SLC COUNCIL PLANS

2015 PROP ONE SERVICE PROPOSALS

INN BETWEEN MEETING WITH ELPCO MAY 2018

SUGAR HOUSE COMMUNITY COUNCIL MEETING ON HOMELESS SITES JANUARY 4, 2017​​

THIS IS WHAT PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IS AND

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION CAN CHANGE QUESTIONABLE DECISIONS!


TRANSPORTATION/

UTA/CYCLING

THE UNEXAMINED LIFE WON'T IMPROVE

SUPERGENTRIFICATION OF SUGAR HOUSE

LIBERTY WELLS HOMELESS MEETING DEC 14

 ​COMMUNITY COUNCIL MEETINGS
COMMUNITY COUNCILS IN SLC
Central City                chair@ccnutah.org                        1st Wed
Greater Avenues       davealderman@hotmail.com    1st Wed
Rose Park                    blakeperez@hotmail.com           1st Wed
Sugar House               amybarry@xmission.com           1st Wed
Yalecrest                     lkpershing@gmail.com                1st Wed

Ball Park                      ballparkcc@gmail.com                 1st Thurs 

Jordan Meadows       jimgoostrey@gmail.com              2nd Wed
Liberty Wells              lw.chair@lwccslc.org                    2nd Wed

East Central               ecchair@live.com                           2nd Thurs Qtrly, exec bd 4th Sat

Capitol Hill                 laura@metalogia.com                    3rd Wed 
Downtown                  christian.harrison@gmail.com   3rd Wed
East Bench                  ebcc.chair@gmail.com                  3rd Wed
Glendale                      sean@thecrosslands.net              3rd Wed
westpointe                 erin@nwlarchitects.com              3rd Wed

Poplar Grove              poplargrovecouncil@gmail.com 4th Wed
Wasatch Hollow        ohmikedodd@comcast.net          4th Wed

Bonneville Hills         ellenred@comcast.net                  4th Thurs Jan, Apr, Jul Oct
East Liberty Pk          jason@jasonstevenson.net         4th Thurs
Fairpark                       brycewgarner@gmail.com          4th Thurs
Foothill/Sunnyside   laurelyoungrn@gmail.com         4th Thurs Jan, Apr, Jul, Oct

Sunnyside East          mattmnelson@gmail.com           qtrly
Trolley                          trolleybusinessdistrict@outlook.com    qtrly

SALT LAKE CITY

COUNCIL E-MAILS:
james.rogers@slcgov.com,
charlie.luke@slcgov.com,
amy.fowler@slcgov.com,
erin.mendenhall@

slcgov.com,
andrew.johnston@

slcgov.com,

chris.wharton@slcgov.com

ana.valdemoros@slcgov.com

SALT LAKE CITY MAYOR'S OFFICE/STAFF E-MAILS:
david.litvack@slcgov.com
patrick.leary@slcgov.com
jackie.biskupski@slcgov.com
SLC council comment line is

801 535 7654 and the

email is council.comments@

slcgov.com.


UTA Board: boardoftrustees@

rideuta.com


SALT LAKE COUNTY

mayor@slco.org, jwilson@slco.org

rsnelgrove@slco.org

jbradley@slco.org

arbradshaw@slco.org

mhjensen@slco.org

anewton@slco.org

Agranato@slco.org

sldebry@slco.org

mburdick@slco.org


HOMELESS/CRIME/JAIL

INAUGURATION DAY JAMES ROGERS SELFIE

 gechapman2@gmail.com.

This is the way we treat homeless in SLC??

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

         801 972 7885
FORESTRY 801 972 7818
MAYOR'S OFFICE 801 535 7704
NOISE 801 580 6681
PARKS 801 972 7800
PARKING ENFORCEMENT

        801 535 6628
PLANNING/ZONING

         801 535 7700
SIDEWALK REPAIR  

        801 535 6934
SLC SHOPPING CARTS

       801 446 7984
SMITH'S CARTS 801 759 7315
STREET REPAIRS 801 535 2345
UTA 801 743 3882
WATER/SEWER 801 483 6900
WATER/SEWER EMERGENCY

       801 483 6700
CALL2HAUL WASTE

      801 535 6999
ANIMAL SERVICES

     385 468 7387
HEALTH DEPT/PESTS

      385 468 3835

OPERATION  RIO GRANDE COMMAND POST TIP LINE

     385 266 6938

SLC COMMUNITY CONNECTION TEAM WITH SOCIAL WORKER AND POLICE 

​    801 799 3533

Note that I put just the last 14 months of blogs on this page.  Old blogs are in the button above or on a PDF download on the upper left


DECEMBER 8, 201

CUTTING TAXES BY INCREASING TAXES DOES NOT MAKE SENSE


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





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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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



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

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



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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





OCTOBER 23, 2019

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



SLC MAYORAL ELECTION OPINION 


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

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






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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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


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

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

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

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


WHY PROTECTED BIKE LANES MAY NOT MAKE SENSE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Candidate for City Council District 4
Michael Iverson

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

Phone
801-413-3167

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

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

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

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





Candidate for City Council District 4
Ana Valdemoros

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

Phone
801-410-0824

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

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

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

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

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

 

Leo Rodgers

Candidate for City Council District 4
Leo Rodgers

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

Phone
719-334-2695

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

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

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



Dan Dugan

Candidate for City Council District 6
Dan Dugan

Address
2508 E Kensington Ave
Salt Lake City, UT 84108

Phone
801-791-1971

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

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


Candidate for City Council District 6
JT Martin

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

Phone
801-597-9529

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

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

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

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

“I ask for your Vote!”

 
Candidate for City Council District 6
Charlie Luke

Address
2228 Wilson Ave
Salt Lake City, UT 84108

Phone
801-554-5442

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

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

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

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

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

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


Candidate for City Council District 2
Andrew Johnston

Address
1188 Jeremy St
Salt Lake City, UT 84104

Phone
801-440-7822

Email
andrewforsaltlake@gmail.com



Candidate for City Council District 2
Moroni Benally

Address
480 S 900 W
Salt Lake City, UT 84104

Phone
N/A

Email
moroni4citycouncil@gmail.com

 


Candidate for Salt Lake City Mayor
David Ibarra

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

Phone
801-997-9057

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

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

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

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


Candidate for Salt Lake City Mayor
Jim Dabakis

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

Phone
435-632-9462

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

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

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

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

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

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


Candidate for Salt Lake City Mayor
Stan Penfold

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

Phone
801-209-3401

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Candidate for Salt Lake City Mayor
David Garbett

Address
1801 S Elizabeth St
Salt Lake City, UT 84105

Phone
801-678-9885

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

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

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

I hope to earn your vote.



Candidate for Salt Lake City Mayor
Richard N. Goldberger

Address
255 N 400 W
Salt Lake City, UT 84103

Phone
801-661-9966

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

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



Candidate for Salt Lake City Mayor
Rainer Huck

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

Phone
801-467-3795

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

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

As your Mayor I will:

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

Restore annual cleanup program

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

Reduce water/sewer rates and prevent future increases

Save Airport parking structure and terminals

Prevent raids on illegal immigrants living and working here

Eliminate secret police

Stop arrests for victim-less crimes

Rescind sales tax increase

Roll back recent 10% budget increase

My focus is to benefit the working people of SLC

 


Candidate for Salt Lake City Mayor
Luz Escamilla

Address
1004 North Morton Dr
Salt Lake City, UT 84116

Phone
801-556-1029

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

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

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

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

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

 

Candidate for Salt Lake City Mayor
Erin Mendenhall

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

Phone
216-973-4412

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

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





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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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




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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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





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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



JUNE 11, 2019

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



JUNE 1, 2019

SLC NEEDS MORE COPS & THEY DESERVE MORE PAY PUBLISHED


SLC NEEDS MORE COPS & THEY DESERVE MORE PAY PUBLISHED

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

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


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


MAY 29, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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






MAY 9, 2019

PARKING VRS BICYCLES DRIVE COMMUNITY MEETING


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


MAY 8, 2019

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

PROBLEM WITH AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN SLC IS SLC GOVERNMENT

UTA ENCOURAGES PROJECTS BY CLAIMING THAT RAIL LEADS TO

    DEVELOPMENT

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

MILLCREEK CITY CENTER PLANS IN DOWNLOADS SECTION


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


MILLCREEK CITY CENTER PLANS IN DOWNLOADS SECTION

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




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


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




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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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






MARCH 19, 2019
STATE STREET MAY SLOW DOWN FOR TREES AND FURNITURE
MICHAEL CLARA MAKES T-MOBILE BEND OVER AND DO OVER
SAN DIEGO THINKS UTAH SOLVED HOMELESS PROBLEM
UTA SEAT UTILIZATION IS 33% AT RUSH HOUR
BERNIE HART SHOWS THERE IS NO SUCCESSFUL HOMELESS DATA
HEATHER BENNETT SLC EDUCATION HERO DIES
SLC WORKING ON FREE TAXI RIDES TO CONNECT TO UTA
OPEN HOUSE FOR RUSHED HOMELESS HOSPICE/SHELTER AND HEARING MAR26
CWC FAILS TO GET LEGISLATURE TO ACCEPT THEIR LEADERSHIP
THREE SLC ADU APPLICATIONS DESPITE ADU HANDBOOK 
WFRC RTP IGNORES NEED FOR EAST WEST HIGHWAYS IN SLCO
MARCH 28 LAST DAY FOR SPRAGUE LIBRARY FOR A YEAR
300 WEST MONEY GOES TO 2700 SOUTH
HB252 ECIG TAX KILLED
HB324 TOBACCO AGE INCREASED BUT MARIJUANA IGNORED
GOVERNOR ALLOWS VEGETABLES TO GROW IN UTAH RADIOACTIVE WASTE
SLC FINALLY TELLS UTAH LEGISLATURE TO STOP THE INSANITY AND SUES
WARM SPRINGS GETS STUDY MONEY
SLC PARKS WATER USE GOES OVER BUDGET
SLC PHONE FRANCHISE TAXES ALMOST HALF OF 2012
MILLIONS FOR SLC TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS INSTEAD OF SERVICE

Sorry for the delay (due to Legislature wrapping up).  That is why there are so many stories this week.

STATE STREET MAY SLOW DOWN FOR TREES AND FURNITURE
  Today, the Salt Lake County Council is going to approve a transfer to Salt Lake City of funds to redesign and construct State Street with "wider sidewalks, improved transit stops, a slower design speed (pending UDOT approval), reduced driveways, street furnture, street trees and mid-block crossings".  The SLC Council will accept the funds with the Budget Amendment 5 (in downloads) with a public hearing on April 2.  The funds are $2.8 million and the language is:
 "County Transportation Funds to the City to reimburse the City for certain costs that are incurred by the City to design and construct mobility and safety improvements on State Street (US-89) from 600 South to 900 South.  Project to include wider sidewalks, improved transit stops, a slower design speed (pending UDOT approval), parallel parking pockets, reduced driveways, street furniture, street trees, and mid-block crossings.  Additionally, design of high-comfort bike routes on streets to either side of State Street from 900 South to 3300 South with connections to State Street amenities. Active transportation infrastructure to be included in accordance with Salt Lake County Bikeway Design and Active Transportation Implementation Plan and Bicycle Wayfinding Protocol."
  None of the local community councils have been made aware of the new proposals.  If history repeats itself, the councils will be told the month before the project begins.

MICHAEL CLARA MAKES T-MOBILE BEND OVER AND DO OVER
  For over a year, community activist and Poplar Grove defender has been trying to get Salt Lake City to admit that they allowed T-Mobile to build six noncomplying antennas at 922 S. Emery Street in a single family home neighborhood without a required public hearing.  So after months of denying that the City did anything wrong, the City is admitting that it did something wrong and it has set a March 27 Planning Commission hearing to replace the six noncomplying antennas  with three antennas on a utility pole.  The antennas will have a diameter of 39 inches.  But only antenna arrays with a diameter of 30 inches or less may be mounted on utility poles.  Larger antennas must be reviewed as a conditional use.  The City Planning Commission will also consider if the bigger than allowed utility box on private property is also allowed.  Lauren Parisi (lauren.parisi@slcgov.com/801-535-7226 is the planner in charge of the proposal.
  It is not often that one person can make a big company like T-Mobile turn around and bend over but Michael Clara made them do it and do it over. 

SAN DIEGO THINKS UTAH SOLVED HOMELESS PROBLEM
  If you want a job in charge of solving a city's homeless problem, tell the city that you have solved 90% of the homeless problem in your old city.  That appears to be what happened in San Diego.  A former manager in Utah Workforce Services claimed that Utah solved 90% of the chronic homeless problem in Salt Lake City with housing first efforts.  That is the same claim that former Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker made (that forced me to run against him to counter that claim).  So San Diego hired that manager in 2017 and the manager hired his former subordinate to work with him in San Diego.  San Diego thinks that that will solve the problem (despite the hepatitis A emergency).  Surprise, the manager decides to go on a mission for the JCLDS Church last year so San Diego is left with his former second in command (again from Utah's "successful reduction in chronic homeless") now in charge of solving San Diego's homeless problem.  
  I do not know why other cities keep believing that Utah has solved our homeless problem.  It seems to be that some people in charge of solving our homeless problem are claiming to have been successful.  And they may be helping solve their homeless problems by encouraging homeless to come to Utah, where we don't have anymore homeless!

UTA SEAT UTILIZATION IS 33% AT RUSH HOUR
  I put UTA's study of seat utilization in the downloads area.  UTA, during rush hours fills about 32% of their seats.  If parking lots were bigger and passes were more encouraged, it might be more.

BERNIE HART SHOWS THERE IS NO SUCCESSFUL HOMELESS DATA
  Homeless advocate Bernie Hart, supported by his spouse Marita Hart, has been trying to find out if there is data showing that SLC and Utah is solving the homeless issues in the area.  So far, he has not been able to get enough data that shows that anything is successful.  
  That frustration was shared by the Legislature when they ordered the State Homeless Coordinating Council (not the same SHCC as Sugar House Community Council) to "prepare and implement a statewide strategy for minimizing homelessness in the state; describes requirements for evaluating and reporting on progress toward the strategic plan goals".  Rep. King and Sen. Anderegg sponsored HB342 that required data to show that the State efforts to solve the homeless issues are actually working.  
  Bernie and Marita have been able to get data that showed that Salt Lake City Police have been ticketing homeless for camping in the City's open spaces and parks that started ramping up with 50 tickets in August of 2017 at the start of Operation Rio Grande (Where did they think the homeless would go if they were discouraged out of Rio Grande area?).  But after an initial surge of ticketing and rousting, the efforts have died down to less than 20 per month.
  Also Bernie received data from the HOST/SLC Police Community Outreach Team (with a police officer and a social worker) that showed 1972 contacts were made in 2018.  Only 70 citizens called asking for help regarding homeless issues.  The Team transported 100 homeless, including medically frail to the Inn Between.  There were a total of 142 who had medical referrals and 308 who had mental health referrals.  299 had substance abuse issues.  The Team helped homeless obtain benefits in 76 cases and housing in 1015 cases.
  The HOST Team can work but citizens need to call them to ask for help.  Their phone number is 801 799 3533.  They are usually out so when you call, leave a message.

HEATHER BENNETT SLC EDUCATION HERO DIES
  Heather Bennett, who has been on the Salt Lake City Board of Education since 2005, has died.  I knew her and worked with her on many issues.  She was someone who took public service literally.  She helped change the SLC Schools system for using facilities to make it easier to rent space (after the Legislature made all schools civic centers that negated a need for a separate liability policy).  
  When Operation Rio Grande disbursed the homeless and drug users to other areas, some hung out at school bus stops.  When Heather heard about it, she got in her car and went to the bus stops.  She cared about the children.  She worked with the Board, and sometimes fought with the Board, but she was able to stop the school to prison pipeline, working with Salt Lake City.  Last year, 60 students in the Salt Lake City School District had referrals to the criminal justice system.  A few years ago, there were 500 referrals a year of students to criminal justice!  
  She cared and was a hero when it came to students.

SLC WORKING ON FREE TAXI RIDES TO CONNECT TO UTA
  Former Rose Park Community Council Chair Blake Perez is going to community councils in Salt Lake City explaining the City's efforts to try to encourage more mass transit use by trying to provide a way to address the lack of mass transit on the west side of SLC (Look at the UTA map and you would see one north south route between 5600 West and 300 West while the east side has seven!).  Joining the west side, the Avenues, Rose Park/Fairpark and the East Bench all have almost no mass transit access.  Salt Lake City is considering and planning, with an RFP that is closing this week, to provide a short ride to the nearest frequent bus stop.  The justification is the subsidy that is already paid for each rider that can range from $1 for popular routes like State Street, Redwood Road and 200 South to $5 for TRAX and FrontRunner.  If more will ride mass transit with a similar subsidy for an Uber or Lyft or taxicab, then the subsidy for that ride can be justified.  
  This will be an experiment that will study if the result will decrease air pollution and use of cars.  There is a possibility that one service provider will operate electric vehicles.  Until the RFP responses are revealed, we won't know how it will work.  The suggestion/wish is that someone on 1700 South and 1700 East will call for a ride to the nearest bus stop (228 on Foothill or 21 on 2100 East) and get a ride for those 3 or 4 blocks.  44% of Salt Lake residents appear to be within 3 blocks of a bus or TRAX stop.  So most rides would be short.
  Salt Lake City is also going fund more transit amenities in their Budget Amendment 5 (in the downloads area).  The City is planning on spending about a million on: "These funds will be used for design, signal upgrades, electric bus infrastructure, bus stop improvements, ADA
enhancements, and first/last mile infrastructure to enhance walking and biking connections near stops/stations along the Frequent Transit Networks (FTN) corridors. Funding may be used to leverage UTA investments along FTN corridors such as intermodal hubs (planned for 200 South). Priority will be given to phase one routes on the FTN network (900 S., 200 S., 2100 S.).  I put more transportation projects in a story about projects instead of service below.

OPEN HOUSE FOR RUSHED HOMELESS HOSPICE/SHELTER HEARING MAR26
  Salt Lake City is rushing an Open House to answer one of the objections to the new Congregate Care Institutional Zone that is meant to justify the location and operation of the Inn Betwen.  The Open House is at 530PM at the Police Headquarters on March 20.  Katia Pace at kaatia.pace@slcgov.com or 801 535 6354 is the SLC Planner in charge of the Open House.  The Open House ends at 7 PM.  I put the map and text amendment in the downloads.  The City is allowing homeless assisted living facilities in Institutional Zoned areas (could be schools) with conditional use requirements.  But the City is not listing the requirements to meet the conditional uses.  In addition, the City is not showing the coordination, if any, with the new homeless facilities.  It should be expected, as it was explained, that the homeless shelters will be able to take in and house these individuals.  The City will have a public hearing on March 26.  If this is rushed through in secret like the old 4 homeless shelters that the City Council tried to put in residential neighborhoods, there will be a lot of hate and discontent.  It will be interesting if Utah's new hate crime law is used (Homeless and political beliefs are two new protected classes.)

CWC FAILS TO GET LEGISLATURE TO ACCEPT THEIR LEADERSHIP
  SCR10 was an attempt by the Central Wasatch Commission (CWC) to have the Legislature agree that the CWC was the entity in charge of the Central Wasatch mountains and if they recommended turning the canyons over to the federal government for management, it was the will of the citizens of Utah.  The Resolution failed.  An attempt to stop the CWC from turning over the canyons to the federal government, HB78 was watered down to require reporting the attempts to the Legislature (which is already the law).  But the big takeaway is the CWC was slapped down by the Legislature.

THREE SLC ADU APPLICATIONS DESPITE ADU HANDBOOK 
  According to SLC Planning, there have been three ADU permits applied for since the new ADU ordinance was adopted last year.  So it is slow enough that SLC is providing a booklet (in the downloads) to encourage ADUs.

WFRC RTP IGNORES NEED FOR EAST WEST HIGHWAYS IN SLCO
  I was disappointed in the RTP from WFRC.org.  It did not have the most important roads needed in Salt Lake County, east west freeways!  Olympia Hills opponents pointed out that the lack of east west freeways in the south County should stop development until the freeways are there to take on the vehicle increase.  WFRC suggests widening the roads but they should be freeways.

The road projects for widening are:

4700 S widening to 7 lanes should be a freeway
7000 S widening to 5-7 lanes should be a freeway
9000 S widening to 5-7 lanes should be a freeway
10600 S widening to 5-7 lanes should be a freeway
12300 S widening to 5-7 lanes should be a freeway
13400 S widening to 5-7 lanes should be a freeway

WFRC and Utah should recognize that without several major east west freeways in the South Valley, the citizens of the area will not allow/will fight any density or population or development.  Olympia Hills and Cottonwood Mall are two examples that would not be big fights if transportation infrastructure was able to handle the increase in vehicle trips.  That is why the WFRC should put in two or three more east west freeways.  It WILL allow more development/density increase and stop limiting Utah growth.  Also the plan should make significant use of smart real time intelligent traffic signals using Wavetronix/UDOT's system or something similar.  The Purdue study from Cottonwood Heights should be argument enough for significantly more intelligent traffic signals.

Other issues in the draft RTP (comments closed earlier this week) are:

?R-S-133 I-15 Northbound 2100 S to Bangerter Highway??  I don't understand.

R-S-141 300 W 400 S to 2100 S 7 lanes nice but does SLC plan also work.  They are going to use new bond for road diet?

R-S-146 State Street 600 South to I215 6 lanes good but SLC wants bike lanes which requires decreasing the median please

R-S-152 900 E 3300 S to 3900 S should decrease center turn lane to provide wider bike lanes (this comment applies to every super wide center turn lane including Foothill, State Street (except at lights), 200 S., and 700 E. (wasted medians).  Left hand turns on 700 East should only be at lights and bike lanes should be provided.

R-S-161 I am against taking away lanes for HOV/HOT/BRT.  Do not do harm and make more congestion (also applies to 4700 S BRT).
 
The questionable transit projects are:
Ogden BRT is now $95 million but it only saves 5 minutes (which is taken up by walking an extra block to a station) to WSU).

Weber State University Transit Hub $18 million  Service would be a better way to spend money. Eye candy projects are wasteful until service is robust.

Davis SLC Connector BRT $192 million
This is a waste of time when an enhanced bus is a tenth of the cost and just as effective.  Until UTA is able to prove that they can construct and effectively and successfully operate a BRT, they should not build more.  The UVX is not a good example since it is free!  The 35 Max is a better example and it saves only 15 minutes out of a 70 minute ride and those 15 minutes are wasted walking to a nearby(actually farther than most people will walk).  The 3200 passengers a day have not increased since it began and anything less than 3000 passengers a day is a waste of money.  Note that the 3500 S. is congested and bumper to bumper during rush hour and the two lanes taken up by the BRT could handle 10,000 ADT which equates to more than 15000 people a day.  That means cars are more efficient than a bus.

