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2017

BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON


3T IMPROVEMENT PROJECT
Managing Traffic, Trails, and Toilets

Preliminary Engineering Report


Prepared for the Big Cottonwood Community Council
May 2017

CVEEN 4910-001 [Spring 2017]


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
The University of Utah

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PROJECT TEAM LETTER

Dear Big Cottonwood Community Council:

The Civil and Environmental Engineering (CVEEN) 4910 Professional Practice and Design
Class of Spring 2017 at the University of Utah is pleased to present the preliminary
engineering report for the Big Cottonwood Canyon 3T Improvement Project (BCC3T). The team
has considered many solutions to improve safety and access while preserving the beauty of
the canyon. This report develops in greater detail alternatives that were selected based on
their potential to be both sustainable and aesthetically pleasing while addressing principle
needs presented by the Big Cottonwood Community Council. A major factor in our definition
of sustainability is that the project be financially self-supporting. Although estimated costs and
budgets may present significant constraints to project implementation in Big Cottonwood
Canyon, the overall intention of the BCC3T is to present both immediately attainable solutions
as well as a possible long-term vision. While potential political or legal constraints were
considered in brief, the multijurisdictional nature of this project requires continued
commitment and cooperation between public and private stakeholders, the structure of which
agreements is beyond the scope of an engineering document.

Due to the time limits imposed by the University of Utah semester schedule, this preliminary
engineering report cannot be as complete or in-depth as the complex situation of Big
Cottonwood Canyon warrants. While the focus of the class was developing solutions that can
be achieved through the lens of Civil Engineering, the Senior Design team hopes that this
report can be useful in future planning discussions and community organization efforts for the
diverse group of canyon stakeholders.

Our team deeply appreciates the involvement and encouragement of not only the Big
Cottonwood Community Council, but also the cooperation of the following agencies: U.S.
Forest Service, Utah Department of Transportation, Utah Transit Authority, Salt Lake County,
Mountain Accord, Brighton, Solitude Mountain Resort, and the many private citizens who
engaged with or commented on our work.

Sincerely,

CVEEN 4910 Senior Design Class of Spring 2017

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The purpose of this engineering report is to propose technically feasible and financially and
environmentally sustainable solutions for the present and future needs in Big Cottonwood
Canyon.

Big Cottonwood Canyon (BCC) is an increasingly popular natural recreation area that
experiences issues with overcrowding and traffic congestion. There are not enough restrooms
in the canyon to meet the current demand, which poses a threat to the water quality for Salt
Lake Valley. In addition, high congestion in the canyon increases CO2 emissions due to
increased idling and travel times, which in turn impacts the air quality of the Salt Lake Valley.
The congestion and overcrowding also makes the canyon an unsafe place for pedestrians and
cyclists because of an increase in potential interferences. In some areas, the demand for
parking is almost 4 times larger than the amount of available parking spaces on a day with
average traffic. Therefore, a multi-stage comprehensive solution is necessary to address these
issues.

Traffic congestion may be reduced and public safety improved by adopting the following
proposed improvements: eliminating parking on the side of the road, restriping existing lots,
increasing public transit services within the canyon, incorporating signs displaying live counts
of available parking, and introducing a variable tolling system.

Roadway and trail safety may be improved by adopting the following proposed improvements:
installing electronic pedestrian crossing signs in problematic areas, restriping bicycle lanes
and separating automobile traffic, expanding inadequate shoulders to increase pedestrian
safety, building a pedestrian bridge off the Lake Blanche Trail, and starting an ‘Adopt A Trail’
campaign in high traffic hiking locations to control trail erosion

Protecting the watershed may be accomplished by increasing the number of restroom stalls
throughout the canyon at new and existing locations. This solution could be scaled to work
within project limitations and budget by collecting data through a proposed pilot study to
identify high use areas within Big Cottonwood Canyon and address the greatest needs as a
priority.

The result of these proposals is a decrease in the number of people bringing single-occupant
vehicles into the canyon, an increase in road capacity, increased public transit ridership,
improved public health and safety, and the preservation of a vital watershed. A proposed
variable tolling system could sustainably fund each of these improvements over time, thus
resulting in a more enjoyable and sustainable experience of Big Cottonwood Canyon for all
visitors.

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CONTENTS
Project Team Letter ....................................................................................................................... 1
Executive Summary ....................................................................................................................... 2
Contents ......................................................................................................................................... 3
List of Figures ................................................................................................................................. 5
List of Tables .................................................................................................................................. 6
I. Statement of Needs .................................................................................................................... 7
II. Vision Statement ........................................................................................................................ 8
III. Alternatives Study Overview ..................................................................................................... 8
Impact Levels .............................................................................................................................. 8
BCC3T Alternatives Study Conclusions ..................................................................................... 9
1 Big Cottonwood Canyon: Traffic and Parking.......................................................................... 11
1.1 Introduction and Overview .................................................................................................11
1.2 Construction Phasing ......................................................................................................... 11
1.3 Tolling .................................................................................................................................. 12
1.3.1 Variable Tolling ........................................................................................................... 12
1.3.2 Tolling System Technology ........................................................................................ 18
1.3.3 Utah Law and Automatic License Plate Reader Systems ....................................... 19
1.4 Transit ................................................................................................................................. 20
1.4.1 Bus Service Expansion .............................................................................................. 20
1.4.2 Bus Stops ................................................................................................................... 20
1.5 Parking ................................................................................................................................ 22
1.5.1 Parking Enforcement ................................................................................................. 22
1.5.2 Parking Outside BCC .................................................................................................. 24
1.5.3 Lot Restriping ............................................................................................................. 24
1.5.4 Signage ....................................................................................................................... 25
2 Big Cottonwood Canyon: Roadways and Trails ....................................................................... 26
2.1 Background ........................................................................................................................ 26
2.2 Options ................................................................................................................................ 27
2.3 Phase 1: Signage, Crosswalks, Adopt-A-Trail ................................................................... 27
2.4 Phase 2: Geofoam Shoulder Expansion ........................................................................... 29
2.5 Phase 3: S-Curve Transit Split ........................................................................................... 32
3 Big Cottonwood Canyon: Environmental and Sanitation ....................................................... 34
3.1 Background ........................................................................................................................ 34
3.2 Phase 1: Pilot Study ........................................................................................................... 35

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3.3 Phase 2: Construction at High Priority Sites..................................................................... 37
3.4 Phase 3: 10-Year Construction Plan ................................................................................. 37
3.5 NEPA and Costs .................................................................................................................. 38
4 Final Phasing and Cost Analysis .............................................................................................. 39
4.1 Summary ............................................................................................................................. 39
4.2 The Case for Variable Tolling .............................................................................................40
4.2.1 Peak Traffic ................................................................................................................ 40
4.2.2 Cash flow Analysis...................................................................................................... 41
4.2.3 Economic Analysis ..................................................................................................... 42
4.3 Conclusion .......................................................................................................................... 43
4.4 Acknowledgements ............................................................................................................ 43
5 References ................................................................................................................................ 44
5.1 Statement of Needs References ....................................................................................... 44
5.2 Traffic and Parking References ......................................................................................... 45
5.3 Roadways and Trails References ...................................................................................... 46
5.4 Environmental References ................................................................................................ 48
Appendix I - Additional Figures and Tables ................................................................................ 49
Appendix II – Proposed Construction Phasing and Cost Estimates ......................................... 57
Appendix III – Additional Figures................................................................................................. 60
Appendix IV – Restroom Details.................................................................................................. 62
Appendix A: Presentation Slides for preliminary engineering Report ....................................... 68
Appendix B: Feasibility Study ........................................................................................................ 0

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LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1: Gantry for Tolling System [13] ..................................................................................... 19
Figure 2: Bus Stop Locations ...................................................................................................... 21
Figure 3: Signage for Parking Availability ................................................................................... 25
Figure 4: Adopt-A-Trail Sign ......................................................................................................... 28
Figure 5: Typical Cross-Section of Geofoam Shoulder Expansion ............................................ 30
Figure 6: Schematic of Typical Section ...................................................................................... 32
Figure 7: Existing Trail (red) and Proposed Bridge Location (yellow). ...................................... 33
Figure 8: U.S. Forest Service Watershed Conditions for Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons 34
Figure 9: People Counting Device [1] .........................................................................................36
Figure 10: Typical BCC Traffic Saturday (Left) and Variable Tolling Concept (Right) .............. 40
Figure 11: Cash flow (7-Day vs. Weekend Only) ........................................................................ 41
Figure 12: Proposed Striping Plan for Canyon Entrance ........................................................... 49
Figure 13: Proposed Striping Plan for Lower S-curve Lot.......................................................... 49
Figure 14: Proposed Striping Plan for Donut Falls Lot .............................................................. 50
Figure 15: Proposed Striping Plan for Solitude Lot ................................................................... 50
Figure 16: Proposed Striping Plan for Brighton Restaurant Lot ............................................... 51
Figure 17: Proposed Striping Plan for Main Brighton Lot ......................................................... 52
Figure 18: Bus Stop and Bike Lane Locations at Ledgemere Picnic Grounds ........................ 53
Figure 19: Bus Stop, Bike Lane and Crosswalk Locations at S-Curve ..................................... 53
Figure 20: Bus Stop and Bike Lane Locations at Mineral Fork ................................................ 54
Figure 21: UDOT Parking and Standing Signs Plaques ............................................................. 56
Figure 22: Geofoam Shoulder Expansion Details ...................................................................... 60
Figure 23: Placement of CXT Unit [7][8] ..................................................................................... 62
Figure 24: Taos Restroom Facility [7] ......................................................................................... 63
Figure 25: Taos Restroom Interior Details [7] ........................................................................... 63
Figure 26: Montrose Restroom Facility [8]................................................................................. 64
Figure 27: Clovermist PLUS Restroom [4].................................................................................. 65
Figure 28: Clovermist DOUBLE Restroom [4] ............................................................................ 65

