Not only does 900 South now have a new name, but in the near future the street will have a new look as well. City leaders are currently gathering public input for the 9-Line Corridor Project, a set of proposed infrastructure upgrades to 900 South stretching from the Surplus Canal on the west side to Emigration Canyon on the east.
The Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency (RDA) hosted an open house Thursday May 12 at the Sorenson Unity Center in Glendale. The open house is the first of several this summer that the city will host to gather input for the 9 Line Project and answer questions about the project’s scope and impact.
The city completed the first phase of the 9-Line project in 2011. The first phase consists of multi-use trails stretching from Redwood Road to 500 West on a former rail corridor.
The project was originally included in the city’s 1992 Open Space Master Plan, as a way to connect the east and west side neighborhoods with green space. As transportation options have expanded, the project’s intent has evolved to include not just green space, but to accommodate different modes of transportation.
The project proposes to improve pedestrian and cycling routes along 900 South by making it a more “complete” street with dedicated bike lanes and safer crosswalks. The city also plans to include several GREENbike stations along the corridor. The city also aims to beautify the corridor and improve neighborhoods by incorporating more green space and public art installations.
Planners have also expressed a goal of better connecting the east and west side neighborhoods, not just physically but socio-economically as well. The city plans to invest in disadvantaged neighborhoods in the project area by encouraging the growth of retail shops and other active uses at key nodes along the 9-Line.
The 900 South corridor is one of the few streets that connects Salt Lake’s east and west side neighborhoods. According to city planners, another reason 900 South was selected is because of its unique proximity to a number of cultural and recreational destinations, from Jordan Park, Jordan River and the International Peace Gardens on the west side to This is the Place Monument, Hogle Zoo and Emigration Canyon to the east. The corridor also intersects a number of active transportation and commercial nodes, including the Jordan River Parkway trail and the Bonneville Shoreline trail, the 900 South Trax station and the Central Ninth and 9th and 9th commercial districts.
The corridor has certain areas along 900 South that are currently unwelcoming to cyclists and pedestrians. The freeway onramp at West Temple sees a lot of auto traffic, and along some stretches the four-lane road does not have a bike lane. Additionally, the blocks from 1100 East to 1300 East are prohibitively steep for casual cyclists.
Because the proposed scope of the 9-Line extension, eight different city agencies, including the RDA, Economic Development, Parks and Public Lands, Planning and Transportation, are overseeing the project. The 9-Line corridor will be incorporated into street enhancements planned for the Central Ninth neighborhood. The project also draws upon several existing plans, including the West Side Master Plan and the East Bench Master Plan, and crosses both the RDA’s Granary District Project Area and the West Temple Gateway Project Area.
The city has also hired three consultant agencies, several of which were present at Thursday’s open house. For its first open house, at the Sorenson Unity Center, the city lined the walls with poster boards communicating the project’s goals, several of them in both Spanish and English. The city encouraged residents to participate with free tacos. Residents were asked to fill out surveys indicating their priorities for the project and to place stickers on a map spanning the length of the corridor indicating which features they would most like to see implemented.
City planners anticipate that the final plan will be ready for approval in the fall. Until then, the city will continue to gather and incorporate public feedback into the plan. The current proposed budget does not include funds for construction of the 9-Line extension.
More information can be found at 9linecorridor.com or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.