in SW SLCO. That rider subsidy is over $35 a rider! It would be cheaper to help fund a semi used car lease at $100 a month!
  
SLC SPENDS STATE STREET RDA FUNDS FOR MILKRUN TRAX STATION
 Salt Lake City RDA decided to use RDA funds to build the milkrun TRAX station at 650S Main Street that the adjacent property owners were supposed to pay for it. Until further adjacent development, the City committed funding. There is an assessment area but there is not enough coming in yet. UTA has the money ($187 million from the CARES Act) and instead of Commissioner Christensen's dream TRAX station, UTA is spending over $5 million on a Sandy parking garage, $100 million on a gold plated bus garage and over a million on a clearfield trail. UTA has the money.

SLC COUNCIL DESERVES CREDIT FOR HANDLING TSUNAMI OF COMMENTS THIS YEAR
  I complain a lot because I want more from my City. But over the last year, I was impressed by the patience of the Council and Mayor in enduring hundreds of comments, in some cases listening to the same exact speeches for 5 hours! Council Chair Chris Warton deserves a lot of credit for his heroic patience during this year's meetings. I also should thank Councilman Andrew Johnston for his very relevant blog on the District 2 website. It fills in a lot of the important details that the newspapers miss.

WHEN WILL SLC BAN DIESEL IDLING AND CLEAR THE AIR?
  The Legislature passed an anti idling bill this last year but Salt Lake City has not changed their anti idling ordinance! I fought against it several times at the Legislature (and in opeds) and the Legislature previously only allowed an educational implementation. Only one person seems to have been ticketed in the last 6 years. But now is a good time to make a significant impact on air pollution in the Valley. I was against the anti-idling law when it was directed at cars, especially when parents need to keep their kids comfortable in the car.
  But with the increased truck traffic in the Valley, it is time to pass an anti-idling diesel truck engine ordinance. Diesel emissions are immediately harmful. Newer cars are less likely to pollute than diesels. Diesels are 24% of the predicted transportation CO2. It is also estimated that 20% of light and medium duty fail emissions standards and around one third are illegally modified. If you care about the Inland Port creating more pollution, you should demand that Salt Lake City pass an anti-idling diesel truck ordinance.
  
PEDESTRIAN LIGHTING STUDY TO INCREASE CROSSING SAFETY
  During discussions at several community councils on safety concerns about pedestrians crossing at 700E and 900S after dark, we asked the City to work with UDOT to increase the illumination of pedestrians crossing 700E to make them more visible to left hand turning vehicles. We suggested having a directed light showing on/at the riskier areas where cars from 9th S turn onto 700 E.  UDOT knows more but Carmanah.com seems to have something like that. The light would only turn on when the pedestrian crossing button is pressed and last until the light changes back. The 9-Line and 900 South are scheduled to be reconstructed to Warnock in 2023.
  Adam Lough is the Traffic Studies & Design Engineer at UDOT Traffic & Safety. He has this to say about our questions: "Looking at this location in Google Earth, it appears there are already overhead luminaires on all four corners of this intersection. This configuration is usually what we design for and should provide adequate lighting for pedestrians at night. When we can't get overhead lighting due to conflicting overhead utilities, we have the option to install under the mast arm lights to illuminate pedestrian crosswalks in high volume locations. The mast arm lights turn on at the same time the overhead lights and remain illuminated until daylight. We choose not to turn them on & off with the pedestrian activations for a few reasons. First, some pedestrians choose not to push the button and we don't want them to be crossing in the dark. Second, luminaires turning on and off all night are an annoyance to nearby residents and businesses. Third, we don't want the lights cycling on and off to distract other users of the intersection, potentially causing accidents. We are testing the Carmanah pedestrian lights at mid block locations with Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB's), where we don't have street lights. We do have a concern with testing these types of lights at intersections where they could potentially shine into the eyes of pedestrians or motorists due to their mounting angle. We continue looking for lighting solutions to enhance pedestrian awareness. We will visit this location sometime this week to make sure the existing lighting is adequate and if not, see what can be done to improve it. I know Region II is working with SLC on a future project to narrow up 900 S and therefore reduce the crossing length."
  The biggest danger is crossing 700 East, not 900 South.

SLC REARRANGING POLICE TO COUNTER LOSS OF OVER 60 OFFICERS THIS YEAR
  Over the last few months, this blog has gone into detail about the loss of sworn police officers from Salt Lake City. This year, with the pandemic, the protests, the overtime and retirement, has resulted in Salt Lake City losing 70 cops (around 10 just graduated from a new Police Academy) this year. In 2019, there was a loss of 25 cops. In 2019, 37 left by October 30. In 2020, 52 sworn officers left by October 30. At the same time, there was a around a 10% increase in calls for service. There were 232 days of protests that were monitored by the City's police. Between July 1 and October 31, 45 officers left out of 569 authorized FTEs which is about 8% of the force!
  There is a grant that the City applied for to add 10 more police with federal funding. The October class of 10 (laterals that were former police transferring from other areas) can hit the ground running and there will be another class in January.
  The Police Chief and Mayor is under pressure to provide more visible police and will disband the 8 member Community Intelligence Unit that liaisoned with community councils and worked on trouble complaints from those groups. They will go onto patrol. The bike patrol with the Chief's killer bumblebee uniforms will continue (I still think that they should be called murder hornet uniforms.) and will try to have a meet and greet in January.
  A captain or lieutenant will now attend each community council meeting and liaison with the bike squad. The Council was concerned about the change since the CIU officers were very popular with the community councils. The police will try to have the command staff at each community council meeting but there are conflicts (5 on first Wednesday). 
  The Chief asked the City Council for $300,000 for 30 more shotguns that fire a plastic lead sock to decrease the use of lethal force.  The $600 shotgun is accurate to 20yds and more. The 30 shotguns will be added to the 89 older models..

SLC MOBILE COP CAMS DEPLOYED TO SMITHS AND FAIRMONT SKATE PARK
  The Sugar House Community Council asked for a mobile cop cam to discourage drug sales at the Fairmont Park Skate Park and it got one in December. Several Smiths parking lots also got the camera trailers due to a rash of car burglaries in the grocery store parking lots. Chief Brown said that they were effective at discouraging criminal element loitering after the St. Mark's homeless drug dealing rousting. "The sheer presence moves the element out." They were used for two weeks since after that they decrease in effectiveness.
  The SLCPD said: "We have obtained the trailers over the last 5 years with grant monies, some of that money is no longer available. However, we still utilize grant money to repair damaged trailers or for the routine upkeep of the units. We currently have six trailers, 5 of an older style ($50,000 +) and one new style ($27,000 ish), however the new one has had integration issues so we have yet to deploy it mostly due to getting it fixed during the height of COVID, so it remains to be seen whether that kind will be viable long term yet. 
  I cannot speak about budget funding as that is out of my purview.  We are currently designing and building a few longer term high visibility cameras that will be mounted on semaphores or utility poles to be less vulnerable to vandalism, which is a significant problem with the trailers.  They should help with areas that have long term issues or areas that might leave a trailer more vulnerable to damage, and cost much less around 10K.   Overhead security light systems will not be useful for us as they generally too intrusive in neighborhoods (shining into bedroom windows at night, and would kill the trailers batteries way too quickly).  We are currently low on storage/recharge space with our current cameras trailers and due to the design of the masts of the old style trailers we can’t get them into an underground parking structure for storage or recharge.  So due to the storage, and budgetary constraints in it’s current state we can’t effectively afford to bring more cameras trailers online until a stable long term funding and storage solution is established."

UTAH REFUSES MONEY FROM FEDS FOR HOMELESS SOLUTIONS
  New York City, and other cities, were offered FEMA funds to house homeless in non congregate housing to decrease spreading COVID among the homeless. But, in Utah, there seems to be a resistance to using the money since they have access to other money (BUT NOT ENOUGH MONEY). The State said: "The Department of Workforce Services did initially pursue Public Assistance (PA) FEMA for non-congregate shelter, but determined there were other sources of U.S. Housing and Urban Development, CARES ACT funding that were appropriate and could be quickly deployed in the DWS response to COVID-19 for non-congregate shelter related to homelessness.  
To my knowledge, there has not been any state delegated FEMA funding invested into non-congregate shelters for homelessness. If service providers or the county has applied for assistance directly with FEMA, that information has not been shared with me."
  It is frustrating that this State does not use the money available for homeless housing! Recent homeless interviews in the paper expressed a lot of frustration on not enough funding for hotel rooms!
  The City has that they have almost 2000 beds available between hotels and shelters. There is also a new extended service storage facility. 
  The City recently obtained the use of the Airport Inn to use as homeless housing. The City says: "The shelter expenses will be paid through a combination of funds, with much of it coming from federal CARES funds. It will be a joint effort among the City, County & State.....The Council action makes it possible to move ahead but the City won’t have a role in operating it.
  Other homeless costs are in a budget amendment below:
E-20: Enhanced Homeless Camp Cleanup – ($760,110 from CARES Act Second Round)
These funds would provide enhanced cleaning services at encampments throughout the City for the remainder of Fiscal
Year 2021. They will be allocated to the Grant Fund and administered by the Community and Neighborhoods Department
(CAN). The HEART staff within CAN determined where addition encampment cleanup is needed and where portable
restrooms and restroom attendants would be appropriate, calculating costs for those locations based on estimates
provided by the Advantage Services Clean Team. (The portable restrooms located in the Rio Grande area several years ago
would remain in place, serviced by the Clean Team and funded through this fiscal year.) The City’s homeless services
coordination group, which meets weekly, would determine if and when the enhanced funds might need to be shifted
among the initial sites listed below, or to new sites, as situations change over time.
he initial sites listed below, or to new sites, as situations change over time.
Priority Location
Weekly
Cost Weeks Total
Taufer Park Area $3,740 39 $145,860
Downtown/St Mark’s Episcopal Church
Area $4,250 39 $165,750
North Temple $3,740 39 $145,860
Ball Park $4,300 39 $167,700
Granary $2,850 39 $111,150
I-80 Overpass @ 700 East $610 39 $23,790
Total $19,490 $760,110
  Katie McKellar at the Deseret News had a good summary of the homeless situation in a recent story at:
https://www.deseret.com/utah/2020/10/23/21530961/utah-salt-lake-city-homeless-camp-cleanup-outreach-services-unsheltered-tents-taufer-park
  Only about a quarter of those homeless offered housing accept. Before the rousting of Taufer Park next to the Senior Center on 700 South and 300 East, there were around 170 homeless camping out there. There are also 100 drug treatment beds available but they are hard to fill. Michelle Hoon, the City's homeless czar, said that "114 offers of resources have been extended to 82 people, according to city staff....Only 16 have accepted placements, and 61 have refused."  Katie writes a great story.
  
SLC PASSES NEW WATER CONSERVATION PLAN THAT ENCOURAGES WATERING
  The City has passed the new but essentially unchanged Water Conservation Plan for the City that still ignores the efforts of many to conserve water. The City still requires 30% plantings in the front yard and pushes park strip trees (despite 75 recently dying due to non watering).
  In the recent windstorm, the City lost 1500 City trees and 3000 private trees that needed significant pruning or removal. Stephanie Duer, the City's Water Conservation manager said:
  "You asked that the plan be flexible on the rule regarding the 1/3 planting requirement for front yards and parkstrips. These landscape codes (21A.48.030, 21A.48.055 and 21A.48.060) are primarily governed by the Planning Department. I recognize that the “1/3rd rule” seems arbitrary, and, well, it is. It was a compromise between Planning’s desire to ensure walkable streets and conservation – both laudable concerns. In the 2020 conservation plan update, I have listed the review of these codes to determine if they still are meeting our shared desired intents. Your concerns will absolutely be included in that process. ....
  The Utah Rivers Council, a number of years ago, launched a program to “Rip Your Strip”, encouraging homeowners to remove turf from parkstrips and cease watering, much to the detriment of our urban forest. Bill Rutherford (the Urban forester at the time) and I partnered to attend every community council and other public event we could to educate property owners of the potential dire consequences of not watering established trees. When Urban Forestry didn’t have the funds for a public education campaign, I found funds to produce a brochure on how to water trees (please see the attached pdf). Our water conservation landscape code requires that trees be placed on their own irrigation zone, so that in the event of a drought or other water shortage, lawns can be left to dry but trees can be maintained.
  I still think that this City can do better. All trees should be replaced with leaf equivalent. A big tree should only be cut after dozens are planted. Rocky Mountain Power and other developers cut trees and try to replace one for one. The City says that a "specimen tree" (one appropriate for the climate) should be replaced with the equivalent radius of the old tree. In other words, a 24 inch tree should have 12 1-2 inch trees planted. But park strips are not watered enough. SLC should not be planting trees on small park strips, especially the 1-2 foot strips. This City only plants around 2000 trees a year.
  