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LIST OF TABLES
Table 1: Proposed Variable-Price Fees Based on Traffic Flow Rate (Cars/Hour) .................... 14
Table 2: Projected Annual Revenues (7-Day per Week Operation of System) ........................ 15
Table 3: Annual Revenues (Weekend Only) ............................................................................... 15
Table 4: 7% Growth Rate Calculations ....................................................................................... 17
Table 5: 2% Growth Rate Calculations ....................................................................................... 17
Table 6: Revenue Projections (7-Day) ........................................................................................ 18
Table 7: Revenue Projections (Weekend Only) .......................................................................... 18
Table 8: Example Fee Schedule .................................................................................................. 23
Table 9: Total Crashes and Crash Rate Summary (UDOT) ........................................................ 26
Table 10: Severe Crashes and Crash Rate Summary ............................................................... 26
Table 11: Phase 1 Construction Costs ....................................................................................... 29
Table 12: Phase 2 Construction Costs ....................................................................................... 31
Table 13: Phase 3 Costs ............................................................................................................. 33
Table 14: Final Phasing Plan....................................................................................................... 39
Table 15: Summary Economic Analysis...................................................................................... 42
Table 16: Spot Count Data from July 8, 2016 ........................................................................... 55
Table 17: Preliminary Phase Design Items and Costs .............................................................. 57
Table 18: Phase 1 Design Items and Costs ............................................................................... 57
Table 19: Phase 2 Design Items and Costs ............................................................................... 58
Table 20: Phase 3 Design Items and Costs ............................................................................... 59
Table 21: Summary Cost of All Phases....................................................................................... 59
Table 22: Typical Geofoam Section Details (Expected Forces and Displacements) .............. 61
Table 23: Typical Geofoam Section Details (Continued) ........................................................... 61
Table 24: Costs for Each Proposed Location [4][5][7][8] ........................................................ 66
Table 25: Total Cost by Facility Type........................................................................................... 66
Table 26: Phasing Costs By Year [4][5][7][8] ............................................................................ 66
Table 27: Costs by Facility Type [4][5][7][8] ............................................................................. 67

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I. STATEMENT OF NEEDS
Big Cottonwood Canyon is a majestic, natural beauty that has become a beacon for recreation,
admiration, and retreat year-round. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, at least
82% of Utah residents participate in outdoor recreation each year [1]. Big Cottonwood Canyon
is located within the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, which has a net acreage of 2.17
million and consists of seven ranger districts spanning Utah and Wyoming [2]. Popularly
known as the “Forest Next Door,” the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache is considered an Urban National
Forest with a nearby population center of greater than 1 million residents [2]. Based on the
size of the watershed according to the U.S. Forest Service, Big Cottonwood Canyon has a net
area of 32,000 acres and is projected to host 3 million visitors per year by 2040 [3].

In comparison, Yellowstone National Park has a net acreage of 2.2 million, slightly less than
the entirety of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, and approximately 4 million visitors
per year [4]. Based on these visitation statistics, by 2040 Big Cottonwood Canyon will also
host 75 percent of Yellowstone National Park’s typical visitors in a land area this is
approximately 1 percent of the size of Yellowstone.

According to the 2014-2015 Central Wasatch Visitor Use Survey, the majority of canyon
visitors were local to Salt Lake County, and “access” was the most valued characteristic of Big
Cottonwood Canyon; however, the current state of unmanaged access to Big Cottonwood
Canyon has significant user and indirect costs pertaining to public safety, public health, and
the potential for recreational enjoyment for all users [5]. For example, illegal and unsafe
parking, pedestrian and cyclist interferences with automobile traffic, and restroom facility
availability are common problems.

Existing conditions along the Wasatch Front in general and Big Cottonwood Canyon in
particular have been extensively documented by other studies and research teams including,
but not limited to, the 2014-2015 Central Wasatch Visitor Use Study, the Mountain
Transportation Study, Wasatch Canyons Tomorrow, the Big Cottonwood Canyon General Plan,
the Cottonwood Canyons Parking Study, and Mountain Accord [4,5,6,7,8,9,10]. The present
preliminary engineering report takes into account the recommendations and findings of these
studies while presenting a vision of Big Cottonwood Canyon as it may operate in the future.

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II. VISION STATEMENT
Our vision for Big Cottonwood Canyon is develop systems and facilities that maintain the
integrity of the environment and trails while also implementing efficient multimodal
transportation, improved sanitation, and increased safety for all enthusiasts who visit and
recreate in the canyon.

III. ALTERNATIVES STUDY OVERVIEW


The purpose of the Big Cottonwood Canyon 3T Improvement Project (BCC3T) is to develop
solutions that address congestion, automobile/pedestrian safety, parking, and sanitation
within Big Cottonwood Canyon. Our previously completed alternatives study (Appendix B)
recommended solutions prioritized and ranked on six criteria: health and safety, affordability
and sustainability, environmental impact, aesthetics, time to implement, and accessibility.

Addressing the known concerns of the Big Cottonwood Community Council regarding the
“Three T’s” (i.e., toilets, traffic, and trails) necessitated organizing potential alternatives into
three themes: (1) traffic and parking improvements, (2) roadways and trails operation and
improvements, and (3) environmental and sanitation considerations.

Within each theme, it became evident that potential solutions and engineered alternatives
tended to require different levels of impact within Big Cottonwood Canyon. Some solutions
provided substantial benefits, easily described and quantified, while other solutions required
greater up-front investment, more complex evaluations, and an extended implementation
timeline including potential changes in administrative requirements and the need for involved
public involvement and additional environmental studies under the National Environmental
Policy Act (NEPA).

Project themes and proposed solutions were therefore divided into low, medium, and high
impact models, which allowed for an integrated evaluation of the complex recreational,
environmental, and transportation contexts of the Canyon. Both the preliminary analysis and
final recommendations were framed throughout the report in terms of these impacts.

Impact Levels
Low Impact Models: Minimal impacts within the canyon, low construction times, fewer
potential costs.

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Medium Impact Models: Medium impacts to the canyon, including additional
infrastructure in targeted or high-use areas which may require a NEPA process and 1 to 2
years of implementation.
High Impact Models: Comprehensive and wide-ranging impacts within the canyon. Long-
term construction timelines and generally higher capital and maintenance costs. Such
solutions typically required a NEPA process and 3 to 5 years of implantation.

BCC3T Alternatives Study Conclusions


While tolling or collecting user fees in any form is politically and publically controversial, the
current state of relatively unmanaged access to Big Cottonwood Canyon has significant costs
and impacts to public safety, public health, and the potential for recreational enjoyment for
all users. Illegal and unsafe parking, pedestrian and cyclist interferences with automobile
traffic, and restroom facility availability are common and well-studied problems.

The BCC3T team recommended a comprehensive, integrated approach incorporating the low
impact models for traffic and parking, roadways and trails, and environmental concerns,
respectively. These low impact models included parking lot restriping, increased signage and
illegal parking enforcement, an “Adopt-A-Trail” program, and a pilot study using portable toilet
facilities in order to determine where additional permanent facilities should be placed.

In addition to the low impact models, the medium impact model of recommending geofoam
shoulder widening of the up-canyon lane, presented in the roadways and trails section,
received favorable support and was highly recommended to reduce auto-pedestrian and auto-
cyclist conflicts at problematic narrow sections of roadway throughout Big Cottonwood
Canyon.

Finally, the traffic and parking team recommended implementing some form of user fee
collection (i.e., basic access tolling, parking fees, variable parking fees, etc.) in order to
manage traffic congestion and to provide a sustainable revenue stream for other
recommended improvements. While parking or user fees may generate revenue, such a
solution would not necessarily address congestion in the same way as basic access or variable
tolling.

If tolling is implemented, then it becomes imperative to expand or include a free public transit
option for access to popular trailhead and recreation destinations throughout Big Cottonwood
Canyon, which in turn may require additional bus stops or other infrastructure improvements.
Additional permanent sanitation facilities should also be considered as part of any long-term
plan.

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Each of these recommended alternatives are examined in further detail in the following
sections of this report.