WFRC needs to calculate the average fuel use for a day's worth of 35 Max and compare that to the 10,000 ADT vehicles over 10 miles to see how efficient BRT is compared to a car.

State Street BRT $317 million!
Instead, use an enhanced bus or, for $1 million add another bus and double the frequency.  And don't require a BRT to increase frequency to 7 minutes!  That is what you did with UVX!  And UVX and BRTs should not have to stop at lights!!  BLIP - bus lane at intersections along with intersection traffic light priority is 10 times cheaper and as effective.

200 South BRT $67 million
This along with the 400,000 transit hub is a construction company's profit cash cow.  $1 million will double frequency and be as effective.  For $6 million, an enhanced bus would be as fast as a BRT.  Before any BRT is built (including in Davis or Weber County, adjacent landowners/homeowners need to realize that it will lead to rezonings, higher density (to justify the BRT) and property taxes.  That will stop development.

3300 South BRT $288 million
An enhanced bus should always be tried before a BRT is even thought about.  This should be a universal law.  No to BRT on 33rd but expand service to 10 minutes.

4500 South BRT $127 million
Same comments as other BRTs.  This is being touted as the Mid-Valley Connector but it makes a congested road even worse and increases pollution.

FrontRunner Doubletrack $199 million
   Ogden to Pleasant View $197 million
   Electrify $709-948 million
If the parking lots are not expanded, and the speed is not increased (double tracking may be justified after more parking is provided), ridership will not increase and these projects are a waste of time.  I need to emphasize that if the parking lots are full, doubletracking and electrifying are not an efficient use of money because they won't provide more ridership.

Black Line SLC Airport to UofU $515 million
Does anybody recognize that if you gave every student at the UofU $20,000 to buy an efficient low emission car, that you would take more polluting cars off the road than this wasteful project.  Extend a bus to the Airport and have it go to the UofU via the Highway and it will be much faster and cheaper.

Green Line from 700 South to Gateway $87 million 
This project makes some sense to save 10 minutes to the Airport and provide more development on 400 West.  Alternatives should be considered to shift from 1300 South maybe to 300 West then to 400 West.  Also the Airport TRAX should be extended to 5600 West but there is nothing in this plan for that but there should be.  

Draper TRAX $361 million this year and total is $687 million
Draper TRAX west alignment is $964 to $1.8 million
All of the TRAX extensions in South Valley to Lehi should be stopped until proof that density will support it.  FrontRunner competes with TRAX to Lehi and there should be a cost benefit analysis of ridership and the effect on FrontRunner ridership.  I believe that the total cost is closer to $2 billion to go to Utah County line with all infrastructure.

S Line extension to 400 South via 900 East $147 million
S Line extension to UofU $317 million
S Line extension to Millcreek $128 million  and up to $1.3 million to go to 3900 South
1500 passengers a day do not justify spending more than 10 million to extend the S-Line.  Go two blocks east and be done with it.  Better bus service would be more appreciated.  It was cut in half on Highland a few years ago for good reason.  A rail line through a residential neighborhood is not recommended.  And anyone who says that the reason for Sugar House development is due to the S-Line is not considering the linear park.  I can make a better argument that the parks and Parleys Trail were a bigger reason for the development than the S-Line.  All rail line extensions should have a vigorous public analysis with a financial effect (taking away from service especially important).

Tell the residents of 900 East that they will have a streetcar/TRAX train running up their street a few years after digging up 900 East TWICE to remove rails (they didn't do it right the first time) and they will tar and feather whoever tries.

400 South TRAX from SLCentral to 400 South $75 million-$112 million
NO, NO, NO

I am against the State Street BRT since you need the 6 lanes on State and an enhance bus every 7 minutes would be much cheaper.  By the way, the Redwood Road and State Street corridors have the most ridership and should have priority on expanding service NOW.

The 900 East buses may be able to handle 10 minute service if the roadway wasn't so bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, bouncy.  It is almost like a Disneyland ride!

Big Cottonwood Corridor Special Service Buses $7 million with $1.3 million per year operating cost
I think that the cost is too high.  Weekend bus service should be tried first to gauge interest.

Little Cottonwood bus is $4.3 million and $762,000 operating cost
Same as above. 

North Temple Transit Hub, 200 South Hub, UofU Hub, Central Pointe Station Hub, Murray Central Station Hub, SLCC Transit Hub, Cottonwood Canyons Transit Hub, Fort Union Transit Hub,  $14 million each!!!  
Again eye candy is a waste until a robust bus system is gained.  RESTORE THE 30% BUS SERVICE THAT WAS CUT FOR TRAX CONSTRUCTION FIRST!
These pretty buildings may be super efficient but building them is a big cost including carbon footprint.  Service before construction should be UTA's motto. 

I agree with the park and ride lots that should be expanded everywhere including at the canyons.  But Terry Diehl should not be making out like a bandit with a parking garage.

Regarding buffered bike lanes:  if there are a lot of in/out driveways and requirements for offloading stores (trucks run ramps across the cycle tracks), separated bike lanes should not be constructed.  

Wider bike lanes should be standard and all contracts should require that the resurfacing of roads should be to the curb.  The present standard contracts do not cover surfaces to the curb and so the bicyclists' travel area is not as smooth or even as the main roadway.  That is wrong and discourages bicycling.  Also, as above medians and turning lanes should be discouraged except at lights to minimize dangers to pedestrians and bicyclists. 

I am against the 300 E buffered bike lane.  500 East should be the preferred bicycle route and Liberty Park's 500 East center turn lane should be eliminated.  Put a cycle track on the east and west side of Liberty Park.  700 East could have a buffered bike lane from 900 South to 2000 South without much of a problem.  

The 1300 East to Richmond St 2700 South to 3300 South bike lane could be buffered frorm Highland to Elgin since there are few driveways.

900 South 9-Line Trail is not here and it should be.  There is also a need for a railroad bridge for pedestrians, bicyclists and wheelchairs over the 900 S tracks (SLC is doing the 400 North West High bridge).  Both the bridge and trail should be in this.  900 South could also have an extra wide bike lane.

I am against the Red Line extension to Herriman until road expansion is completed with 3 new east west freeways.  Those would be a better construction priority.

I did not see the high speed airport rail station that was in Wasatch Choice 2050 draft. If you dropped it thank you.  If it is hidden in here, darn you, and stop thinking high speed rail, or go to California.  Better yet, listen to the California Governor on the subject.  I also did not see the 400 West BRT from the Wasatch Choice 2050 Draft thank you.  The Depot District/Central Garage Project also was not in there but I have to be consistent and complain about the project.  You also took out 800 South.

I am against the 2700 S. TRAX station since it does not have the density needed.  The 1700 S. TRAX stop makes more sense in the next 10 years or now.  

Central Pointe really needs more parking than a hub.  

Why not throw out the rocks at Central Station and put in parking. 

There is also an active transportation component, bicycling.  I put the maps in the download section along with the draft RTP.
Bicycle 800 S. 
800 South from Indiana Avenue to Sunnyside seems questionable due to the hill between 1300 and 1100 East.  And the City and County are pushing for an active transportation upgrade on 900 South between 1300 and Lincoln.  This is a duplicate.  I actually would prefer 800 South since 900 S. has 45 degree parking which is dangerous for bicyclists.  And I do not think cycle tracks make sense except where there are no driveways.  Even then, cyclists would prefer wider bike lanes and the ability to get out of the way of obstacles and debris in the road.


MARCH 28 LAST DAY FOR SPRAGUE LIBRARY FOR A YEAR
  March 28 is the last day to collect library holds from the original Sprague Library.  The Library will move to the old Fire Station on Sugarmont just east of McClelland.  We have asked the City for pedestrian improvements to make the area safer for kids walking in the area.  The Library will continue children reading time at the Legacy Village on Wilmington and the new Fire Station on 900 East has a community meeting room that will be available by calling the SLCFD.

S-LINE 15 MINUTE SCHEDULE APRIL 7
  The S-Line will get a 15 minute frequency instead of a 20 minute frequency due to the $6 million double tracking project.  The new frequency will start on April 7.  Despite claims that UTA only does one change day a year, it still happens in April.  Bus 21 will also have some slight changes.

300 WEST MONEY GOES TO 2700 SOUTH
  Why did 2700 South get on the fast track project list to reconstruct the road?  Because the federal government denied giving SLC $12 million to redo 300 West.  So SLC had $2 million burning a hole in its pocket and decided to spend money on on 2700 South!  
  "As part of the FY2019 annual budget, the Council appropriated $2 million of Class C funds (gas tax) as a local match for a
federal BUILD grant to reconstruct 300 West from 600 South to 2100 South. The grant application was not awarded
funding. The street could be reconstructed using funds from the voter-approved Streets Reconstruction Bond. The
Administration requests the Council re-appropriate the funds for the general purpose of street reconstruction. The
internal Roadway Selection Committee identified reconstruction of 2700 South and 1500 South as alternatives if the
BUILD grant was unsuccessful. However, existing appropriations of Class C funds are enough for the 2700 South
reconstruction project to proceed without this additional funding.
The reconstruction of 2700 South is from Highland Drive to Preston Street. The total estimated cost for the 2700 South
reconstruction project is $2.5 million. The 1500 South reconstruction project is from Redwood Road to 2700 West. The
table below shows the Council appropriations and remaining “available to spend” balances for all Class C funds."

HB252 ECIG TAX KILLED
  Despite heroic efforts by Rep. Ray, the 86% tax on e-cigarettes/vaping cartridges and liquids failed.  So all those kids who are melting their lungs on their path to bronchitis can do it cheaply.  Utah taxpayers will go bankrupt paying for their melted lungs.

HB324 TOBACCO AGE INCREASED BUT MARIJUANA IGNORED
  HB324 raised the age of tobacco sales, slowly to 21, except for military personnel.

GOVERNOR ALLOWS VEGETABLES TO GROW IN UTAH RADIOACTIVE WASTE
  The Governor, for a very confusing reason, decided not to veto HB220 that allows one person to decide if EnergySolutions can accept more nuclear waste.  So the bill goes into effect.

SLC FINALLY TELLS UTAH LEGISLATURE TO STOP THE INSANITY AND SUES
  It should have been done months ago.  It seems that former Maor Ted Wilson (father of SLCO Mayor Jennie Wilson) was able to argue successfully in a recent oped in the Salt Lake Tribune that the City should sue.  So Mayor Biskupski is suing the State and Inland Port for taking away control of 25% of the City's property.  Finally.

WARM SPRINGS GETS STUDY MONEY
  Warm Springs Park efforts to provide funding to upgrade the area's historic buildings is getting a boost in the City's Budget Amendment 5:  "The $37,000 request is split between two areas of study. The Administration is requesting $25,000 to update and expand
on previous structural evaluations. The last study was completed in 2006....The second area of study would use $12,000 to evaluate water quality, flow, springs, existing infrastructure and feasibility of reactivating the swimming pools. The study is expected to take four to six weeks. The Warm Spring Alliance, a local nonprofit group, has conducted preliminary evaluations along with community engagement and offered to share information with the City."

SLC PARKS WATER USE GOES OVER BUDGET
  The City has been ignoring the obvious nature of nature when it budgets for water use before summer.  The City's water use again went over budget and the City Council is considering:  Budgeting for Utility Cost Uncertainty – The Council may wish to ask how the FY20 budget will accommodate the unpredictable nature of utility costs, especially since hot, dry summers are expected to become more frequent.

SLC PHONE FRANCHISE TAXES ALMOST HALF OF 2012
  SLC is losing about a million a year in franchise taxes from people moving to cellphones.  But the City gets more money from cable! In 2012, the City got $6 million in franchise taxes and this last year, they got $3 million (a decrease of a million from the year before).  But Utah has increased the taxes on cellphones, including an almost ignored tax increase on prepaid phones and on all phones for 911 service.  So the City will not suffer from lack of taxes.
  
MILLIONS FOR SLC TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS INSTEAD OF SERVICE
  Instead of spending money from the new transit taxes on service improvements, almost 95% of the money is going to projects!  Some of the projects (in the Budget Amendment 5 in the downloads section) are:
"E-1: Salt Lake County, Regional Transportation Choice Fund, 9 Line / Center Section - CIP $5,338,218
The Division of Transportation applied for and received a grant of $4,338,218 from Salt Lake County from the
Transportation Choice Fund. This project will fund the Center Section of the 9-Line Trail. This is the 2.0 mile section
along 900 S. between 600 W. and Lincoln Street (approx. 940 E), excluding West Temple. Following the 9-Line Extension
Study, the City will improve infrastructure quality, elevate the streetscape for walking, bicycling, transit, ensure highquality
connectivity, comfort facilities, and appropriate amenities while limiting implementation time and impacts from
construction. This grant does not require a match, but does award points for additional funds dedicated to the project so
the City is providing a match of $1,800,000; $1,500,000 from Street Reconstruction General Obligation Bond and
$300,000 from Salt Lake City Sales Tax for Transit Improvements. A public hearing was held on 12/11/18 on the grant
application for this award.
E-2: Salt Lake County, Regional Transportation Choice Fund, Greater Millcreek / Sugar House
Circulation Plan CIP $1,000,000
The Transportation Division applied for and received a grant of $942,500 from Salt Lake County from the
Transportation Choice Fund. The Greater Millcreek / Sugar House Circulation Plan will identify transportation
infrastructure improvements to increase connectivity, expand transportation choices, and support economic development
for mixed-use areas that share jurisdiction borders of Holladay, Millcreek, Salt Lake City/Sugar House, and South Salt
Lake. $942,500 in grants funds combined with $57,500 cash match will be used to secure services of a transportation
planning consultant to produce the Greater Millcreek / Sugar House Circulation Plan. Salt Lake City would administer the
multi-jurisdiction contract for consultant services. A cash match totaling $57,500 is from the following collaborative
partners: a) $40,000 from Salt Lake City sourced from Funding Our Futures sales tax increase; b) $10,000 from
Millcreek; c) $5,000 from Holladay; and D) $2,500 from South Salt Lake. A public hearing was held on 12/11/18 on the
grant application for this award.
E-3: Salt Lake County, Regional Transportation Choice Fund, 200 So. Transit Corridor / Downtown Hub
Study CIP $440,000
The Transportation Division applied for and received a grant of $400,000 from Salt Lake County from the
Transportation Choice Fund for the following project. The 200 South Transit Corridor / Downtown Hub Study will
propose a redesign of 200 South from 600 West to 900 East to transform the function of 200 South to a premier transit
corridor with a downtown mobility hub/transit mall while also incorporating access for walking, bicycling, shared
mobility, private automobiles, and freight. $360,000 in grants funds combined with $40,000 cash match will be used to
secure services of a local/regional professional transportation planning consultant to produce the 200 South Transit
Corridor / Downtown Hub Study. A cash match totaling $40,000 is committed by Salt Lake City sourced from the
Funding Our Futures sales tax increase. A public hearing was held on 12/11/18 on the grant application for this award.
E-4: Salt Lake County, Regional Transportation Choice Fund, SLC Westside Multimodal Hub Study CIP
$330,000
The Division of Transportation applied for and received a grant of $300,000 from Salt Lake County from the
Transportation Choice Fund for the following project. Salt Lake City Westside Multimodal Hub Study will identify a site
on or near North Temple Boulevard between Redwood Road and 400 West best suited to host a new multimodal hub
facility that connects different modes of transit, including TRAX, bus, ride sharing services, bike share, and scooters. A
cash match totaling $30,000 is committed by Salt Lake City sourced from the Funding Our Futures sales tax increase. A
public hearing was held on 12/11/18 on the grant application for this award.
E-5 Salt Lake County, Regional Transportation Choice Fund, Life on State: Design and Catalytic Site
Implementation CIP $4,800,000
The Division of Transportation applied for and received a grant of $4,800,000 from Salt Lake County from the
Transportation Choice Fund for the following project. Life on State: Design and Catalytic Site Implementation is a pilot
project to test transportation improvement interventions on State Street recommended in the Life on State
Implementation Plan 2017. Interventions would include:
1) $2,900,000 for design and construction of mobility and safety improvements in Salt Lake City on State Street between
600 South and 900 South to include wider sidewalks, improved transit stops, slower speed design, parallel parking
pockets, reduced driveways, street furniture, street trees, and mid-block crossings;
2) $2,000,000 for design and construction of mobility and safety improvements in South Salt Lake on State Street
combined between 2100 South and Haven Avenue (approximately 2300 South) to include wider sidewalks, bus pull-outs,
and street trees; and 3) $300,000 for design of high-comfort bike routes on each side of State Street (200 East and Main
Street/West Temple) between 300 South and 3300 South with connections to State Street amenities.
A cash match totaling $400,000 is committed from the following: A) $230,000 from Salt Lake City Complete Streets
Enhancement Fund (8381030 - $105,000 rescope and $8419009 - $125,000) both rescoped to "Life on State" and B)
$170,000 from Utah Department of Transportation for construction of a midblock crossing on State Street between 700
South and 800 South. A public hearing was held on 12/11/18 on the grant application for this award."


MARCH 4, 2019
GOVERNOR VETO HB220 STOP RADIOACTIVE VEGETABLES PUBLISHED
DON'T HATE ME FOR MY OPINION
NAVAJO CODE TALKERS SOME OF THE BRAVEST SOLDIERS OF WWII
ANTI IDLING BILL IS A ZOMBIE BILL THAT WON'T DIE
MOTHER OF ALL TAX BILLS RUSHING THROUGH LEGISLATURE
UTAH BICYCLE YIELD LAW DIES WITH BICYCLE SAFETY
UTA FREE FARE DAY OVERWHELMS REGULAR RIDERS
UVX IS NOT AS NICE AS DESCRIBED
BIG SECRET PHONE TAX INCREASE COMING
CWC TRYING TO PUSH FEDERAL CONTROL OF CANYONS
FINALLY SUPPORTIVE HOUSING NEAR A BIG STORE
WFRC PLAN COMMENTS DUE NOW
BODY CAMS MAY BE DISCARDED DUE TO STORAGE COSTS
FREE CANYON SHUTTLE SATURDAY
BEST QUOTE FROM LEGISLATURE ON MORE LAWS


GOVERNOR SHOULD VETO HB220 AND STOP RADIOACTIVE VEGETABLES PUBLISHED
  The Salt Lake Tribune published my oped on reasons for the Governor to veto HB220.  The bill short circuits the Utah Radiation Control Board staff and gives EnergySolutions a quick potential approval for bringing in more nuclear waste.  I think that I made some good arguments on why EnergySolutions does not know how to handle nuclear waste, and in some cases, does not know what is nuclear waste.  It makes nuclear power look bad.  If Utah really wants to encourage nuclear power, the companies that work in the nuclear industry need to know what they are doing.  And EnergySolutions, at one time did say that they could grow broccoli in the depleted uranium barrels!
The link to my oped, with the broccoli link is:

https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2019/03/03/george-chapman-veto-hb/

DON'T HATE ME FOR MY OPINION
  SB103, a bill that expands hate crimes and makes it easier to prosecute those crimes, is being debated in the Utah State Senate. Sen. Thatcher sponsored the bill to help problem prosecutions like the recent serious attack by a homeless man on several men that were targeted because of the claim that they were part of "the Mexican mafia". The bill adds many new categories of hate towards protected classes like matriculation (home school), homeless, and LGBTQ (already in the law as aggravating factors). One complaint raised is that it may allow students from one school that attack others from another school to be charged with a more serious crime.
  This bill may be opening a Pandora's box of protected classes that may include hair (as in NYC), homeless facilities, political opinions (gay Republicans), police (Utahns Against Police Brutality), husbands versus wives or fathers hating their daughter’s boyfriend (mentioned by Connor Boyack/Libertas), tattoos (Is it a crime to wear racist tattoos?), religious beliefs (against gay marriage or gay priests or polygamy), music (some music could be considered racist) and language.
  Utah already has a hate crime law (76-3-203.4) that allows the sentencing judge or Board of Parole to consider aggravating factors (as pointed out by former Rep. LaVar Christensen). It is concerning, to me, that the actions of a man with obvious mental health issues is the justification of SB103. Even the horror of a mentally unbalanced person shooting up a school or nightclub should not be used to make laws that ban all guns.  
  Hating people that think that all guns should not be banned (and saying that they should be shot) should not be against the law. The reality is that some people hate others for many different reasons, including a difference in philosophy. Tom Lehrer, a once popular satirist, made a point when he said "I know that there are people who do not love their fellow man and I just hate people like that." (National Brotherhood Week) 
  As much as I support our law enforcement officers (who constantly risk death, and sometimes die, in the effort to protect and serve), I do not want to muzzle people who are angry at police actions. Our society can handle a vigorous, and respectful discussion of these actions. It should not be a crime to speak against police actions and express hate towards police officers or elected leaders.
  Our laws already consider premeditation and the penalties can be as great as death. The person that attacked people he thought were "Mexican mafia" would not have been stopped by this hate crime bill. Laws do not stop mentally unbalanced people who commit horrific crimes. Better mental health treatment services can. Ironically, homeless is part of SB103 as a protected class. So it could be a possible prosecution enhancement to speak against a homeless facility and act against it or defend oneself against an aggressive homeless person or try to remove a homeless person from your property.
  Some people say stupid and hateful things. The Salt Lake County DA, Sim Gill, one of the most decent and respected men that I know, has had racist slurs yelled at him. It just proves that some people are American idiots. No law will change that. We shouldn't try to criminalize hateful and stupid speech. Unfortunately, many comments for and against Sen. Thatcher's bill express a lot of hate.  That is ironic, sad and hypocritical. 
  The goal in our Country should be to lower the barrier to working together. We rely on parents and our community leadership, including churches to teach us and lead us to treat everyone with respect. We should not have to make laws that emphasize and recognize that a soul is a soul and categorizing anyone tends to decrease respect and make it harder to work together. We do need more respect. No law, no matter how well intentioned, can force that. Please don't hate me for my opinion.

NAVAJO CODE TALKERS WERE SOME OF THE BRAVEST SOLDIERS OF WWII
  Some of the bravest soldiers in WWII were ordered to not talk about their exploits and bravery until the 1980s.  These soldiers were from the Utah and Arizona Navajo reservations.  They were the Navajo Code Talkers.  They VOLUNTEERED to accept the most dangerous of assignments, a radio operator.  In WWII, radio operators were given a high priority by the enemy to be killed.  In addition, they knew, but weren't supposed to know that if they were going to be captured, their squad leader would kill them.  They accepted those dangers even when they didn't have to.  They volunteered to fight for this Country, our Country out of loyalty and respect. Their courage, their love of and respect that they showed our Country deserves to be remembered, honored and celebrated.  
  Senators Hinkins and Iwamoto are jointly sponsoring the Navajo Code Talkers Day and Highway Designation bill, SB101 has been sent to the Governor for his signature.  The Highways designated as the Navajo Code Talker Highways are 162, 163, and 191 in San Juan County.  August 14th is the Day to remember these, bravest of the brave.  These men are special and they deserve much more attention and respect.