SLC PASSES DANGEROUS SCOOTER ORDINANCE
  The City passed a new scooter ordinance that is about the same except the City now gets some money from the service providers. But there is no required speed limiter button for sidewalks, even though most scooter riders ride on the sidewalk. Riding a bike or scooter in the Downtown area on sidewalks is illegal. Scooters should not be allowed in SLC without a speed switch and bicycles should be allowed on Downtown sidewalks. One shouldn't have to be a lacrosse player to handle this. I expect that eventually an older person will be killed by reckless scooter riding. Sad.
  
GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT LOOK FOR EXCUSES TO SPEND MONEY PUBLISHED
  Legislative leaders recently have been suggesting that there is money to fund FrontRunner double tracking. They used the typical, "let's run it up the flagpole and see what people think or if anyone will object". That resulted in a story in the Salt Lake Tribune about how great the idea was! Recent discussion at the Legislature included a presentation that said that UTA's consideration of FrontRunner expansion supports economic development and real estate development but cars and trucks and roads are better at it. My commentary was published in the last week of December in the Salt Lake Tribune:
  Recently, the Salt Lake Tribune had an article on increasing FrontRunner service with hundreds of millions of state funding to match potential federal funds. The goal is to provide a train every 15 minutes (FrontRunner double-tracking could see big infusion of state funding). But before even suggesting borrowing and committing to spending hundreds of millions of local taxpayer dollars, there should be a vigorous cost benefit study. 
  During discussion on the future of FrontRunner, in the Interim Transportation Committee, it was pointed out that weekday ridership is 4401 (as of November 11) and may not return to pre-pandemic ridership for as long as decade. If the cost of the suggested improvements were amortized over 30 years compared to expanding the freeway and roads, the cost of roads and subsidy per rider may be significantly less than rail. In the evenings, FrontRunner per rider subsidy may be hundreds of dollars. The Wasatch Front Regional Council was asked to do an analysis of the costs to provide a better decision. 
  Although the present cost for double tracking FrontRunner may be half a billion dollars, the suggested plans include electrification of FrontRunner at a cost approaching almost $2 billion dollars! A couple of years ago, there was a study and analysis of the effect of spending over $10 billion on rail projects in the LA Basin. If found that ridership was almost the same partly due to a large decrease in bus service and the significant increase in car and personal vehicle use. Building expensive rail projects in a pandemic is not a wise and fiscally responsible way to spend taxpayer dollars. It may be cheaper to buy every potential rider a semi used vehicle instead of double tracking FrontRunner. Utah should recognize that personal vehicles make our families, our economy and our Country more efficient. There is no mass transit substitute for taking a family’s schoolchildren to school, sports and other activities. There is no mass transit substitute for trucks delivering products door to door or transporting in and out of plants.
  Legislators are also pushing for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects at about  $100 million each with the Ogden BRT and 48th South Mid-Valley Connector closest to operation. The predicted ridership is 2000 to 3000 per day. But a road lane can carry 5000 to 10,000 vehicles a day! The 48th South corridor is already congested and committing two lanes to a BRT should be expected to increase congestion and pollution. The Ogden BRT is following a similar bus route with only a 5 minute time saving. A vigorous cost benefit could provide a better use of the $100 million in taxpayer money.
 Although high use mass transit can arguable decrease pollution, personal vehicles are reducing pollution every year due to better anti-pollution technology and gasoline and they can carry a full family very efficiently. Roads and vehicles are ,available 24 hours a day while transit, especially FrontRunner and TRAX, is not. Roads are used by 90% of citizens while transit is now used by less than 2% of citizens. Roads are more effective at encouraging economic development than rail with very few exceptions.  A more reasonable plan would start with bus and only consider projects if ridership develops. Government should not look for excuses to spend money.

 
 
NOVEMBER 2020
JRI NEEDS MORE ATTENTION PUBLISHED
  The Salt Lake Tribune published my commentary on the Justice Reinvestment Initiative this month (at https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2020/11/05/george-chapman-well/).  I pointed out that the U.S. Attorney was right to complain about criminals not being taken off the street for more than a few hours and many had been arrested dozens of times.  I also agreed with a previous oped that JRI needs a bigger budget since it is essentially an unfunded mandate on the counties.  I also agreed that the JRI effort made sense since drug users should not be in prison (the main objective of JRI).  But drug addicts that commit crimes everyday that they are on the street should be incarcerated and the system should be re-evaluated by the State to ensure that.
  One of the best legislators, in my opinion, is Rep. Hutchings who has been sponsoring the JRI bills and trying to fine tune the effort to make it effective.  Unfortunately, he has lost re-election.  He will be missed.  I can't think of anyone else who knew as much about justice reform in Utah.  He was considered so knowledgeable that he has testified in Washington DC about it.  Rep. Eliason did win re-election and he has been instrumental in pushing for better mental health funding and systems including MCOT, the mobile mental health team.  Rep. Dunnigan also won re-election and he has plans to sponsor a noise ordinance that will target those vehicle owners that remove their muffler systems.  Vehicle noise is not supposed to be over 85 db but many remove the mufflers and replace them with equipment that results in much louder noise.

JRI DISCUSSIONS AT LEGISLATURE IGNORE COUNTY PROBLEMS
Following on the JRI Audit, CCJJ (Utah's Committee on Criminal and Juvenile Justice) had a report that I questioned.  The CCJJ Report page 4 says: "county jail populations do not appear to have been negatively impacted by the JRI reforms, though more data is needed"!!!
  But the recent JRI Audit pointed out that Adult Probation and Parole is not able to provide appropriate services to the recently paroled.  Part is due to the indirect pressure to reduce bed use at the State Prison and it is also caused by the inability of Corrections to fully staff the beds that are supposed to be provided (mainly due to low salaries).  The Audit showed the result.  Too many violent criminals are being released with not enough supervision.
  That has resulted in the U.S. Attorney and other law enforcement and government prosecutors complaining about being inundated with criminals who have been committing many, many violent criminal actions.  The unfunded mandate put on the county jails and prosecutors from discouraging sentencing violent criminals to prison is a burden on local taxpayers and victims.  Many of these criminals should not be released and should be in prison.  
  Using a gun should result in prison no matter how hard APP argues against that. APP is actively discouraging sentencing violent criminals to prison.
  Again, I urge the Legislature to analyze and study the realistic need for Prison beds (which shouldn't affect the Point development - which can start now); what are the salary requirements to fully staff the Prison and what do counties need to help prosecute violent criminals and send them to Prison.  The Prison should also be available to provide extra beds for counties that are not able to provide enough beds to take criminals who may be committing over ten felonies while released. 
  When asked by the Judiciary Interim Committee Chair about the county jail populations issue, Kim Cordova said that she did not think that there was an issue!  Asking any Salt Lake County police chief should confirm that the Jail does not accept booking for less than third degree felonies. (with a few exceptions).  The actual number of criminals that should be on the Salt Lake County Jail graph should be two to three times more.  The Jail Dashboard  which I am familiar with, and I have written about in newspapers, showed many have over 100 arrests until recently and some have over 200 arrests.  The Jail IS REFUSING misdemeanor arrests.
  Sen. Hillyard was correct to say that police often take arrested criminals back to treatment instead of jail (Salt Lake County's Pay For Success in particular).  County jails implement limits and police are told what crimes are accepted for booking.  
  The Legislature should continue collect data and accept testimony from police chiefs and DAs and sheriffs to show the real life situation.  This Committee and I have been having this same argument (well before the Audit) for two years.
  
  Sheriff Rivera was asked about this issue and responded with this (MY RESPONSES ARE IN CAPS):
 "First, there have been no booking restrictions in place at the Salt Lake County Jail since July 2017. The reason our population appears consistent is largely due to a carefully monitored Over-Crowding Release program that affects those in our facility following the booking intake process." (THAT IS NOT  TRUE.  THE JAIL BOOKING RESTRICTION EFFECTS REPORT FROM 2017 IS STILL IN EFFECT.  SLCPD STILL COMPLAINS ABOUT IT!)
  "When you look at the current jail dashboard numbers it is important to understand that due to COVID-19 we have reduced the overall number of inmates in our facility so that we are better able to protect the health and safety of inmates." (ONLY 184 BEDS ARE BEING USED AT OXBOW INSTEAD OF THE OVER 500 BEDS AVAILABLE)
  "In terms of our felony population, at the time I am writing this our dashboard shows that 45.4% of the jail population has been booked on charges below a second-degree felony.
Felonies
First-degree - 398
Second-degree - 368
Third-degree - 507 
Misdemeanors
Class A - 108
Class B - 19
Class C - 3
  Additionally, the prison does not have the authority to hold anyone prior to conviction and sentencing. Currently, in our facility 81% of people have not been sentenced, including those charged with first- or second-degree felonies who we are required to detain pre-trial. The number of individuals awaiting trial is most impacted by the challenges COVID-19 is having on the courts rather than with the prison or their staff.
  You are correct to say that JRI impacted county jails. The reclassification of possession charges from felonies to misdemeanors impacted us in two ways:
  People convicted of misdemeanors now serve time in jails rather than prison.
Jails are no longer eligible for Conditions of Probation (COP) reimbursement for the individuals serving misdemeanor possession sentences in our jails. When these charges were felonies we were reimbursed when time was served in our facility.
  I hope you find this information helpful. JRI is well intentioned but its success will be dependent on all five parts becoming fully implemented. Having alternatives to the jail for individuals being detained with nuisance crimes like intoxication can both reduce costs to the jail and give that individual a chance to receive resources outside of the criminal justice system. It is important to look at the whole criminal justice system. The court process, community-based services, and incarceration alternatives like receiving centers will all play a critical role in this initiative being fully realized."
  (IN OTHER WORDS, JRI HAS PLACED AN UNFUNDED MANDATE ON COUNTIES THAT HAVE RESULTED IN MANY CRIMINALS STAYING ON THE STREET AND COMMITTING CRIMES.)

STREET RECONSTRUCTION DESTROYS NEIGHBORHOOD STREETS
  We have been complaining about lack of traffic calming on streets next to road reconstruction for years without getting acceptable resolutions.  When 1300 East and 1300 South had lane reductions (from 4 to 2 traffic lanes), traffic diverted to nearby streets.  When 2700 South, 1300 East and 500 East were reconstructed, traffic significantly increased on adjacent roads.  During the last Liberty Wells Community Council meeting, there were complaints about the increased traffic and speeding on 400 East.
  Salt Lake City agrees that "traffic management during road construction is difficult."  But the result is a significant decrease in safety and much more traffic, pollution and noise for those neighborhoods. 
  Some of the streets scheduled to be reconstructed in the near future include 300 West (which will shift traffic to West Temple), 900 East, 1300 East (at I80 for a new bridge) and 1100 East (which will shift traffic to 800 East, 900 East (until it undergoes reconstruction) and 1000 East), 900 South (which will increase traffic on nearby east west streets) and 200 South (which could shift traffic to the Avenues and 300 South).
  The City and UDOT have been meeting for over 6 months to work on mitigation measures for the I80 at 1300 East bridge replacement project but the detour routes that they are suggesting are often ignored and that create serious safety issues in adjacent neighborhoods.  Potential plans are to install local traffic only signs or use temporary speed bumps. There will also be adjustments made regularly to offset unexpected motorist responses to detours. And to make it even more complicated, the plans have to include not impacting emergency services. 
  Salt Lake City residents and businesses should not have to endure the long road reconstruction projects without mitigation measures put in place before the projects start. For those neighborhood streets already impacted by past projects, the City owes the neighborhoods traffic calming measures to decrease speeds and volumes of traffic.  Traffic calming can be had with raised crosswalks (as on 2700 South and 500 East) for $8000. The City’s proposed temporary speed bumps or any traffic calming should be permanent.
  Trying to apply for CIP funding sometimes takes years to result in a project. That is too late. The City Administration and Council should require all road projects to plan for and implement traffic calming on streets that could be impacted. SLC time to step up and do the responsible thing.