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Traffic and Parking

1 BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON: TRAFFIC AND PARKING

1.1 Introduction and Overview


Big Cottonwood Canyon (BCC) is an increasingly popular natural recreation area that
experiences issues with overcrowding and traffic congestion. There are not enough restrooms
in the canyon to meet the current demand, which poses a threat to the water quality for Salt
Lake Valley. In addition, high congestion in the canyon increases CO2 emissions due to
increased idling and travel times, which in turn impacts the air quality of the Salt Lake Valley.
The congestion and overcrowding also makes the canyon an unsafe place for pedestrians and
cyclists because of an increase in potential interferences. In some areas, the demand for
parking is almost 4 times larger than the amount of available parking spaces on a day with
average traffic.

A multi-stage comprehensive solution is necessary to address these issues. The number of


vehicles occupying or entering the canyon at peak times is greater than what the road can
efficiently convey. Traffic congestion may be reduced and public safety improved by adopting
the following proposed improvements: eliminating parking on the side of the road, restriping
existing lots, increasing public transit services within the canyon, incorporating signs
displaying real-time counts of available parking, and introducing a variable tolling system.

It is hoped that the implementation of these recommendations result in a decrease in the


number of people bringing single-occupant vehicles into the canyon, an increase in roadway
capacity, increased public transit ridership, and improved safety for all visitors, thus resulting
in a more enjoyable and sustainable usage of the canyon.

1.2 Construction Phasing


Each proposal has been incorporated into construction phases, which are referenced
throughout the preliminary engineering report. Proposed construction phases and costs for
traffic and parking are included in Appendix II.

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Traffic and Parking

1.3 Tolling
In BCC, there are not enough adequate locations to park a vehicle. On peak days traffic can
be bumper to bumper because of bottlenecking. These issues alone present safety risks to
cyclists and pedestrians. “Utah’s 2011 population increased 41,743 people, or 1.5 percent
from 2010, ranking Utah third among states in population growth” [7]. This growth rate implies
that Utah’s population will more than double by 2060. This population growth will increase
the amount of users that have access to BCC, and will only worsen the congestion and overuse
problems BCC already experiences.

1.3.1 Variable Tolling


Several comparable tolling systems were analyzed and summarized in the Feasibility Study
(Attachment B), including Mill Creek Canyon, American Fork Canyon, Zion National Park, and
the Washington state highway tolling system among others. Based on the feedback received
from the BCCC, the most preferable solution is to install a tolling system at the mouth of the
canyon. It is recommended that the toll rate be variable depending on demand; during times
where more vehicles were attempting to access the canyon the fee could increase. At times
when there was little congestion in the canyon the fee could decrease. This variable tolling
system allows the canyon to function at its optimal capacity when the tolls are working
correctly, and hopefully it encourages users to plan and disseminate trip times so that so
users are not entering the canyon with personal vehicles at congested times.

The tolling system proposed here is based off of current models used by Washington’s
Department of Transportation. Variable-priced tolls can be used to restore the balance
between supply and demand. It will cause people to rethink the way they do business and the
way they organize their lives. For example, pricing a highway with higher tolls imposed during
periods of peak demand may cause travelers to consider the value of their trip and either
switch to non-peak times, carpool, switch to transit, or change their destination [8]. Ultimately,
it is hoped that variably pricing BCC would yield the greatest travel efficiency and reliability
while providing a revenue stream. This creates two significant benefits to already limited
transportation funds [8].

If the primary objective of variable tolling is to manage traffic congestion, the prices could
therefore be adjusted to most efficiently control the flow of vehicles. In the case of a managed
lane, where the objective is to maximize flow and reliability in that lane, tolls will need to rise
to the level required to maintain the desired traffic flow [8]. When traffic demand is low, the
variable fee may also allow vehicles to access the canyon for free.

In addition, a tolling system could generate adequate revenue to provide services such as a
shuttle system. The shuttle system could allow users to park their cars at the mouth of the

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canyon, and then ride the shuttle up BCC for free. Ultimately, this system should be designed
to be self-supporting, including any funds to support future improvements to BCC.

Research on similar canyons such as Mill Creek and American Fork indicated that a tolling
system could ease the overcrowding BCC currently experiences. Mill Creek and American Fork
Canyons have successfully implemented tolling which decreased congestion, increased
carpooling, and increased funding. Both currently have daily fees of $3 and $6, respectively
as well as a $45 annual fee [9]. Further research is included in the previous Alternatives Study
as Appendix B.

Several options were considered for the toll collection mechanism; among them an electronic
tolling gantry and a stop-and-go tolling booth. However, drivers would most likely bottleneck
at the entry points trying to pay their fees at a stop-and-go booth, which would cause
considerable traffic problems and backups on all the roadways surrounding the canyon.
Currently, the Washington Department of Transportation (WDOT) uses a gantry road signage
system to incorporate electronic open road tolling (ORT) [8]. Gantries are beneficial as they
often contain the apparatus for traffic monitoring systems and cameras, or open road tolling
systems. The major advantage to ORT is that users are able to drive through the toll area at
highway speeds without having to slow down to pay the toll [8]. In some installations, ORT may
also reduce congestion at the plazas by allowing more vehicles per hour/per lane.

It is recommended that collection of tolls using ORT be conducted through either the use of
transponders or automatic plate recognition [10]. These technologies are very suitable and
reliable with gantry signage. Both methods aim to eliminate the delay on toll roads by
collecting tolls electronically. Users may make an online toll deposit. Then, each time they
pass through the gantry, monitors will electronically debit the accounts of registered car
owners without requiring them to stop.

In consideration of current residents and employees in BCC, discounted rates may be adjusted
easily through the ORT system. For example, a resident or employee may register their plate
license number online and the system will automatically recognize the toll fee as a reduced
or waived cost. Another solution would be to charge residents a yearly fee for a pass is similar
to homeowners’ association (HOA) fee. In addition, ski resorts currently subsidize the costs of
the UTA bus system in order to provide easier transit for customers during the winter season.
However, encouraging riders to use a free shuttle service for BCC transportation would provide
additional benefits to the resorts because much of the cost could be borne by tolling revenues.
Ski resorts could also coordinate with UTA to provide discounts in their ski pass for using the
shuttle service.

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Although the variable-price toll system seems to be most practical for BCC, it is difficult to
estimate revenues for the initial year of operation. Based on an evaluation that assumes Level
“C” as the targeted level of service, Table 1 shows a reasonable variable price fee schedule
as a function of traffic flow rate.
Table 1: Proposed Variable-Price Fees Based on Traffic Flow Rate (Cars/Hour)

This table shows a preliminary, conceptual estimate of a fee structure that might be required
to reduce traffic volumes to maintain an operational standard of Level of Service “C”, or better.
However, user behavior may significantly change in the first years of tolling, as user
expectations adjust. Most likely, at least one or more years of tolling data will be necessary in
order to calibrate pricing so as to reduce congestion effectively and to provide expected
revenues. Tolling fees may need further adjustments to fit economic trends and to reflect
optimal use and congestion pricing relative to observed level of service. It is hoped that once
users have become accustomed to tolling, data on user behavior will become more uniform
and the tolling schedule more predictable.

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Table 2: Projected Annual Revenues (7-Day per Week Operation of System)

REVENUE $3,615,000

BUS COST $1,577,000

RETAINED EARNINGS $2,038,000

The projected annual revenues in Table 2 are based on 2016 hourly traffic data gathered
from UDOT and assume that single vehicle traffic will be reduced by 30%. (This is a reasonable
estimate based on the results of other variable tolling systems. London, for example, saw a
30% drop in traffic when implementing a similar system [11].) The projection above also
assumes that the majority of the 30% decline of users will be using the bus, instead of single
vehicles. For this reason, the yearly cost of bussing those users has been included in
calculating retained earnings.

Even when factoring in the effects that additional buses might have on traffic flow, it was
calculated that the variable tolling system might increase the capacity of the road by about
29% using the methodology outlined in the 2010 Highway Capacity Manual [12]. The total
retained earnings from tolling including the costs for a 30% increase in bus service is
approximately $2.038 M (Table 2).

Another pricing model was evaluated where tolls would only be collected on weekends (i.e.,
(Friday to Sunday). Table 3 shows estimates for this model using the same pricing information
provided in Table 1, and also an expected 30% reduction in weekend traffic from
implementation of tolling.
Table 3: Annual Revenues (Weekend Only)

REVENUE $2,330,000

COST $881,000

RETAINED EARNINGS $1,449,000

It is interesting to note that while tolling and bussing are only in place for three days of the
week for this model, estimated total retained earnings is still about 71% of that realized for
the 7 day a week model. From this, we conclude that tolling/bussing only on the weekends is
also a viable and profitable solution, especially when considering that most of the intense

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congestion usually occurs on the weekends rather than on routine weekdays.

To estimate the future transportation demand in BCC, the traffic growth rate from 2011 to
2015 was averaged which resulted in a growth rate of about 7% (Table 4). This annual growth
rate was subsequently used to project future growth for the years 2020 to 2040. If the traffic
demand in the canyon grows by 7% per annum, the number of visitors to BCC in year 2040 is
estimated to be about 28,000 vehicles per day. This projected growth is somewhat
unreasonable, because the canyon roadway, as currently configured, cannot accommodate
this level of traffic and maintain Level C service. Since the 7% growth estimate is somewhat
high, a less aggressive 2% per annum growth rate was also evaluated (Table 5). Based on this
estimate, the year 2040 AADT count is approximately 8,500 vehicles per day. This is a less
aggressive estimate of future growth, nonetheless it still produces a very significant increase
in traffic by year 2040.

