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Friday, May 6, 2011

20 year MAX planning

MAX currently only runs west of I-15. What if it were to be extended East, all the way along 3300 South, to where the road terminates at the junctions of I-215? A quick look at Google maps shows Eastwood Elementary School is located at the terminus of 3300 South. To me, this would make an excellent location for a future Transit Center.

The North parking lot is already clearly designed for bus use, and the playground leaves ample paved area for additional parking. Further, it's not impossible to convert an existing school into alternative uses. Kennedy School in Portland in a fine example of what can be done.

Further, Summit County (home of Park City) has recently indicated a desire to join the Utah Transit Authority, and so link up bus service between SLC and Park City. So a bus comes down from Summit County, and ends at the 'Eastwood Transit Center', which is the terminus for three other routes:
  • 'MAX East' along 3300 South westward for 3300 South TRAX station and existing 'MAX West'
  • Foothill/University/Downtown MAX*
  • Current 313/810 buses 
This would solve several issues: It would provide access for west-side service workers to the University of Utah and Park City, reduce demand on I-80, and fix Foothill Boulevard.

Foothill Boulevard is a perpetual mobility problem. I-215 is built too far east to serve its intended transportation purpose. Pushed up agains the mountain, it can only draw users from the west. Further, it fails to reach the University of Utah. And so Foothill drive handles all the traffic bound northbound and westbound from I-215 and I-80.

The T-bone of I-215, I-80 and Foothill has long made the area unsuitable for rail transit like TRAX. But a series of BRT with a central transfer point would be an effective solution.

*Stops at Stringham Avenue, Skyline Drive, Foothill Village, Mario Cappechi Drive, Rice-Eccles Stadium, and SLC Central Station.