SLC SRO PROPOSAL WILL HURT AFFORDABLE HOUSING
  Salt Lake City is continuing to push the SRO proposal, now called shared housing ordinance (to get away from the bad history of SROs).  But this ordinance will discourage housing in Salt Lake City.  What developer will invest millions in an apartment building, if an SRO may be placed next to the new building!   This City will actually encourage developers to build housing elsewhere.
  This proposal seems to be like Palmer Court, the second biggest medical response draw in the City which should prove it is not a good idea.  Experts do not recommend all unaffordable due to increased loitering and encouraging and enabling criminal behavior, like crime magnet motels.  Even Dr. Marbut, this Country's Homeless Czar, said treatment should be proven and then expanded first since trying housing first does not work.  "If you only talk about roofs, you are only going to grow homelessness".
  The City may plan to house seniors and disabled and students but low cost housing also attracts criminal elements like the crime magnet motels.  SROs are not a solution to housing until treatment is working.  During recent homeless camps' outreach, only about 22 out of 160 accepted housing!
  This ordinance will discourage the building of higher density housing in Salt Lake City.
Implement inclusionary zoning instead.

BALLPARK AREA PROJECT GETTING PUSHBACK
  In 2017, the City Planning Commission gave a tentative approval to the Book Cliffs Apartments near 1200 South and West Temple.  But the neighborhood was more interested in demolishing the Housing Authority owned homes on the property instead of worrying about the project.  The project is back on track and now neighbors are fighting it.  Many in the neighborhood are concerned about lack of parking (19 spaces for over 50 units), increasing height of building which destroys mountain views and increases shadows, inadequate tree replacement and sidewalk widths.  The Planning Commission is tentatively reconsidering the project at their December 9th meeting.
  Specifically,
PARKING
  We keep having the argument about lack of off street parking.  Seniors should not be expected to walk 100 feet to TRAX.  The Taylor Springs parking lot managed by HASLC is usually full and shows that seniors and low income DO drive.  The 900 S. Bennion apartments (listed by the Housing Authority as proof that parking stalls are not needed) are 200 feet from a bus stop and another 100 feet from TRAX.  The Book Cliffs' nearest bus stop is over 1200 feet.  And thinking that seniors will have no problem walking two or three blocks is not thinking. Ironically, the recent meetings of the Central Ninth Community Council complained about lack of parking (a consistent problem from 9th and 9th which caused an almost riot during the roundabout construction and the arguments of hundreds agains a rezone at 400 East and 9th South).  Some are so desperate that they a placard restricted area!  Parking requirements should be close to the number of apartments.  Bicycle safety is significantly decreased if there are so many cars parked on the street that safe bicycling is not available (due to dooring and lack of visibility from driveways).
MOUNTAIN VIEWS AND SHADOWS
  SLC has had this discussion many times before.  Residents should have a right to morning sunshine and mountain views and sunshine in their gardens and yards.  The mountain views should not be impacted through non compliant zoning (achieved with a conditional use permit or otherwise).  The City's efforts to ignore the importance of morning sunshine (remember the infamous Life, the Universe and Sugar House report).
  The increased height will also intimidate neighbors and other potential residential building projects.  In other words, don't destroy neighborhood possibilities with high density projects.  (My arguments against SROs apply - who would want to build apartments next to a potential SRO site?)
TREES
  SLC has a tree ordinance that is not be implemented.  Removing a tree should result in planting the number of trees equal to the radius of the tree removed (it is unfortunately not leaf equivalent).  Trees removed from before demolition of the homes should be replaced with one tree per 2 inch of diameter of old trees removed.  The project proposal is to replace old trees with one one inch diameter tree!
SIDEWALKS
  Sidewalks should be wider to allow a wheelchair and or stroller to be walked with by a pedestrian side by side.  Sidewalks should not be so limited to not allow side by side walking or use by wheelchairs.  If sidewalk is not wide enough for two wheelchairs, ADU lawsuits should be expected.  I know the people who sue on this issue (they end up with a mediator that forces SLC to make right - SLC had to redo a restroom and provide better ADA accomodations in the City County Building).  HASLC should not be ignoring ADA fairness since they should exxpect some ADA residents.  In addition, if easy access to mass transit is part of the reason for lack of parking, sidewalk widths should reflect that and allow more than one person at a time to use the sidewalk width.
DEPOT DISTRICT PLANS IGNORE PEDESTRIAN BICYCLE SAFETY
  The Depot District/Station Center plans for the almost 4 acres owned by the City's RDA and mostly vacant for decades was presented recently.  The area is between 400 West and 600 West and between 200 South and 400 South.  It shows shared streets, big planter boxes and other amenities to prettify the streets.  
  But there is pressure to allow higher buildings in the area (a recent 190 foot building proposal was withdrawn due to SLC questioning if it was appropriate for next to the homeless services!).  I expect high buildings will end up in the area which will result in a lot of shadows and ice buildup on sidewalks and streets.  There is, so far, no plan to mitigate the resulting danger.  Years ago, the old Granite Building Block on 2100 S. and Highland had sidewalks that became slippery when wet!  During winter they were even more unsafe.  Pedestrian sidewalks and streets should be designed to counter the ice and water buildup that will make surfaces slippery and unsafe.  Ice falling from tall buildings should also be mitigated with setbacks.  The City County Building has had an accident from a falling icicle and the Capitol buildings have falling icicle problems.
  The planter boxes may also create visibility problems on a shared street (something that the 300 West project also has a problem with).

SLC COUNCIL DISCUSSES MANY HOUSING PROPOSALS IN ONE MEETING
  "On Tuesday, December 1, at 2PM, the Salt Lake City Council will discuss a variety of planning petitions related to housing issues.
  Housing issues are at the forefront of this discussion, which covers affordability, increasing housing supply, diversifying housing options, and neighborhood compatibility. Additionally, an update from City staff on the adopted Growing SLC Housing Plan will help provide valuable context to this discussion.
  The Council is currently reviewing a few housing-related land use petitions including RMF-30 Zoning changes and a Shared Housing proposal. The Council anticipates other petitions, including an Affordable Housing Overlay and off-street parking changes, in the foreseeable future.
  The goal of the discussion is to link these proposals together and consider them with a “big picture” policy context. Alone, these proposals each impact City housing policy. Combined and coordinated, they become part of a clearer vision. This briefing will help inform the City’s efforts to expand housing opportunities within Salt Lake City. The Council will not take action on these proposals at this meeting. Each item will have future stand-alone briefings and public hearings before the Council takes action."
  This should be one of the most important meetings of the year at the Council.

LEGISLATURE PUNTS ON HYDROGEN EFFORT TO STOP NATURAL GAS USE
  There was an effort at the Public Utilities Interim Committee to get the Committee to endorse a bill to push hydrogen to show how environmental Utah is to the U.S. Olympic Committee.  It was heard but not acted on.  It seemed to ignore the negative impact on budgets and using Utah's plentiful natural gas resources.  Concerns about hydrogen include decreasing importance of Utah natural gas and engineering limitations.
  Emphasizing development of hydrogen use and infrastructure, in my mind, decreases the potential to increase use of Utah's abundant natural gas.  
  Specifically, the effort to push so called green hydrogen (made with solar or wind power and electrolysis of water versus grey hydrogen made with natural gas) will defocus Utah from increasing the use of Utah's abundant natural gas fields.  If they are not used, they will continue to leak.  It has taken us decades to ring out/engineer natural gas development, delivery and use in engines and turbines.  It did not come overnight.  
  I know that UTA and others had issues with power loss by converting buses to natural gas.  That seems to have been mostly fixed.  Utah has also emphasized building a significant infrastructure for the UTA buses and school buses.  Utah and other states have been planning for a natural gas fueling system for major highways for trucking.  Note that the emissions are much better with natural gas versus diesel (NOx emissions are about the same).  Natural gas fuel cells are also available.  The fuel delivery infrastructure of natural gas has taken decades to be set up and shouldn't be discouraged by changing focus to hydrogen. 
  The engineering required to create an effective infrastructure is significant and may take decades.  It require compression to 700 atmospheres and cooling to -253 C.  It also carries 1/4 of the energy per unit volume of natural gas.  The facts are that diesel is about 10 kwh per liter of fuel, LPG/LNG is about 6 kwh per liter, hydrogen is about 2.5 for liquid H2 and 1kwh for 350 atmosphere H2, Lithium Ion batteries are about .3 kwh per liter.  It has taken us over 100 years to develop and perfect the infrastructure to deliver liquid fossil fuels (50 years for LNG).  
  Engineering is not easy or quick.  It is really complicated.  Just because there is a good idea, doesn't mean that it can be implemented quickly.  It applies to nuclear, solar, wind, fossil fuels, cars, trucks and roads.  Hydrogen is much more expensive than our abundant natural gas, is super explosive with leaks that are hard to control (I used to work for a company that couldn't stop helium from leaking!), it will explode if there are any impurities in the piping and it can have disastrous effects on piping (making it brittle).
  My biggest concern is that focusing on hydrogen in Utah will hurt the economy of our natural gas developers and users.  Utah should be focusing on using our resources, not jumping on a so called environmental bandwagon without significantly more analysis.  
  I am also upset that LA and California ordered Mitsubishi turbines for IPA that are certified to work with hydrogen since their goal is to stop burning fossil fuels, even if it does not make sense.  I get really upset when they say that Utah is polluting the atmosphere when their mismanagement of forest fires (and natural gas storage) creates four times more carbon dioxide released to the atmosphere every year than burning Utah coal.  And Utah citizens have to breathe their mismanagement.  
  The efforts to use sustainable energy in Utah would be best focused on a solar panel with battery credit for homes and businesses in Utah to increase the efficiency of our electricity infrastructure and prepare for a worst case earthquake when only those solar panels with batteries will be able to provide electricity.  We did not have electricity for 5 days this last year due to a windstorm.  About 20 years ago, power was lost during a cold Christmas for a few days.  Emergencies happen and Utah should prepare for them.  Increasing use of solar panels with batteries would be better marketing than claiming Utah is jumping on the environmental bandwagon with hydrogen.  Also, Utah could consider removing the electric vehicle registration fees, if we want Utahns to buy more power that is mainly produced by coal, very efficiently.
  For a more in depth analysis of so call green hydrogen, see: https://e360.yale.edu/features/green-hydrogen-could-it-be-key-to-a-carbon-free-economy

SEARS BLOCK PLANS IGNORE CRIME MAGNET 13TH S. WAREHOUSE
  The Sears Block between 7th and 8th South has a proposal to build a high rise with market rate apartments and with a higher height than zoning allows.  I am against it since height variances should only be allowed for mixed income buildings.  But what is more upsetting is one of the City's biggest homeless camping areas is next to the vacant Sears warehouse next to the TRAX line on 1300 South.  That building needs to be demolished or converted to any use to deter homeless attraction.  The new demolition ordinance should be targeted at that building to force redevelopment first before the Sears Block building is approved.

RESTROOMS IN PARKS LISTED
  The Salt Lake City Council asked for more information on restrooms and this is what the City's staff reported:
  "Below is Public Services’ response to public restroom questions:
E-20: Enhanced Homeless Camp Cleanup
What is the strategy and criteria for restroom location selection?
Is the Portland Loo operational by the former Road Home Shelter site? If no, what would be needed to make it operational?
The Portland Loos are in operation and there should be an Advantage Services attendant at the gate.
Are there publicly owned restroom facilities that are or could be opened for public use?
From the Facilities’ perspective: Both the City and County Building and Plaza 349 are open to limited staff numbers, and partially opening them for restroom access would require the addition of attendants, increased janitorial service, a shift in CBI Security responsibilities, and turning on building HVAC systems (they are turned down to unoccupied status to conserve energy). Opening restrooms for occupied City buildings could increase COVID exposure to employees.
From the Public Lands perspective: Public restrooms are available in most of Salt Lake City’s neighborhood, and community parks and in our natural areas throughout the warmer months. However, all park restrooms close each fall in advance of winter’s frost to prevent damage to the above-ground plumbing, which is not designed to withstand winter temperatures. Those facilities reopen in the spring.
Portable toilets are placed in several high-traffic areas for use throughout the winter.
Vault toilet facilities remain open year-round, as they are not subject to freezing pipes.
Below is a list of portable toilets set throughout the winter in parks and natural areas.
Public Lands Site/Winter Portable Restrooms
11th Ave Park    1 Regular
Cottonwood Park 1 ADA
Jordan Park Greenhouse Restroom 1 ADA 1 Regular
Jordan River Par 3 Park 1 ADA
Library Square
Library Manges
Liberty Park 9 Regular 3 ADA
Memory Grove Park 1 Regular
Model Port Park Vault toilet
Popperton Park 1 Regular
Reservior Park 1 Regular
Riverside Park 1 Regular
Rosewood Park 1 Regular
Rotary Glen Park 1 Regular
Sunnyside Park 1 Regular
Warm Springs Park 1 Regular
Westpointe Park 1 Regular
   The Sugar House Community Council will discuss whether to ask the City for a portable restroom for Fairmont Park this Wednesday December 2 at 7pm during their monthly meeting.