ANTI IDLING BILL IS A ZOMBIE BILL THAT WON'T DIE
  The anti idling bill that keeps hitting roadblocks in Committees was resurrected again and is now in the Senate.  It allows cities to ticket drivers for idling their vehicles for more than a few minutes after one warning.  Very few spoke against this bill.
  The issue should be consistency across the State, unless cities are going to erect many more signs.  Visitors to one of the almost 20 municipal governments in Salt Lake County will not know where and when they can idle.  And the new cars only pollute 1% of the cars from 30 years ago.  It seems extremely unfair to tell all cars to stop idling.  Parents should not have to check the temperature to figure out if they can idle their car to keep their kids from getting too hot or cold.
  There is a bill (sponsored by Sen. Harper) from 2012 that was meant to supercede Salt Lake City's efforts to pass an anti idling law.  Sen. Harper's bill emphasized the educational aspect of the effort and required 3 warnings before a ticket is issued.  The new bill authorizes ticketing after one warning (on public property).  Drive thru and private driveways and property are not affected by this bill.
  This bill could help Salt Lake City enforce anti idling on trucks in the Inland Port area.  This could force refrigerator trucks to stop idling!  To really reduce idling, cities need to stop creating traffic designs that actually encourage backups and idling.  Removing right hand turn lanes in order to place pedestrian bulb outs and reduce pedestrian distance to cross a street can increase backups and pollution if they are not well researched.  
  We often complain about predatory towing (Rep. Maloy's anti predatory towing bill had the sign requirement removed so it is useless) but this bill opens the door to predatory policing.  Without a sign requirement, predatory policing is almost guaranteed.  
  Capitol buses often idle and Capitol Highway Patrol Officers have constantly idled their vehicles when they leave their pets in the vehicle.  There is no consideration for public safety issues.  There is also no limit on tickets.  Although they are supposed to be like parking tickets, the SLC Airport can give a fine of $500 or more!  
  What's next?  Are we going to ban cows??!!

MOTHER OF ALL TAX BILLS RUSHING THROUGH LEGISLATURE
  One of the most complicated bills that the Legislature has developed is sailing through the Legislature.  It increase/implements a sales tax on property transfers, services, even lawnmowing companies.  Services through the internet would be significantly hurt and many Utah fast growth companies would be affected.  The Utah State Tax Commission would have to increase their staff significantly.  I do not think that Commissioner Valentine would try to knock on the door of the neighborhood kid that does lawns but someone may.  Will tips be taxed?  
  We should not tax the kid doing the lawn or lemonade stands or the piano teacher.  We should not be passing laws that encourage kids to not follow laws.  We should not be quadrupling the workload and business of tax attorneys.  Even health insurance would be taxed!!!  It is almost like the Legislature is trying to payback the effort to pass Prop 3 healthcare expansion.
  This has a major effect on businesses and should not be rushed through in the hope that there won't be time to discuss the implications and object.  A full discussion, analysis and debate should precede any important change to business.  This affects the State's healthy business environment.  A vigorous discussion analysis and debate increases the chance for good decisions.
  According to news reports, the tax bill's sponsor joked about "pissing off everybody equally".  Rep. Quinn, you should not be proud of yellow snowing everyone by acting like a turn around and bend over scatalogical geographic.
  This bill is too much government.  I believe that the vast majority of citizens and businesses would prefer a simple 10 cents a gallon gas tax increase instead of this frankenstein tax bill.  A gas tax increase of 10 cents a gallon, with a repurposing of a equivalent amount to education from transportation, makes more sense.  It would bring in $100 million annually.

UTAH BICYCLE YIELD LAW DIES WITH BICYCLE SAFETY
  Rep. Moss' bill to allow bicyclists to not completely stop at lights (when there are no other cars around) has died in Committee.  One cyclist actually asked for it to be defeated!  Rep. Moss' bill to ban talking on the cellphone while driving has died on the House floor.

UTA FREE FARE DAY OVERWHELMS REGULAR RIDERS
  UTA, again, provided a free fare day (actually two days) and it resulted in an overwhelming response from parents and grandparents taking their kids onto the FrontRunner trains.  Standing room only, if you could find a parking spot.  This plan was to encourage long term ridership increases but overcrowded trains and no parking available are not conducive to increasing ridership.  The UTA Board of Trustees has been told many times (including by transit activist Claudia Johnson) that it would make more sense to have the free fare day on a Saturday so as not to discourage regular riders and those considering commuting by train.

UVX IS NOT AS NICE AS DESCRIBED
  UVX has been touted as a super successful BRT bus system in Provo.  At times it is full but that service could have been provide by a bus at a tenth of the cost.  In addition, by driving on the left side of the streets, there are many swerves in and out of traffic which is not a very comfortable ride.  Even worse, there are portions of the BRT lane that actually has big dips for the drainage systems.  So riders can experience the bouncy bouncy bouncy bouncy bus ride.  It is almost as good as a Disneyland ride!  Oh, and the lights do not allow priority to buses which kind of defeats the purpose of a BRT.  

BIG SECRET PHONE TAX INCREASE COMING
  Sen. Harper has a bill about to be passed through the House that increases taxes on phone access points from 9 cents a month to 25 cents a month for 911 services.  I am concerned that we should not be throwing money at this County's 911 services before an audit that confirms the reasonable budgets for coordination of the SLC/Sandy and UPD/VECC systems.  We have been promised effective coordination for over a decade without results.  The prepaid cell phone tax will increase form 3.3% (it was 2.45% a year ago) to 3.7%.  

CWC TRYING TO PUSH FEDERAL CONTROL OF CANYONS
  The CWC is rushing a bill through the Legislature that supports the questionable efforts and plans to turn over a significant part of the Wasatch Canyons to federal government management.  This is a followon to the Mt Accord which has been found to be lacking in following the  Utah Open Meetings Act.  It discourages personal vehicle use, and at one time, supported a National Monument in the Canyons.  I question the collaborative process that they claim to be consensus.  The westside of the County has been left out of input regarding their recreation areas.  Despite concerns from the Chair of the Committee, Sen. Thatcher, it passed through the Committee.
  The language says:
 "BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor concurring therein, reflecting the will of local communities and many interests, urge the President of the United States, Congress, and Utah's congressional delegation to pass legislation reflecting the work of the Central Wasatch Commission and the years of collaborative effort resulting from the Mountain Accord."

FINALLY SUPPORTIVE HOUSING NEAR A BIG STORE
  First Step is showing the way to real respectful supportive housing that is not in the middle of single family home areas.  It is on 500 East across the street from Smith's and near many restaurants and other amenities, including several bus and TRAX stations.  That is where all supportive housing should be.

WFRC PLAN COMMENTS DUE NOW
  The very very important WFRC RTP draft plan is out for public comment.  There is about 10 days left to comment on the issue!  March 17th i the deadline.  (Also the WFRC has moved to the Gateway, finally.)  
  I am against all of these projects until a robust bus system is restored.  Service increases should return bus service to where it was when it was cut 30%.  We do not have 5 billion to spend on these projects.  They should have a financial priority list.  I somewhat like the 700 South Green Line to 400 West rerouting and the Cottonwood Canyon buses.  I put the WFRC draft plan in the downloads section.
  The questionable projects are:
Ogden BRT is now $95 million
Weber State University Transit Hub $18 million
Davis SLC Connector BRT $192 million
State Street BRT $317 million!
200 South BRT $67 million
3300 South BRT $288 million
4500 South BRT $127 million
FrontRunner Doubletrack $199 million
   Ogden to Pleasant View $197 million
   Electrify $709-948 million
Black Line SLC Airport to UofU $515 million
Green Line from 700 South to Gateway $87 million  (this project makes some sense to save 10 minutes to the Airport)
Draper TRAX $361 million this year and total is $687 million
Draper TRAX west alignment is $964 to $1.8 million
S Line extension to 400 South via 900 East $147 million
S Line extension to UofU $317 million
S Line extension to Millcreek $128 million  and up to $1.3 million to go to 3900 South
400 South TRAX from SLCentral to 400 South $75 million-$112 million
Big Cottonwood Corridor Special Service Buses $7 million with $1.3 million per year operating cost
Little Cottonwood bus is $4.3 million and $762,000 operating cost
North Temple Transit Hub, 200 South Hub, UofU Hub, Central Pointe Station Hub, Murray Central Station Hub, SLCC Transit Hub, Cottonwood Canyons Transit Hub, Fort Union Transit Hub,  $14 million each

BODY CAMS MAY BE DISCARDED DUE TO STORAGE COSTS
  Utah Interactive is in the final stages of developing an inexpensive system to allow body cam storage for a fraction of the cost of present services.  Several small law enforcement agencies in the State are considering dropping body cams since they can cost over $100 per month per person!  The Salt Lake County UPD is one concerned about the cost.  During a presentation several years ago, Utah Interactive felt that they could provide the service for less than $40 per month.

FREE CANYON SHUTTLE SATURDAY
  "Wasatch Backcountry Alliance and Utah Mountain Shuttle are hosting the fourth annual free shuttle day on Saturday March 9th, from 7:00 a.m. -- 5:00 p.m. The shuttle will depart from the Brighton Pointe Shopping Center at 3470 East and Bengal Boulevard every 30 minutes.

https://sites.google.com/site/utahmountianbikeshuttle/

Reservations are required, but free for friends of WBA 
1. Sign up and select time.  On this page (see below)
2. Day of event, park and sign in. Look for our tent between Smiths Fuel and Arctic Circle. 3470 East Bengal Blvd. 
3. Load shuttle at time selected. Starting 7:00 am (Please be ready to load at the time) 
4. Exit shuttle. Make sure you are on the list so we can make sure we don't lose you!
5. Take a few laps. 
6. Return in shuttle. Call or flag down one of the UTAH MOUNTAIN SHUTTLE Sprinter vans"

BEST QUOTE FROM LEGISLATURE ON MORE LAWS
"Let's let the government jump in and fix the world with another law to abide by." That quote is from Rep. Francis Gibson in the 2019 Legislative session that is considering 1000 new laws.



FEBRUARY 21, 2019
INN BETWEEN GETS ZONING HEARING WITHOUT PUBLIC OUTREACH
HATE BY HOMELESS BILL ADDS HOMELESS AS A PROTECTED CLASS
UTAH CLOSER TO BE BEST NUCLEAR WASTE SITE TO GROW VEGETABLES
MILLCREEK READY TO BET TAXPAYER MONEY ON UTOPIA
GEORGIA APARTMENT OWNER THREATENED WITH JAIL TO SELL TO SLC
UTA STILL HAS LACK OF DRIVERS DUE TO MASS RETIREMENT
PREPAID WIRELESS TAX INCREASE 50% SURPRISE
GRAVEL PITS MORE IMPORTANT THAN HEALTH PROTECTIONS
UTAH POLICY TO SUPPORT MOLTEN SALT REACTOR 30 YEARS BEFORE SAFE



INN BETWEEN GETS ZONING HEARING WITHOUT PUBLIC OUTREACH
  The Salt Lake City Council has decided that there was sufficient public outreach on rezoning properties that provide homeless hospice services so they have set a public hearing date of March 26, 2019 to hear public comments at their Council formal meeting.  Unfortunately, all of the public comments and outreach were for the westside Salt Lake City InnBetween facility!  So the community around the present InnBetween near 1300 South and 1216 East has not been given the chance to participate in the normal public outreach and engagement that most major zoning issues get.  There were many public outreach meetings for the InnBetween westside facility.  Ignoring a neighborhood is not good government.  If the SLC Council insists on changing the zoning requirements that involve the InnBetween, they should have a vigorous public outreach involving the neighbors of the InnBetween.
  The proposal, in part: 
"Ordinance: Congregate Care Facilities Zoning Text Amendment
The Council will set the date of Tuesday, March 26, 2019 at 7 p.m. to accept
public comment and consider adopting an ordinance amending various
sections of the Salt Lake City Code pertaining to eleemosynary, residential
support, group home, assisted living facility, and congregate care facility uses.
The proposed ordinance would create a land use classification to address
short-term housing for the terminally ill and seriously ill. The proposal
includes reviewing compatibility concerns for how this land use, and others
like it, would impact the adjacent residential neighborhoods, particularly the
Institutional Zoning District. Related provisions of Title 21A Zoning may also
be amended as part of this petition."
  Specifically, the proposed ordinance allows a care facility, if it involves less than 17 residences, in the R1-5000 single family home zone that surrounds the present InnBetween location.  It requires a conditional use process which includes allowing for mitigating negative consequences.  More than 16 residents require the facility to be in higher density areas.  I put the compressed staff report and zoning maps in the downloads area.

HATE BY HOMELESS BILL ADDS HOMELESS AS A PROTECTED CLASS
  I have known Senator Thatcher for almost 10 years and he has impressed me with his passion.  He fought the Salt Lake County UPD fee and has been a big advocate for law enforcement in the Legislature.  I have to disagree with his effort (supported by Equality Utah) to add a great big new law called a hate crime law.  It has been encouraged and presented as being generated by several recent attacks on people due to their background or beliefs.  The main justification or energizing factor seems to be when a homeless man who obviously had mental health problems attacked several men who he claimed were part of the Mexican mafia.  
  Utah and the Country should not be making laws based on the actions of crazy people.  As much as many people want to ban all guns, just because some crazy person goes on a mass murder spree killing kids should not result in a law banning guns.  They can't be expected to follow laws and they break enough laws in the process of attacking people that they should be taken out of society for a long time.  A recent case of the murder of the University of Utah student showed how little people with mental issues will follow the law.  The murderer was not supposed to have a gun!  And that WAS a hate crime. 
  Unfortunately, the reality is that Salt Lake City has a large population of homeless individuals who have mental health issues.  The Salt Lake County Jail is said to have 80% of their population requiring mental health treatment.  The County cut mental health services 50% about 10 years ago so many of these problem cases wonder the streets, especially downtown and sometimes attack innocent pedestrians.  
  A typical case from a few years ago had a homeless man who had mental issues attacking an employee of Goldman Sachs.  The police could not do anything about the attack due to jail booking restrictions (still in effect).  So a new law to add a penalty enhancement is not going to have much effect.  Homeless sometimes attack pedestrians.  The insulting irony is that homeless was added to the category of targeted classes in Sen. Thatcher's bill.  Making homeless a protected class is an insult.  So any hateful speech that involves homeless could be claimed to be hate speech.  Complaining about homeless hanging out on your lawn should not be classified as hate speech.
   We already have a well written law on the books in 76-3-203.4 that allows a sentencing judge or Board of Parole to consider aggravating factors that meet the definition of hate crimes.  It even was applicable when people threatened Gayl Ruzicka, leader of Utah's Eagle Forum.  As Libertas' Connor Boyack pointed out, the way that the proposed bill is written, a University of Utah student could get an extra penalty for actions against a BYU student and vice versa.  A father would not be able to intimidate his daughter's boyfriend!  A West High student could have extra penalties for attacking an East High student!  This proposal is way out of line with good government.
  The one thing that would decrease these crimes is better mental health treatment.  Unfortunately, it may take a while since Prop 3 has been held up and the new law needs to be set up.  Again, we should not be making laws based on the crazy actions of crazy people.

UTAH CLOSER TO BE BEST NUCLEAR WASTE SITE TO GROW VEGETABLES
  HB220 is about to go to the Governor.  It allows one person to decide if EnergySolutions can accept nuclear waste.  During Senate debate, Senator Hemmert said that depleted uranium is used in everyday life but he ignored the reality that the barrels that EnergySolutions calls depleted uranium (ES finally said that the barrels contained depleted uranium oxide when they tried to quickly get depleted uranium munitions stored at their Clive facility) are actually nuclear weapons waste that have gone through a reactor and picked up more dangerous elements and radiation!  When they tried to accept depleted uranium munitions, they ignored the Oak Ridge Nuclear Lab's recommendation for a drier climate that is more secure than Clive.  ES, in my opinion, does not know nuclear waste.  They make nuclear power look bad.  And despite what the former CEO said, you should not grow vegetables in nuclear weapons waste.
  The most aggravating part of the bill is that it allows one person to make the decision and that could result in questionable decisions that could be labelled as government corruption.  Ironically, Envirocare, the previous name of EnergySolutions, paid a Utah government employee to allow nuclear waste in Utah.  
  The only good news is that Utah will require the DOE to take over ownership of ES' site and be responsible for long term safe storage.  The bad news is DOE does not like ES safety plan and was so upset with allowing the nuclear weapons waste barrels to sit in standing water outside, that they paid to build a storage building for the barrels.

MILLCREEK READY TO BET TAXPAYER MONEY ON UTOPIA
  Despite rapid advancement of 5G and other wireless systems that make it a lot cheaper to access high speed internet, Millcreek is very interested in fiber.  UTOPIA made a presentation recently that promised $60 a month internet if Millcreek accepted responsibility for the cost if under 30% of households used the service.  So taxpayers, even if they don't get the service, could pay.  UTOPIA, in my opinion, is not well managed.  It costs Utah taxpayers and UTOPIA customers $50 million more every year than they should due to a poor decision that their financial analyst recommended against.  They accepted a Key Bank recommendation for an interest rate swap that resulted in a higher interest payment for customers!  They are still paying and Millcreek may end up helping them pay.  
  There is a reason why Google slowed down Google Fiber.  It is more expensive to install than they thought and there are better wireless systems that can reach the same speeds.  5G in particular is around the corner.  The phones are now available although the infrastructure is slow to be available.  It is expected to roll out for much of the Valley within two years.  In the meantime, cellphone companies can provide 4K download speeds for TV and Comcast and CenturyLink provide cheaper internet.  The competition will reduce the interest in Millcreek fiber.  And hopefully, Millcreek will not burden taxpayers with heavy costs that may be useless in 5 years.

GEORGIA APARTMENT OWNER THREATENED WITH JAIL TO SELL TO SLC
  The owner of the Georgia Apartments, the crime magnet affordable housing facility on 2100 South and 200 East, has been charged with a large number of misdemeanors.  It appears, to me, to force the owner to sell to the Salt Lake Housing Authority.  Most residents seem to have found shelter that included the Road Home.  But the loss of the $700 a month apartments is a big loss for affordable housing in SLC.  Hopefully, the SLC Housing Authority will buy the apartments and clean them up and get them habitable as fast as they did with the 1700 S. Capitol Motel.

UTA STILL HAS LACK OF DRIVERS DUE TO MASS RETIREMENT
  UTA is trying to hire as many drivers as possible.  There are a large number of drivers retiring soon and finding adequate and well trained replacements is a problem.  Ask any bus driver.  It is a big issue.  Earlier this week, the 209 missed an important stop when the driver turned early.  12 waiting riders were upset at having to wait another 15 minutes for a ride home.  That is not the way to encourage ridership.

PREPAID WIRELESS TAX INCREASE 50% SURPRISE
  Lost in the thousand bills going through the Legislature is SB154 that increases prepaid wireless taxes 50%.  It is an almost done deal bill that raises the tax from 2.45 to 3.7%.  There are other tax increases coming.  Utah is about to adopt a policy that requires anyone selling through Amazon or other internet sites to pay Utah taxes if they sell 200 items to Utahns!  The limit was $100,000 but the old law did not catch the third party sellers who are generally very small but not too small for Utah to try to tax.  This bill is hurtful towards small business.

GRAVEL PITS MORE IMPORTANT THAN HEALTH PROTECTIONS
  Rep. Wilde is ramping up efforts to declare gravel pits critical materials and make it harder for communities to stop operation of them.  He has added Rep. Coleman's language that was to protect agricultural, industrial and mining facilities which stalled in Committee.  So industrial and mining facilities are more important than nearby residents.  
  From 1992 to 2014, there were 49 cases of silicosis hospitalization (generally hospitalization means endstage).  Because there are no studies on the cause of the silica dust, Utah does not know if coal miners or gravel pits are the cause.  The bill should not go through but there is a significant push to pass it.  
  Gravel pits are allowed to expand and throw out 25 extra tons of dust a year in Utah and the result is super gravel pits that were very small 60 years ago.  The residents of Capitol Hill should not have to endure the dust and potential silicosis in order to help Utah's economic development and building boom.  
  OSHA recently lowered the "the permissible exposure limit (PEL) of crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) averaged over an eight-hour shift, with an action level of 25 µg/m3.  OSHA sets the standards for gravel pit cement mixing.  The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) controls standards for gravel pits and they have kept the standard at 100 micrograms per cubic meter.
  A study by MSHA from 2004 to 2008 found that 12% of sand and gravel pits exceeded "applicable or reduced respirable dust standard because of the presence of silica".  During a study of dust from a Brigham City gravel pit about 20 years ago, it said that: "since no analysis of the dust for crystalline silica was conducted, the EEP also recommends that an analysis for crystalline silica (total and respirable) in the dust be performed." 

UTAH POLICY TO SUPPORT MOLTEN SALT REACTOR 30 YEARS BEFORE SAFE
  SB24 that sets Utah policy as promoting molten salt reactors is going to the Governor.  Molten salt reactors are presently not tested for safety although there are many research projects.  A Utah company insists that it can safely build and operate a molten salt reactor within ten years.  Experts say that it will take 30 years, if ever, to prove safe design and operation of molten salt reactors.




FEBRUARY 14, 2019
900 S RESTAURANT ROW GROWING OPEN HOUSE
HB220 CHANGED TO REQUIRE FEDS APPROVE NUCLEAR WASTE 
HB78 RESULTS IN BIG COMMITTEE SHOW
500 EAST BURGLARIES/CAR PROWLS INCREASING 
MILLCREEK ROOSEVELT ELEMENTARY MAY BECOME CONDOS
GEORGIA APARTMENTS MAY BE BOUGHT BY SLC HOUSING
POKEMON GO FANS OVERWHELM CAPITOL PARKING
SB54 WATER METERING GOOD GOV NEEDS GOOD DATA
ECIG LEGISLATION STILL ALLOWS TEEN VAPING


900 S RESTAURANT ROW GROWING OPEN HOUSE
The building at 402-416 E 900 South is asking for a zoning map amendment to change the zoning of the buildings, including the Asian Market, from Neighborhood Commercial and Residential/Business District to CB Community Business District.  A building, the Asian Market, requires major repairs to stabilize a rear wall and the effort is complicated by the building being under two different zonings.  
  There will be an open house at the adjacent building at 428 E. 900 S. on Tuesday Feb. 19 from 4-530 PM.  The City will be running the open house and the coordinator is Lauren Parisi at 801 535 7226/lauren.paris@slcgov.com.  This rezone has the potential to signficantly grow the restaurant row that is happening on 900 S. west of 500 East.  The owner of the property has not been able to confirm the Asian Market is interested in continuing its lease past the June 2019 present lease.  But the owner seems to want to make the area upgraded and become closer to the 9th and 9th area, where she used to work.  It is planned to be integrated with the 9 Line Trail on 900 S. and support that Trail.

