Plans to shape downtown Salt Lake City's transportation future have been in motion for about four years.

Today, those plans are just a few green lights away from being put into effect.

Downtown in Motion is a transportation master plan collaboratively drafted and funded by Salt Lake City and its redevelopment agency, Downtown Alliance, Salt Lake Chamber, the Utah Transit Authority and the Utah Department of Transportation.

Project partners appeared before the Salt Lake City Planning Commission on Wednesday, asking the commission to review the plan and later this month forward a positive recommendation for its adoption to the City Council.

"This has been an extraordinarily collaborative project," said Tim Harpst, Salt Lake City's transportation director.

The plan focuses on the area bordered by 400 South, North Temple, 200 East and the commuter-rail tracks west of 600 West. It also addresses the larger downtown impact area extending south to 900 South, west to I-15, east to 700 East and north to the state Capitol.

Billed as a balanced plan, Downtown in Motion takes into account all modes of movement — cars, buses, light rail and commuter rail, pedestrians and bicycles, as well as parking — to make downtown more integrated, efficient and accessible.

The plan's goals, according to the draft document, are to serve downtown — its businesses, residents and visitors; make the downtown pedestrian friendly, where walking is the primary mode of transportation; create an easy-to-use downtown for all modes of traffic; and enhance accessibility and mobility.

In addition to the four regional TRAX lines expected to be up and running by 2015, Downtown in Motion calls for the construction of a new light-rail line on 700 South from 200 West to 400 West, then continuing north on 400 West and connecting with the existing system near The Gateway. The extension would complete an outer loop to serve downtown and the southwest part of the city — an expected high-growth area.

"As downtown grows, it's been a long-standing policy that the city wants to grow south and west," said Doug Dansie, city planner.

The Planning Commission will hold another public hearing on the transportation plan at its June 25 meeting.

The complete Downtown in Motion plan can be viewed online at www.slctrans.com.


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