SLCPD DESPERATE FOR OFFICERS CLOSES CIU OFFICE
  Since SLCPD is down over 50 officers and overtime has been limited to reduce turnover, the Police Department is rearranging their personnel to try to return some sworn officers to patrol.  The popular Community Intelligence Unit that worked with community councils is being disbanded in January of 2021 and their liaison with community councils will be the responsibility of the captains for the area.  It will be an interesting change.  I am not sure how effective it will be.  Years ago, the CIU position was a stepping stone to higher office in the Department but community councils objected to the turnover and wanted, and got, the City to agree to keep CIU officers in the position for at least 18 months.  Many of the CIU officers became well known to the community and were able to solve issues that were a problem without hands on efforts.

OPPOSITION TO 17TH S. FOOTHILL LAMPLIGHTER SQUARE
  During a meeting so well attended that it hit the Zoom limit of 100 (which resulted in many being left out), the owner of the 1700 South Foothill development (on the west side of Foothill) reported on his plans for the east side of Foothill at 1700 South (he bought the old Lamplighter Inn that was causing a crime problem).  He wanted to increase the height of the building; provide mixed use including a new liquor store; and expand it east onto adjacent single family home property.  Over 70% of attendees objected to the project which will need City Council approval.  The main reason is the increased height will destroy valley views and traffic will be increased too much.
  Again, for any community councils expecting a high turnout over Zoom, consider using the City's offered virtual meeting systems.  SLC's Director of Community Engagement, Weston Clark, is ready to help host meetings using City resources for any of the popular virtual meeting systems.
900 S. S-LINE PROJECT APARTMENTS PROJECT
  The City has indicated that the 900 S. S-Line property that used to be a garage will probably be redeveloped into an apartment building with around 50 residential units.  It meets zoning so the community council will not really have a say.

HAWTHORNE ELEMENTARY PROPOSAL FOR TREES PUSHED
  After years of pushing for more trees in schoolyards, several SLC School Board members have agreed and ordered staff to plan to plant trees next to 700 East on the Hawthorne Elementary School property.  Sometimes pushing works.
300 W. PROJECT WILL SLOW TRAFFIC TO 25MPH
  Although most of the 300 West reconstruction will not decrease travel lanes (I still do not think UDOT will allow the block just north of 2100 South to decrease lanes from 3 going south to 2), the project will decrease the speed limit to 25 MPH.  I am not sure that that makes sense for an arterial.  30 MPH is a more appropriate speed limit, especially since there is no parking on the street and streets like 2100 South are more unsafe with a 25 MPH speed limit (It is 30 MPH now).

ALMOST NO COMMENTS ON UTA BUDGET THAT INCREASES FAREPAY
  At a public hearing on the UTA budget, I was told that only one person was commenting on the budget!  That is a sad commentary on our mass transit system.  The deadline is effectively over since it will be adopted Wednesday December 2.  
  My comments were, in short, UTA should not be spending almost $2 million on a trail at the Clearfield Station.  That Station desperately needs more parking.  UTA should not be spending almost $5 million on a parking garage in Sandy.  The TOD tenants should be paying an assessment to UTA to build the parking garage.  Giving away so much property for free to a public private partnership for a TOD that it results in inadequate parking is a bad way to run a mass transit company.
  UTA should implement a $1 fare for buses since it got $187 million in CARES Act funding.  UTA should do a vigorous cost benefit analysis for each of the $100 million proposed BRTs since there is no evidence that they actually encourage ridership; they are unsafe; they require 2 lanes that may increase congestion and pollution and the $100 million could be better spent on 10 more bus routes. 

UTA HIRED 169 DRIVERS IN 2019 FOR $2.1 MILLION
  In a report to the Legislature, "UTA's Chief People Officer has calculated the approximate cost of turnover for Bus Operators at $12,534. In 2019, UTA hired 169 operators to replace employees lost to turnover for a calculated $2.1 million cost. Some published reports, citing SHRM data, say that direct employee replacement costs can reach as high as 50%-60% of an employee's annual salary."

SLC SHOULD PUSH FREE PET LICENSES FOR LOW INCOME/SENIORS
  SLC's Budget Amendment 5 includes the new cost for the County providing animal services and raccoon abatement.  The raccoon abatement program should be publicized to community councils.  SLC should also subsidize the cost of licenses for the companion animals for seniors and low income.  Many do not have the ability to pay for the licenses and vaccinations.  The City should work on that.  The County ended the free senior licenses.  
  Another item in the Amendment, A10, should be permanent lighting not temporary lighting and lighting should be more extensive for the Resource Center areas.  Neighbors near the Resource Centers are regularly accosted by aggressive homeless who loiter.  Funds should also be provided for cop cams or to provide cameras for adjacent businesses accessible to police.

WATER CONSERVATION PLAN INCREASES WATER USE AND KILLS TREES
  The new water conservation plan for SLC still does not provide flexibility for properties that are trying to minimize water use.  There have been several complaints to zoning enforcements that some properties do not meet the minimum planting requirements due to their minimizing water use.  I pass many properties that have beautiful yards with all decorative rocks or other designs that minimize water use but they do not meet the minimum 1/3 green/plantings.  The City should stop wasteful zoning investigations and fights by landowners that are trying to minimize their water use.
  There is an exception that should be  noted in the Water Conservation Plan:  Park Strip trees, City owned but the responsibility of property residents, should be noted that they need to be watered correctly.  I still believe that most residents do not water park strip trees enough for them to flourish.  A two foot wide park strip is often not regularly watered.  The bags can hold water for a week but many recent trees planted (75) have died due to property owners not understanding the requirements to maintain the trees.  This has resulted in a very wasteful result, lots of dead trees.  
  Park Strip trees should be listed and addresses recorded to allow mailing instructions on maintaining trees.  I understand, a couple of decades ago, during a drought, the City encouraged stopping watering the trees and many were too stressed out to survive.  The City should understand that water conservation should not be killing trees.
  The City has 1500 city trees and 1600 private trees.  Dominion Energy recently helped plant 250 trees.  Sugar House Park lost 70 trees including many blue spruce trees that were over 50 years old.  The Park also lost a copper roof from a pavilion but the Park was able to turn it in for a nice return on investment (copper prices are high) and it used the money to replace the roof.  The Park is using off duty police to remove people camping after hours.
CROSSWALK LIGHTING NEEDED FOR PEDESTRIANS
  Several community council meetings expressed concerns about the lack of lighting to emphasize pedestrians crossing the street and protect them from left hand turning vehicles.  700 East (especially around 900 South), 300 West (especially around 900 South) are two especially dangerous intersections especially at night.  SLC has said that they will research how to increase lighting for pedestrians crossing the street in those areas and the 900 South and 300 West reconstructions may provide funding for those solutions.

UTAH IN LA-LA LAND THINKING 3 MONTHS DRUG TREATMENT WORKS
  Dr. Marbut, the Country's homeless czar, during his recent visit to Salt Lake City, said that best practice solutions for homeless that do not want housing or are resistant to housing is to fundamentally change how services are delivered.  We have so moved away from consequences (not criminalizing) that we will always have problems.
  Treatment needs 1-2 years not 3 months.  "Utah is in la-la land if you think 1-3 months will work for a 15 yr homeless drug addict."  I am sad to report that Utah is in la-la land and it is not a musical.



OCTOBER 2020
UTA GOT $187 FROM FEDS BUT REFUSES $1 BUS FARE
  UTA received $187 million from the federal government through the CARES Act.  They are saving $100 million to be spent in the next year in the budget that is being discussed now at the Board of Trustees meetings.  But, UTA is spending $87 million this year on other things than trying to get more people to ride mass transit.  UTA gets around $50 million a year in fare revenue (predicted to be about $30 million annually for a few years).  And UTA did help UVX BRT in Provo use free fare (with federal funding).  So why isn't UTA using the CARES Act funds to lower fares to $1 on buses?  (Note fare elasticities for rail are more complicated since parking lots are usually full and ticket machines are limited in the number of tickets per hour that they can dispense.  Lowering fares on rail are not very effective at increasing ridership.  The exception is the FrontRunner free fare days which parents use as a free Disneyland E ticket ride.)
 I respect UTA's efforts to develop and operate an efficient transit system but the important subsidy per rider should be part of the analysis.
  The subsidy of the VIA Southwest SLCO per rider is over $35 per rider which is admittedly less than the subsidy per rider for the previous bus system.  FrontRunner, in evenings may have a subsidy per rider of hundreds of dollars.  The S-Line subsidy per rider (considering a $30 million replacement of rails in 30 years) may be well over $10 per rider.
  Roads are more efficient since they can take vehicles, trucks and families and help the economy by making delivery of goods more efficient.  Roads are used by over 90% of citizens while transit is used by less than 3% and can't carry products.  Roads are more effective at encouraging economic development than rail with a few exceptions.   
  An analysis of roads costs show that the cost for a 10 mile 2 lane 20 year road is around $200 million at most and can carry 3 million vehicles per year for about a $3 subsidy (gas tax is about 25 cents).  In addition the 30% less pollution with rail or BRT should be expected to be matched by vehicles within 5 years since newer vehicles are 90% less polluting that 20 year old cars.
  A more reasonable plan would start with bus and only consider projects if ridership develops.  Rail and/or BRT should only be considered if there is a destination with 40,000 employees (like a university or the International Center).  Note that UDOT has a proposal to run an advanced bus down 5600 West that should be considered.
  Why isn't UTA promoting the expanded span of service for buses that can go past midnight!?  Why isn't UTA promoting studies that show wearing masks on buses protects against COVID infection!?  And why is Salt Lake City spending their valuable transit funding (several million a year - last year they did not spend $1 million of it) on increasing span of service on 2, 9 and 21 routes when UTA is increasing span of service anyway!!?  It seems that SLC is paying for something that was supposed to happen without SLC funds!  Salt Lake City is suggesting now that service on the 4 route (400 South to Foothill and South - which may go eventually to Little Cottonwood Canyon) increase their span of service, then routes in the north part of Salt Lake (Rose Park).
  Rideuta.com has data that provides significantly more transparency on UTA's operations, ridership and bus stop use (I put the October reports in the downloads section in the right.).  In addition, there is a recovery section on rideuta.com/recovery that goes into detail about the new efforts to provide safe ridership on UTA.  UTA is buying 117 new vinyl seats for rail lines to make it easier to regularly clean the seats.
  There is expected to be another service expansion in April of 2021.  Also, Kent Millikin is leaving the Board and Lindon Mayor Jeff Acerson (who spent years on the UTA Board and is much more knowledgeable that the other two Board of Trustees) will join the Board of Trustees when he is confirmed on November 18 at the next Senate Interim Session.
  Senator Harper's pet project, the Mid Valley Connector BRT (about $50 million around 48th South) skipped the EIS since UTA expected local taxes to pay for all of it.  But at the last Interim Session, UTA said that they are working with FTA for it and that should require an EIS (which should show that the two dedicated lanes via a road diet would make 48th South even more congested).
  Other notes from the session regarding UTA include that S-Line ridership is still around 650; the Wasatch Front Regional Council is working with interested parties to analyze the cost of roads versus transit; UTA is double tracking and building a station around Vineyard for FrontRunner which makes sense since FrontRunner trains shouldn't be stopping like they do there on every run; UTA is spending over $4 million on a parking garage in Sandy (that should be paid for by property assessment fees); UTA is studying where to put 4 TODs along the Draper to Lehi TRAX line (paid for by the FTA).
  Each of the hundred million dollar BRT projects will serve about 2000 a day predicted but take up two lanes of traffic.  The 200S BRT is the South Davis Connector.  The 35Max BRT is no longer in service but UTA has asked that the two exclusive lanes be saved for future BRT when ridership increases (if ever)
  The 33rd S and Redwood Rd buses are still running over 2000 a day.  They did not go down in ridership as much as most other routes.  That shows that they need more frequency (and the 217 Redwood Road bus should be going around in circles twice each route).
  And a final note on UTA:  We have been complaining for years that UTA and SLC should not be spending millions on bus stop improvements when buses are ordered to stay one to 4 feet from the curb!  I saw a sign on a bus stop recently that reminded bus drivers to stay 4 feet from the curb (to avoid hitting the bus mirror on a power pole).  But the orders started when the manager in charge of the leased bus tires got tired of the scuffed tires and ordered drivers to stay 1 to 4 feet from the curb!
  Anyone having mobility issues can't easily go into the street and it requires the ramp and time (which wastes the effort to speed up the buses).