HB220 CHANGED TO REQUIRE FEDS APPROVE NUCLEAR WASTE 
  HB220 that gives EnergySolutions the ability to short circuit the Radiation Control Board and move more radioactive material into Tooelle, which keeps implying that it is only good for a garbage dump, passed the Senate Committee with only three allowed to speak against it.
  I know Rep. Albrecht, and he is a good Representative.  He is running this bill to help nuclear in Utah.  But I believe that this bill will actually hurt the potential for nuclear power in Utah.  EnergySolutons does not know how to handle nuclear waste and in the process, it makes nuclear power in Utah less realistic.
  Again, EnergySolutions has claimed that you can grow vegetables in the 5000 barrels of so called depleted uranium (DU) which is actually nuclear weapons waste.  That makes nuclear power look bad.
  EnergySolutions has claimed that the material in the barrels, which came from the Savannah River Nuclear Weapons Plant, have not gone through a reactor and been irradiated.  But the manifest clearly shows that it has been irradiated.  This material is not really DU.  It is Waste In Process (WIP) from production of nuclear bomb material that HAS gone through a reactor.  By claiming what I consider a nontruth, EnergySolutions makes nuclear power look bad.
  Sen. Stevenson said that it doesn't make sense to worry about DU munitions when they are being stored at Dugway.  He was reminded that Oak Ridge National Lab thought that storing DU muntions at Clive, Utah is questionable.  They recommended the Nevada Nuclear Test Site which is not as humid and is much more secure.

  Tank armor, aircraft balancing weight and military munitions have DU that has not gone through a reactor and have 40+% less radioactivity than mined uranium.  It is left over after the most radioactive material is pulled out for bombs and irradiation in a reactor.  When EnergySolutions does not seem to know the difference between low radioactivity DU and nuclear weapons waste, it makes nuclear power look bad.
  Also, the federal government was so upset at the lack of appropriate storage management of the 5000 barrels, left in standing water outside, that they paid for a building to store the barrels.  So the federal government thinks, in my opinion, that EnergySolutons does not know how to safely and appropriately store nuclear waste.  That makes nuclear power look bad.
  The good news is Alan Matheson, Governor Herbert's head of DEQ expressed concern about the bill.  
  Most importantly, there is a third substitute that adds language that requires legislative review with the House and Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Standing Committee Chairs be notified within 5 days of the director allowing the waste.  There is a 90 day wait afterwords to allow review.  
  AND, "The director shall require as a condition to the disposal of quantities of more than one metric ton of concentrated depleted uranium: a) a performance assessment; b) designation of a federal cell by the director; and c) that the U.S. DOE accepts long term management, title to the land on which the federal cell is located, title to the waste in the federal cell, and financial stewardship for the federal cell and waste in the federal cell."  I do not think that the federal government will agree to take over the financial liabilities of EnergySolutions.   

HB78 RESULTS IN BIG COMMITTEE SHOW
  HB78, Rep. Albrecht's bill that emphasizes that all requests for federeal designation should go through the Legislature was barely approved to go to the House floor.  The discussion centered on Emory County trying to get Congress to set a wilderness area up against the Wayne County line which restricts roads from Wayne County to Emory County.  The U.S. Senate just approved the bill.  
  But the bill also questions the Mt. Accord and CWC's efforts to designate the Central Wasatch Canyons as a National Conservation Area without going through the Legislature.
  Several southern Utah and rural representatives on the Committee questioned HB78.  They felt that local communities should be able to decide.  When the Committee Chair started questioning the opponents of the bill, in an effort to support the bill, several Committee members complained about badgering some of the Committee members.  Rep. Duckworth finally called point of order on the Chair!  The Chair, Rep. Stratton, after a long discussion with the support staff and Committee Attorney, called himself out of order.  He then called for final discussion and vote.  The bill barely passed to the House floor.  Rep. Duckworth and Rep. Stratton hugged afterwords.  It was an interesting show.  Calling point of order on a Chair is almost never done.

500 EAST BURGLARIES/CAR PROWLS INCREASING 
  SLCPD is reporting an increase in car prowls and burglaries between 300 East and 600 East and 9th South and 2100 South.  Residents on 500 East also report that most homes fronting Liberty Park have also been broken into.  Please report all prowlers and strangers walking in an area as prowlers and ask for a police officer to call back or get a case number.

MILLCREEK ROOSEVELT ELEMENTARY MAY BECOME CONDOS
  Roosevelt Elementary in Millcreek on 33rd South and 800 East may soon close.  The low local student population will not support the local school.  It has been kept open up until now due to the busing in of refugee family members.  The rumour is that Ivory Homes is negotiating with the Granite School District to buy the property and construct homes or condos on the site.
  

GEORGIA APARTMENTS MAY BE BOUGHT BY SLC HOUSING
  For years, the Georgia apartments at 200 East and north of 2100 South have had a reputation as a crime magnet.  As reported a few months ago, the owner lost her Good Landlord discount and now owes over $13,000 in fees to SLC.  SLC used many fire code deficiencies to finally close the facility.  All residents must be out by Saturday.  It appears that most have found new accommodations.  The Other Side Academy helped move the furnishings of some of the renters.
  The owner of the property, Carol Lunt, who lives near 1100 East and Garfield in what has been described as an ill kept home, is refusing to fix the deficiencies such as no heat, broken windows and lack of fire alarms and operating sprinkler systems.  Joe Post, of the Salt Lake City Housing Authority, acknowledged that they are attempting to reach an agreement with Ms. Lunt to buy the property and convert it in a manner like the Capitol Motel.  This story will take a while to finish.

POKEMON GO FANS OVERWHELM CAPITOL PARKING
  It appears that one of the reasons that parking is so full near the State Capitol is due to Pokeyman Go fans doing their thing on the Capitol grounds and chasing whatever Go fans chase.  They were even in evidence during a snowstorm.

SB54 WATER METERING GOOD GOV NEEDS GOOD DATA
  Sen. Anderegg is sponsoring a bill to require, over 20! years, the use of water meters on secondary residential and business water users to determine the actual usage of water in Utah.  The bill is limited to first and second class counties so most rural counties will not have to be forced to do it.  But over 20 years!?  The reason is the cost which will be about $200 million!  Over 20 years, it will be about $10 million per year.
  Although it may seem surprising, Utah does not know how much water it uses, according to the State Water Engineer.  Good government needs good data to make good informed decisions.  This is a good bill which is having a difficult time but is finally going to the Senate floor.

ECIG LEGISLATION STILL ALLOWS TEEN VAPING
  Rep. Eliason is sponsoring a bill to raise the cigarette and e-cigarette age to 19 then eventually to 21.  Rep. Ray is sponsoring a bill to add .86 of the sales price as a tax on e-cigarette materials.
  But the bills do very little to decrease the damage that Utah taxpayers will have to cover in Medicaid costs for those who are vaping.  Recent studies have confirmed that vaping is probably destroying lung tissue!  And within ten years, Utah will spend hundreds of millions more on Medicaid expenses to treat low income vaping users.  Utah now spends more than a hundred million treating cigarette smokers with Medicaid funds!  
  The Legislature needs to make it illegal to vape or smoke until 21.  Schools should be able to confiscate cigarettes and vaping items at school.  There should be a $5 per vaping cartridge tax and a higher tax on cigarettes to discourage use by teenagers.  And the medical marijuana users should not be allowed to use vaping.  These bills will have an interesting time at the Legislature.




FEBRUARY 11, 2019
SLC FLEET BLOCK FINALLY HAS A PLAN BUT
SLC ACTIVE CANDIDATES LIST
SLC SUGAR HOUSE LIBRARY MAY MOVE TO FIREHOUSE
NUCLEAR REACTOR PROPONENTS PUSH UNSAFE TECHNOLOGY
HB78 REQUIRES LEGISLATURE TO GIVE LAND TO FEDS
SLCO DA AGAINST HIGHER PENALTIES FOR 3X THEFTS
MILLCREEK BACKS DOWN ON TRYING TO ANNEX BRICKYARD

 
SLC FLEET BLOCK FINALLY HAS A PLAN BUT
  Salt Lake City is finalizing the plan for redevelopment of the Fleet Block between 800 and 900 South and 400 and 300 West. Unfortunately, only the neighbors and businesses around the block were involved in the public engagement.  The Ballpark Community Council, a very active community group just south of the property was not involved.  The local 9th community council group just started a few months ago and the proposed design is getting very little attention.  There should be more public engagement before this plan is acted on.  The City plans a request for proposals (RFP) in Q1 2019!
  The plan appears to try to justify a new $100 million taxpayer funded streetcar/TRAX line running west on 9th South from the present TRAX line to 400 West then north.  The idea (I believe misguided.) is to encourage development of the area on 9th South and on 400 West.  I disagree with that assumption because the TRAX lines on 300 West and 2100 South have not spurred major developments.  Some development is starting but it is minimal in my opinion.
  Ironically, the design ignores the proposal to shift the Green Line TRAX to the spur at 1300 South and use it to go to 400 West and save 5 to 10 minutes going to the Airport by avoiding the zig zag and milk run rail line downtown.
  The plan suggests an "innovation district - home to companies that shape new products and technologies".  It divides the block (note the southwest corner is used by business now) into 4 smaller blocks with internal streets being curbless.  The plan suggest building first on the south side adjacent to 900 South.  
  The best news is the City is finally recognizing the value of ground level activity that encourages walkability.  It has ignored that in almost all of the new Sugar House construction.  The plans call for 94,000 square feet of office space, 37,000 square feet of retail (25,000 square feet at ground level), and 12,000 square feet of live work units (30 units on the northwest corner for sale).  There are a total of 315 residential units with 30% affordable.  59,000 square feet are for community use.  There will be 865 parking spaces with 685 on the lot and 180 on the street.
  The Ballpark Community Council should have had more input on this plan.

SLC ACTIVE CANDIDATES LIST
  I put the active candidates list for Salt Lake City, as of February 5th in the downloads section.  This year's campaigns, especially for mayor of Salt Lake City, will be very active.  In answer to those who keep asking:  I am not planning on running for office.  I think that there are enough good candidates in this election season to make a good decision better.

SLC SUGAR HOUSE LIBRARY MAY MOVE TO FIREHOUSE
  The Sprague Library is planning to close for a year for a major renovation.  The Library has been looking for a place to temporarily relocate and it seems to have found the space at the old Fire Station on Sugarmont just west of Highland Drive.  There are still some concerns at the City but the site is recommended since there is very little minimal cost space available in the Sugar House neighborhood.  A reminder:  The new Fire Station on 900 East has a community meeting room available for local groups.  Call the SLC Fire Department if you want to use it.

NUCLEAR REACTOR PROPONENTS PUSH UNSAFE TECHNOLOGY
  The Legislature is scheduled to hear a proposed change to energy policy with SB0024 that adds a line that I find concerning.  It says, on line 42, that the energy policy of Utah is to, among other things, is to "promote the development of.... nuclear power generation technologies certified for use by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission INCLUDING MOLTEN SALT REACTORS PRODUCING MEDICAL ISOTOPES". 
  I am a former nuclear engineer and I find the promoting of molten salt nuclear reactors concerning.  I believe that we are 20 plus years away from coming close to safely design and operate those reactors, if we ever do get to that point. The reactor is a molten salt of lithium, beryllium, zirconium, flourine and thorium (which decays, with neutron bombardment, eventually, to uranium 233.  The major concerns include tritium (a beta emitter) containment has not been completely successful.  Lithium constantly decays to tritium.  Uranium 233 is a perfect bomb making material and it requires much higher security than a regular nuclear plant (which already has high security).  Many dozens of elements are produced in the molten salt and some have deleterious effects on the piping.  In particular, the preferred nuclear piping, Hastelloy (a nickel, molybdenum and chromium alloy) is impacted by selenium, one of the elements produced in the reactor.  Although the alloy is resistant to corrosion, selenium can make it brittle.  Studies to determine long term safe structural stability of Hastelloy or another better alternative will take decades.
  In addition, the best nuclear engineers in the world have not been able to design, build and safely operate a plant to remove the actinides that are produced and that poison the reaction.  Those actinides are much more dangerous than the multiclad nuclear fuel rods.  And we have not been able to safely store them!  Utah should not be producing the most dangerous radioactive compounds known to man or woman.  There is also a theoretical possibility that there could be a critical event that interferes with the standard "freeze plug" that is supposed to melt to stop runaway reactions.  If the molten salt solidifies in any way, it could solidify over the freeze plug and stop its operation.  
  Molten salt reactor technology will require thousands of engineers to research the safe design and operation of these systems.  I believe that only the Idaho National Nuclear Laboratory can provide that research in a safe area.  It is a large secure area that is not available in Utah, unless we want more dangerous material.  The bill also appears to be helping the commercial business of Alpha Tech Research Corporation that is proposing building these reactors.  Similar claims of "safe" reactor technology have been dismissed by nuclear experts before. Transatomic's claims were countered and they dissolved.  Nuclear power is not easy and I see no progress on implementing nuclear power in the next ten years.  
  Although China installed several Westinghouse AP1000 modular nuclear reactors and hooked them to the power grid last July 2 (in a bid to counter our July 4th celebration), the units were tested and wrung out by Oregon State University scientists.  But China's safety in nuclear power is untested and it may result in major accidents that further hurt development of nuclear power.
  SB0024 also adds "greater access to domestic and international markets for Utah's resources, and advanced transmission systems, energy storage and other advanced energy systems and increased refinery capacity".  In other words, it encourages a coal port effort, and development of the inland port.  The increased refinery capacity may also be concerning to those in the airshed.
  Senator Hinkins is asking for money in a separate request to set up a research facility in San Juan County that could turn into a full scale reactor.  But that will take at least 20 years if ever.  I am not against that $10 plus million request but I think that it would be more useful for teachers.  I respect Senator Hinkins and if he and San Juan County (which is also trying to force a wilderness on a large area abutting Wayne County) think that they can handle a research facility, more power to them.  But if Bill Gates can't make a billion dollars create a facility in the U.S. (he tried China until he was shut down due to concerns about technology transfer - and remember these types of reactors can make bomb material), I don't think Utah should put a lot of money in the effort.  
  Again, I am against a policy of Utah promoting a molten salt reactor in Utah.

HB78 REQUIRES LEGISLATURE TO GIVE LAND TO FEDS
  Rep. Albrecht sponsored a bill to emphasize that the Legislature has the final authority on asking Congress to take over management of Utah land.  His HB 78 says that the Legislature may review and support or deny the request by other governments, or political subdivisions or interlocals (like the Mt. Accord's Central Wasatch Commission) to turn over management of Utah property to the federal government.  The Mountain Accord required support for either a National Monument, or a National Recreation Area or a National Conservation Area (the CWC is asking for a Congressional sponsor for a National Conservation Area) for the Central Wasatch Canyons.  
  Another driver of the bill is Emory County asked Congress and got sponsors for a wilderness bill (a compromise bill) that put the boundary on the Wayne County line!  The bill was defeated in Congress due to a technical concern by Senator Lee.  But federal government management of wilderness areas includes a buffer that would extend into Wayne County!  Wayne County was furious and that is driving the HB78.  The bill was held over for more public comment by Rep. Stratton, the Chair of the Natural Resources Committee.  That is the typical action of legislators.  They try to hear all public comment, unlike the 2 recent hearings on SB96 that only allowed 5 comments against the bill.

SLCO DA AGAINST HIGHER PENALTIES FOR 3X THEFTS
  In a surprise, the Salt Lake City DA argued against increasing the penalties for stealing over a hundred dollars worth of property more than three times.  Bicycle thieves steal that much every day that they are free.  And they are free everyday.  Rep. Shurtliff's HB 189 "enhances the penalty for a person convicted of theft more than three times".  The West Valley City prosecutor asked for the tools to address the constant criminal activity, mainly driven by drug addiction, to help imprison these criminals.  But several Committee members also pointed out that the Salt Lake County Jail is full and can't take more criminals and the Legislature decreased te penalties four years ago, with the JRI.  So the Committee held the bill for later discussion.
  During discussion with William Carlson of the DA's Office, he indicated that essentially "current law indicates a theft is a felony if the value is over $500, the offender has two previous theft convictions, and at least one of the priors is a class A misdemeanor.  Current law also indicates a theft of any value is a class a misdemeanor if the offender has two priors.  See Utah Code Subsections 76-6-412(1)(b)(ii) and (1)(c)(iii)."  So the DA currently is using the $500 with the priors now when needed.
  
MILLCREEK BACKS DOWN ON TRYING TO ANNEX BRICKYARD
  On Monday evening February 11, the Millcreek City Council directed staff to remove any plan to annex Brickyard and tell the Legislature that HB262 is not needed and should be retracted.  Their hope is that their good faith effort will result in the cities trying to find an amenable and fair resolution to the issue. I put the Millcreek Draft Zoning Map in the downloads section of SLC items.

  



FEBRUARY 5, 2019
JIM DABAKIS IS UTAH'S VERSION OF DONALD TRUMP
ANTI IDLING ENGINE STOPS AT COMMITTEE NOT
LEGISLATURE PUSHES GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION
JORDAN RIVER COULD GET PARK RANGERS
SB96 NEEDS A ROLL OF TOILET PAPER
SEN. FILLMORE HELPS MENTAL HEALTH
COMMUNISM DOWNSIDES NEEDS PUBLICIZING
PUBLIC SERVANTS NEED RULES TO ACT RESPONSIBLY
2700 S PARKING REMOVED ON NORTH SIDE OF STREET
BRICKYARD ANNEXATION EFFORT


JIM DABAKIS IS UTAH'S VERSION OF DONALD TRUMP
  Jim Dabakis is running for mayor of Salt Lake City.  The Salt Lake Tribune recently showed that almost half of voters were undecided on who they would vote for.  But, of those who had decided, Jim Dabakis came out with over 20% of the poll and Mayor Biskupski came out with around 15%.
  I have known Jim Dabakis since he served as my senator in the Legislature.  His only accomplishments in the Legislature was a bill to require carbon monoxide detectors in schools.  It almost did not pass since legislators were worried about the cost to school districts.  The only other accomplishments were resolutions.  Jim had a good way of delivering his opinions but he was not able to convince his fellow legislators to take him seriously.  
  I expect, if Jim follows through on his plan to run for mayor, and wins, that we will have an administration that is as useful as Jim was in the Legislature.  In other words, in my opinion, Jim Dabakis is Utah's version of Donald Trump.



ANTI IDLING ENGINE STOPS AT COMMITTEE, NOT
  Rep. Patrice Arent's effort to put more teeth in the State's anti-idling efforts failed to advance from a House Committee hearing.  The vote was 5 to 5 on Tuesday.  But it is coming back Thursday after an agreement to pass it through.  That happens.
  Present Utah law considers anti-idling laws to be educational.  The only way municipalities can enforce their anti-idling laws is if they give 3 warnings first. Rep. Arent's HB148 removes any warnings and the educational directive and allows immediate ticketing. 
  Mayor Silvistrini of Millcreek suggested allowing one warning.  Almost everyone else supported the bill.  The Restaurant Association agreed to the substitute which removed drive-thru idling. Only one spoke against the bill.
  I am against changing present Utah law which appears to be working.  Government should not be micromanaging families.  Principals' and police requests to stop idling are generally followed.  Utah's efforts to decrease school bus idling have been very successful.  One Committee member disagreed with that.
  In my opinion, it is wrong for government to ticket families who are trying to keep their children comfortable in a car.  It is not easy raising a family and government should not interfere.
  Police should not be judge jury and revenue generator.  Police now do a good job educating drivers on anti-idling benefits.  If the bill had passed, 18 municipalities and governments in Salt Lake County could confuse drivers as they drove from city to city.  An important question from this potential increase in complexity with no uniformity probably resulted in the bill failing to advance.  Committee Chair Rep. Knotwell expressed interest in making this bill more workable but he couldn't support it as written.
  In my opinion, individual cities' traffic decisions have a bigger impact on pollution.  For instance, Salt Lake City's efforts to put lights at half blocks increases pollution.  Although the efforts are due to encouraging walking, there have been no real cost benefit analysis to recognize the impact on pollution.  In addition, in Salt Lake City, a road diet on 1300 East, going from 4 lanes to 2 lanes, resulted in a big pollution increase with congestion backing up for over a mile.  
  What's next banning diesels?   Educational efforts to decrease idling work. This was a bad bill that tried to micromanage families.



LEGISLATURE PUSHES GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION
  Rep. Albrecht's bill, HB220, to allow EnergySolutions to get quick approval to accept more radioactive waste passed the committee to the House.  It "allows the director of the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control to authorize alternate requirements for waste classification and characteristics that would allow an entity to accept certain waste at a specific site;".
  About 30 years ago, Envirocare was implicated in a government corruption scheme when the owner provided money and gifts to the person in the Utah government that was over Envirocare.  That resulted in charges and a name change to EnergySolutions.  
  This bill opens the door to allow EnergySolutions to import more waste that puts Utah taxpayers on the hook for the cost to safely store the waste when EnergySolutions shuts down.
  EnergySolutions does not, in my opinion, know how to safely classify, understand and store nuclear waste.  When EnergySolutions agreed to take 5000 barrels of nuclear weapons waste (more properly called WIP waste in process), they called it depleted uranium (DU)!  That  belief resulted in the former CEO, Steve Cramer, saying that he believed that it could be used to safely grow vegetables (on the Red Meat Radio Hour)!  His confusion was probably from a report on DU by the UN that whitewashed the use of depleted uranium munitions in Kosovo in farmland.  Families ended up with significant urabium contamination but the UN felt that farmers were not cognitively affected.  But, from a medical standpoint, uranium is active chemically like lead.  It does affect the body.  In that case, the effect of DU is less due to radiation than due to the chemical effects.
  The 5000 barrels of so called DU held by EnergySolutions (and they want to bring in 10000 barrels more), were recently relabeled as uranium oxide because the wanted to bring in a lot of DU uranium metal munitions for disposal.  EnergySolutions asked for a quick approval but were denied.  I put more information in August and September (ctrl f uranium) and the reports are at the bottom of the downloads area on the right.
  This bill is a very dangerous bill that encourages government corruption and also opens the door to dangerous radioactive waste without thorough review.