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Table 4: 7% Growth Rate Calculations

Table 5: 2% Growth Rate Calculations

Ultimately, future revenue projections were calculated using a 2% growth rate for 7-day
tolling model (Table 6) and a weekend only tolling model (Table 7). These estimates include
the variable price pricing from Table 1, a 30% traffic reduction due to busing, and assuming
those same users would ride the bus. The 2040 and 2050 year revenue projections using a
basic exponential growth equation varied between $2.8 M to $4 M for each model,
respectively.

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Traffic and Parking

Table 6: Revenue Projections (7-Day)

Table 7: Revenue Projections (Weekend Only)

1.3.2 Tolling System Technology


To enact a variable toll, it is recommended that a tolling gantry be installed at the mouth of
the canyon to read users’ license plates with a camera and sensors. Gantries can have a
variety of appearances; because of the natural environs in Big Cottonwood canyon and the
two lane highway it would span, the proposed gantry will be as minimalistic in appearance
and presence, as possible. The construction of the gantry is not a large project; however,
because construction will require alterations and disruption of the environment, it may
require NEPA permitting.

Several methods of enacting the toll were also considered. A booth system would not be
capable of handling the volumes the canyon experiences. In contrast, a camera scanning
system would not impede traffic flow into the canyon, however, a camera scanning system
comes with its own obstacles.

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Traffic and Parking

Figure 1: Gantry for Tolling System [13]

A gantry system similar to that shown in Figure 1 would allow users to quickly and conveniently
pay fees without delaying their travel up BCC. The initial capital costs for two tolling gantries,
required equipment, and supporting systems was estimated to be about $1M ($0.5 M per
gantry) with an estimated operations and maintenance cost of 30% of initial capital costs or
$0.3 M per year. This latter cost includes costs associated with the payment system, data
management, enforcement, technician support, etc. [14][15].

1.3.3 Utah Law and Automatic License Plate Reader Systems


According to State Bill SB 222 in 41-6a-2003 an automatic license plate reader system may
not be used by a governmental entity, except as provided in Subsection (2). In this
subsection, a governmental entity is allowed to use a plate reader if:

(a) by a law enforcement agency for the purpose of protecting public safety,
conducting criminal investigations, or ensuring compliance with local, state, and
federal laws;
(b) by a governmental parking enforcement entity for the purpose of enforcing state
and local parking laws;
(c) by a parking enforcement entity for regulating the use of a parking facility;
(d) for the purpose of controlling access to a secured area;
(e) for the purpose of collecting an electronic toll; or
(f) for the purpose of enforcing motor carrier laws [16].

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By Utah law, installing an electronic tolling system would be allowable. According to that
stated above, a government entity is allowed to use an Automatic License Plate Reader to
collect license plate data for tolling purposes. License plate data “may not be preserved for
any purpose other than those described in Section 41-6a-2003” [16]. In other words, in the
initial process of getting tolling approved for Big Cottonwood Canyon, a purpose for the
tolling must be specified and the data collected cannot be used or shared except as
specified in that original purpose. Furthermore, the plate data cannot be retained for more
than nine months unless otherwise specified in 41-6a-2004-1c. Further evaluations may be
required to insure that all pertinent Utah laws are met regarding the proposed tolling system
and the collection of fees and data therefrom.

1.4 Transit
UTA currently operates all bus service in the canyon. This service is limited to the winter
months (late November to early April) and runs from various points in the Salt Lake Valley to
Solitude and Brighton Ski Resorts.

1.4.1 Bus Service Expansion


We recommend that UTA, or another entity, be contracted to provide expanded summer bus
service within the canyon so that the buses can more efficiently act as a shuttle system. The
proposed route would run from the mouth of the canyon (Park-N-Ride) to the Brighton main
parking lot and return to the Park-N-Ride. In addition, it is also possible to create additional
routes that run from various points in the Salt Lake Valley to the mouth of the canyon;
however these routes should be separate from the canyon routes to minimize schedule
inconsistencies within the canyon. Bus service expansion through the summer will allow
individuals to access the canyon when there is no legal parking available. This plan also
recommends that bus service in the canyon be provided at no cost to users to further
encourage users to forego their individual vehicles. It is recommended that the bus service
provider be compensated for all expenses relating to the summer canyon routes by using
the revenue generated from the tolling system. In this way, the users paying the tolls will be
able to see one of the canyon improvements the toll is facilitating.

1.4.2 Bus Stops


There are currently eleven existing, signed bus stop locations throughout the canyon. These
locations include the Park-N-Ride at the bottom of the canyon, Donut Falls area, Spruces
campground, Silver Fork Lodge, Solitude Ski Resort, Solitude Nordic Center and Brighton Ski
Resort. Stops are found on either side of the road with the exception of the Park & Ride,
Solitude and the Brighton Loop. Figure 1 shows the location of both existing and proposed
bus stops within the canyon. It is proposed that construction for the S-curve stop (marked

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as “high priority” in the figure legend) begin during Phase 2 of construction. It is also
proposed that construction for the stops marked as “potential stops” begin in Phase 3 of
construction. This is because these latter stops were determined to be helpful to the
successful operation of a summer bus route, but not considered essential. Please see
Appendix II for additional proposed construction phasing details.

Figure 2: Bus Stop Locations

To determine the locations most useful as bus stops, satellite data from Friday July 8, 2016
was used to count the number of cars parked along the side of Utah State Route 190 (Big
Cottonwood Scenic Byway) and in each lot except the Solitude lot and the Brighton lots. The
number of available parking spots in each area was also estimated. Some areas included dirt
pullouts that did not have distinct names. These spots are referred to as “Unnamed Area” in
Table 1 in Appendix III. Spot counts for the Solitude and Brighton lots were determined from
satellite data from Monday January 1, 2007, however this data may be unreliable because it
was taken more than 10 years ago, and conditions in the canyon may have changed.

Target bus stop locations were then determined based on the number of cars parked at the
site versus the number of parking spots available and the presumed use of the sites. Table
1 in Appendix III shows this data for all locations with more than 4 cars parked in parking
pullouts or at least two cars parked on the road. If the predominant use of the site did not
lend itself to busing, a stop was not recommended for the site. For example, if sites were
primarily used for climbing or fishing access, the additional equipment requirements of the
activity were taken as a disincentive to use public transit. Figure 1 in Appendix III shows all

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Traffic and Parking

stops of interest, including those that were primarily identified as fishing or outdoor climbing
access.

ADA compliance was not a requirement at the time the existing bus stops in the canyon were
constructed, therefore they do not currently meet these requirements. However, if a bus stop
were to be added at the S-curve, it would need to be ADA and safety compliant. Creating a
bus stop at the S-curve is an involved project that requires a great deal of design, roadway
expansion, and time to complete a NEPA process. This expansion will most likely require
excavation and slope retaining. The S-curve is a dangerous area for pedestrians, and the
installation of a bus stop will most likely increase the amount of pedestrians in the area. This
potential increase therefore leads to an additional recommendation that a lighted crosswalk
be installed on the downhill side of the curve. Also, it should be noted that construction in this
vicinity will significantly reduce roadway capacity and operations for a short period of time.

It is also recommended that bus stops be constructed at two locations in addition to the
previously mentioned S-curve stop. These stops will be at the Ledgemere picnic grounds and
at the Mineral Fork hiking area. Both of these locations were identified as areas of need due
to the popularity of the area and a lack of available parking. Each will have paved and signed
pullouts on both sides of the road. This will bring the total number of signed bus stops in the
canyon to 17. Aerial views of the proposed locations are included in Appendix I (Figures 2-4).

1.5 Parking
The canyon does not have the parking infrastructure to support the number of visitors it
receives. This problem will worsen as the Salt Lake Metropolitan Area grows and a greater
number of people have access to the canyon. In order to make the canyon safer for its users,
it is recommended that current roadside parking be greatly reduced, if not eliminated, and
the primary parking lots in the canyon be expanded. These improvements are required to
continue to allow visitors to appreciate the canyon as a beautiful outdoor recreational space.

1.5.1 Parking Enforcement


Shoulder vehicular parking throughout the canyon is problematic. This safety by taking away
space for cyclists and pedestrians using the canyon by severely reducing visibility and blocking
biking pathways. Future restrictions on roadside parking should be communicated through
the installation of signage informing users that parking is limited to designated lots. In
addition, parking enforcement in the canyon is currently limited to areas where there is
signage prohibiting parking, which is only the case for a short stretch of road. Parking is not
enforced in areas like the S-curve, which can become dangerous if overcrowded. While current
parking enforcement is carried out by the Unified Police Department (UPD), additional

22
resources may be required for more comprehensive and involved parking enforcement. It is
recommended that dedicated, and perhaps privatized, parking enforcement become an
essential component of the proposed parking strategy. Nonetheless, the parking services and
enforcement must be controlled by an agency with appropriate jurisdictional authority,
whether it is the U.S. Forest Service, UPD, or a designated third party.