JUSTICE REINVESTMENT INITIATIVE NOT WORKING
  The JRI Audit (in the downloads section on the right) showed that JRI is not working as intended.  Too many individuals are being arrested again and again without resolution of their mental issues or drug and alcohol issues (usually covering up their mental issues).  The goal of not incarcerating drug users in prison is an appropriate and respectful effort.  But when criminals misuse the system to continue criminal behavior, it is not working.  The vast majority of drug users do not commit victimless crimes and if they commit crimes everyday they are on the street, they should be incarcerated.  In addition, the State forced an unfunded mandate on counties.  There is a systemic problem with the JRI efforts, in my opinion.
  When the County refuses to fund appropriate jail space but leaves 184 beds open there is a problem.  (Note that the County Sheriff's budget is $5 million less than last year! - The County budget is being discussed in public hearings now - DA and Sheriff presentations are in the downloads on the right.)  When the DA has 14 prosecutor positions unfilled there is a problem.  When judges admonish Adult Probation and Parole (the Audit showed APP was underfunded and undermanned) for recommending probation for someone who empties a gun into a car full of people, there is a problem,
  When a robber is sentenced to 1 to 15 years in prison, ends up in jail for 30days and 6 months later tries to shoot some cops who surround him, who shoot him until he stops being a threat, there is a problem.
  He should have been in prison and you don't need an audit to tell you the system isn't working.  You don't need the US Attorney to tell you there is a problem (he recently complained about the lack of enforcement of laws by Utah government).
  The Legislature should study the cost to properly incarcerate threats to society and fund either the State or County to take those threats out of society and demand that all treatment centers that receive federal funds, track and report all results for a year.  The Audit was unable to show the results for treatment!  It appears from the Utah Department of Health scorecards that success after a year is less than 40% and in 5 years, it may be less than 10%.
  One important finding that was missed is the Audit shows that the Salt Lake County Jail inmate population expanded but has been stable for many years!  That is due to the SLCO Jail's booking restrictions.  (The Audit missed that data!)  The JRI Audit graph in the Appendix should show a doubling or tripling of jail inmates but the Jail only allows first and second degree felonies to be booked!  Law enforcement can influence some flexibility but they are told to try to follow the rules since arrestees tend to walk out before the arrest reports are finished!  The Audit provides a dashboard that goes into more detail at:
 https://public.tableau.com/profile/utah.legislative.auditor.general.s.office#!/

SLC OFFERS FREE ZOOM, WEBEX VIRTUAL MEETING HOSTING
  For some reason, the recognized community organizations in Salt Lake City have not all accepted the City's offer to host the community organizations through Webex, Teams or Zoom.  In fact, "no recognized community organizations have accepted the offer".  This is an offer that should be accepted since it also allows more virtual meetings that can help organize the City's neighborhoods and citizens.  It is also a good reason to organize and work to be recognized by the City.  The City is getting much better at public engagement and they participate in these meetings.  Please consider taking advantage of the offer.

900 SOUTH ROAD DIET IGNORES BICYCLING REALITY
  Salt Lake City is starting the public engagement process of redesigning and reconstructing 900 South.  It will also tie into the 9-Line Trail project that is prioritized to focus on 300 West to State Street.  We have been asking the City to upgrade the priority of the pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the railroad tracks for years but that project is still at the bottom of the priority list.  The railroad tracks divide the City and any project that eliminates that division should be prioritized.  
  The City's proposal is to make 900 South a 25 MPH road with 3 lanes.  But the City is still planning a typical wide center lane instead of a wide bicycle lane to accommodate 2 bicyclists riding side by side or passing one another.  The center turn lane should only exist at traffic lights since left hand turns kill a lot of pedestrians and bicyclists.  Angled parking should be eliminated due to the negative impact on bicycle safety.  The City has also been asked to increase lighting at 700 East to light up pedestrians crossing the road for left hand turning vehicles to better see.  Also missing from the plans is bus pullout lanes to eliminate vehicles being stopped by a bus stopping (or spending 5 minutes deploying a ramp).  The 1300 East road diet created mile long backups because of that problem, buses stopped in the middle of the street.
  With all of the development around the Central 9th area in the near future, the new roadway surface reconstruction may be a problem.  The City is attempting to coordinate with property owners and developers to minimize and eliminate any utility work on the street after the new road is paved.  As always, they are trying but they expect some developers will come in late with other plans.
  The 900 South Asian Market rezone, approved, got a lot of comments at the recent City Council meeting.  But the rezone doesn't really impact the Market.  Whether the Market stays is up to the Market manager, not the landowner that wants the Market to stay.  The nearby residents were upset at the potential increase in development possible with the rezone and the lack of parking for the restaurants on the property which are already negatively impacting the neighborhood (all of 900 South has parking problems - the City is conducting parking studies on the street).
  The biggest threat to the neighborhood character will happen when the 9-Line Trail on the side in front of the Market goes in.  That will encourage redevelopment.
  Although I am usually against road diets, 900 South is not used as much as other roads like 13th South, 1300 East and 2100 South and I don't expect much negative impact.  The bicycle community needs a better east west bicycle route and 900 South makes more sense for a road diet.  I am against lowering the speed since 30 MPH is low enough to ensure safety and keep through traffic on that street instead of speeding through adjacent streets (that resulted from other road diets and bicycle boulevards).  I know that hundreds of bicyclists want more safe space for bicycling and less roadways for personal vehicles, trucks and parking.  But despite claims that roads encourage personal vehicle use, the reality is personal vehicles and trucks and roads make our families, our economy and our Country more efficient.

GOOGLE WEBPASS TO SUPER DUPER 5 G IN UTAH
  The FCC has given Google's Webpass wireless internet company permission to test their new low band internet system in Utah!  This could mean a semi 5G/wifi system in the Valley.  It will take a few months to see what they have planned but they seem to be moving fast.  Note that many other companies are installing 5G breadboxes around the City.  Interestingly, the City (forced by the FCC) allows the companies to install the 5G systems almost anywhere on City property or on utility easements.  Most importantly, they have a standard that they should be kept 15 feet away from any trees.  I wonder what will happen if they try to cut a tree down for a 5G tower?

NEW SLC COUNCIL COMMENTS SYSTEM IMPLEMENTS EFFICIENCY
  The Salt Lake City Council has implemented a new comment system for their formal meetings.  Before, they lumped everyone who wanted to comment together.  If they wanted to comment on specific ordinances or rezonings, citizens would have to wait in the queue with everyone else until they were called (first call in, first allowed to comment).
  The new system continues to encourage public engagement.  Only a couple of city council meetings in the last 10 years had close to a hundred attendees and commenters.  When the city went to virtual meetings with Webex and phone, it actually encouraged more public engagement and comments.  Comments exponentially increased with the George Floyd murder.  Unfortunately, the system the City Council implemented discouraged specific zoning and ordinance issues since there were hundreds of audio comments that focused on police brutality.  Only a handful of commenters were willing to endure the hours of complaints about the police to make their comments.  The new system goes back to separating each individual ordinance and policy in the agenda and allowing comments for those items.  General comments are at the end and tend to be fewer since those complaining about the police and homeless issues are not patient enough to wait to comment.  The system also requires signing up with contact information to discourage any inappropriate comments.  Over the last year, I only heard 2 or 3 comments that I felt crossed the line.  The Councilmembers deserve credit for spending the hours to listen to the comments over the last year.  I fought against the salary increase for the Councilmembers a few years ago but I have to admit that they are now earning every dollar of the extra salary.  Before this year, dedicated Councilmembers spent 20 hours a week on community work.   Over the last year they have spent, I believe, an extra 10 hours a week on working on City issues.  The City Council formal meetings used to be 1 to 2 hours but after May, they started running 3 to 5 hours.  The last meeting lasted 2.5 hours.  The system is much better and many of the issues were better covered.  The only problem was the new Century Link phone conferencing system did not work but the Webex system did do a great job.

NEW HOMELESS CAMP CLEANUP SYSTEM CRAWLS
  The City's new homeless camp abatement system is crawling month by month.  Over the last 3 months, only one camp cleanup has occurred.  Taufer Park camp cleanup was interrupted several times by protesters, including Friday.  But Saturday morning, the cleanup finished (surprise) and the SLCPD is supposed to keep campers away.  It is the closest camp to the 700 South shelter and I expect it to return.  The next scheduled cleanup, that may take just a month is 500 West in the Rio Grande area.  Others are to be around the churches around 300 East and North Temple and 1300 South.
  During the information gathering, the City counted 162 camping at night in Salt Lake City (big camps.  many more were camping in mini camps).  80 were offered beds but 60 of those refused.  The City has access to 80 beds/vouchers for women at hotels.  They also have 40 spots for men at Vincent De Paul Center (using City and State Funds).  The City is also working on a stay safe hotel for high risk homeless with 132 beds.  Switchpoint, a St George homeless shelter operator, is supposed to take over the winter overflow shelter which is still being planned but is not identified yet.  The County is hoping for 150 beds by November 1 in a "non-congregate setting".  The State is looking for another shelter, possibly in Tooele.  SLC Mayor Mendenhall says that she will not allow another shelter in the City, nor another winter overflow or a dedicated camping area in the City.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN POWER NORTH TEMPLE TO REDEVELOP
  Rocky Mountain Power is planning new offices on their North Temple/1500 West property to replace and consolidate all of their offices in Utah by 2022.  The North Temple offices will expand to 800 employees and include the Kern River Gas employees.  The company has been interfering with the Folsom Trail development which runs through their property, despite signing a contract to allow the Trail.  The new project should open up the logjam that is stopping the Folsom Trail from being completed.  The gas plant on the site will continue to operate until 2032.
  On another note, on the Folsom Trail, the Fisher Mansion was damaged by the earthquake and it will require significant repairs and stabilization.

WATERSHED COLLECTING INFORMATION BILL TABLED
  Rep. Stratton has been trying to bring good government sensibility to the Wasatch Canyons watershed and water management by SLC Public Utilities.  One of the new proposed Utah Constitutional Amendments is regarding allowing more input on water services by users of those services that don't live in Salt Lake City.  The Constitution does not now allow any City to sell their water, but Salt Lake City does it anyway and it theoretically can take it away at any time.  Rep. Stratton helped pass the bill for the Amendment on the ballot.
  In the last Interim session, he tried to get a bill through to provide more information for further
    possible actions.  It was tabled until November's Interim Session.  It would require SLC Public Utilities to notify its customers in the Canyons that they can comment and provide feedback on the services provided.  This encourages feedback on how extraterritorial jurisdiction may negatively impact the watershed.  For instance Salt Lake City alone cannot fight the biggest threat to the watershed, forest fires.  Canyon property owners often know more about the threat than the City.  It should be passed to collect more information.  The State's most influential water attorney, Clyde, convinced the Legislature's Water Commission to table it for a month.

