Salt Lake officials hope cruisers forget Memory Grove after Thursday.
That's the day barricades go up along Canyon Road. The city is closing the road because of construction in the park - the park's Memorial House will be renovated - but city officials hope it also solves the cruising problem.People who live near the park, located to the east of the State Capitol, long have complained about people using the park as a place to turn around and as a place to look for sex partners. The City Council recently asked the city attorney to begin drafting an anti-cruising ordinance because of the complaints.
Rick Graham, deputy parks director, said Monday the ordinance still may be needed. Although the road is being closed for construction, "we're also trying to disrupt the cruising," he said.
When the renovation is completed some time in July, city officials again will have to make a decision about the road's future. Because it is a public road, it can't be closed permanently without a public hearing.
In the meantime, only area residents and city vehicles will be allowed past the barriers. Graham admits anyone else who is bold enough will be able to drive past as well, but he said the city will enforce the restrictions.
The park will remain open during the construction, and the city wants to encourage pedestrians to use it. The city will install a pay telephone in the park to make it a little more friendly for the average person.
"We thought we should have a communication link out there," Graham said. "A pay phone seemed like the best thing."
Once the Memorial House is completed, the McCune Center Inc. is expected to lease it and use it for wedding receptions, business meetings and other events.