The purpose of parking enforcement is to improve safety and reduce congestion while also
potentially providing additional revenues for maintaining parking facilities. Table 8 is an
example of a potential fee (i.e., fine) schedule, and the terms therein for violations are taken
from the Utah Vehicle Code (i.e., Uniform Fine/Bail Forfeiture Schedule, May 10, 2016).

Table 8: Example Fee Schedule

Parking enforcement and fees


goals/rules:

Ensure that regulation


enforcement is efficient,
considerate and fair.
Due to limited parking in
the canyon, parking
regulations are strictly
enforced all day including
holidays.
Vehicles are not allowed
to stay overnight unless
in designated camping
areas.
Every vehicle must be
parked in a designated
area.

Table 8 is an example of fines that might be applied in the canyon based on those from the
University of California Santa Cruz Police Department [2] and City of Boston: Parking Ticket
Fines and Codes [3]. The enacted fine schedule would ultimately be subjected to approval by
the appropriate jurisdictions.

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1.5.2 Parking Outside BCC


The current U.S. Forest Service management plan limits the total number of parking spots
allowed in the canyon as a way to limit visitor impacts on the canyon environment. However,
legal parking within the canyon is already reaching capacity on peak days. There currently
exists multiple Park-N-Ride lots outside the canyon including locations at 6200 S. Wasatch
Blvd., the Swamp Lot, and the Fort Union Pullout. The Avenues Consulting group suggested,
in their Cottonwood Canyons Parking Study, expanding current parking facilities outside the
canyon as well as constructing additional parking at the gravel pit. Cost estimates and details
of these improvements can be found in their study [4]. Shuttle service into the canyon has
also been linked to existing bus routes, TRAX stations, and high priority locations like the
University of Utah and City Creek. Our study highly recommends continuing shuttle service to
locations outside the canyon, as well as expanding this service to the summer seasons on
holidays and weekends as needed. Expanding parking for bus stops outside the canyon
should also be a priority whether this means additional construction or cooperation with
organizations with existing parking facilities such as local schools or businesses.

1.5.3 Lot Restriping


We believe that parking capacity could be increased in several ways; it was determined that
the most expeditious and cost-effective way to increase parking is to restripe the existing lots
rather than expand the lot footprints. Many of the lots are striped inefficiently, and a
preliminary estimate showed that lot capacity could be increased by up to 25%. For more
details on this estimate, please see Appendix B. In comparison, lot expansion would probably
involve a NEPA process before construction. A more immediate solution is desired, therefore
restriping the lots is a more viable, short-term solution to the current problem. The lots
recommended for restriping are: Park-N-Ride at the mouth of the canyon, S-curve lower lot,
Donut Falls lot, and Solitude and Brighton ski resort lots. All recommended stalls have a
typical 9-foot width and a minimum of 18-foot length. Drawings for the proposed striping plans
for each site can be found in Appendix I. The estimation of the costs for these improvements
considered striping, heavy duty paving and road base, sawcut (used to blend existing asphalt
to new asphalt), and asphalt curbing. The total cost estimate for Phase 1 improvements is
approximately $1.67 M for material and construction costs, and details can be found in
Appendix II.

However, parking capacity in the canyon will most likely need to be increased once again
before year 2040 is reached due to projected growth. Thus, it is also recommended that the
footprint of some existing parking lots be expanded to allow more space at some future point
as a long-term parking solution.

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1.5.4 Signage
In order to encourage more efficient parking throughout the canyon, it is recommended that
a system of parking signs be installed giving drivers a real-time count of parking spots that
are available. This system would require the installation of magnetic detectors to identify the
number of spots available in each lot as well as signage at the mouth of the canyon displaying
those numbers to drivers. This sign would monitor and display parking availability for 4
different areas of parking: Brighton, Solitude, the S-curve area, and the Park and Ride parking
lot(s). In the design of these signs, a point would be made to achieve a balance between
aesthetics and functionality. A sign might look similar to that shown in Figure 3. We estimate
that this parking availability system has a lump sum cost of $0.350 M for initial installation
and capital costs [5], followed by an estimated operations and maintenance cost of $3.8 K
per year for electricity and technician support [6].

Figure 3: Signage for Parking Availability

In addition to providing BCC users with timely information on parking availability, it is


recommended that signage similar to that shown in Appendix I be installed to clearly delineate
where users can or cannot park. This allows for more direct and accurate communication
between enforcement and users. Regulatory signage facilitates safer conditions for
pedestrians as well as vehicles and cyclists while improving traffic flow. This signage is
particularly needed in the S-curve area, as it is a major area of traffic interference with
pedestrians and cyclists.

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2 BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON: ROADWAYS AND TRAILS

2.1 Background
The Roadways and Trails team specifically focused on improving safety between cyclists,
pedestrians, and motorized vehicles. Conflicts within the canyon have warranted immediate
intervention to ensure safety. Tables 1 and 2 below show a detailed report from Mountain
Accord of crash statistics in the canyon. It is estimated that 376 crashes have occurred in Big
Cottonwood Canyon since the canyon allowed public vehicle access. Of these 376 crashes,
14 were considered severe and 3 were fatal [1]. This high-conflict environment inspired
solutions that mediate pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicular interaction to increase safety for
all users in the canyon.
Table 9: Total Crashes and Crash Rate Summary (UDOT)

MVMT = Million Vehicle Miles Traveled


Table 10: Severe Crashes and Crash Rate Summary

After identifying critical locations throughout the canyon, namely the S-Curve, and any blind
corners without adequate shoulder width, the team designed an overall plan of proposed
safety improvements.

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Roadways and Trails

2.2 Options
Options explored for the Preliminary Engineering Report included, but were not limited to:

Electronic pedestrian crossing signs in problem areas


Bicycle lane restriping and possible barrier placements for safety
Shoulder expansion for areas with inadequate shoulder width for pedestrian safety
Pedestrian bridge off Lake Blanche Trail to redirect pedestrian traffic through S-Curve
‘Adopt A Trail’ in high traffic hiking locations to control trail erosion

These proposals were selected based on design criteria and stakeholder inputs during the
previous alternatives study phase (Appendix B). The goal of each option is to improve the
safety of the canyon and give solutions that can be implemented within a reasonable
timeframe. Proposals were designed for minimal impact to the watershed in order to
streamline future environmental assessments or environmental impact statements as
required by a potential NEPA process.

Each proposal was broken down into a detailed 3 phase system, which allows for each option
to be implemented as funds become available.

2.3 Phase 1: Signage, Crosswalks, Adopt‐A‐Trail


The first phasing process was designed for immediate implementation within a 2 to 6 month
construction time. The elements within this phase include a series of electronic, flashing
pedestrian crossing signs that will alert drivers to where pedestrians are looking to cross. The
proposed locations are:

Crossing Utah SR-190 from North to South parking lots at Donut Falls Hiking Trail access
points (40°38’58.36” N 111°38’53.23” W)
Crossing Utah SR-190 from North to South parking lots at Silver Fork Lodge
(40°38’01.71” N 111°36’43.31” W)
These locations accommodate the recommendations of the BCC3T Traffic and Parking team
while addressing the most immediate safety concerns.

All signage will be implemented according to UDOT specifications, which includes a pre-
crosswalk sign 90 feet from the actual location of the crosswalk and lowering the speed limit
within 200 feet of these crosswalks to 35 mph [2]. This decrease in speed will allow for a
safer crossing for pedestrians.

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Roadways and Trails

We propose that the electronic pedestrian signs include a radio transmitter that will alert all
signs at that location to flash simultaneously. This radio transmitter will eliminate the need
to excavate into the existing road to lay wires. All signs will be solar powered with a capacitor
to store energy for use at night. This solar addition will eliminate use of the local power supply.
Both design options will reduce construction time. The solar option will ensure that power
costs are kept to a minimum.

This process will also include road striping for the pedestrian crossing areas and new striping
to differentiate the dedicated bicycle paths up the canyon. In troublesome areas, we propose
that concrete barriers be added to the shoulders to help ensure the safety and ease of access
for bicyclists and pedestrians on foot.

This initial phase also includes an “Adopt-A-Trail” approach to road and hiking trail
maintenance. Borrowing from the premise of the “Adopt-A-Highway” idea, local businesses
and bicycle clubs would be tasked to take care of a certain section of road or trail. These
companies and clubs would receive the opportunity of having their name on a ‘Taken Care By’
sign that would adorn that specific stretch of trail/road (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Adopt-A-Trail Sign

The sections of roadway that stretch along Utah SR-190 have been divided to accommodate
a maximum of 20 bicycle clubs, approximately 1 per mile. The hiking trail assignments will be
based on the popularity of the trail. For instance, Donut Falls, a very popular hike along the
Big Cottonwood Canyon road, may have as many as 4 businesses assigned to trail
maintenance. Each organization will be tasked to hike the trail once a month, for the months
of April through October. As with less popular trails like the Lake Blanche Trail, 2 teams will

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Roadways and Trails

be tasked to hike, each twice a year, for the months of April through October. An email was
sent out to local businesses and bicycling clubs to gauge interest in this objective. Preliminary
outreach has proven to be promising and many local organizations appear to be enthusiastic
about participating in this, or a similar program.