CRAIG CARTER, WHO INSPIRED THOUSANDS, DIES
  Craig Carter, a close friend and fellow activist, has died.  He and I had many fights together against the City to make this City better, especially for those of us getting older and having mobility issues. He and I also collaborated on opinion pieces, regarding the importance and heroism of police officers.  His obituary, written by his wife Toni, from the Salt Lake Tribune says it better than I:
"H. Craig Carter
1930 ~ 2020
On Sunday October 18, 2020 I lost my lover of 44 years, partner in crime and "best friend" - Craig Carter. Craig was born May 28, 1930 in SLC to Margaret and Charles Carter. He attended South High. He was a proud marine serving during the Korean War aboard the USS Boxer. He attended The University of Utah where he was an active member and president of "Sigma Pi Fraternity"-- that's when he became a lifelong Ute."
Craig worked for "Restaurant and Store Equipment ", where he designed kitchens and restaurants. He later became the store and interior designer for Castleton's Department stores and warehouse. He then became the head consultant for Pool Display designing stores for Wolfes Sporting Goods, Blocks, Shapiro Travel Goods, Peerless Beauty, Gabby Gourmet, Copper Rivet's to name a few.
His 52-year, lifelong part-time passion started as a freshman at the "U ". His personal and social life became as one for Craig. He handled all the Ushers and Ticket takers at the various venues on campus, Kingsbury Hall, Pioneer Theater, the Old Einar Nielsen Fieldhouse, Huntsman Center, Rice-Eccles Stadium, including all of the U of U graduations. In any given year Craig supervised over 300 part-time employees considering everyone one of them "family"! Craig was an amazing public relations front man for the University. In 2002 he was awarded the "President's Staff Award" from then Pres. Bernie Machen, it was a first for a part time employee. Craig personality was contagious. He always had a smile on his face, loved people, was kind, compassionate and treated everyone with respect. He was always "happy" to see you. Craig cherished his friends and "everyone" was his friend.
Craig's community service extended to being the Chair of the "Judging Committee" of commercial floats for the "Days of '47 Parade" for over 20 years. He was a founding member of what is now the Utah Arts Festival. Mayor Ted Wilson appointed him to the Mayor's Task Force for people with disabilities where he served for over 35 years. Craig was also active as a Board member of Very Special Arts now Arts Access.
Craig was married to Lavon Gill, together they had four fabulous children, David A. Carter (Noelle) CA, Shauna Carter Mabey (Tom) UT, Suzanne Carter Macriss (Rob) UT, Christine Kent AZ, and 6 grandchildren, Molly, Sarah, Nick, Emma, Cici and Kyle.
Dean Collett brought us together in 1968, he recommended me to work for Craig as a football ticket counter. It was at Kingsbury Hall years later, I was selling candy, he asked to kiss me, that was our beginning! He always said, "Toni Russell married me and made me the happiest man in Utah." We have had an eventful, loving life together. Our love of cooking, entertaining, gardening, travel, books, music, and theatre were a part of our lives together up until his end. He will be missed by all our friends and family! When I married Craig, I promised to marry him for better or worse - and I did!
Special thanks Dr. Fred Gottlieb for not only his care of Craig but his friendship and to Good Shephard Hospice for their incredible care over the last five months.
A celebration of his life will take place next Memorial Day weekend because we could not celebrate his "90th" this year.
In lieu of flowers please make donation to Canines With A Cause or your favorite charity.
Please share your photos and memories with the family at www.starksfuneral.com."
  I, and many others, will miss his optimism and activism, and his love of dogs.

DUI PLUS DRUG PENALTIES TO INCREASE
  Rep. Eliason is proposing a new bill that would significantly increase penalties for DUI when it goes over a high blood alcohol level.  These are the incapacitated drivers that are causing the most deaths and injuries on Utah roads.  In addition, the increased penalties will be for using drugs like THC while over the alcohol limit.  I always wondered why the State didn't outlaw using THC while driving and especially with alcohol since alcohol with THC increases the THC in the blood!  Rep. Eliason, again, is making a better Utah.  He also has been sponsoring many of the bills that focus on increasing mobile mental health crisis units in Utah.

JAYWALKING AND UTAH YIELD FOR BICYCLISTS SHOULD NOT BE A CRIME
  Jaywalking laws, in a recent City Lab story, was reported to be a waste of time and effort.  It also was responsible for the SLCPD stopping Patrick Harmon which resulted in him being shot when he overreacted with a knife.  Councilwoman Amy Fowler has expressed interest in decriminalizing many laws like that.  She is right.  The City should decriminalize jaywalking (Former SLCPD Chief Burbank ordered his officers to stop wrighting jaywalking tickets but the law is still on the books and used by SLCPD.).  We should also decriminalize bicycling on sidewalks and streets (it is against the law in Utah for bicyclists to not follow all vehicle laws like a full stop at stop signs and requiring a full complement of safety lights).    
  UTA cops still focus on jaywalking (to and from bus stops and rail stations).  It can create situations that escalate fast.  I also want to decriminalize cruising on State Street.

MCCLELLAND CLOSURE EXTENDED DUE TO CONTRACTOR MISTAKES
  McClelland Street in Sugar House will remain closed for another month due to the concrete crew being pulled off due to a design flaw by the engineering consultant.  The McClelland experience to upgrade the street won't occur until 2021.  
  Neighborhood pedestrians have pointed out that the left hand turn from 2100 South should be eliminated since it requires speeding up to avoid oncoming traffic.  That creates pedestrian dangers.  The City is still evaluating the final design.  There are still two big projects on the street scheduled to be finished well after the summer 2021 McClelland Street change.  Road construction will be a pain for at least a year or two more.

SUGAR HOUSE TARGET OPENING IN SPRING 2021
  For those interested, the Sugar House Target opening may not occur until the spring of 2021.

SLCPD DOWN 38 SWORN OFFICERS
  Mayor Mendenhall, earlier this month, spent a lot of time at the City Council going over the loss of SLC police officers over the last year.  The report was due to the rumors that were being circulated that SLCPD was down 50 officers.  I was partly responsible for those rumors but I also said that I expected the City to be down 50 officers by December.  I asked for more information after the Mayor's report.  I reminded the City, that, during my presentation to the Legislature last month, SLC 911 dispatch said that much of the poor response time was due to lack of police officers.  I also said that he 911 Director is a great public servant who has significantly decreased 911 problems identified in the audit and I had other information that indicated that the City was not filling many positions.  The City has been more forthcoming and has said that we are down 38 sworn officers as of Oct. 16 and 24 civilian FTEs.   
  I have attached the loss spreadsheet.  Note that this City has usually lost 2-3 officers a month to retirement.  This was reported in last year's IACP Report.  It is due to Utah's public safety retirement system with a significant unfunded actuarial liability.  Note that the City just increased retirement contributions as allowed by the last legislative session.  
  These are the relevant City emails about this issue (from October 7 through 19th):
  "Communities can contact their city counselors to voice their support for PDs. This is their avenue for having their voices heard. Attend community and city council meetings. Call, e-mail, write representatives.....
  Some positions are “frozen”, but we have been given the green light to proceed with hiring up to a certain point. More clarification to come....
  We had been hiring lateral officers and putting them through a shorter academy, but we only have new hire academies scheduled moving forward.....
  New Academy class will have 12 new hires and 2 SLC firefighters.  We are currently in the process of hiring and will be starting an academy in three weeks......
  We are in the process of interviewing new hires over the next couple weeks. We currently have 100+ invited to interview (6 of whom are prior or current Explorers)......
  Funded Vacant Positions as of 10/16/2020  
Vacant Funded Civilian  24
Vacant Funded Sworn  38
  30 hired in academy - January 13, 2020
  20 of those hired in January 13, 2020 still employed"
  My commentary in the Salt Lake Tribune in August indicated that the SLCPD needs more funding and it appears that the City has agreed.  Bottom line, the hiring freeze is over and the new Police Academy class will start in November instead of next spring.  I know that hundreds have been demanding the police to be defunded but tens of thousands want more visible police.  The Mayor appears to be listening to the vast majority.  Ironically, she and Councilman Derek Kitchen were instrumental in pushing through funding (through the federal government) for 50 more SLCPD cops 5 years ago.  The then Mayor tried to stop it by saying the Academy couldn't handle more applicants but that was shown to be wrong.

SLCPD HERO STILL WITH SALT LAKE CITY
  I want to acknowledge the heroism of a Salt Lake City Police Officer Officer who, ten years ago on August 27, 2010, stopped what could have been and almost was a massacre of hundreds of Salt Lake City residents.  Officer Uppsen Downes, who "is still very much employed at SLCPD", engaged a fully armored and armed soldier who was intent on killing as many people as possible.  The soldier had failed to get to a high position in the Grand America Hotel and was on the street in body armor, helmet and with his automatic rifle and lots of ammunition.  When Officer Downes encountered him, he ordered him to drop his rifle.  The soldier unloaded his gun at him and Officer Downes was shot in the leg.  Instead of taking cover and waiting for backup, Officer Downes returned fire with three shots, one of which, miraculously, hit the soldier in the head.  That stopped the massacre that the soldier had planned "to make him famous".  I am convinced that Officer Downes should have been policeman of the year in America and that he saved hundreds of lives that day.  Ten years ago, it could have been different except for an Officer who explained that he was just doing his job.  He is a hero.  I think that he is the greatest hero this State has. 
SLC INTERNAL AFFAIRS SENDS TWO POLICE TO POST INVESTIGATION
  During the last few months, there have been many complaints that the Salt Lake City Police Department is out of control and regularly exhibits police brutality.  The cases that turned up that did show police brutality were immediately corrected when reported.  There have been many times when the violence of a critical event has not been reported but the result has often been the person responsible for not reporting the incident has been forced to retire (as in the case of the police canine officer who did not report these incidents).  There have also been complaints that the Police Union/Association is too powerful and the State is too lenient with police.  The reality is that Utah has a vigorous system that targets unprofessional law enforcement conduct called POST.  Utah is ensuring appropriate police conduct with POST.  In the past, officers have been terminated from law enforcement positions in the State, or suspended from practicing for a time or punished in other ways.  The following are statistics for the last five years for SLCPD, DPS and UDC (provided by POST): 
?
Complaints:
Salt Lake City PD - 26
Department of Public Safety - 42
Utah Department of Corrections - 84
Cases:
Salt Lake City PD - 9
Department of Public Safety - 19 
Utah Department of Corrections - 67
?
Breakdown of complainants and if a case was opened for each Salt Lake City PD complaint:
2020 - 2 referred from SLCIA, and were opened as cases
           1 citizen complaint that was not opened.
2019 - 4 citizen complaints, 3 were not opened and 1 was
           1 referred from another agency during background investigation, was opened as a case
2018 - 5 referred by SLCIA, 4 were opened, 1 was not *as we were being audited
           1 anonymous complaint was not opened
           1 incident was observed by POST on the media and was opened as a case
2017 - 3 incidents were observed by POST on the media, 1 was opened as a case, the other 2 were not
           2 citizen complaint, neither were opened as cases
2016 - 1 referred by SLCPD, opened as a case
           1 anonymous complaints, not opened
           3 citizen complaints, none opened
           1 incident was observed by POST on the media and was opened as a case
UTAH JUSTICE AUDIT PROVES OUR CLAIMS OF POOR PUBLIC SAFETY
  There is an important Audit on Utah's Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) that hit the Legislature this month.  It showed that our criminal justice system is not working well.  JRI stopped sending drug users to prison and forced counties to incarcerate them in the county jail which was costly and effectively an unfunded mandate.  The vast majority of drug users do not commit victimless crimes.  The Audit is in the downloads on the right.  The appendixes show the incarceration numbers and drug and alcohol (SUDs) treatment numbers.  But, as the Audit mentioned, they couldn't get the treatment providers to prove their success.  The State has indicated that the 1 year successful treatment is around 40% but it may take as long as 5 years to reflect real life percentages of success.  The federal government believes successful opioid addiction treatment is around 5%!  Interestingly, I have seen only one person that has gone through the system after Operation Rio Grande that has been able to continue working and stay away from drugs.  She keeps being mentioned as a success and i congratulate her.  But is there anyone else?  The problem, as I indicated several years ago in a commentary in the newspaper, is without jail or incarceration for more that a day, there is no real incentive to enter and continue drug treatment.  The Salt Lake County Jail refuses to book anyone except for first and second degree felonies and they are released, usually, within a day.
  Not noted in the graphs, Salt Lake County limits jail populations and releases everyone, even felonies to not get above a limit. and refused to jail drug users.   In other words  it is worse than the graph in the appendix of the Audit shows.  
  When judges admonish APP (which the Audit said is underfunded and understaffed) for recommending probation for someone who empties a gun into a car full of people, there is a problem.  
  When a robber is sentenced to 1 to 15 years in prison; ends up in jail for 30 days; and 6 months later tries to shoot some cops who surround him; who shot him until he stopped being a threat; there is a problem.  It also created riots and a lot of damage.  He should have been in prison.  You don't need an audit to tell you the system isn't working.
  When the county refuses to fund appropriate jail space and leaves 184 beds open there is a problem.  When the DA has 14 prosecutor positions unfilled there is a problem.  You don't need the US Attorney to tell you there is a problem.
  I urge the Legislature to study the cost to properly incarcerate threats to society and fund either the State or County to take those threats out of society and demand that all treatment centers that receive federal funds, track and report all results for a year.
  I also put the DA and Sheriff budget proposals in the downloads section.