JORDAN RIVER COULD GET PARK RANGERS
  Rep. Winder's HB123, co-sponsored by Sen
 Harper, allows spending money in the Jordan River area, "250 yards on each side of the Jordan River from the edge of the river for the entire length of the river" for new ideas for amenities such as an urban ranger or conservation corps, operated by a state institution of higher education or similar service-oriented organizations or programs: or to provide trail river, and parkway maintenance, invasive species removal and revegitation.  This a good bill that will enhance the Jordan River Park.



SB96 NEEDS A ROLL OF TOILET PAPER
  SB96 continued to ignore the public in its run to a quick passage.  The House Committee hearing only allowed about 5 to testify against the bill.  Rep. Dunnigan amended the bill to continue Medicaid coverage after the expansion, even if the federal government does not agree to the waiver request.  That was a surprise since it significantly adds to the cost and it requires the fiscal note to be changed.
  The fiscal note, according to Tax Commissioner John Valentine, one of the most respected men I know, was satisfactory the day before.  But Rep. Schultz took issue with the claim that Utah would lose, eventually billions.  The fiscal note says over $640 million would be lost if Prop 3 is not implemented.  Rep. Schultz claimed that Utah would only lose about $200 million since Utahns already get money, as a tax credit, for help for low income medical insurance.  But that is not reflected in the fiscal note!  That claim appears to be the new talking point from Republicans fighting Prop 3.  He also reiterated the claim that voters were swayed by ads.  That is similar to Sen. Anderegg's claim that the voters who voted for Prop 3 got a bait and switch.  If Prop 3 is a bait and switch, SB96 is a turn around and bend over bait and switch.  
  Rep. King pointed out that 8 states with AAA bond ratings have adopted Medicaid expansion.  Rep. Duckworth pointed out that the money from the federal government would go to the local economy since doctors and hospitals would spend the increased funds locally.  In a surprise, several Republican Representatives voted against SB96. Rep. Hall, Rep. Winder and Rep. Dunnigan joined the Democrats on the Committee voting against the bill.  
  My arguments against SB96 reiterated my previous writings against SB96.  The State will lose hundreds of millions from the federal government.  The fiscal note says that we will lose 640 million.  At the same time, Utah taxpayers will be paying hundreds of millions more with or without the waiver.  When I spoke against SB96, I started by pointing out that Sen. Christensen is a good and decent man who has devoted his life to reducing pain and suffering in children.  He deserves credit for that. Those who have worked with him in the past know that he cares and is important for keeping informed regarding Utah social services.  He does not deserve ANY disrespectful comments.  But, SB96 does not do him justice.  Rep. Dunnigan, the Chair of the Committee hit the roof and said that he would not allow personal attacks on Sen. Christiansen.  I was not trying to disparage Senator Christofferson, despite Rep. Dunnigan's concerns.  
  I also pointed out that, despite a presenter that said Maine's budget was busted by Medicaid expansion, Utah is better managed than Maine.  Utah should not be using Madame Cleo predictions to claim that Utah will lose too much money with Prop 3.  My fellow Republicans should do the fiscally responsible thing and walk the talk and vote against SB96.
  I also was upset enough to add at the end of my testimony, that SB96 does not get us back to ground zero but down the toilet.  SB96 should come with a roll of toilet paper.  I was still being respectful.  I could have said something more upsetting to Rep. Dunnigan.



COMMUNISM DOWNSIDES NEEDS PUBLICIZING
  Rep. Christofferson's bill to designate November 7 as a day to remember victims of communism is important because it reminds kids, who may not be familiar with the results of communism, that we should remember the evil that communism has caused this world.  The greatest genocides, the destruction of economies, and essentially reverting countries back to the stone age are all accomplishments of communism.  Proof that big mother government communism does not work can be found in China.  When a free market was allowed, their economy exploded.  Rep. Christofferson's bill passed through to the House.



PUBLIC SERVANTS NEED RULES TO ACT RESPONSIBLY
  Rep. Hall was requested by Utah's Auditor General to sponsor HB 163 to provide clear rules of conduct for public servants when using public funds for personal items.  The recent audit of Salt Lake County's Unified Fire Authority that showed public funds were used for personal items created a need for such a bill.  Although most public servants know how to ethically handle funds, this bill is a clear set of rules to make it easier for public servants to consistently and ethically handle public funds when used for personal use.  The Committee passed the bill to the House.



1300 EAST RESURFACING IN ASPHALT
  1300 East reconstruction was originally being considered for concrete which lasts much longer than the 10 year maximum lifetime of asphalt roads.  But the concern about noise, which is higher with concrete, and the time to cure the concrete, up to a week, ended up with the City changing to asphalt roadway on 1300 East.  Salt Lake City has set up a new website at https://www.slc.gov/mystreet/ to provide information on street projects.  



2700 S PARKING REMOVED ON NORTH SIDE OF STREET
  The plan for reconstructing 2700 South is moving fast.  The street is one of the most complained about streets in the City.  The plan is removing the parking on the north side and limiting parking to the south side in order to get more space for safer bikelanes.  There will also be raised crosswalks like in Liberty Park to keep traffic speeds reasonable and just one set of bulbouts.  Bulbouts can cause bicyclists to swerve into traffic.  So can parked cars.  One reason for allowing parking on the south side is due to the fact that it is uphill, the bicyclist's speed is lower and the potential for hitting opening car doors is minimized.  The City has been asked to make a wider than the standard 5 foot bike lane to eliminate completely dooring and requiring cyclists to swerve into traffic.  The City is planning an extensive outreach plan, with a door to door and Facebook Live effort.  There will be asphalt roadway and under road infrastructure will be replaced.  The road should not have to be completely shut down.  Again, more information will be posted at 
https://www.slc.gov/mystreet/
  Again, roadway overlay contracts apply to drive lanes, not shoulders.  The City is looking at changing contract requirements since that contract language hurts bicycling.  Full reconstruction contracts are curb to curb and will specify smoothing out the street after reconstruction.  
  The 1700 South road diet project will reconsider removing some of the center turn lanes to gain more space for bike lanes that are needed to be wider since the new parking creates a problem for cyclists.
  And the 300 West road redesign plan is still very preliminary and a design contract is coming.  There will be significant outreach.



BRICKYARD ANNEXATION EFFORT
  HB262 is an effort sponsored by Rep. Potter to allow landowners who are in a peninsula like Brickyard to petition to remove themselves from a municipality and transfer to another city like Millcreek.  It appears Rep. Mccay, who is thinking of running for Congress in District 4 is pushing the bill behind the scenes (Millcreek is in District 4) and he is being supported by Rep. Schultz.  
  It is ironic that Millcreek is trying this to gain the $3 million a year in sales taxes when the most developable property in Millcreek is west of State Street.  Almost ten years ago, Salt Lake County identified that State Street area as perfect for redevelopment and Mayor Corroon asked for and got Envision Utah to include it in their Life on State Study.  Mayor Silvistrini is pushing for a town center in the Brickyard area.  
  According to those in County Government in the 80s, "SLC annexed the Brickyard in the mid-to-late 1970s. Salt Lake County sued over the revenue grab. The city and county settled with some sort of short-term revenue sharing deal. When Mike Stewart and Bart Barker took office in 1981, they were incensed by the settlement. The County pretty much capitulated.  Later the County sought and got legislation prohibiting such cherry-stem annexations."





FEBRUARY 1, 201

SB96 MEDICAID REPEAL FRYING CHRISTENSEN'S BRAIN

SB96 REPEAL OF PROP 3 COSTS UTAH BILLIONS

SSLC DISPATCH DISCOURAGING CRIME REPORTS BEING INVESTIGATED
SENATOR TODD WEILER HAS 3 COMMENDABLE ACTIONS THIS WEEK
SALT LAKE HOMELESS GROUP MEMORIES ON DOWNLOAD
SLC COUNCIL FINAL HEARING ON INCREASING TRANSIT
AFFORDABLE HOUSING BILL PASSES COMMITTEE
SAFER BICYCLE STREETS, ESPECIALLY ON 1700 SOUTH
UTAH YIELD FOR BICYCLISTS PASSES COMMITTEE
NAVAJO CODE TALKERS DESERVE RECOGNITION FOR BRAVERY
CAPITOL ELEVATOR EATS PEOPLE
DRUG DEALERS BECOMING MILLIONAIRES IN UTAH
SOCIAL SERVICES HEARS ABOUT DISORGANIZED HOMELESS SERVICES
YOU CAN'T RIDE ELECTRIC BICYCLES WHILE DRUNK OR DRUGGED


SB96 MEDICAID REPEAL FRYING CHRISTENSEN'S BRAIN
  The Utah Legislative leadership has ordered Senator Christensen to rewrite his SB96 to lower the fiscal note.  The note came in too high and was too big for leadership to get enough to vote for it.  The arguments on the cost to Utah (the fiscal note) are in Thursday's Deseret News and there is a link below in the next story.  Senator Christensen, when I talked to him this morning, indicated that he couldn't think clearly with all of the things he had to consider and he was so frustrated that he might write his own fiscal note and be done with it.  Of course, Senator Anderegg would love to just repeal Prop 3 and not worry about the cost to Utah.  Although I disagree with Sen. Christensen, I know him to be a good and decent man who has devoted his life to relieving the pain and suffering of children.  He is a pediatric dentist.  He deserves credit for that.  He also is co-chair (along with Rep. Ray) of the Social Services Appropriation Subcommittee that is one of the most complicated assignments in the Legislature.  This shows that the Legislature does want to do the right thing and if the fiscal note is hard to swallow, the bill should be voted down.

SB96 REPEAL OF PROP 3 COSTS UTAH BILLIONS
  I had another oped in the Deseret News that pointed out  that if the federal government does not agree to the waiver request for modifying Prop 3 by April 1, Utah taxpayers will be on the hook for hundreds of millions that SB96 is scheduled to spend.  The last approved waiver took over a year to approve.  The last waiver request was not approved even after a year.  In addition, Utah is scheduled to receive almost a billion a year from the federal government due to Prop 3 matching funds.  Without Prop 3, Utah loses billions.


https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900053246/guest-opinion-prop-3-may-inject-billions-into-utahs-economy.html


SLC DISPATCH DISCOURAGING CRIME REPORTS BEING INVESTIGATED
  Salt Lake City Dispatch Manager Lisa Burnette has reached out to individuals who have expressed frustration at operation of SLC Dispatch. specifically, records show very few reports of crime at a property that has had many reports on crime from neighbors and even the Police.  The Police even had a SWAT raid on the property.  
  It appears that Priority Dispatch, the SLC Dispatch script, is discouraging reports.  The website of slcpd.com has a big button to go to a form to report a crime.  That is one way to report crime.  Dispatch, both 911 and 799 3000, will be encouraged to take crime reports and not discourage callers.  Lisa also is considering providing training on the 7 page Priority Dispatch script priorities.

SENATOR TODD WEILER HAS 3 COMMENDABLE ACTIONS THIS WEEK
  sen. Todd Weiler has had an interesting week.  On Tuesday, he introduced SB57 that required Utah to not remove children or claim a child abuse case unless there is more than one case of an "accident".  He mentioned the case of leaving two toddlers in a shallow bath for a minute (to go to the kitchen) and in that minute, one toddler turned on the hot water which scalded the other toddler.  It took a year before the State finally admitted that it was an accident and not a case of child neglect or abuse.  Accidents happen but if there is not more than one case, and that case can be considered an accident, the State should not be claiming child abuse.  This bill would probably protect over 90% of mothers from overeager State staff.
  Later on in the week, during debate on the effort to repeal Prop 3 and replace it with SB96, Sen. Weiler joined all of the Democrats and voted against SB96 on the second reading (It needed to pass the 3rd reading to go to the House.  Sen. Weiler was the only Republican that voted against SB96.  One of the reasons is that there is not a fiscal note.  Friday morning, Sen. Christiansen told me that he was ordered to make changes to lower the fiscal note cost.  So the bill still does not have a fiscal note.  The fiscal note is way too high to go through.  And the bill has to be changed to lower the fiscal note to not be so high that it scares votes away.  If the bill had gone through, in my opinion (explained below in the Deseret News oped) the cost to Utah would be hundreds of millions to cover the federal 70% proposed match until the waiver is granted if ever.  On top of that, with the Prop 3 initiative approved, there is an April 1 baseline assumption of almost a billion from the federal government to provide a 90% match for Medicaid expansion.  April 1, is the baseline and the fiscal note should reflect that.
  Sen. Weiler said that he didn't know if he were brave or just stupid.  I have known Sen. Weiler for many years.  He even ran a bill for us (to reduce metal theft recycling).  He, in my opinion, is a good and decent moderate Republican.  He makes Republicans look good.  
  Sen. Weiler also does a podcast that goes into a short interview with many of the legislators.  If you want to know what their push button issues are, go to:
http://toddcastutah.libsyn.com/website/category/

SALT LAKE HOMELESS GROUP MEMORIES ON DOWNLOAD
  I put the Salt Lake Homeless Advocacy Group minutes in the downloads section as a memoir.  They are disbanding and their information and memory have been left with me as a memoir to the homeless.  

SLC COUNCIL FINAL HEARING ON INCREASING TRANSIT
  Salt Lake City is planning to have a final public hearing on the proposed interlocal agreement with UTA to increase transit service at the 7 PM City Council meeting on February 5.  The City intends to sign the interlocal on February 19th.  This process has taken over 6 months!  And the service increase won't start until August.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING BILL PASSES COMMITTEE
  Senator Anderegg's SB034, with the support of many Democrats passed through the Senate Committee to the Senate.  It provides $20 million to affordable housing programs and encourages municipalities to plan for higher density next to transportation corridors that could have transit services from buses (with long term stable contracts), BRT or rail.  This is a good government bill that tells governments that they should plan for higher density next to transportation corridors.

SAFER BICYCLE STREETS, ESPECIALLY ON 1700 SOUTH
  SLC is planning a road diet on 1700 S. that adds parking and a center turn lane and removes two traffic lanes.  Adding parking increases dangers to bicyclists that did not exist before.
  If parking is added, the center lane should be eliminated except at lights and a wider bike lane be used.  I feel that State Street should be the same way, without removing travel lanes.  
  Decreasing left turns except at lights increases safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.

UTAH YIELD FOR BICYCLISTS PASSES COMMITTEE
  Representative Moss' HB 0161 passed through to the House.  It allows bicyclists to not stop at red lights or stop signs if there is no traffic that could be a danger.
  UDOT and the Utah Department of Public Safety were concerned about the bill.
  Arguments for the bill included that most bicycle accidents on the road are at lights.  When lights turn green, bicyclists have to worry about cars behind them, beside them, cars coming from across the street and cars turning left in front of them.  If a bicyclist finds it safer to cross with little cross traffic, they should have that option.
  In addition, public safety should be focusing on more dangerous threats to public safety.  Testimony was given by bicyclists that were stopped by Police for acting in a sage manner but not stopping completely.
  Utah has had 3 bicycle fatalities in 2018 which is the least in 6 years.  95% cyclists already do not completely stop.  This bill is being called the Utah stop bill.

NAVAJO CODE TALKERS DESERVE RECOGNITION FOR BRAVERY
  Senator Iwamoto and cosponsor Senator Hinkins are sponsoring a bill and a resolution that recognizes the World War Two Navajo Code Talkers.  In World War Two, many Navajo men volunteered for the most dangerous military service, radio operators. The military used the Navajo language to provide an unbreakable code.  The Navajo Code Talkers were so important that their team leader was instructed to kill them of they could be captured.  The Navajo Code Talkers knew this. Radio operators were also priority targeted for killing by the Japanese. So these men, who did not have to volunteer, voluntarily agreed to what was essentially a suicide mission.  
  They served without recognition, honor or medals.  It wasn't until the 1980's that their service was declassified and recognized.
  SB0101 and SCR 002 names several highways in Southern Utah to Navajo Code Talkers designation and provides August 14, 2019 as Navajo Code Talkers day. 
  These men were the bravest of the brave in the most dangerous combat position.  Their courage and bravery deserve recognition, honor and respect. SB 0101 and SCR 002 passed through to the Senate by the Committee with a favorable recommendation.

CAPITOL ELEVATOR EATS PEOPLE
  This is the worst time for it to happen, but the Capitol Building elevator, one of only two public elevators, stalled with people in it, during the General Session this week.  The trapped individuals were quickly rescued but the old elevators are difficult to maintain.  Instead of building a hundred million garage and office building on Capitol Hill, elevators should be upgraded first.  

DRUG DEALERS BECOMING MILLIONAIRES IN UTAH
  The recently approved medical marijuana compromise will take a couple of years to implement.  One key requirement may not be ready until 2021.  Those who want marijuana, for medical or otherwise are turning to drug dealers.  The vaping THC liquid is especially in demand.  Otherwise the marijuana has to be in dosage form.  Until Utah is fully able to supply the drug, drug dealers will be on the path to become millionaires.
  The Utah person in charge of this effort is:
Kayla Strong, M.A., Center for Medical Cannabis, Utah Department of Health at medicalcannabis@utah.gov.  She goes into detail about medical marijuana below:
".... there are no licensed dispensaries in Utah yet. We have until March of 2020 to get everything up and running, and we have not yet issued our Request for Proposal (RFP) for the seven medical cannabis pharmacies that will be licensed by the Utah Department of Health. ....t is currently legal for some patients with qualifying conditions and physician recommendations to possess cannabis in medicinal dosage form.....
It is not legal to purchase medical cannabis from a drug dealer and any cannabis that is possessed must be in medicinal dosage form. These products typically have medicinal packaging, similar to other commercial drugs. Raw bud or flower outside of blister packs is not legal in Utah, so if a patient purchased any from a drug dealer, he or she would be breaking the law.....
I can't speak for law enforcement, but I believe they are contacting physicians who issue recommendation letters if they have cause to believe that they aren't legitimate. The medical provider issuing a recommendation must be licensed in the State of Utah as a physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse and must also hold a Utah controlled substance permit."

SOCIAL SERVICES HEARS ABOUT DISORGANIZED HOMELESS SERVICES
  Social Services Appropriations Subcommittee heard about some of the significant problems regarding services for the homeless.  There are too many different parties that are trying to claim funds and they may be duplicating efforts to decrease homelessness in Utah.  The Subcommittee is looking into it since there is a big chance that Medicaid, that many were expecting to help fund services is being cut back, in other words not expanded by repealing Prop 3.  The State will not be able to fund a lot of what they wanted.  
  Even the INN Between is being cut ($100,000) although the Chair, Rep. Ray, is going to work with them to see if there are ways to get them the money. 
  During presentation of the Homeless Services Audit, it was also explained that the State claimed to have solved the chronically homeless (more than 12 months homeless) by fudging the data.  Although the audit said that it was unintentional since the standards for counting chronically homeless changed, this is typical for bureaucrats.  They want to look like they are doing great.  One of the managers of that period went around the Country claiming that he, and Utah, had solved homelessness.  I remember, a year after the figures were called into question, he still was claiming that he solved Utah homelessness.
  The data does not show what programs work and what does not work according to the auditors.  Those who work with the homeless already knew that.  Other findings said that bad data led to one rapid rehousing rate to be considered a failure of over 50% (68%).  And they also determined that the State Homeless Coordinating Committee (SHCC) does not know what they are supposed to do.
  The State should plan on spending hundreds of millions of Utah taxpayer dollars on Medicaid expansion since it does not appear that the federal government will give a waiver by April 1.  Also, when the new shelters open up, they may pull many from the INN Between.  There are many questions and the budget/funding should be flexible to handle the eventual resolution on Medicaid and opening the new shelters.
  Social Services Appropriations Subcommittee should plan for more beds.  If the 3000 are chronically homeless, if they are using the Medicaid waiver, (I think it is less than 1000.) we will need more beds.  
  There is potential to provide beds in jail since there are hundreds of drug dealers according to Operation Rio Grande dashboard who should be in jail, not in shelters dealing drugs.

YOU CAN'T RIDE ELECTRIC BICYCLES WHILE DRUNK OR DRUGGED
  During this week's House Transportation Committee meeting, it came out that Utah lost about $6 million in federal funds one year due to allowing two time DUI individuals to operate electric bicycles.  The Federal government requires DUI penalties to apply to Class 2 motor vehicles which includes electric assisted bicycles that can be operated solely on the electric motor.  That makes them a motor vehicle.  Because Utah did not specifically say that a person convicted of a second or subsequent DUI while operating the Class 2 motor vehicle is subject to federally required DUI penalties, Utah lost the $6 million for one year.  Utah has fixed the law which means that you can't ride an electric bike while drunk or incapacitated!


JANUARY 30, 2019
LEGISLATURE ONLY ALLOWS 6 TO SPEAK FOR PROP 3
LEGISLATURE INTERN LIST AVAILABLE
SUGAR HOUSE 2700 S RESURFACING
WATER BILL HB31 KICKED TO ANOTHER COMMITTEE


LEGISLATURE ONLY ALLOWS 6 TO SPEAK FOR PROP 3
  The effort to repeal Prop 3, the Medicaid expansion initiative that passed in Utah, was given a big boost in the Senate Health and Services Committee that heard Senator Christiansen's bill.  His original bill attempted to stop the tax increase set for April 1 but since tax changes require a 90 day notice, and the Utah Tax Commission already sent out notices, Senator Christiansen had to change his original bill to allow the tax increase to take place.  I put the comparison between the old and new SB96 in the new downloads on the left.  
  The Chair of the Committee, Senator Ronald Winterton was so new to the job that he kept mispronouncing the names of the two Democrats on the Committee, Senators Luz Escamilla and Jani Iwamoto.  He had to be corrected constantly.  He also decided to limit the public comments to 10 total individuals, although many more wanted to speak and the Room (Senate Room 210) and overflow held hundreds.  It seemed that the effort was set to push Senator Christiansen's bill forward with minimal effort and negative comments.  So, essentially, only 6 anti SB96 Sub 1 comments were heard!
  The best comments pointed out that SB96 would be asking for a waiver at the same time as putting 100,000 more on Medicaid.  Utah taxpayers would be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars until the federal government approved the waiver, if ever.  Utah said that the federal government would pay to keep the parks open in a previous shutdown but that promise did not happen.  Federal government promises are not always fulfilled.  Puerto Rico and other disaster areas constantly ask where the promised emergency funds are.  And Representative Dunnigan, the cosponsor, had a mental health expansion that requested a waiver that the federal government was promising to approve but didn't.  That waiver request was rescinded when Prop 3 was passed!
  On the other hand, if Prop 3 is allowed to go into effect, the approval is already approved and Utah would get a financial influx of funds of almost a BILLION DOLLARS EVERY YEAR!  Economic development would be significantly helped.  Stopping Prop 3 is almost like closing half of Hill Air Force Base which spends 1.38 billion on salaries and over half a billion on contracts, construction and supplies!
  If SB96 substitutes for Prop 3, there will be a work requirement which is useless for potential mental health patients and the Operation Rio Grande stats prove it.  Out of 3000 chronically homeless (there are not really 3000 chronically homeless in Utah so the State kind of fudged on the definition which is homeless more than 12 months), only 152 are working through the Operation Rio Grande plan.  
  In addition, the Legislature is using questionable predictions, like voodoo economics, that are just guesses.  Instead of waiting a year for real facts and figures, the Legislature is claiming that Prop 3 will cause the sky to fall.  The Legislature should not engage in voodoo economics.  It should wait until Prop 3 is implemented for 6 months before it tries to fine tune it to ensure that the costs are not what experts predict.
  SB96 does add a supportive housing component which Senator Christiansen said will be approved by April 1.  Supportive housing, rent, by law cannot be covered by Medicaid.  So that part of the bill may require Congressional action.  The operative phrase is don't get your hopes up.