Table 11 details the approximate costs of Phase 1, which has a total cost of about $0.4 M.

Table 11: Phase 1 Construction Costs

2.4 Phase 2: Geofoam Shoulder Expansion


The second phase of our analysis included an assessment of vehicle-pedestrian
interferences. The team visited Utah SR-190 to identify problem areas within the canyon.
Identified on this trip was the lack of adequate shoulder space for bicyclists to safely
maneuver. Subsequently, the team evaluated a shoulder expansion that would allow for a 6-
foot widening, as well as a construction process that would eliminate the need for trucks or
equipment to operate within the watershed. Further, it is proposed that the support for this
shoulder expansion be made of expanded polystyrene (EPS) which is commercially known as
geofoam. This light-weight embankment material has been adapted for highway infrastructure
use statewide including the I-15 and I-80 reconstruction projects that took place in
preparation for the Winter Olympics in 2002 [4]. Geofoam is a lightweight, recyclable material
that can be cut to fit any desired shape and has sufficient strength to support vehicular traffic

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Roadways and Trails

[5]. Geofoam embankment will allow for an efficient, durable, and long-term performance
when incorporated with the lane expansion design (Figure 5). Figure 6 shows how the
recommended Geofoam inlay fill will be placed into the existing slope, as well as the support
columns, fencing, and barrier configurations. This recommended design typical should be
modified to fit the site conditions. Modifications may include variable slopes and use of higher
density Geofoam at bus pullout locations. Please refer to Appendix 3 for additional drawings
and calculations.

Figure 5: Typical Cross-Section of Geofoam Shoulder Expansion

The above typical cross-section can be adjusted to fit most slopes, and to hold any desired
weight simply by increasing the density of the polystyrene, increasing the thickness of the
concrete slab, and embedment length of the lateral support posts. Such adjustments will
most likely be required for any road widening or expansion in proposed pull-off areas.
Additional adjustment to the typical section, including the replacement of Geofoam with
Gabion baskets may be required in areas where stream erosion is possible to the roadway
shoulder. The proposed locations of the shoulder widening are:

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First blind corner East of S-Curve (40°37’59.00” N, 111°43’22.35” W)
Second blind corner East of S-Curve (40°38’35.22” N, 111°42’21.93” W)
Other locations were identified as candidates pending the availability of funds. The cost of
expanding the shoulder using this design is variable, depending on location as shown in Table
12).

Prior to final design and construction, the soil or rock conditions must be determined at the
proposed sites. The ground conditions affect the techniques used to install the supporting
columns in the slope, and whether or not concrete is needed to anchor the columns into the
slope (Figures 5 and 6). The type of drilling required for imbedding the columns will vary from
a simple auger drill for sandy soil, and a rock drill, if bedrock is encountered. Once the
supporting columns are in place, the slope may need minor grading and installation of a
bedding sand prior to placement of the Geofoam blocks. These blocks can then be placed on
the prepared slope. The Geofoam will be capped and protected on the top surface by a
reinforced concrete slab, and faced with faux rock façade, most likely constructed of colored
shot-crete, or pre-cast concrete panels. The system will be finished with a tensioned cable
fence, attached to the columns, to provide fall protection for pedestrians and cyclists (Figure
6). Depending on location and other geometric constraints, the path will be separated from
the roadway using:

Moveable concrete barriers for snow removal convenience.


Moveable steel and concrete bollards for snow removal convenience.
Lay flat plastic posts (less demanding locations).

Table 12: Phase 2 Construction Costs

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Figure 6: Schematic of Typical Section

2.5 Phase 3: S‐Curve Transit Split


Lastly, the implementation of Phase III of recommended roadway and trail improvements may
be necessary to provide additional safety and protection to pedestrians and cyclists along the
most treacherous locations on Utah SR-190. It is recommended that this be accomplished in
the S-Curve area by completely removing cyclists from the roadway. This separation requires
a bypass that would take the cyclists and pedestrians off the roadway in the S-Curve, and onto
the Lake Blanche trail (Figure 7). This already paved trail would require only a minimal amount
of improvements in order to accommodate the bypass. The bypass could be reconnected to
the roadway above the S-Curve via a pedestrian bridge that crosses Big Cottonwood Creek
(Figure 7, yellow line). The red line in this figure delineates the pathway alignment which shows
where the pathway would leave the roadway at the bottom of the S-Curve. The proposed trail
path continues eastward where a recommended bridge (yellow line) would cross the stream
and reconnect to the roadway. Lastly, is recommended that the bridge be constructed of
prefabricated steel trusses, which would allow easy assembly and minimize construction time.
The bridge could have a natural rock façade for aesthetical purposes to better match the

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environment of the canyon. Additional conceptual details and information about the bridge
are given in Appendix B.

Figure 7: Existing Trail (red) and Proposed Bridge Location (yellow).

Table 13 itemizes the estimated total costs for Phase III. Costs identified for ‘Bridge
Fabrication’ are a lump cost for the metal truss for the recommended bridge. The
‘Environmental Requirements’ under the ‘Special Construction’ category refers to any
additional design or equipment needed to protect the watershed from construction debris.
Table 13: Phase 3 Costs

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Environmental
3 BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON: ENVIRONMENTAL AND SANITATION

3.1 Background
Preserving water resources in BCC is not only a significant environmental issue, but one of
public health and safety. Preemptive measures to address potential water contamination and
other environmental impacts are of key importance for the long-term preservation and use of
the canyon. Per the USFS Watershed Condition Framework [1], Big Cottonwood Canyon is
classified as a watershed “functioning at risk.’ For Big Cottonwood Canyon, risks were
primarily attributed to increased foot and vehicular traffic.

Figure 8: U.S. Forest Service Watershed Conditions for Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons

The expansion of sanitation facilities throughout the canyon is a major aspiration for many of
the primary stakeholders. Improved facilities will enhance the users’ experience in the canyon
and preserve natural resources, while meeting current and projected needs. Constructing new
restroom facilities will provide an affordable solution that will minimize the long-term impacts
facing the city’s water supply, as improving sanitation would prevent negative impacts on
health for residents who rely on the canyon for their drinking water.

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We proposed that increasing the number of stalls throughout the canyon at new and existing
locations is the most effective way to protect the future integrity of the watershed. In addition,
the number of these additions and improvements can be scaled to meet project limitations
and budget. Several different options for restrooms, both vault and sewer connected, are
available and were evaluated. Documentation of the projected associated costs and aesthetic
design are provided in Appendix IV. However, the assessment herein in preliminary; additional
information and data are needed to assess fully the areas with the greatest immediate need;
hence a pilot study is recommended, as discussed in the next section.

3.2 Phase 1: Pilot Study


A Big Cottonwood Canyon Pilot Study consisting of a sample set of existing and prospective
locations throughout the canyon will provide valuable information on frequency of usage. It is
proposed that 10 locations be selected (i.e., Donut Falls, Mill B-S Curve, Silver Lake,
Cardiff/Mill D, Willow Heights, Butler Fork, Guardsman’s Pass, Lake Mary Trailhead, Dogwood
Climbers’ Area, and Storm Mountain Climbers’ Area) and monitored over a one year test
period using portable toilet facilities. The one-year duration will allow for the documentation
of the effect of seasonal variability on usage during both summer and winter months.

It is proposed that usage frequency data be gathered and compiled using people counting
systems. These devices are widely used in the retail industry to assess trends in visitation and
use (Figure 9). This same concept can be applied to restrooms; each time someone enters a
facility they will be counted by the device. Models that do not require wireless data are
available and would require regular downloading of data by those conducting the study.
Despite this limitation, these models may be more desirable for the study because wireless
coverage is limited in the canyon and could result in data loss. These counters are made to
withstand variable environmental conditions and may be mounted in an inconspicuous
location. Most models have a battery life of approximately two years and would require
minimal maintenance during the survey.

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Environmental

Figure 9: People Counting Device [1]

An additional benefit of conducting the usage survey is that the sanitation needs in the canyon
could be temporarily addressed during the first year of tolling operations. Following the study,
revenues from the variable tolling would be available to construct the first phase of restrooms.
The primary costs associated with this study are the rental and maintenance of the portable
units, which amounts to approximately $11 K per entire year. In addition, other costs for this
study would be the purchase of 10 counters at an additional estimated cost $2.7 K [2].

Usage studies, similar to that proposed, have been conducted in other areas of the U.S. to
address sanitation concerns. One notable example is the Denver Public Restroom Pilot
Program. This study began in 2016 [2], and focuses on collecting data for public restroom
usage, with the main intent of determining optimal locations for future expansion. Mobile
facilities have been placed at strategic locations around the city, in areas with high suitability
criteria. However, the cost of each facility is approximately $12 K per month. About $6 K is
allocated to an attendant that maintains cleanliness and collects data [2]. However, the pilot
study proposed for the BCC accomplishes many of the same goals at a much lower cost, on a
scale appropriate for the canyon.