SLC WANTS TO SPEND $4 MILLION TO SAVE OLD BRICK BUILDING
  Salt Lake City has agreed to spend up to $4 million to stabilize and protect and restore the vacant for decades old Mattress Company building in the Rio Grande area that was damaged in the recent Magna earthquake!  The Mattress Company building on 3.92 acres should not be saved but demolished.  The cost would be should be better used for other uses like affordable housing encouragement.  The links below show how difficult it is to stabilize old mortar, old brick buildings.  An old brick building next to high rise, high intensity mixed use, mixed income buildings is not realistic.  Even UTA learned the hard way, after spending too much on trying to restore the old locomotive building that it wasn't worth it.
https://www.latimes.com/visuals/graphics/la-me-earthquake-safety-brick-buildings-20180209-htmlstory.html
https://www.nps.gov/tps/how-to-preserve/briefs/41-seismic-rehabilitation.htm
  This will be a boondoggle like the 255 S State project.  Another few million down the drain.  The City's RDA is still considering buying more property in the area, despite the many vacant buildings owned by the City for decades!  I am against buying more Station Center property or leasing ground floors.  SLC RDA should sell to developers who can quickly build higher intensity mixed use, mixed income buildings that fulfil basic design standards (form based design).   

SLC SHOULD BE PROTECTING SINGLE FAMILY NEIGHBORHOODS
  This City is rushing through the RMF 30 proposal to significantly increase density in residential areas.  The last public hearing is October 20.  The proposal will hurt affordable housing.  It will also affect schools since developers will build mostly one bedroom apartments that are for residents without kids.  Developers make more money with studios and 1 bedroom units.  It will also result in many more trees being cut for development.  This proposal, according to recognized experts, will destroy more affordable housing in Salt Lake City.  The City still does not have inclusionary zoning that could mitigate this disastrous proposal and developers are pricing most new units at a high market rate compared to older residential buildings.
  Salt Lake City should use the 80% of property in the City, mostly west of Redwood Road, that is not used for residential use and use that property for housing.  Single family zones are not creating the housing shortage.  Don't get me started on shared?? SRO housing, another boondoggle coming in November for every part of the City but single family neighborhoods.
  During discussion of SLC housing, Jim Wood, the State's housing expert, said that permits in the County are the 3rd highest ever for residential permits.  Covid has had minimal impact on residential unit construction.  The price of housing has gone up 53% in 5 years.  There are 38,000 homeowners in the City and 11,000 are clear of mortgages.  But 17,000 renters in the State are vulnerable to loss of housing due to evictions.

IT'S BACK - SRO/MINI CABRINI GREEN/CRIME MAGNET MOTELS
  The renamed Single Room Occupancy proposal, now Shared Room housing, is set for public hearings on November 10, and November 20.  The City insists that it solves the issue of affordable housing.  This is Pamela Atkinson's push and dream.  She has been pushing this proposal for years.  It will allow SROs throughout the City except in single family zoned areas.  
  Interestingly, the City's Housing Authority tried to build an SRO next to a single family home (on 1725 S. Jefferson St.).  It was 74 units and the RDA turned it down only because it was noncompliant with the zoning.  If the City's SRO proposal passes, that project can receive City funding to proceed!  It is zoned RMF35 now.

SLC SHOULD BE ADDING PARKS, TREES AND OPEN SPACE
  If Salt Lake City wants more housing, focus on setting aside more land for parks.  The City's RDA couldn't find property to buy downtown for a park and gave the $4+ million to Pioneer Park to upgrade it.  I don't think that the upgrade was worth it.  If you want more housing fast, put a park in the Fleet Block as Michael Fife suggested in a recent oped in the Trib.  That will encourage development of housing.  It will develop like Sugar House which developed quickly due to the open space, according to SLC Planning.  Open space encourages housing and economic development faster than higher density zoning.  
  The City wants a park in the Westside of the City and is asking residents in a survey what they want.  About 6 years ago, the City tried to pass a parks bond to convert the Glendale Golf Course to a park!  It created a backlash and the bond proposal failed.  The new survey may be a prelude to a new bond proposal.  There was a survey 6 years ago that tried to justify the parks bond.   
  This City used to be called a Tree City USA.  But when the City cuts thousands of mature trees down each year and suggests replacing them with a 2 inch tree, despite policy that requires 12 2" trees to replace a 24" tree, our urban forest is being lost to City actions.  The fact that the City won't force developers and Rocky Mountain Power to replace trees in a similar manner (12 for a 24" tree), unless it is a "specimen tree - good for the area", is another factor that results in the loss of a lot of trees. 
  What I am trying to say is that the City should be making parks with lots of trees out of all of the vacant property that they own.
  The mural that shows victims of so called police violence (many incidents were justified) could even be saved with a park.  I have no problem with memorializing the dead.
PARKS OPENS SOME RESTROOMS INCLUDING PORTABLES
  After keeping park restrooms closed for most of the spring and summer, the City has opened many restrooms.  Five park restrooms were open as of last month and the City has also placed 20 portable toilets in the parks.

SLC RDA HAS SET PRIORITIES FOR STATE STREET
  The City has approved the Plan for the State Street CRA.  Unfortunately, almost no one in the area knows about it.  I disagree with its emphasis on prettifying projects like lighting and trees.  It encourages saving so called historic buildings.  It ignores encouraging car lots, especially block long car lots, to move.  It encourages midblock crosswalks, a road diet and a 20 mph speed limit on State Street.
  I disagree with most of the Plan.  I encourage mixed use, mixed income inclusionary form based zoning with impact fee reductions and flexible heights.  (The Planning Commission approved the increased height of the Sears block proposal without requiring affordable housing in return for the higher building.)  The goal should be much more than 3000 living units.  It should be 10,000 housing units.  Do not spend money on prettifying projects like lighting and trees.  Saving historic buildings should not be a priority.  Removing/moving car lots should be a priority, maybe to a block of car sales lots.  Develop Fleet Block as the Michael Fife park.  There should be no Midblock crosswalks, no road diets, no 20mph speed limit since all will increase pollution.  Target nuisance properties.  Where is the Downtown Park that was supposed to get $5 million (at one time Block 70 was supposed to be a BMX bike park!!)?

UTA SET TO CONTINUE OVERCHARGING RIDERS 2.50
  On October 21, UTA is scheduled to approve the continuation of overcharging riders $2.50 a ride!  Fares should be lowered to encourage appropriate ridership  goals.  I think that the fare for buses should be $1.  The reason for buses is rail requires parking and the Booz Allen Hamilton fare elasticity industry standard is affected by lack of parking and ticket throughput on machines.  Buses do not have that limitation.  We argued 10 years ago with UTA on that issue.  Ridership is down 50% and is expected to continue at that level for maybe years.  UTA is getting federal Covid funds and now is a good time to experiment with a $1 fare.  The ridership of FrontRunner is around 6500 a day.  The S-Line is 650 a day.  We need more riders to be encouraged to take transit and a $2.50 fare discourages that.
  These are the new fare proposals:
Adult
Route Deviation $1.25
Group Pass $15.00
Horizon Pass $42.50
Paratransit $4.00
Paratransit 10-Punch $40.00
Ride Van Plus $50.00 Monthly
FAREPAY Discount 20%
3) Free Fare
The following special groups may ride free of charge under these parameters:
• Free Fare Zone – Customers boarding/alighting in the free fare zone
• Children – 5 years and younger when accompanied by a fare paying adult
• Employees – Agency employees, retirees, and eligible dependents
• Personal Care Attendant – Must accompany a pre-qualified rider with a disability
• Paratransit Eligible – Individuals certified as ADA paratransit eligible
• Elementary Students – Must have a training safety course and travel with a school group
• Trainer/Trainees – Trainer with accompanying trainees learning to use the system
• Sworn Peace Officers – Either in or out of uniform and certified with proof of status
DocuSign Envelope ID: 8C81715F-07CA-4FA5-A25B-85EFB3F71AEE
UTA Fare Rates – effective December 1, 2020 Page 2 of 2
4) Reduced Fare
A 50% reduced fare discount will be offered based on the following parameters:
• Seniors: 65 years or older, must show reduced fare card or proof of eligibility and identity when
riding
• Disabled: pre-qualified by UTA, must show reduced fare card
• Medicare: valid Medicare card, must show reduced fare card or proof of eligibility and identity when
riding
• Youth: between the ages of 6 and 18 years old, must show reduced fare card or proof of eligibility
and identity when riding
UTA CLAIMS 2 EMPTY LANES OF 3500 SOUTH WITHOUT SERVICE
  UTA cancelled the 35 Max BRT on 3500 South that used two plus lanes of the street for exclusive operation (used to speed up operation during congested traffic).  But the ridership never got above 3200 riders a day and the lanes are still unused by anyone, bus or car.  UTA says that they will return service in April 2021 during the UTA service increase scheduled.  UDOT, who owns the street, sent me this information:
  "The Department has been coordinating with UTA on issues related to the 35 Max BRT line for several years. We recognize the closure of the BRT center lanes has been longer than originally intended, but the closure is not permanent. The 35 Max BRT lanes were initially closed due to the construction of the development in West Valley City near 2700 West with the intent of using them again once the work was complete. The pandemic resulted in the suspension of the 35 Max line due to drops in ridership and revenue. This has also delayed the re-implementation of the usage of the BRT lanes. UTA is currently working on the bus scheduling details and hope to have the lanes back in service with their April 2021 Change Day."  
  I still think that UTA does not know how to do BRTs.  I put the proposed BRT projects in the downloads section.  Most have predicted riderships of 2000 a day and will cost taxpayers around a $100 million.
UTA STILL PLANS 200 SOUTH BRT
   In answer to a question about the status of the South Davis Connector/200 South SLC BRT (which Davis County insists on being built with a SLC contribution of $67 million), UTA sent me this information:
  "with respect to a connection to the University of Utah we have not made a final determination on a Salt Lake County terminus for the Salt Lake Davis Connector.  We are planning to meet with the project policy group next month then take a recommend option to the public for comment.  We are currently evaluating a downtown SLC terminus as well as a 1300 East and Research Park option
  Salt Lake City still plans on a bus station around 700 East and 200 South and has budgeted $400,000 for the project.

CASE AGAINST NEW STREETCARS
  Despite several elected officials pushing rail and a TRAX extension south via Highland Drive, I have many more arguments that show that it doesn't make sense:
  The S70 (so called streetcar) width is important and was ignored during discussions on extending the streetcar.  It is recommended to have 14 feet clearance with a minimum of 12 feet.  Many streets under consideration (including 1100 East) do not have that clearance.  Another consideration is parking should not be removed (where allowed) just for a TRAX train.  (which tends to create problems if there isn't enough clearance to handle bad parking).  Highland Drive had a contentious road diet that was somewhat mitigated by allowing street parking in return for removing a lane of traffic in each direction.  I would consider a wide bicycle lane or raised shared lane to be more important than a low ridership rail line.  
  Without a great destination like a university, rail is not going to be used.  Before even thinking of extending TRAX, ridership should significantly increase to at least the 5000 that was promised and predicted.  It is at 650 a day now and may not go much higher for ten years (especially if the 500 East refugee housing continues evictions).  
  There should be a vigorous cost benefit analysis before spending hundreds of millions on extending the streetcar anywhere.  The important question is where is the best use for a hundred million in local taxpayer money.  
  Another issue, that became famous in Portland, is the fact that bicyclists keep catching their wheels in the rails since they were often parallel to bicycle travel.  I and many others can think of many better projects for the hundreds of millions required to extend TRAX north or south
  Finally, this is Utah and the TRAX/streetcar extension will destroy the view of the mountains with power lines.  The view of the mountains is sacred in Utah.  

SLC PUSHES TO KEEP ICE CREAM CONE SIGN FOR LIQUOR STORE
  The City has a sign ordinance that encourages saving historic signs like the Snelgrove ice cream cone near 2100 South and 900 East.  There is a project for the old Snelgrove/Nestle ice cream manufacturing property called Sugar Town that is a mixed use project with housing and..... a liquor store!  The City has been asking that the project keep the ice cream cone.  The ABC will probably win the battle.  Ice cream cones do not respectfully advertise liquor.