LEGISLATURE INTERN LIST AVAILABLE
  I put the Legislative Intern list in the new downloads section on the upper left.  If you need to get information about a Legislator's bill, it is often faster to go to their interns.



SUGAR HOUSE 2700 S RESURFACING
  Sugar House's 2700 South is one of the worst roads in the area, although it is only number 81st worst in the City.  In 2019, the City is proposing to resurface the road from 1300 East to 1930 East with new bike lanes, sidewalk repairs, access ramps and a new pavement surface.  The project is scheduled for April to November 2019.  This is a bicycling road that was actually designed by a bicyclist.  The original plan, years ago, was to put in a center turn lane.  But the bicyclist persuaded the City to not put in the center turn lane to provide more space on the side of the road for bicyclists.  The City has asked to present the project to the Sugar House Community Council in the next month.



WATER BILL HB31 KICKED TO ANOTHER COMMITTEE
  The first water bill, HB31 from Representative Coleman, was moved today from the Government Operations Committee to the Natural Resources Committee.  It will provide more transparency for Salt Lake City and other municipal water utilities' customers on how their water rates are calculated and how their fees are utilized.






JANUARY 27, 2019
KEEPING PROP 3 IS A PUBLIC SAFETY NO BRAINER PUBLISHED
DEALERS ARE STILL ABLE TO EASILY SUPPLY DRUGS
1700 SOUTH LANE CHANGE INCREASES BICYCLING DANGER
2100 EAST CONTINUES TO INCREASE POLLUTION WITH MILE LONG BACKUP
POLITICIANS PLANNING BILLIONS IN SOUTH COUNTY UTA PROJECTS
ANALIA VALDEMOROS NEW 4TH DISTRICT CITY COUNCILWOMAN
900 S RECONSTRUCTION INTERFERES WITH 9 BUS SERVICE EXPANSION
SLC DISPATCH STILL REFUSING REPORTS OF CRIME 
NEW NON EMERGENCY COUNTY SHERIFF NUMBER 801 840 4000
LIST OF INTERESTING LEGISLATURE BILLS
HOW TO WORK THE LEGISLATURE ON UPPER RIGHT DOWNLOADS
AGAIN, LAST 4 YEARS OF BLOG ON UPPER LEFT BUTTON


KEEPING PROP 3 IS A PUBLIC SAFETY NO BRAINER PUBLISHED
  The Salt Lake Tribune published Keeping Prop 3 is a public safety no brainer at: 
https://www.strib.com/opion/commentary/2019/01/27/george-chapman-keeping/

The stats from Operation Rio Grande with 3000 on Medicaid and 152 working show how well work requirements work.  To really make a dent in the drug dealing and addiction issues in Utah requires full Prop 3 implementation.  Senators Anderegg and Christiansen are proposing bills to stop Prop 3 implementation.

DEALERS ARE STILL ABLE TO EASILY SUPPLY DRUGS   
  Another important statistic from Operation Rio Grande is over 300 drug dealers were arrested but only a small fraction are actually incarcerated.  The important questions that should be asked is:  How can shelters be successful if dealers are not removed from access?  How can drug treatment be successful if dealers continue to offer drugs to those graduating from treatment.   

1700 SOUTH LANE CHANGE INCREASES BICYCLING DANGER
  The future road diet on 1700 South is continuing to be questionable since new statistics show that 1700 South and State Street have a high number of bicycle crashes.  The left hand turns, I believe are risking safe bicycling.  The road diet on 1700 South will remove two lanes of traffic, allow on street parking and add a center turn lane and bicycle lanes.  The bicycle lanes are minimal.  The on street parking will add a significant hazard to bicycling.  An old statistic on bicycle accidents showed almost 40% are caused by parked cars' doors opening onto an oncoming bicyclist.  So the attempt to increase the safety of bicyclists with a road diet will actually decrease safety.
  It is similar to the road diet on 900 West that actually increased car accidents.  SLC Transportation is not succeeding at decreasing accidents.

2100 EAST CONTINUES TO INCREASE POLLUTION WITH MILE LONG BACKUP
  2100 East continues to increase pollution levels for nearby residents with a mile long backup everyday during evening rush hour.  Drivers are trying to avoid the inadequate Foothill Drive traffic control and use 2100 East to try to avoid the backup.  But the cross traffic is minimal and it is adding to the backup.  The City and State (which controls Foothill) need to work on the pollution and congestion issue.  The City and WFRC should not be pushing removing lanes of traffic on foothill for a BRT.  That WILL increase pollution.

POLITICIANS PLANNING BILLIONS IN SOUTH COUNTY UTA PROJECTS
  UTA is admitting to a plan to study the proposed Lehi/Draper TRAX that Utah County mayors have been pushing for years.  We successfully fought the effort to build it by 2025 in the Mountainland Association of Governments plan.  It resulted in the project being returned to the 2040 plus timeframe.  But Orem and Lehi mayors have been pushing to make it happen sooner with the excuse to put mass transit in the prison site development.  So they plan to put significant pressure on making it happen within 10 years.  
  UTA will probably continue the study which will cost $800,000.  The cost of TRAX extending from Draper to Lehi and possibly to Provo will be as high as $3 billion.  Zion Bank's study showed that the most money can come from a big tax increase, if UTA is not pushed into using the SB136 tax increase (a big possibility and reason for SB136).  The biggest beneficiaries are some senior political leaders in the State.  
  The best and most fair plan would be to have an assessment area that pays for the cost of any mass transit with increased taxes on the property owners.

ANALIA VALDEMOROS NEW 4TH DISTRICT CITY COUNCILWOMAN
  Analia Valdemoros is the new Salt Lake City District 4 Councilwoman.  The SLC Council agreed to appoint her for the remainder of this year to represent District 4.  She has a background as a planner for SLC RDA and is a small businesswoman.  She also managed NeighborWorks.  She knows the City well enough to hit the ground running.  She actually has more knowledge of the City than almost all previous Council candidates over the last few years.
  The other top candidates were Breanne Miller, Ryan Parker and Michael Iverson.  During the initial vote, Analia Valdemoros was chosen as one of four best by all of the six Councilmembers.  The other top four got one or two fewer votes.  So the Council decided that, to save time, it made sense to not wait another week and vote Analia into office.

900 S RECONSTRUCTION INTERFERES WITH 9 BUS SERVICE EXPANSION
  The 900 South project to restructure and realign 900 South between 1300 East and 950 East is going to proceed and hopefully be completed in the next 12 months.  There will be a roundabout on 1100 East to reduce wait time at the 5 way stop.  The coffee shop is still an issue but the project will proceed.  
  The project timeline will also interfere with the new 9 bus service expansion that is scheduled to start in August.  Plannners said that it will only be an issue for a month or two.  But it will interfere with the bus service.  
  The project will also interfere with an alternative route to avoid the 1300 East project which already funnels traffic onto 1100 East.  Kensington is getting constant bus and vehicle traffic from 1300 East.  The 900 South project will make it worse.
  The roundabout and other new plantings create a complication because SLC has not been able to find enough funds to consistently maintain new plantings.  In 2017, Salt Lake City stopped watering tree medians, the cemetery and parks.  Most of the new plantings in Miller Park and on the McClelland Trail have died due to the water restrictions.  But, SLC will try again.  Project planners are optimistic.

SLC DISPATCH STILL REFUSING REPORTS OF CRIME
  SLC Dispatch is still refusing to accept reports of crimes from citizens.  During a recent review of complaints by residents who were complaining about constant criminal activities near Browning Avenue and 200 East, it was determined that most complaints were not registered so the property that was a criminal magnet was not listed as a problem.  This report is similar to the complaints last year from the same community.  SLC still has a Dispatch problem.

NEW NON EMERGENCY COUNTY SHERIFF NUMBER 801 840 4000
  Salt Lake County's Valley Emergency Communications Center (VECC) continues to consolidate emergency communications from the County.  The bill that significantly increased cell phone taxes a few years ago (by Senator Harper) is funneling more money into VECC than other emergency communications centers.  SLC and Sandy have another one and the Sheriff's Office has another.  But the Sheriff's communications systems is integrating with and on site of VECC now.  There is a new non emergency UPD and Sheriff's Office number.  It is 801 840 4000.  The SLC/Sandy non emergency number is 801 799 3000.  All emergency calls are now required to go to 911.  Unfortunately, the 911 cell phone calls depend on the closest cell tower to decide how to route the calls between SLC/Sandy and other County areas.  If one is near the borders, the 911 calls may go to the wrong center!  Salt Lake County needs a better 911 system that is Countywide and not divided into various areas.

LIST OF INTERESTING LEGISLATURE BILLS
  There are many interesting bills being proposed in this Legislative session.  Some of the more interesting bills include:

Rep. Moss is again trying to ban all cell phone use with HB13.  It passed Interim Committee but not unanimously and therefore needs to be reheard.

Rep. Ray is proposing, again, a bill to increase taxes on electronic cigarettes and other nicotine products and possibly increase ages.  The medical marijuana vaping may also be part of the bill.  He is also in the process of civil commitment amendments and eminent domain amendments.

Senator Bramble, the sponsor of most GRAMA bills, is in the process of updating GRAMA.  Other legislators that are working on government records bills include  Sen. Harper and Sen. Henderson.

Rep. Hutchings, the sponsor of JRI, is proposing a public school mental health amendment and a respectful modification of misdemeanor jail time to decrease potential unreasonable deportation.  Sen. Fillmore is also sponsoring a mental health amendment SB38 along with SB39 that covers assisted outpatient treatment for mental illness.  That should significantly help the drug and alcohol abuse issues that are exponentially increasing.

Senator Harper is modifying his SB136 that gives a big funding increase to UTA with SB 72.  It retracts the name change and "fine tunes" the transit issues.  He is also in process of an ignition interlock bill for DUI that corrects the problems with the present laws.  Rep. Ward is also proposing a bill to stop the required name change that was backed off of after a public backlash.  Sen. Harper is also, again, trying to pass his towing amendments bill that restores balance to those parking in parking lots that have hard to find parking signs.  It is one of the most important bills in this session.  He is also proposing a bill that modifies remote sales tax collection.

Rep. Briscoe is proposing a bill on open carry near schools.  He may lose the fight if he ddoesn't modify it to be educational.  Clark Aposhian, the Second Amendment advocate said that he would support an educational bill but Rep. Briscoe wants a bill with more teeth which could kill it.  Rep. Briscoe is also in the process of developing a bill on salees tax exemption revisions that may reduce the secrecy involving large sales tax exemptions.
    
Rep. Coleman has support for her HB31 which requires more transparency in water supply contracts.  Several cities outside of Salt Lake City have been complaining about Salt Lake City not being more open about supplying water.

Sen. Okerland has a lot of support for his SB17 that reins in Salt Lake City's watershed extraterritorial jurisdiction.  Other governments are concerned about the overreach by SLC Public Utilities that could impact their development plans.  Salt Lake City has listed HB31 and SB17 as a big threat to Salt Lake City watershed.  I do not agree.

Rep. Albrecht, with the support of the Commission on Public Lands, is sponsoring HB78 that requires the State Legislature to agree to proposals from local governments (like Central Wasatch Commission) to turn land over to the federal government.  The Mountain Accord (3.2.1) agreed to pushing for a National Monument, or National Recreation Area or National Conservation Area.  It took a couple of years before it was realized by the Legislature and HB78 is the result.

Rep. Musselman is pushing HB122 that threatens anyone using the Utah Property Rights Ombudsman with legal fees if they fight against recommnedations.  It further hurts private property rights in my opinion.

Rep. Winder is supposedly shopping a proposal to return Brickyard to Millcreek from Salt Lake City tax roles.  The effort is questionable legally but he has to do it since Millcreek is paying him money as Economic Development Director.  This is a direct payment that some may complain to be a bribe.  It could result in a serious legal fight.  

Rep. Hall is sponsoring HB57 that protects electronic information and data privacy and requires warrants to access our cellphone data.

Rep. Arent is again pushing air quality bills including a zero emission vehicles bill.  It will be an uphill battle but it may retract the questionable large increase in registration fees on electric vehicles from last session's SB136.  Large trucks are 500 times more 

Rep. Judkins is proposing HB66 to ask voters and Congress to allow year round daylight savings time like Arizona.  Sen. Harper and Rep. Thurston had similar bills in the last few years which didn't get to first base.  Congress really needs to settle the issue (like internet sales tax) to stop piecemeal state by state policies.

Senator Anderegg, a data specialist, is proposing a homeless shelter oversight program, to get real data.  It is ironic that no one seems to ask the basic questions: how many addicts are sober a year after treatment; how many of the 152 Operation Rio Grande employment successes are still working; and how many of the 300 plus drug dealers arrested are still incarcerated?

Rep. Eliason has HB15, a victim rights amendment that is desperately needed.

Sen. Weiler is sponsoring a military spouse licensing exemption amendments.  He is also supposed to be decreasing the 350 licenses that Utah requires.  But it is slow going.

Rep. Perry and Sen. Mayne are again trying to reset the Utah law enforcement and teacher pension system that makes it difficult to keep educators after 20 years, especially in rural areas.  Education pensions are close to being fully funded (actuarially) but law enforcement pensions are significantly underfunded.  But Utah law enforcement loses a lot of 20 year institutional knowledge that helps fight crime due to our pension system.  Hopefully Rep. Perry and Sen. Mayne will succeed in some flexibility that encourage retainment of law enforcement and educators.

Rep. Snow is proposing a dating violence bill.

HOW TO WORK THE LEGISLATURE ON UPPER RIGHT DOWNLOADS
  Again, as I did last year, I put an educational pamphlet in the upper right hand downloads area that shows how to work the Legislature.  The most important date is the Legislature will not usually develop bills unless they are suggested within two weeks of starting the Legislature.  February 7 is the last day to request bills or appropriations without floor approval.  I also put last year's How to View and Track a Bill by Leila Reynolds, the intern, last year, of Rep. Chavez Hauck. 

AGAIN, LAST 4 YEARS OF BLOG ON UPPER LEFT BUTTON
  Again, I put the last 4 years of the blog on a downloadable PDF or DOCX on the 2015 to 2018 blog page and also on a PDF in the upper left.  I kept the last 6 months of the blog on this blog page




JANUARY 22, 2019

SLC COUNCIL QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS



SLC COUNCIL QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

  The SLC Council received 21 applications for consideration to be appointed to the SLC Council for District 4.  They will have to run for office this year.  But they will have a leg up , if they run, as the incumbent.  These are the questions that the SLC Council gave them, along with my answers.  What do you think are the important issues and answers?


Please share with the Council your view on local government, and its impact on neighborhoods. 

Local government has the greatest impact on neighborhoods with zoning and planning.  The ability to have the right mix of mixed income, mixed use and commercial retail within walking distance can create a vibrant, exciting and charismatic neighborhood.  In addition, protecting the neighborhoods from gentrifying and increasing the cost to rent and to own can protect the character and residents of a neighborhood.  
Basic services such as streets (well maintained and safe), police/public safety that works with communities and neighborhoods, and encouraging and supporting public transit are basic services that local governments should prioritize highly.


What do you think are the top issues facing District 4 and how would you approach each of them? 

Zoning, ensuring safe neighborhoods around the 7th South Homeless Resource Center, appropriate mixed use, mixed income development of the Sears Block, the Fleet Block, 9th South, State Street CRA and utilizing the Opportunity Zone in the District to encourage that appropriate development.  Affordable housing, especially with the State Street CRA (it has the best potential for significantly increased density and mixed use, mixed income) is also important.  Fee waivers may be needed to encourage mixed use, mixed income buildings.  The Granary District has much potential and deserves higher priority for appropriate development.  The Central City area needs protection of the character of the neighborhoods.  Close coordination with the Downtown Alliance and Chamber should encourage appropriate development of downtown vacant buildings.  SLC and the SLC RDA should not save vacant properties for more than a few years.  Vacant buildings encourage crime.  The Depot District also deserves more attention to ensure that the properties owned by the City quickly encourage appropriate mixed use and mixed income development.


What do you think are the top issues facing Salt Lake City and how would you approach each of them? 

Protecting single family home neighborhoods and residents from having to move due to gentrification.  SLC should be permitting thousands more  housing units a year and needs to staff up planning and zoning to ensure that it is done appropriately, efficiently and quickly.  Appropriate law enforcement that does not require the police to handle or take to jail mental health individuals.  The County and State need to step up and ensure that police fight criminals and not people with mental health issues.


We recognize that no legislative body is perfect in their budget and policy decision making. What changes would you like to see for the focus, functioning or decision-making of the Salt Lake City Council? 

Work more closely with the community councils to identify appropriate properties for higher density mixed income and mixed use development.  Communities should drive the direction of development and the City should not increase hate and discontent by unilaterally making decisions.  Housing is the biggest issue in the City now and it would seem that the focus of the Council should be to staff up planning and zoning and give it a goal of thousands of more housing units a year.  Change the demolition ordinance (in process) to encourage appropriate development instead of making landowners pay ahead of time for the permit for the final building before demolition.  Focus on the major potential housing and development areas like State Street, Ballpark, Granary, Depot District, Fleet Block and Sears Block (in District 4 and 5).  Although there are other potential development areas, those areas alone would seem to be a full time job.


Prioritize what you see as the top three infrastructure needs for Salt Lake City over the next five years and explain your choices.

Roads need to be better maintained to show good management of the City and encourage businesses to come here.  A well maintained and safe road will also encourage bicycling and walking, since "Completer Streets" include sidewalks.  Bicyclists are more discouraged from riding on bad roads than the City has admitted.  
Safe neighborhoods that don't need to have the police arrest the same individual a hundred times.  That requires pushing/working with the County and State to solve that issue.  
Appropriate zoning, as explained above, for mixed use, mixed income development while protecting residents and the character of the neighborhood.


With limited budget resources and unlimited wants, what do you believe should be the City’s priorities when it comes to spending?

Higher staffing to ensure that many times more housing units are built in each year in appropriate areas.  RDA has spent 4 years in developing the State Street/9th and 9th (westside) CRA proposal but it still is not approved!  It seems that SLC should be significantly increasing staffing (and salaries to attract professionals) to speed up the process.  Again, these areas have great potential for development but they are not developing.
Roads that are safe and well maintained should also be a priority when it comes to spending.  The budget should increase annual spending for roads (on top of the sales tax increase portion and the bond) to $20 million a year.


What do you believe your role is as a representative of the residents of Salt Lake City?

To represent the communities and work with them to find common ground and appropriate development in their areas.  
To make Salt Lake City a more inviting and livable City that protects and creates great neighborhoods (like the Fairmont Great American Neighborhood Award from a few years ago).  
To be a visible representative of the government of the City to show that the government is accessible.  
To encourage public participation and engagement to ensure policies and projects are appropriate for neighborhoods and they are what the communities want.

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




JANUARY 16, 2019
STATE IS WORKING ON INCREASING COUNTY PUBLIC SAFETY FUNDING
LT GOVERNOR COX DOES NOT THINK PROP 3 IS FULLY FUNDED BY TAX
ROAD HOME WILL NOT CLOSE IN JULY
MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION IN LAST YEAR ON JANUARY 26 
7 CANYONS WILL COST $850,000 TO RETROFIT
UTA BUS GARAGE WILL COST MILLIONS MORE TO SAVE BUILDING
TAYLORSVILLE BRT DECREASES PERSONAL VEHICLE LEVEL OF SERVICE
HIGHLAND SUGAR HOUSE CROSSWALK BY SUMMER
ELPCO ATTEMPTING ANOTHER INN BETWEEN MEDIATION WITH NEIGHBORHOOD
MILLCREEK PUSHING S-LINE EXPANSION TO BRICKYARD MISDIRECT
RALPH BECKER GETS PAY RAISE TO $120,000
1300 EAST TRAFFIC BACKUP DUE TO REMOVING TRAFFIC FROM FREEWAY
SUGAR HOUSE PLAZA POWER OUTLETS SHORT ON POWER
RANK CHOICE VOTING NOT CERTIFIED FOR SLC VOTE
PROPOSED SLC DEMOLITION ORDINANCE BACKTRACKS ON SUGAR HOLE LAW
FREE FARE FALLACIES
UTA PLANNING ON BILLIONS IN POINT OF MOUNTAIN PROJECTS 


JANUARY 16, 2019
STATE IS WORKING ON INCREASING COUNTY PUBLIC SAFETY FUNDING
  During a question and answer session with Lt Governor Cox at the Pioneer Park Coalition, the Lt Governor answered a question about lack of adequate public safety funding at the Salt Lake County Jail and DA.  He said that the State is looking at how to increase jail beds (the SLCO Jail is on booking restrictions) to ensure that the Police are able to effectively fight crime.  This may turn up during this Legislative session.  



LT GOVERNOR COX DOES NOT THINK THAT PROP 3 IS FULLY FUNDED BY TAX
  The Lt Governor said that he does not believe that Medicaid/healthcare expansion is fully funded by the new tax.  He believes that it will go forward but the Legislature will have to change some things to ensure that the cost will not be more than the new tax revenue that was part of Prop 3.
  But the suggestion to fix the issue is to implement a work requirement.  Unfortunately, 80% of incarcerated individuals have mental health issues that often exhibit symptoms of SUD (substance use disorder = drug or alcohol addiction).  Adding a work requirement, and more paperwork for the recipient of treatment to fill out/fulfill will probably result in 90% of people that could benefit from the healthcare expansion walking away from the treatment.
  Ironically, the original legislative Medicaid expansion for 3000 chronically homeless (more than 12 months homeless) was useful for many but most did not end up working.  Even the Operation Rio Grande stats show 137 working (I think that it really is less than 25 since the 137 figure is for entering the work program.).  
  Many were criminals that were drug dealers and addicts (Drug addicts were getting a free drug hit for selling 9 hits.).  So expanding Medicaid with Prop 3 will give the same government healthcare benefits that are enjoyed by criminals.  That is good.  I still think that drug addicts do not commit victimless crimes.  Whether it is leaving a used needle where it could affect children or stealing to get drugs, addicts generally are victimizing citizens and businesses.