Following the pilot study, the 10 monitored areas would be ranked by usage volumes and the
data collected from the SensMax counters. Once the 10 areas have been prioritized, an
approximate 10-year construction cycle could be programmed for the construction phasing of
permanent restroom structures. It is recommend that this second phase begin with the
placement of permanent structures at a few high priority locations throughout the canyon.
Funds obtained from the implementation of tolling would be programmed and used to finance
new facilities at these locations. Every few years, additional locations could be chosen for
upgrades based on priority (Appendix IV). It is recommended that construction and evaluation
be conducted over a ten-year period, increasing the current toilet count from 14 toilets to 58
toilets. The implementation of this phase might be expedited depending on the rate of revenue
generation from tolling. If the projected revenue realized is approximately $1-2 M,

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construction of adequate facilities could be hastened significantly and would result in an
overall project cost savings.

3.3 Phase 2: Construction at High Priority Sites


At the beginning of Phase 2, the key areas with the highest traffic congestion will be targeted
for the programming and construction of new sanitation facilities. These will likely include
Donut Falls and Mill B-S Curve locations. Currently, there is 1 vault toilet at Donut Falls and 2
sanitary sewer connected toilets at Mill B-S Curve. Based on our projections, we recommend
that these 2 locations receive 5 vault toilets at Donut Falls and 4 toilets connected to the
sanitary sewer at Mill B-S Curve.

3.4 Phase 3: 10‐Year Construction Plan


Over the 10-year period encompassing Phase 2, it is recommended that additional toilet
facility locations be determined from the prioritization system established from the Phase 1
Pilot Study, or determined based on prioritization provided by the Big Cottonwood Community
Council. Preliminary recommendation of facilities and cost estimates for 2-year increments is
as follows.

Years 1-2 will be used to plan to improve toilets at Donut Falls and Mill B-S Curve. It is
recommended that Donut Falls receive 5 vault toilets. One of these will be a single unisex
restroom with an estimated cost of approximately $23 K, and it is recommended that the
other 4 vault toilets be placed into double units with 2 male and 2 female toilets costing
approximately $68 K [3 & 4]. For the Mill B-S Curve, sanitation sewer connected toilets are
required. Four toilets are recommended at this location placed in a single unit restroom
facility. This will house 2 female stalls, 1 male stall, and 1 male urinal [7, & 8]. The
approximate costs for Donut Falls and Mill B-S Curve are estimated to be $91 K and $157 K,
respectively [3, 4, 7, & 8]. The approximate total for year 4 is estimated to be $248 K [3, 4,
7, & 8].

Years 3-4 will be used to improve toilets at Silver Lake and Cardiff/Mill D. It is recommended
that both locations receive 4 toilets connected to the sanitary sewer comprising restroom
facility housing 2 female stalls, 1 male stall, and 1 male urinal. The approximate cost for each
location will be $157,000, and the approximate total for year 4 will be $314 K [7 & 8].

Years 4-6 will be used to improve toilets at Willow Heights and Butler Fork. It is recommended
that both locations receive 4 sewer connected toilets comprising a restroom facility housing
2 female stalls, 1 male stall, and 1 male urinal. The approximate cost for each location will be
$157 K, and the approximate total for year 6 will be $314 K [7 & 8].

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Years 6-8 will be used improve toilets at Guardsman’s Pass and Lake Mary Trailhead. It is
anticipated that Guardsman’s Pass will require 5 vault toilets, of which 1 vault toilet will be a
single unisex restroom that costing approximately $23 K. It is recommended that the other 4
vault toilets be placed in double units with 2 male and 2 female toilets costing approximately
$68 K [3 & 4]. Six (6) toilets are proposed at the Lake Mary Trailhead with a restroom facility
housing 3 female stalls, 2 male stall, and 1 male urinal [7 & 8]. The approximate cost for
Guardsman’s Pass and Lake Mary Trailhead will be $91 K and $165 K, respectively [3, 4, 7,
& 8]. The approximate total cost for year 8 will be $256 K [3, 4, 7, & 8].

Years 9-10 will be used to improve sanitary facilities at Dogwood Climbers’ Area and Storm
Mountain Climbers’ Area. It is recommended that both locations receive 4 sewer connected
toilets consisting of 1 unit restroom facility housing 2 female stalls, 1 male stall, and 1 male
urinal. The approximate cost for each location is estimated to be $157 K, and the approximate
total for year 10 is $314 K [7 & 8].

3.5 NEPA and Costs


The construction of these sanitation facilities may require environmental review in accordance
with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). However, if impacts are minimal, a
categorical exclusion may be granted [5]. The U.S. Forest Service could be a valuable partner
in navigating the NEPA process according to appropriate agency standards.

The proposed facilities will have a positive environmental impact by protecting the watershed
from human waste. Given the supporting documentation from the Phase 1 Pilot Study, and if
no extraordinary circumstances arise, it is hoped that a regulatory decision will be made
relatively quickly. Similar facilities already exist throughout the canyon and restroom facility
impacts are already well-understood by the Forest Service. The only potential significant
impacts may arise from the construction of the facilities, primarily due to the placement of
additional sewer lines at locations where sewer connections are planned. If any portion of the
project is declined during the NEPA process, changes to the original project plans may result
in a compromise acceptable to all stakeholders. Lastly, if variable tolling were implemented
in Big Cottonwood Canyon, the revenues obtained therefrom could also be used for additional
facility maintenance. An itemized cost breakdown of all proposed facilities is available in
Appendix IV.

38
4 FINAL PHASING AND COST ANALYSIS

4.1 Summary
Each BCC3T design team completed a phase analysis of the recommended alternatives (Table
14). The projected timeline to complete all phases occurs over a 12-year implementation
period having six phases. Implementation of variable tolling is a cornerstone of this plan and
is the mechanism used to generate the revenues necessary to fund and maintain the
improvements. The BCC3T Improvement Project team recommends that an initial investment
in tolling (preliminary and phase 1) be made in order to generate the revenues necessary to
proceed to general phase 2, where improvements to both trails and sanitation can be funded.
Revenues generated by the tolling system would then be reinvested in Big Cottonwood Canyon
to expand bus services, construct additional bus stops, and reduce congestion and conflicts
on Big Cottonwood Canyon Road.
Table 14: Final Phasing Plan

The total investment required over the 12 year period would be approximately $8 M. The
BCC3T project team believes that variable tolling (i.e., congestion pricing) will provide a
sustainable source of revenue while increasing transit ridership to an ambitious 30% of
canyon visitors.

39
4.2 The Case for Variable Tolling
4.2.1 Peak Traffic
Big Cottonwood Canyon experiences concentrated peak traffic flows of greater than 600 cars
per hour over just a few hours (Figure 10, left). A basic access fee would not appropriately
respond to the user demand during non-peak hours. Access is one of the most valued
characteristics of Big Cottonwood Canyon, and a $3 basic fee could potentially price out
normal users while being too generous to have an effect on congestion during the most heavily
trafficked periods of the day. A variable pricing scheme will allow most users to continue to
access Big Cottonwood Canyon for free while encouraging visitors to carpool or take public
transit during peak usage times. The ideal variable pricing structure would both reduce
vehicles per hour to a sustainable number and also extend the “width” of the peak from two
hours to three hours, or more, in order to reduce overall congestion and to improve the level
of service of the roadway (Figure 10, right).

Figure 10: Typical BCC Traffic Saturday (Left) and Variable Tolling Concept (Right)

40
4.2.2 Cash flow Analysis
A preliminary cash flow analysis was conducted. This study estimates that the retained
earnings of a weekend-only model would be approximately 71% of the earnings of a 7-Day
model. This suggests that weekend-only congesting pricing and expanded bus service (Friday-
Sunday) would be a viable option. Residents and stakeholders are generally familiar with the
long waits to access Big Cottonwood Canyon on the weekends. A weekend-only model could
potentially fund all the proposed improvements, mitigate the worst of the traffic congestion,
and also be more acceptable to the general public. As the population of Salt Lake City and the
Wasatch Front increases, it would also be possible to further adjust the variable pricing system
to adapt to and accommodate future growth and improvements as needed.

Weekend Only Tolling Tolling 7-Days A Week

40.0 mil
35.0 mil
30.0 mil
25.0 mil
Net Earnings

20.0 mil
15.0 mil
10.0 mil
5.0 mil
0.0 mil
-5.0 mil
-10.0 mil
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Years

Figure 11: Cash flow (7-Day vs. Weekend Only)

41
4.2.3 Economic Analysis
If a variable tolling concession in Big Cottonwood Canyon was operated for 10 years by a
private/public partnership, a preliminary analysis suggests that it would realize retained
earnings of $19 M when operating only on the weekends and $36 M, if operated all week
(Table 13). This valuation suggests that if a variable tolling system were implemented,
revenues could potentially sustain and support the proposed improvements (i.e., new
permanent restroom facilities, road restriping, geofoam expansions, and expanded summer
bus service) without the need to either levy additional property taxes or compete with other
projects for funding from Salt Lake County.
Table 15: Summary Economic Analysis

42
4.3 Conclusion
While tolling or collecting user fees in any form may be politically and publically unpopular,
the current state of unmanaged access to Big Cottonwood Canyon has significant costs and
impacts to public safety, health, and the potential to degrade the recreational use and
enjoyment for all users. Illegal and unsafe parking, pedestrian and cyclist interferences with
automobile traffic, and lack of adequate restroom facilities are common and well documented
issues.