UTA NEEDS MORE BOARD OF TRUSTEES COMMENTS, PLEASE
  Over the last ten years, I have seen very few people comment to the UTA Board of Trustees.  These are important issues about mass transit and they deserve more comment.  It is much easier now due to the remote/virtual meetings, although the Board always read emails to the Board during meetings.  The new fare proposal is up for discussion and comments must be submitted by 4PM Tuesday before the Wednesday meetings.  Please comment and tell UTA to lower fares on buses to $1.
  "Public Comment will not be taken during the meeting but may be submitted through the means listed below.  Comments submitted before 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 20th, will be distributed to board members prior to the meeting:
o online at https://www.rideuta.com/Board-of-Trustees   
o via email at boardoftrustees@rideuta.com
o by telephone at 801-743-3882 option 5 (801-RideUTA option 5) - specify that your comment is for the board meeting
  UTA is also negligent in not publicizing the studies that show no transmission of Covid when passengers are wearing masks as required.  UTA is also replacing seats on their rail cars with plastic that is more easily cleaned and sanitized.   They will cos, on 117 light rail vehicles, $3,993,829.
  "BACKGROUND: The light rail vehicle fleet has fabric covered foam cushion seats. The current seats soil easily and require extensive cleaning. The thick foam acts as a sponge when moisture is introduced and requires deep cleaning to properly sanitize seats. To enhance the interior cleanliness of the light rail vehicle fleet, the new seats will be vinyl with a
lightly padded molded composite construction.
  DISCUSSION: UTA Staff is requesting approval of contract with USSC to replace seats on 117 light rail vehicles in the amount of $3,993,829. The new seats will be the same arrangement of the current seating configuration. The entire seat will be replaced including the frame, seat bottom/back, grab handles and mounting hardware."
I put the ridership data as of October 13 in the zip file with the BRT and FrontRunner project plans.  It also includes the bus stop boardings.  

CATHOLIC COMMUNITY SERVICES STILL PROVIDES HOMELESS SERVICES
  These are the hours of the Weigand Homeless Resource Center: 11:30AM–12:30PM, 5–6PM.  They offer "full services with the exception of haircuts. The showers are open, laundry facility is open, client storage is open, computer lab is open, housing and employment services are open, court is still going on every other Friday, and food stamps and Medicaid eligibility is still happening. Our clothing room is also open Tuesday and Friday from 7:00 am to 10:00 am.
  St. Vincent de Paul Dining Hall: 
9:00 am to 11:00 am- Good Samaritan Sack Meals
11:30 am to 12:30 pm- CCS Hot Meal
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm- Good Samaritan Sack Meals
5:00 pm to 6:00 pm- CCS Hot Meal

INN BETWEEN ABOUT TO GET EXPANSION
  The City is about to pass an ordinance that will increase the ability of respite care facilities, including The Inn Between, to be in institutional zones.  TIB presently houses 25 homeless assisted living patients and 25 respite care/hospice patients.  So this ordinance, if passed, will allow TIB to house over 70 in their facility.
  "The Inn Between was the original focus on this ordinance to find a proper land use ordinance for facilities that care for the seriously or terminally ill, focusing on the homeless, in this situation. After several years of hard work, the planning department has developed this proposal that would create a capacity ratio of one patient for each 950 sq/ft of the lot size for facilities in the institutional zones. This was a change from the current 25 bed limit. Under this proposal the Inn Between could have up to 60 beds for this purpose based on their 1.3-acre lot"
 
SLC REFUSES TO IMPLEMENT INCLUSIONARY ZONING AGAIN
  Several developer proposals have asked for higher height limits than zoning allows.  The City appears to be granting approvals without requiring affordable housing and inclusionary zoning.  This is a lost opportunity to provide affordable housing in the City.

SLC PRIORITIZES QTR CENT TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS
  I put the priority list of the Qtr Cent Transportation Projects in the downloads area.  Most are not getting any comments to the City Council and they should.

SLC OFFERS ONE HOMELESS CAMP CLEANUP A MONTH
  This is the City's plan for one homeless camp cleanup to start.  The City is starting with the 700 South Toefer Park (300 East) area.
  Sept 14, phase 1 portable toilets
                phase 2 oct 5 dedicated diversion starting with 1 site 
        Michelle is deciding with County what site will be next
  wk1 client services to get to know the area
  wk2 continue and set the closed date
  wk3 legal basic needs with justice court and legal help.  The City needs volunteers to help - call  801-535-7712
  wk 4 camp closure with notification 2 weeks prior
SLCPD will ensure no return
  But one camp at a time is not fast enough.  We still need to discourage criminal behavior.  It threatens health and public safety.  We need to discourage bicycle thefts and drug use and criminal behavior around more than 700 South.  Criminal behavior increases violence against the homeless by criminals.  Police walking patrols will discourage that.  Why is anyone living on the street now when the CARES Act provides funds for homeless housing, which should be distributed around many hotels.

SLC DEMOLITION ORDINANCE ABOUT TO BE PASSED
  The City is about to pass the new demolition ordinance.  But it still discourages surface parking lots and requires a lot of up front investment in plantings.  Even the fines may not be enough to encourage landowners to demolish their vacant properties.   I urge the city to lower the barrier to demolition, even if it results in a surface parking lot.  This City still collects more vacant buildings than anyone else and it discourages development and decreases property values.  The City should pass the demolition ordinance but stay on top of it to ensure that it gets rid of bad buildings.

COMMENTS ON LOCALLINK STUDY SO FAR
  In addition to the streetcar arguments above, my other comments on the locallink study that is the new Circulation Plan for the Sugar House/Millcreek/Holladay/South Salt Lake area are below:
  SIDEWALK WIDTHS AND DISTANCE FROM BUILDINGS
  We need wider sidewalks to encourage walkable streets!  Sidewalks don't work when residents need them for barbeques which block all pedestrian traffic (like Liberty Village).  Sidewalks need open width before planters and other obstacles to movement.  Kids on bikes don't do well on sidewalks with obstacles.
  MORE TREES ALONG PARLEYS AND WIDE SHARED SIDEWALK TRAILS
  The Parleys Trail should not be closed in winter and a plan should be developed to decrease safety issues on it.  Trees are needed along the Trail to safely allow dogs to walk on it.  Personally, I would rather walk on the streets just south of I80 to Tanner Park due to the noise.  Maybe it would be cheaper for the City to make it safer for bicyclists to use Parkway as the commuter bike route to Bonneville Shoreline Trail.
  The McClelland Trail should be using the streets since too many property owners want to fight against using the Canal easement for the Trail.  Greystone stopped SLC from using their development which goes over the Canal.  There is also the issue of safety since going between houses, essentially an alleyway, actually creates safety issues.  A body was found on the Canal property south of 27th South.  That unsafe perception won't change with pavement.  1100 East would be a better alternative since it already is used by bicyclists and pedestrians as a comfortable biking experience.  The City should pursue efforts to push 1100 East through to Brickyard.
  STREETS PRIORITY
  Side streets are not as important as arterials where bicyclists have to ride on the side of road.  Repaving should be prioritized on arterials before any side streets.  And the street contracts should go to the edge of the curb!  Contracts now do not specify that.  I wouldn't worry about resurfacing cull-de-sacs.
  BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN SAFETY
  Bicycle green conflict markings are not a solution and the best example of questionable safe bicycle infrastructure is 200W and 300S.  Separated bicycle lanes are not maintained daily to encourage bicycling.  Ten foot wide bike lanes would encourage bicycling more.  Bicycle safety is negatively impacted by roundabouts, chicanes, horizontals and bulbouts (which tend to encourage bicyclists to move into traffic lanes).  The area needs a better 20MPH bicycle commuting route east west and north south.  Ten foot wide bike lanes on streets or on raised sidewalks (east of 1300 East) make more sense than a road diet.  Hundreds of bicyclists want the road diet (like 1300 East which turned out lousy for bicyclists) but tens of thousands want the 4 lanes on 2100 South! 
  Left hand turns on arterials like Highland and 2100 South should be discouraged (like IZZY SOUTH proposal), except at traffic lights to increase bicycle and pedestrian safety.  Driveway entrance/exits near traffic lights should be discouraged for the same reason.  Lack of sidewalks is not the problem on Richmond.  It needs a 10 ft wide bicycle lane. 
  RESTAURANTS NEXT TO HOMES CREATES CONFLICTS
  Zoning should have a moderate and gentle zoning to higher density, not an abrupt change from single family to RMF anything.  Note that RMF includes restaurants that create parking, traffic, noise and smell conflicts (homeowners do not want a constant barbeque smell).
  BEST AMENITIES INCLUDE POCKET LIBRARIES AND PARKS
  Plazas need more trees and people.  Sugar House Plaza is essentially dead.  Restaurants should be encouraged to use that dead space.  Again, a right hand turn from 2100 S. to Highland should be considered through the Plaza (north of the monument).  The plazas should have enough power to allow food trucks and festivals to operate without extra power (on site restaurants would get a larger area for outdoor dining in return).  The area needs more pocket libraries and parks.  Plazas could have free wifi, power (enough for food trucks) and seating and tables to encourage use and people and traffic.  And lots of big trees.
  PRETTIFYING AREA SHOULD WAIT UNTIL DEVELOPMENT IS WELL UNDERWAY
  There are too many efforts to prettify the area with creative placemaking when the money could be better used for traffic calming on side streets.  Blocking sidewalks with planters or bike racks (unless bikes are stored parallel to and next to the street).  Stamped concrete crosswalks and the mobility hubs seem to be a waste of money that could be better used. There is a need for a Green Bike station at the McClelland S-Line Station.  Wayfinding should not be a priority (although some help is needed on connecting bicycle trails through the Sugar House Business District).  
  ENSURE PLANNING COORDINATION OF FUTURE CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS WITH CITY PLANS
  Until all construction is finished, which may take 10 years, Highland and other streets should not be reconstructed because each new building will tear up the street.  I am still not seeing coordination especially along Highland through Millcreek.  This City is planning on reconstructing 900 East but there are several new developments coming near the S-Line (north and south of it) that will destroy the brand new street!  Consider waiting until all building construction is finished.




 gechapman2@gmail.com.

EAST CAPITOL BLVD PICTURE SHOWS FRUSTRATION OF MANY IN SLC ABOUT LACK OF TRAFFIC CALMING

THE UNEXAMINED LIFE WON'T IMPROVE

COUNTY COUNCIL EMAILS
RSnelgrove@slco.org,JBradley@slco.org,ARbradshaw@slco.org,ANewton@slco.org,Agranato@slco.org,sldebry@slco.org,DHTheodore@slco.org,LLStringham@slco.org,DAlvord@slco.org

CITY COUNCIL EMAILS
james.rogers@slcgov.com,dennis.faris@slcgov.com,chris.wharton@slcgov.com,amy.fowler@slcgov.com,dan.dugan@slcgov.com,darin.mano@slcgov.com,ana.valdemoros@slcgov.com

USEFUL SLC PHONE #s

CIVIL ENFORCEMENT
(JUNK/LITTER/SIGNS/SNOW REMOVAL/WEEDS/ PROBLEM BLDGS/FENCES/GARAGE SALES)

                                   801 535 7225 
POLICE                      801 799 3000
ADA                           801 535 7976
CITY COUNCIL         801 535 7600
DRUG ACTIVITY       801 799 3784
GRAFFITI REMOVAL 
801 9727885
FORESTRY                 801 972 7818
MAYOR'S OFFICE    801 535 7704
NOISE                        801 580 6681
PARKS                        801 972 7800
PARKING ENFORCEMT
  535 6628
PLANNING/ZONING      
535 7700
SIDEWALK REPAIR  
        535 6934
SHOPPING CARTS   
801 403 0564
SMITH'S CARTS        801 759 7315
STREET REPAIRS      801 535 2345
UTA                            801 743 3882
WATER/SEWER        801 483 6900
WTR/SEWER EMERGCY
 483 6700
CALL2HAUL WASTE
801 535 6999
ANIMAL SERVICES
 385 468 7387
HEALTH DEPT/PEST
385 468 3835

OP  RIO GRANDE    385 266 6938

HOMELESS CONNECT   799 3533