ROAD HOME WILL NOT CLOSE IN JULY
  Lt Governor Cox also admitted that the Road Home will not close in July of 2019 as guaranteed by the Legislature.  It will have to wait for a few months for the South Salt Lake Shelter to open.  He blamed South Salt Lake City for slowing the permit process for the shelter in their City.  But the reality is that for the first few months, the State appears to have planned to transport homeless from the Rio Grande area to the homeless shelters to gradually move the homeless out of the area.  Just how gradual the effort will be is a big question. 


 
MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION IN LAST YEAR ON JANUARY 26 
  On January 26, at Corner Canyon High School at 12943 S 700 E in Draper at 10 AM (Saturday), the Salt Lake County Democratic Party will hold a special election to elect the new Salt Lake County Mayor.  It is public and it will determine the future of Salt Lake County.  It will affect taxes, mountain and canyon development, public safety and homeless services in the County.  It is the most important election in the last year.



7 CANYONS WILL COST $850,000 TO RETROFIT
  After a lot of arguments about what is really needed and recommendations to tear down the 7 Canyons Fountain in Liberty Park to remove the sharp "mountains" for safety for children climbing on the sculpture.  The City has decided that the best cost effective plan is to just retrofit the water features to provide a safer water experience that decreases bacteria and other harmful contaminants in the water.  The cost is estimated at $850,000.  The original suggestion of the City was for millions to do a full reconstruction.  The original suggestions are in the downloads section.



UTA BUS GARAGE WILL COST MILLIONS MORE TO SAVE BUILDING
  UTA has decided that the big old brick rail building that is south of the UTA headquarters deserves to be saved.  It will build a building inside the old barely standing, old building despite the significant cost increase.  A new building erected to earthquake resistant standards would be millions cheaper.  But UTA believes that spending millions more in a questionable effort to save a so called important building is a good idea.  Your tax dollars at work.



TAYLORSVILLE BRT DECREASES PERSONAL VEHICLE LEVEL OF SERVICE
  These are my arguments against the proposed UTA Taylorsville BRT:
  I am against UTA attempting any other large transit projects until they can show that they can successfully build, operate and get ridership on expensive projects.  The 35MAX BRT on 3500 S. has had about 3200 passengers a day despite using 2 lanes of traffic for BRT (part of the way in the most congested part of 3500 South) that could carry 5000 ADT a lane of cars with more than one passenger.  The ridership has stayed about the same and only saves 15 minutes of a 70 minute trip.  A successful BRT would generally be handling 5000 plus passengers a day.  The Provo BRT is not able to show success due to the free fare.  The Weber State Ogden BRT proposal will be spending over $60 million to save 5 minutes out of a very efficient and effective 15 minute bus ride to Weber State University.  
  The hope, of course, is to help redevelop 25th Street west of Washington Blvd.  But the single family homeowners along the route may end up fighting at every step of the construction.  The hope of development keeps coming up but I have found no real evidence that it significantly helps in Utah.  Development in many TRAX station areas is very slow.  Portland had the same thing happening.  The successful Farmington station was due to the aggressive efforts of the Farmington Economic Development team (who fought hard for Cabela's).  Most of the station developments are car oriented like Murray and Farmington and Central Pointe.  
  The large developments in Sugar House can be attributed to the linear park (Parleys Trail) and two large parks with significant amenities.  The S-Line did not result in construction of a mixed use and walkable area.  It resulted in a lot of zombie buildings with ground floors off limits to the public.  Sugar House got its character because it was walkable and had a lot of windows for showrooms.  The new developments did away with that and cars proliferated.  The S-Line ridership is about a third of what was predicted.  
  If the community knew that part of the effort of this BRT plan is to close and redevelop Fore Lakes Golf Course, UTA would be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a electric scooter.  That is reason enough to not consider this plan.  From the ESR: "development of this station depends on the transformation of the existing Fore Lakes Golf Course site into a transit-oriented development. While not currently planned, this modification could have significant positive impact on the surrounding neighborhood and community at large, in addition to enhancing longterm BRT ridership"
  But a bigger reason is to recognize and study the LA study last year that showed that, in an effort to get more ridership, LA spent over $15 billion.  It resulted in ridership, after 20 years, going from 147 million a month to 154 million a month!  Almost nothing.  Before projects, a robust bus system should be restored in accordance with the last UTA audit.
  Buses provide a cheaper, more efficient (shared with cars, the preferred choice of transportation) mass transit service.  If the State wants a nicer ride, remove the ugly coverings from the windows so riders can look out and enjoy our beautiful State (studies show that a clean window is the second biggest reason for riding a bus - right after a pleasant bus rider).  The goal should be to encourage those who can only afford an older car that pollutes more, to want to use the bus system.  But if stations are far apart (4 blocks) people won't walk to ride them.  Proof is the effort by cities to put in mid block crosswalks along State Street because they acknowledge that people won't walk half a block to the light!  A bus stop every block is the best way to encourage ridership.
  The BRT would cost about $15 million a mile while an effective enhanced bus would cost a tenth of that cost and have a lane at lights and light priority.
  The area needs a freeway more than a BRT.  According to the report, UDOT is going to add two lanes.  I wouldn't be surprised if they try to add 4 lanes (which is needed at 39,000 ADT).  The Report made the best point:  "Can BRT move enough people to allow state to forego extra lanes?" 
  The center road stations require slowing traffic for pedestrian crossings which increase pollution, especially at the Fore Lakes Station!  The center stations create danger for those who have difficulties crossing high traffic streets, like wheelchairs.  Riders tend to race across traffic lanes to catch a TRAX or bus in the center lane which is less probable if there are 6 lanes of traffic between the ride and the rider.
  If the biggest potential development areas say no, then even trying to justify the project with development potential does not make sense.  SLCC is the only potential and they do not redevelop.  The golf course is a big fight.  The low income housing will also result in a fight and will not be easily replaced (SLC lost housing despite promises to replace the redeveloped low income housing!  Low income housing loss is irreversible.  Eminent domain can be messy and unfair.  UTA has been fighting one fight for 10 years.  Sorenson Research Park estimates very low employee ridership.  I agree.  Highly paid jobs result in more cars and very little ridership.
  The BRT should not have zig zags.  They, like rail should go straight.
  Before spending money on this project, a real cost benefit analysis should take place and compare a higher frequency regular and enhanced bus with the costly BRT and loss of 2 lanes for 1.4 miles.
  Note that there is no further funding from the State but it is/will be in the next RTP.  But it is not prioritized with more important projects and service expansions.  The ESR should have that prioritization and cost benefit analysis and ridership predicted based on historical data which indicates predictions to be three times reality of ridership.
  Station concepts look like they won't work in sunshine and snow and rain - minnie mouse /tiny cover for riders?  It is time that UTA listens to riders that complain about being forced to stand in a 3 foot wide covered area.  The fancy designs look really expensive with a micro shelter!  How about a minimum of 10 foot wide shelter cover?
  In other words, I am against this project until bus service is increased.  Don't do what LA did and the study from last year (2017) showed, almost no increase in ridership.



HIGHLAND SUGAR HOUSE CROSSWALK BY SUMMER
  The planned Sugar House Highland Drive crosswalk between Kimi's Chop Shop and Buffalo Wings should be constructed and completed by summer of 2019.  So no more ignoring the signs against jaywalking and people can breath easier knowing that they can cross safely and without being ticketed.



ELPCO ATTEMPTING ANOTHER INN BETWEEN MEDIATION WITH NEIGHBORHOOD
  East Liberty Park Community Organization has been trying to effect another mediation effort with the INN Between and the neighborhood.  The advisory committee is not very effective since it only gets one or two neighborhood residents attending it.  I live 2 blocks away and I and my family are more concerned about the homeless camping in the alleyway/McClelland Trail behind our homes.  The next door neighbor's gate was broken and homeless were camping in their yard until the police removed their gear.  That is a bigger problem.  But the INN Between should be communicating with residents and neighbors, especially those who are concerned about the facility.  Without communication, the neighborhood will increase the negative attitude against the INN Between and other homeless efforts.  As I said before, the INN Between, the neighbors and the homeless all deserve respect.  And again, it does not bode well for the new homeless shelters.  Although they will have a neighborhood public engagement person (with a grant from last month).  Maybe that is what the INN Between needs.



MILLCREEK PUSHING S-LINE EXPANSION TO BRICKYARD WITH MISDIRECT
  Millcreek's suggestion that Brickyard be returned to Millcreek and provide a significant increase in tax revenue seems to be a misdirect.  Millcreek really wants the S-Line to go south on Highland to 33rd South!  And the Legislature will be discussing all of these items and it will be a good way to "compromise" on a rail line to Millcreek.  Note that last month's grant to expand the Sugar House Circulation and Amenities Plan from several years ago to Millcreek and to South Salt Lake City sets the stage for the expansion of the S-Line.  This will be a suspenseful soap opera.



RALPH BECKER GETS PAY RAISE TO $120,000
  The Central Wasatch Commission (CWC) has given former Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker a raise to $120,000 a year.  That is just a little below the salary of the Salt Lake City Mayor!  And the CWC is not having much luck convincing the Legislature that it is making sense.  It is interesting that the Mountain Accord claimed such agreement between all parties (without complying with Utah's open meetings act) that recommended a tunnel and train and discouraging personal vehicle travel and a national monument for the Canyons.  But now, the CWC that is set up to implement the Mountain Accord, is being questioned by the Legislature.  The CWC is preparing a bill for Congress to make the Wasatch Canyons a National Recreation Area and trade a couple of hundred undevelopable acres for a ski resort to build a 500 unit Montage style complex.  
  The CWC is also claiming that landowners are trying to steal the Canyons for development and ruining the watershed.  The reality is that the landowners want to build less than a hundred cabins and provide conservation easements on thousands of acres.  It will be another interesting and suspenseful soap opera at the Legislature.  But Ralph Becker will be well compensated.



1300 EAST TRAFFIC BACKUP DUE TO REMOVING TRAFFIC FROM FREEWAY
  Several people have complained to the Sugar House Community Council about traffic backing up on 1300 South just south of the I80 intersection.  The backup can often go to 27th South.  UDOT recently completed a study with consultants and Salt Lake City that eliminated or significantly reduced the backup of vehicles that were trying to exit onto 1300 East from I80 eastbound.  So the lights were timed to increase the time to allow those exiting vehicles higher priority.  That resulted a big backup to 2700 South.



SUGAR HOUSE PLAZA POWER OUTLETS SHORT ON POWER
  With the millions spent on the Sugar House Plaza at 2100 South and Highland, one would think that the power outlets on the Plaza would provide sufficient power for special events.  Unfortunately, there is not sufficient power for special events.  The solution may cost hundreds of thousands more.  
RANK CHOICE VOTING NOT CERTIFIED FOR SLC VOTE
  I was asked to confirm that SLCO is not going to provide rank choice voting after a blog entry in November.  This is what County Clerk Sherry Swenson said:
  "My answer to the Council wasn’t that my office isn’t certified for rank choice voting, but that our voting system won’t accommodate rank choice voting.   It isn’t designed to create a ballot for rank choice voting or to tabulate rank choice voting.
  The new voting system that was selected by the State (ES&S) has created a software option for rank choice voting, but it hasn’t been certified.  Certification of voting systems is a rigorous process and crucial to ensure their accuracy.  
https://www.eac.gov/assets/1/28/Cert.Manual.4.1.15.FINAL.pdf
http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/voting-system-standards-testing-and-certification.aspx
  Therefore, we will not offer contract services to cities who choose to conduct their elections with rank choice voting."
  Former Downtown Community Council Chair Christian Harrison had a well reasoned opinion piece in the Salt Lake Tribune earlier this month that suggested rank choice voting for Salt Lake City's upcoming elections this year.  So, unfortunately, Salt Lake City will not be able to use Salt Lake County for the election, if rank choice voting is used. 
PROPOSED SLC DEMOLITION ORDINANCE BACKTRACKS ON SUGAR HOLE LAW
  The Other Side Academy asked to demolish an old literally falling down home next to the main facility last year.  Unfortunately, Salt Lake City had an ordinance that did not allow that.  The ordinance was implemented to stop projects that demolish a building but leave an empty lot like the Sugar Hole on 21st South and Highland.  That building was built after the City gave the developer, Craig Mecham, almost $7 million for a public parking lot on one of the levels.  Mecham had the last laugh by requiring a minimum parking charge of $10.  
  The City also owns a lot of vacant properties that increase crime in their neighborhoods.  Landlords also want to start demolition but the City requires money up front to pay for permits for the replacement building.  That actually discourages demolition of vacant buildings.
  The good news is that Salt Lake City is rethinking their demolition ordinance.  The proposed language includes:  
  "The requirements  for  either  a permitted  replacement  use or  a  landscape  plan  and bond have  been removed
It no longer  cites  the  following  purposes: 
   o avoid demolition of  buildings  in a  manner  that  disrupts  the  character  of established neighborhoods 
   o avoid  demolition  until a  complete  building  permit is  submitted 
   o avoid the  creation of  vacant  sites  with minimal  or  no landscaping"



FREE FARE FALLACIES
Several Legislators have suggested that UTA provide free fare on red air days.  Studies show (including one in San Francisco a few years ago) that that does not help.  People want to minimize their outdoor time during bad air days and actually drive more.  In addition, and most importantly, studies also show that free fare transit attracts so called undesirable riders (mostly homeless in SLC).  Bad air days are generally during the hottest and coldest days of the year and UTA transit provides a welcome respite from heat and cold for people that do not have shelter.  The result is, according to studies, the effort results in fewer long term ridership increases since way too many people do not want to be exposed to homeless on the seat next to them



UTA PLANNING ON BILLIONS IN POINT OF MOUNTAIN PROJECTS 
  Unfortunately, much of the increased revenue for UTA is going to be spent on projects in South County at Point of the Mountain.  Citizens and taxpayers want better service before more projects.  The UTA Board of Trustees and Advisory Board heard the Plan for the Point of the Mountain proposed TRAX from Draper to Lehi.  UTA should follow the recommendations of the last audit and restore a robust bus system before more expensive projects.  The study last year on LA transit spending showed that spending $15 billion on transit projects got almost no increase in ridership and actually encouraged more car use.  LA went from 147 million a month to 154 million a month after 20 years and $15 billion. 
  Much of the effort is due to the perception/belief that rail will encourage development.  But I can argue that the reason for the hyper, super-gentrification of Sugar House was encouraged by the linear park and other parks in the area, not by the S-Line.  Another argument against rail helping development is the 2100 South area by Central Pointe.  That has been undeveloped/underdeveloped for 20 years, despite great transit.






December 31, 2018
BRENT TAYLOR COULD HAVE BEEN, SHOULD HAVE BEEN, WOULD HAVE BEEN GOVERNOR
ALL RACCOONS DIE
THE INN BETWEEN AND RESPECT OPED PUBLISHED
TAYLORSVILLE BRT IS A $70 PLUS MILLION WASTE OF MONEY
RED LINE TRAX STOPS AT 4TH SOUTH IN MAY
CIP GOING YEAR ROUND BUT NEVER MIND
UTA CAN'T HIRE AND KEEP BUS DRIVERS
BEST CLASS ON LEGISLATURE BY LIBERTAS
SILICOSIS IN UTAH 



BRENT TAYLOR COULD HAVE BEEN, SHOULD HAVE BEEN, WOULD HAVE BEEN GOVERNOR
  I agree that Brent Taylor should be Utahn of the year.
  Many of us in Utah were in shock and sad at the news that North Ogden Mayor Brent Taylor was killed in Afghanistan while serving as a Utah National Guardsman Major. Brent Taylor was a father of seven and devoted husband who was on his fourth tour of duty in a combat zone. Those who knew him and worked with him felt that he was capable of being governor of Utah. Many also felt that he was going to be governor of Utah. He was that special.  You had to work with him to see his leadership ability and concern for the taxpayers.
  To understand how much we lost, you would have had to watch him fight the good fight, against all odds, to make sure that government was for the people. When he was appointed by Weber County to represent the County on the UTA Board of Trustees, he had to fight to join the Board. Brent Taylor wanted government, and UTA in particular, to be more responsive to the public. He wanted to have more public engagement. One of the first proposals that Brent Taylor brought to the Board was to broadcast the meetings on the internet.  The Board Chair immediately agreed and implemented that policy.  He questioned UTA staff recommendations to ensure adequate cost benefit analysis, something that the last UTA Legislative Audit recommended.   
  He also also pointed out inappropriate and questionable actions by the Board members. Despite embarrassing questions, the Board slowly changed its actions to reflect more analysis of projects. Their questions increased during and after Brent Taylor's time on the Board.  Before Brent Taylor's time on the Board, there were few questions about staff recommendations. In other words, the Board was following a genuine leader, someone who people wanted to follow.
  His words were inspiring and deserve to be remembered. He said, when he announced that he was going to go on another deployment to a combat zone, “There are three great loyalties that have guided my life and everything in it: God, family and Country… I have given my life to serve all three of these loyalties whenever and however I can. And right now there is a need for my experience and skills to serve in our Nation’s long-lasting war in Afghanistan.” 
  Brent Taylor’s death made national and worldwide news and emphasized his belief that fighting for freedom is important and his belief that giving his life to service is what he believed in. Brent Taylor made Utahns and those who protect and serve look good. Brent Taylor reminds us that those who serve in uniform are risking their lives to defend the freedom that is this Country's greatest accomplishment.
    It was obvious that he was going to be a great leader in Utah. He seemed to want to do the right thing and make government better, even when it seemed that everyone was against his recommendations. Utah did not just lose a loving father and husband. Utah also lost a hero and someone that should have been and would have been governor. Brent Taylor should be remembered for the love he had for his Country, his State, his wife and his children.
  Brent Taylor was willing to die for the freedoms that we have and that he hoped everyone had. He said it best when he said "the secret to happiness is freedom". His last words to his family seemed to be and should be acknowledged and celebrated as his most important words: "God bless America" (it is worth fighting for). 
  There are others who offered to fight for America and returned after facing deadly fighting.  They may have medals but they don't receive the recognition that they deserve.  I encourage all veterans to consider becoming more involved in politics.  Utah can benefit from more veterans in elected positions.  The same respect that Brent Taylor earned is also yours, if you will please step up and run for office.  This State and America needs you.



ALL RACCOONS DIE
  At one time, we were told that SLC and several other cities in Salt Lake County includin the County, paid to have raccoons in the area caught and released in the wild away from populations.  But recently, it has become clear that the raccoons are killed in a "humane manner".  That usually means in a carbon monoxide chamber since many animal control officers are leery of trying to inject a wild raccoon.  I do not think that a carbon monoxide chamber is humane.  It can take 30 seconds or more for the animal to lose consciousness and even then, some recommend placing the body in the freezer to "kill it".  That is why all but two animal control departments in the State have stopped using chambers.  Several legislators have tried to pass a law banning CO chambers without success.  
  Raccoons are destructive to Utah wildlife and can spread rabies and mange.  The service that SLC and some of the municipalities in the County uses can provide a free trap but prefers that residents buy them for about $40.  They emphasized that they will give a free trap if they feel that the person cannot afford a trap.  They recommend that sweet bait like vanilla be used for raccoons since cats will avoid it (hopefully).  They will also catch skunks.
  They also said that they sometimes have problems with coyotes in the Avenues and Capitol Hill areas.  That is another problem that has to be addressed by the Council.  If you have a problem with raccoons and want them dead, call 385 419 3405.



THE INN BETWEEN AND RESPECT OPED PUBLISHED
  The Salt Lake Tribune published an oped that summarizes the issues between the INN Between (TIB) homeless hospice and respite care facility and some of the neighbors.  It is at:
https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2018/12/30/commentary-inn-between

  The INN Between has been on a crusade to justify their new facility at 1216 East and 1300 South (the facility also fronts on Sherman Avenue.  The INN Between provides a necessary and compassionate service for the homeless of Utah.  Hospitals “dump” some of their homeless patients downtown in a diaper and hospital gown and TIB provides them with needed respite care.  
  The most important point is that everyone, including homeless want a comfortable and safe place to live, free from crime and conflict and to be respected.  The INN Between should not negatively impact neighbors. If TIB cannot work with neighbors to address problems and develop reasonable rules, it is a sign that the future homeless resource centers in other neighborhoods will also fail in their efforts.
  The oped is a summary of the issue.  The most important part that didn't get published is:
  Although 2 blocks away, my family is not really negatively impacted.  We are adjacent to the McClelland Trail Canal and homeless sometimes camp out in the neighborhood alleyways next to us.  Last week, some homeless busted a back gate next door and started camping in the back yard next door - the police removed the camp.
  Those issues are more important.  But the neighborhood on Sherman is impacted and upset and have not spoken up en masse due to concerns about being labelled as uncompassionate and unChristian.  They are intimidated.  I had an old SLTRIB oped about homeless shelters that urged them to be closer to commercial facilities like stores and fast food restaurants.  In my opinion, it is disrespectful to expect dying to spend the last few months of their lives in a room.  They deserve to be able to walk to the store for cigarettes or coffee or a burger or a soda.  This was the best option though for those dying.  I have watched this issue explode from the beginning.
  I watched how upset the Poplar Grove Community Council was, concerned about the INN Between. (I was at one of the first meetings about using the old Guadalupe School.)  I watched the discussion in the City Council. (The SLTRIB had some interesting comments from then City Councilman Kyle LaMalfa on the subject.)  I asked the community leaders about the recent issues and they said that they were solved with the community advisory board. (Even though several community members said that there were constant complaints about the problems with smoking and the homeless wandering the neighborhood.)  That is why I asked the INN Between at last summer's ELPCO meeting if they would invite the neighborhood to participate in a community advisory board to identify and address concerns from the neighborhood.  I did not expect it to devolve into a knockdown dragdown fight to the death (literally) with threats of lawsuits and police intimidation.  
  I asked the Legislature's Social Services Appropriations Interim Committee (meeting at the INN Between) in October to help get the parties to talk and try to work things out with a mediation.  Representative Ray and Senator Escamilla agreed to try to mediate the issues.  Sofia tried to address the meeting at the INN Between but the police were called and she was ordered to leave the premises.  Those police called their supervisor who allowed Sofia to address the Committee while being escorted by the police.
  The next attempt to mediate was a semi secret meeting at the Capitol on a school night that was announced on Facebook by the INN Between.  I was concerned that it might be one sided since the invitation should have been sent out to everyone involved.  I told Sophia about the meeting and I heard it from others that I work with in the community that fight for the homeless.  The meeting ended up as a discussion about how important the INN Between is and almost ignored addressing the issues that the neighborhood legitimately feels are a threat.  Patients out after 10PM, getting drug deliveries, four registered sex offenders without evaluating the potential for threats (ensuring that no one in the neighborhood is threatened) and evaluating problem cases that refuse to follow rules or threaten neighbors.  My efforts to try to get a mediation have failed and the neighborhood has started making arrangements to use the questionable zoning application to stop operations of the INN Between.  I think that they have a 25% chance of succeeding.
  Last Friday, again, the INN Between had a gathering of their friends and decried the attempts to close the facility.  There should be enough common ground to provide rules that comfort the neighbors and promote safety for the patients.  Without reasonable and respectful rules, the facility could have real problems.
  If TIB does not work with the neighborhood and develops trust with reasonable rules, the neighbors could force a lawsuit that could close the INN Between.  We should try for more communication now.
  Ironically, Salt Lake City recently got a grant to help public engagement for the omeless Resource Centers.  Shelter the Homeless and VOA will provide outreach for 1/2 mile from the Resource Centers.  The City will have a Funding Our Future Dashboard about the grant (and others).  Based on the results of Palmer Court (the second biggest draw for medical response in Salt Lake City), the City, and County will need more to have a real chance at a respectful public engagement.



