Toll Roads Being Considered for Roads Leading to Utah Ski Areas

Steven Agar | | Industry NewsIndustry News
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Toll roads have been used in other states to control ski traffic. Credit: CBS Denver

Due to increasing congestion inside two of the state’s most popular canyons, the President of the Utah State Senate is considering turning Little and Big Cottonwood canyons into toll roads, reports Fox 13.

The roads up Big and Little Cottonwood canyons lead to some of the state’s most popular ski resorts. In the summer and winter, bumper-to-bumper traffic is not out of the ordinary. The Senate President’s district includes Little Cottonwood Canyon, and he said he has witnessed the congestion.

“Our impacts are being felt now in those canyons and they’re a treasure for us. It’s the ‘Greatest Snow on Earth’ and that’s where you find it, it’s in those Cottonwood canyons,” he said.

There’s been plenty of discussion about what to do with traffic in the canyons. The idea of a train connecting the two will not likely happen because it’s too expensive, the Senate President said. Tolling, however, could encourage carpooling and help with parking problems at the canyons. He said technology has advanced so it would not be toll booths set up along the road, but suggested an automatic collection of any fee.

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Alta, UT. Would you pay to get to ‘the greatest snow on earth?’. Credit: TMC Facebook

The state of Utah has had the authority to toll for years, Sen. Niederhauser pointed out. And faced with a growing population and continual demands on Utah’s roads, the Senate President acknowledged more roads across the state could be tolled.

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Traffic in Little Cottonwood Canyon a quiet day. Credit: sltrib.com

“Tolling is actually going to be a bigger part of what we deal with our roads. We’re going to double in population over the next 30 years, and we’re going to need to have these kinds of tools in our tool belt,” he said.

Would you pay the toll for a reduced-traffic, journey to ski?


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