TAYLORSVILLE BRT IS A $70 PLUS MILLION WASTE OF MONEY
  I am against UTA attempting any other large transit projects until they can show that they can successfully build, operate and get ridership on expensive projects.  The 35MAX BRT on 3500 S. has had about 3200 passengers a day despite using 2 lanes of traffic for BRT (part of the way in the most congested part of 3500 South) that could carry 5000 ADT a lane of cars with more than one passenger.  The ridership has stayed about the same and only saves 15 minutes of a 70 minute trip.  A successful BRT would generally be handling 5000 plus passengers a day.  The Provo BRT is not able to show success due to the free fare.  The Weber State Ogden BRT proposal will be spending over $60 million to save 5 minutes out of a very efficient and effective 15 minute bus ride to Weber State University.  
  The hope, of course, is to help redevelop 25th Street west of Washington Blvd.  But the single family homeowners along the route may end up fighting at every step of the construction.  The hope of development keeps coming up but I have found no real evidence that it significantly helps in Utah.  Development in many TRAX station areas is very slow.  Portland had the same thing happening.  The successful Farmington station was due to the aggressive efforts of the Farmington Economic Development team (who fought hard for Cabela's).  Most of the station developments are car oriented like Murray and Farmington and Central Pointe.  
  The large developments in Sugar House can be attributed to the linear park (Parleys Trail) and two large parks with significant amenities.  The S-Line did not result in construction of a mixed use and walkable area.  It resulted in a lot of zombie buildings with ground floors off limits to the public.  Sugar House got its character because it was walkable and had a lot of windows for showrooms.  The new developments did away with that and cars proliferated.  The S-Line ridership is about a third of what was predicted.  
  If the community knew that part of the effort of this BRT plan is to close and redevelop Fore Lakes Golf Course, UTA would be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a electric scooter.  That is reason enough to not consider this plan.  From the ESR: "development of this station depends on the transformation of the existing Fore Lakes Golf Course site into a transit-oriented development. While not currently planned, this modification could have significant positive impact on the surrounding neighborhood and community at large, in addition to enhancing longterm BRT ridership"
  But a bigger reason is to recognize and study the LA study last year that showed that, in an effort to get more ridership, LA spent over $15 billion.  It resulted in ridership, after 20 years, going from 147 million a month to 154 million a month!  Almost nothing.  Before projects, a robust bus system should be restored in accordance with the last UTA audit.
  Buses provide a cheaper, more efficient (shared with cars, the preferred choice of transportation) mass transit service.  If the State wants a nicer ride, remove the ugly coverings from the windows so riders can look out and enjoy our beautiful State (studies show that a clean window is the second biggest reason for riding a bus - right after a pleasant bus rider).  The goal should be to encourage those who can only afford an older car that pollutes more, to want to use the bus system.  But if stations are far apart (4 blocks) people won't walk to ride them.  Proof is the effort by cities to put in mid block crosswalks along State Street because they acknowledge that people won't walk half a block to the light!  A bus stop every block is the best way to encourage ridership.
  The BRT would cost about $15 million a mile while an effective enhanced bus would cost a tenth of that cost and have a lane at lights and light priority.
  The area needs a freeway more than a BRT.  According to the report, UDOT is going to add two lanes.  I wouldn't be surprised if they try to add 4 lanes (which is needed at 39,000 ADT).  The Report made the best point:  "Can BRT move enough people to allow state to forego extra lanes?" 
  The center road stations require slowing traffic for pedestrian crossings which increase pollution, especially at the Fore Lakes Station!  The center stations create danger for those who have difficulties crossing high traffic streets, like wheelchairs.  Riders tend to race across traffic lanes to catch a TRAX or bus in the center lane which is less probable if there are 6 lanes of traffic between the ride and the rider.
  If the biggest potential development areas say no, then even trying to justify the project with development potential does not make sense.  SLCC is the only potential and they do not redevelop.  The golf course is a big fight.  The low income housing will also result in a fight and will not be easily replaced (SLC lost housing despite promises to replace the redeveloped low income housing!  Low income housing loss is irreversible.  Eminent domain can be messy and unfair.  UTA has been fighting one fight for 10 years.  Sorenson Research Park estimates very low employee ridership.  I agree.  Highly paid jobs result in more cars and very little ridership.
  The BRT should not have zig zags.  They, like rail should go straight.
  Before spending money on this project, a real cost benefit analysis should take place and compare a higher frequency regular and enhanced bus with the costly BRT and loss of 2 lanes for 1.4 miles.
  Note that there is no further funding from the State but it is/will be in the next RTP.  But it is not prioritized with more important projects and service expansions.  The ESR should have that prioritization and cost benefit analysis and ridership predicted based on historical data which indicates predictions to be three times reality of ridership.
  Station concepts look like they won't work in sunshine and snow and rain - minnie mouse /tiny cover for riders?  It is time that UTA listens to riders that complain about being forced to stand in a 3 foot wide covered area.  The fancy designs look really expensive with a micro shelter!  How about a minimum of 10 foot wide shelter cover?
  In other words, I am against this project until bus service is increased.  Don't do what LA did and the study from last year (2017) showed, almost no increase in ridership.



RED LINE TRAX STOPS AT 4TH SOUTH IN MAY
  The Red Line TRAX will have to stop at 400 South in May, after UofU classes end for the semester, in order to upgrade the 400 South and Main Street curve rail system with a safety stop to deter contact between trains.  UTA expects to have a bus bridge to take passengers from the Courthouse to the Library.



CIP GOING YEAR ROUND BUT NEVER MIND
  During the last SLC Council discussion on CIP projects that started in May and finished in October, the Council asked that CIP applications be accepted year round to reduce the backup.  But the system still is set up to only have one set of CIP Advisory Board meetings a year.  So, until the City sets up more CIP Advisory Board meetings, the citizens of SLC will still have just one chance a year to ask for funds for their pet projects (generally endorsed by the local community council).
  It is a little complicated so this is the email that explains it all:
  "I’m following up on your Capital Improvement Program (CIP) questions as discussed after the Council’s formal meeting last night. The Administration is accepting applications year-round. The deadline for an application to be included in the Fiscal Year 2020 batch was September 28. Applications received after then will be included in the Fiscal Year 2021 batch.
  The Community Development and Capital Improvement Program resident advisory board will review the Fiscal Year 2020 batch of applications over several meetings during January – March. Their funding recommendations go to the Mayor who provides a separate set of funding recommendations in the Mayor’s Recommended Budget. The Council receives the advisory board’s and Mayor’s CIP funding recommendations for consideration and ultimately decide which projects receive funding.
  You can learn more about CIP such as the application, process, and timeline at this website: https://www.slc.gov/hand/capital-improvement-program/
  The old process accepted CIP applications for approximately one month typically in the fall. This created a rush of applications and associated spike in workload for departments and HAND staff to review, analyze, adjust and coordinate with the applicant. Opening up the application period to be year round alleviates that rush of applications and crunch of associated workload. This allows more time for thoroughly reviewing applications and is intended to improve the quality and process of the CIP program.
  The Council prefers reviewing all CIP applications together each fiscal year. CIP funding is very competitive. Reviewing all applications in a batch provides a fuller context of the City’s various competing capital improvement needs so elected officials and the resident advisory board are able to make more informed recommendations."



UTA CAN'T HIRE AND KEEP BUS DRIVERS
  UTA was able to hire a total of three bus drivers over a recent two months!  The ability of UTA to recruit, train and retain experienced drivers is decreasing.  This is the weak link in the plan to significantly increase bus service in Salt Lake County (many seem to want to go to Utah County).  A complication in keeping experienced drivers was the federal law that makes use of a cell phone while driving a bus or any mass transit or train illegal.  But bus drivers were being fired for talking on their cell phones before the bus started their route run and while they were outside of the bus.  Maybe UTA should consider a little flexibility.  UTA is constantly begging for drivers to take overtime.  



BEST CLASS ON LEGISLATURE BY LIBERTAS
  Connor Boyack is probably, in my opinion, the most effective Utah citizen working with the Legislature.  He was instrumental in getting Proposition Two passed and working with the Legislative leaders on the compromise.  Every year he conducts a class on how to work with the Legislature.  I consider the class important and useful for anyone interested in politics.  There is a chance to see how it is done, how to be effective and you could even talk to elected leaders.  It is on Saturday, January 26 from 9 AM to 1 PM.  It is called the 2019 Pre-Legislative Bootcamp and it is at the Utah State Capitol.  Although it is free, you must RSVP to get a free ticket.  The link is:



https://libertasutah.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=2243d8fae3f290c0d90e2c101&id=bb5cfa0a9e&e=30a4f7d5f4


eventbrite.com has the ticket at:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2019-pre-legislative-bootcamp-become-an-effective-citizen-advocate-tickets-53839712028?utm_source=Libertas+Institute+Newsletter&utm_campaign=9fc8daa956-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_12_21_02_50&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_a6fc0d365a-9fc8daa956-85709725&mc_cid=9fc8daa956&mc_eid=30a4f7d5f4


If you have problems, email info@libertasutah.org
"Be sure to RSVP and invite your friends who would be interested in learning the nuts and bolts of how the legislative process works and how you can make a difference. "



SILICOSIS IN UTAH 
  Utah will study the effect of a gravel pit at Point of the Mountain in Draper in the next year.  We tried to get the State to include the residents and employers around the State Capitol and in the Avenues and around Beck Street (large gravel pits).  But the Salt Lake County Health Department has to ask for it.  I have heard anecdotal stories of residents that have a lot of dust in their high rise apartments and cases of silicosis.  According to the State, "Between 1992 and 2014 (our latest year of available data) there were 49 cases of hospitalizations due to silicosis statewide."  This should be a bigger study that includes checkups for residents in certain areas and buildings that have a case of silicosis (a condition in the lungs that decrease oxygen for the body due to dust in the air).





DECEMBER 14, 2018
CHRISTMAS COMES EARLY TO SLC COUNCIL WITH 50% PAY RAISE
INN BETWEEN SECRET MEETING WITH LEGISLATORS
THE INN BETWEEN VRS NEIGHBORS FIGHT ESCALATES
ENERGYSOLUTIONS TO BURY SAN ONOFRE NUCLEAR PLANT IN UTAH
SLCO SURPRISES SLC WITH CHRISTMAS OFFER TO FUND ANYTHING AND DOES
UTA MAY SHOOT BUSES (REALLY, I AM NOT KIDDING)


CHRISTMAS COMES EARLY TO SLC COUNCIL WITH 50% PAY RAISE
  Only one person spoke against the SLC Council pay raise that was passed unanimously last night.  Despite concerns that they are giving themselves a pay raise, cops are not getting a raise and that they had 3 tax increases this year and lots of secret meetings, Merry Christmas.  Obviously, I was against this.  Unfortunately no one seems to care enough to comment on it.  They also pointed out that they should have a salary 25% of the City's Mayor and closer to the County Council's #40,000 a year.  But the County Council's budget is 5 times more than the City's budget.  I don't think that politicians are more important than cops.


INN BETWEEN SECRET MEETING WITH LEGISLATORS
  Several of us have asked the Legislature to attempt to mediate the fight between the INN Between and the neighborhood.  Representative Ray and Senator Escamilla agreed to help mediate the concerns.  Unfortunately, the only thing that developed since that October agreement/meeting is the INN Between put out a notice on Facebook for their followers to attend a meeting at the Capitol this Thursday, December 13th at 6 PM to discuss the issue.  That kind of defeats the purpose when the two parties are not really being encouraged to talk.  This results in one side having their presentation and one sided opinion creating even more animosity.  
  The neighborhood is upset that a homeless shelter is suddenly being put in their residential neighborhood and they can't do anything about it.  There are four registered sex offenders residing at the INN Between and there are no rules (that appear to be followed) and the neighborhood is concerned about homeless walking the neighborhood at late night when they are supposed to be in the facility.  Several of the residents refuse to abide by the attempt to stop their leaving the facility at all hours of the night.  The announcement on Facebook is below:
The INN Between 
Legislative Community Meeting
https://www.facebook.com/events/1835156139914871/
Thursday, December 13, 2018
6 PM – 8 PM
Utah Capitol, Room 210
Now that The INN Between has been open for six months, Senator Escamilla and Representative Ray are hosting a Community Meeting to gather neighborhood feedback. Please join us to share your experience of having The INN Between as a neighbor.
The event will be held in Room 210 of the Senate Building (the East building with the cafeteria). There is free parking in the visitor parking or on the street. You can enter the building through the east facing doors, then proceed to the second floor


THE INN BETWEEN VRS NEIGHBORS FIGHT ESCALATES
The INN Between put out an invitation to their Facebook friends to attend a meeting with Senator Escamilla and Representative Paul Ray December 14 at the State Capitol.  Some of the neighbors that had been fighting against the INN Between (TIB) found out and tried to voice their concerns during the meeting.  The meeting had been requested as a way to get the two sides talking but it ended up as a dog and pony show that extolled the benefits of TIB.  But that should not have been the issue.  The issue is that neighbors, some of whom actually work with hospice and homeless, are upset that drug dealing and questionable behavior by some of the patients are being allowed to be tolerated instead of being stopped.  In addition, some of the residents are not really dying.
  TIB serves a valuable function for a society.  Homeless should not be dying in the street.  TIB allows them to die with some dignity.  Hospitals are also dumping patients at the Rio Grande homeless area at the Weigand Center with just a dressing gown and a diaper!  TIB also is used to provide respite care for those people who hospitals dump.  These, generally, are homeless who can barely walk, if they can walk.  It was also assumed that TIB would also provide housing for those undergoing continuing treatment for cancer and other diseases.  
  Unfortunately, the neighbors demand for answers has resulted in intimidating the director of TIB who sent two police officers (acting outside of official capacity) to tell Sophia Anderson, the leader of neighbors concerned about the impact on the neighborhood, that she and the rest of the neighborhood would not be allowed on the property of TIB!  So the advisory board that was supposed to encourage comment and discussion and communication between TIB and the neighbors was essentially flushed down the toilet.  TIB also sent a cease and desist letter to the neighbors about their online social media campaign against TIB in their neighborhood!  Yes TIB really did tell them to stop their lies on social media. 
  I have to, out of fairness, acknowledge that the mayor of Salt Lake City once sent a letter my friends, neighbors and acquaintances up to a mile away claiming that a flyer that I was passing out was full of untruths.  I thought that was hilariously dumb because I changed the flyer to exactly what he wanted before I passed it out (out of ill placed respect).  I gave a copy of the proposed flyer to all of the Councilmembers and they did not suggest any changes.  So I admit that I get a little touchy when people try to stop opposition to anything that impacts the community.
  When questionable people follow neighborhood girls, TIB needs to be encouraging reporting that in order to reevaluate the person for safety.  When patients call up and have their drugs delivered to the curb across the street, the patients need to be reevaluated.  TIB should not ignore or allow such neighborhood crime.  TIB should not have a negative impact on the community.
  Allen Johnson, the former planning director of Salt Lake City, pointed out that TIB and Salt Lake City did not seem to be following the law when it allowed TIB to move into the former nursing center in June.  That could justify an ugly lawsuit, and, due to the failure to find common ground and work things out, that lawsuit could happen at any time.
  Representative Ray said that he thought that it would be illegal to withhold funding for TIB (I asked in order to get some rules that would force rules and enforcement and consequences for breaking the rules at TIB.).  He also got upset and called out some neighbors for acting in an unchristian manner when they said that TIB did not belong in their residential neighborhood.  So the discussion devolved back into TIB is a godsend and you can't say anything bad about it.  Several walked out at a perceived lack of respect and refusal to hear concerns that impacted the neighborhood.
  East Liberty Park Community Council Chair Jason Stevenson offered to help mediate and find a resolution to the issues.  Co-Chair Darryl High offered that the community is a great and welcoming and compassionate community.
  Senator Escamilla recognized that part of the problem was caused by the failure of the Road Home at its location.  I disagreed.  The Road Home did not fail due to its location.  I do not even think of the Road Home as a failure.  The failure was the inadequate public safety and mental health fundin that resulted in the significant increase in drug use and criminal activity around the Road Home.  
  Also Representative Ray was concerned about the homeless congregating in the parks.  But after the SLC police started rousting the homeless that went to the parks after being encouraged to move from the Rio Grande area, (the police went through the parks in the City around 2 AM to try to move the homeless out) nearby residents complained that the result was homeless camping in the many alleyways in residential areas.  So the police stopped rousting homeless camping in the parks.


ENERGYSOLUTIONS TO BURY SAN ONOFRE NUCLEAR PLANT IN UTAH
  Almost no one knows about this but EnergySolutions has been given a contract to bury the San Onofre nuclear plant in Utah's Clive facility!  The plant will have most highly radioactive materials removed but.... Utah will finally get a nuclear plant!


SLCO SURPRISES SLC WITH CHRISTMAS OFFER TO FUND ANYTHING AND DOES
  The Salt Lake County, when SB136 allowed the County to increase sales taxes for transportation, decided to use the funding for debt paydown.  In July, UTA will start getting 40% of the taxes and the rest will be divided by the cities and the County.  Until then, the County has control of the money.  But the County semi secretly changed their mind and in a rush to put together grant proposals, the SLC Transportation Department put together a list that the County Council approved before the SLC Council had their public hearing!  The City Council was warned that essentially, the Mayor's administration had submitted the grant proposals and the County Council would probably approve them before the formal public hearing.  The County appeared to approve some of the projects before the City Council approved them.  Two that did not appear to be funded were the Jordan River recreation area and the 2100 South bus stop improvements.
  I put the County Transportation Funding packet in the downloads section and the last two pages show the passed/agreed upon projects.  They include a $400,000 indoor bus garage on 200 South (homeless will love it) and other 200 South improvements.  Bigger and better bike lanes from 400 West to 900 East are planned.  The language in the grant says:
Study to determine new design to have street function as a transit corridor and
transit hub incorporating walking, bicycling, shared mobility, private automobiles,
and freight.

  The 9-Line Trail gets around $4 million to help finish the Trail but the most important part, a pedestrian/bicycle bridge over the 900 South train tracks is not planned!  There is a million for a Millcreek/Sugar House Circulation Study, a continuation of the Sugar House Circulation and Amenities Study from 5 years ago, that shows a potential streetcar extension going south to Brickyard.  Millcreek is trying to get the Legislature to approve it (with their Economics Development Director and Representative Mike Winder pushing for it at the Legislature).  The language says:
Creation of circulation plan and the completion of an Transit Alternatives Analysis
for the S-Line extension or other SH-Millcreek Transit.
  The Parleys Trail gets almost $4 million for: 
Construction of a 10' foot wide concrete paved pedestrian/bicycle trail, installation
of a ramp and bridge over 900 Wet and a bridge over the Jordan River.

  The City also had their Life on State implementation partially funded that will lower the speed limit and place many more mid block crossings (if UDOT approves) on State Street.  It will also put in trees in the median instead of widening a bicycle lane without removing a traffic lane.  The City wants to use it to provide catalytic development of the Sears property.  Although not sales tax funded, the City is getting $4 million for the study.  Bus service is not increased.  Think of what $4 million would have given us!  The language in the grant is:
Design and construction of mobility and safety improvements at two (2) locations
on State Street (600 S to 900 S and 2100 S to Haven Avenue). Projects include
wider sidewalks, improved transit stops, a slower speed design, parallel parking
pockets, reduced driveways, street furniture, street trees, and mid-block crossings.
Additionally, design of high-comfort bike routes on each side of State Street from
900 South to 3300 South with connections to State Street amenities.

  The Bonneville Shoreline Trail will be upgraded, hopefully with restrooms like those planned for Immigration Canyon (where e-coli counts are high).  400 bicyclists use the Bonneville Shoreline Trail between the Capitol and the UofU everyday.  The language says:
Survey to determine BST alignment, conceptual design, and construction including
trailheads and a determine public access points and connectivity to regional
amenities and adjoining jurisdictions. Focus of funding will be to purchase public
easements and/or private land purchase in order to construct the BST.

  I wish that some projects like lowering speed limits on State Street and $400,000 for an indoor bus station on 200 S. for the homeless had more public input.  People want service increases first before projects and State Street and Redwood Road bus frequency improvements.
I urge SLCO and UTA and SLC to work with mass transit riders to actually provide better service soon, and not wait until August 2020.  The SLC argument that they wanted to spend their sales tax dollars on only their City's property hurts air quality.  Since SLCO is now allowing use of funds for transit now, instead of debt paydown, service should have been the priority, not projects.  Service increases from SLCO transportation funds were.... zero!


UTA MAY SHOOT BUSES (REALLY, I AM NOT KIDDING)
A year ago, I asked the State of Utah manager of the VW settlement money if UTA could use some of the funds for electric buses.  I was told no because UTA would have to permanently take the bus out of service.  UTA has decided to shoot the buses to get electric bus funding from the VW settlement!  UTA found out that they could be eligible for the funding if they shoot the engine block of the diesel buses (with a gun powerful enough to go through an engine block)!  UTA should consider raffling the chance to shoot a bus if the State agrees to give them money from the VW settlement.  I know many people would love to shoot UTA.  I mean a UTA bus.
  On another matter, Steve Meyer, the last most knowledgeable person left at UTA has agreed to consult part time with UTA to ensure an appropriate change in leadership.  He said last week no chance that he would stay but he would answer the phone.  But, after an offer he couldn't refuse, he agreed to stay on, the phone (while he vacations in Arizona) for the next three months and several days a month at UTA.  He will get a little over $100 an hour for up