The University of Utah Big Cottonwood Canyon 3T Improvement team recommends a


comprehensive, integrated approach including variable tolling and phased construction in
order to implement proposed solutions in a timely and cost-effective fashion. Further, a
phased approach can better accommodate potential delays, inconsistent funding, or other
potential obstacles, which are inevitable. It is recommended that the described phasing plan
be overseen by a public entity, such as the Big Cottonwood Improvement District, which has
been suggested by others in the past. This entity would be responsible for distributing tolling
revenues and overseeing proposed improvements through the planning and implementation
process.

This preliminary engineering report provides a range of possibilities to address the “3 Ts”
issues of traffic, toilets, and trails while preserving the integrity and natural beauty of Big
Cottonwood Canyon. The aim of study and its proposed recommendations is not to limit
access by imposing additional fees, but rather to encourage users to think about the future
ways they interact with and experience the “Forest Next Door” in a safer, healthier, and more
sustainable manner for all.

4.4 Acknowledgements
The BCC3T Improvement Team would like to thank Dr. Steven Bartlett and Dr. Dave Eckhoff
for their mentorship, engineering insight, and tireless feedback. Special thanks are due to Leo
Blake, who designed the slides for the prior Alternatives Study. The team also deeply
appreciates the involvement and encouragement of not only the members of the Big
Cottonwood Community Council who commissioned the study, but also the cooperation of
representatives from the U.S. Forest Service, the Utah Department of Transportation, the Utah
Transit Authority, Salt Lake County, Mountain Accord, Brighton, and Solitude Mountain Resort.
Finally, the many private citizens who engaged with or commented on our work were
invaluable voices in determining the final direction of this report.

43
5 REFERENCES

5.1 Statement of Needs References


[1]Outdoor Industry Association. “Utah: the outdoor recreation economy.” Online. Available:
outdoorindustry.com.

[2]U.S. Forest Service. “Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest: Visitor guide.” U.S.


Department of Agriculture. Online. Available:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5370807.pdf

[3] U.S. Forest Service. “Resource management: watersheds in Salt Lake valley.” U.S.
Department of Agriculture. Online. Available:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/uwcnf/landmanagement/resourcemanagement/?cid=fs
em_035491&width=full

[4]National Park Service. “Visitation statistics.” Online. Available:


https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/visitationstats.htm

[5]C. C. Lamborn et al., “2014-2015 Central Wasatch Visitor Use Study: Follow-Up E-Survey,”
Institution for Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, Logan, UT, 2015.

[6]Fehr & Peers. “Mountain transportation study: final report.” Salt Lake County, UT, 2012.
Online. Available: http://slco.org/pwpds/zoning/pdf/wasatchCanyonGeneralPlans/MTS_-
_Report_-_FINAL.pdf

[7]Salt Lake County. “Wasatch canyons tomorrow.” Salt Lake City, UT, 2010. Online.
Available:
http://wfrc.org/Previous_Studies/2010%20Wasatch%20Canyons%20Tomorrow%20Final%
20Report%20Dec10.pdf

[8]Salt Lake County. “Big Cottonwood Canyon general plan draft.” Salt Lake City, UT, 2013.
Online. Available: http://slco.org/pwpds/pdf/BigCottonwood_-_DRAF.pdf

[9]Avenue Consultants. “Cottonwood canyons parking study.” Salt Lake City, UT, 2012.
Online.
Available:http://slco.org/pwpds/zoning/pdf/wasatchCanyonGeneralPlans/Cottonwood_Can
yons_P.pdf

[10]Mountain Accord. “Mountain Accord final report.” Salt Lake City, UT, 2016. Online.
Available: http://mountainaccord.com/mountain-accord-final-report/

44
5.2 Traffic and Parking References
[1] “Uniform Fine/Bail Forfeiture Schedule,” Administrative Office of the Courts, 10-May-
2016. [Online]. Available:
https://www.utcourts.gov/resources/rules/ucja/append/c_fineba/FineBail_Schedule.pdf

[2] Traffic and Parking Regulations: University of California Santa Cruz Police Department.

[Online]. Available: http://police.ucsc.edu/services/parking/parkreg.html

[3] "Parking ticket fines and codes." Boston.gov. N.p., 07 Nov. 2016. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
https://www.boston.gov/departments/parking-clerk/parking-ticket-fines-and-codes

[4] Avenue Consultants. (2012). Cottonwood Canyons Parking Study – Recommendations


[Online]. Available:
http://slco.org/pwpds/zoning/pdf/wasatchCanyonGeneralPlans/Cottonwood_Canyons_P.pd
f

[5] “Traffic Control Systems Handbook: Chapter 6. Detectors,” U.S. Department of


Transportation Federal Highway Administration, 01-Feb-2017. [Online]. Available:
https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/fhwahop06006/chapter_6.htm

[6] “LED Sign Power Consumption,” LED Sign Solutions, 01-Jan-2017. [Online]. Available:
https://ledsignsolution.com.au/led-signs-basics/led-sign-power-consumption-electriciy-cost.

[7] “Population,” Business & Utah, 2013. [Online]. Available:


http://business.utah.gov/publications/population/. [Accessed: 01-Apr-2017].

[8] “Washington State Comprehensive Tolling Study Vol. 1", Washington State
Transportation Commission, 2017. [Online]. Available:
http://wstc.wa.gov/Rates/Tolling/WS_TollStudy_FinalReport_V1.pdf. [Accessed: 01- Apr-
2017].

[9] Fehr and Peers. (2012, August). Mill Creek Canyon Transportation Feasibility Study
[Online]. Available:
http://slco.org/pwpds/zoning/pdf/wasatchCanyonGeneralPlans/Mill_Creek_Canyon_Tr.pdf

[10] Technologies that enable congestion pricing. U.S. Department of Transportation Federal
Highway Administration. [Online]. Available:
https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/fhwahop08042/fhwahop08042.pdf

45
[11]H. Nigel Morris, "The Big Question: Has the congestion charge been effective in
reducing", The Independent, 2017. [Online]. Available:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/the-big-question-has-the-congestion-
charge-been-effective-in-reducing-londons-traffic-781505.html. [Accessed: 18- Apr- 2017].

[12] Highway Capacity Manual 2010,” Transportation Research Board, vol. 4, Dec-2010.
[Online] Available:
http://www.hcm2010.org/system/datas/85/original/Chapter%2031%20-%20Signalized%2
0Intersections%20Supplemental.pdf

[13] Image Available: https://wsdotblog.blogspot.com/2014_10_01_archive.html

[14] “Toll Gantry Levels of design with estimated costs” and “Eastside Corridor Express Toll
Lane Operating and Maintenance Costs.” [Online]. Available:
http://www.planhillsborough.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Toll-Gantry-Levels-of-
design-with-estimated-costs.pdf

[15] “Eastside Corridor Express Toll Lane Operating and Maintenance Costs” [Online].
Available:https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/sites/default/files/2009/12/29/App3Final_Operating
andMaintenanceCostsSummary.pdf

[16] “Utah State Legislature,” SB0222, 12-May-2015. [Online]. Available:


https://le.utah.gov/~2015/bills/static/SB0222.html. [Accessed: 03-Apr-2017].

5.3 Roadways and Trails References


[1] 2017. [Online]. Available: http://mountainaccord.com/wp-
content/uploads/2016/10/MA-Final-Report-July16.pdf. [Accessed: 18- Apr- 2017].

[2] Udot.utah.gov, 2013. [Online]. Available:


https://www.udot.utah.gov/main/uconowner.gf?n=3000306255336296. [Accessed: 18-
Apr- 2017].

[3] Udot.utah.gov, 2017. [Online]. Available:


https://www.udot.utah.gov/main/uconowner.gf?n=3000306255336296. [Accessed: 18-
Apr- 2017].

46
[4] R. Aaboe and T. Frydenlund, 2011. [Online]. Available:
http://www.civil.utah.edu/~bartlett/Geofoam/48a%20-%2040%20years%20of%20experien
ce%20final%202011-05-26.pdf. [Accessed: 18- Apr- 2017].

[5] "Strength - Geofoam.org", Geofoam.org, 2017. [Online]. Available:


http://www.geofoam.org/considerations/strength/. [Accessed: 18- Apr- 2017].

[6] "Metals Depot", Metalsdepot.com, 2017. [Online]. Available:


https://www.metalsdepot.com/. [Accessed: 03- Apr- 2017].

[7]”EPS Pricing Calculator [Universal Foam Products”. Univfoam.com, 2017. [Online].


Available: http://univfoam.com/pricing-calculators/eps-pricing. [Accessed; 03-Apr-2017].

[8] "Concrete Calculator and Price Estimator - Find Cubic Yards and Bags of Concrete
Needed for Slabs and Footings - Inch Calculator", Inch Calculator, 2017. [Online]. Available:
http://www.inchcalculator.com/concrete-calculator/. [Accessed: 18- Apr- 2017].

[9] "Learn how much it costs to Install Rebar.", Homeadvisor.com, 2017. [Online]. Available:
http://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/outdoor-living/steel-reinforcement-bars-pricing/.
[Accessed: 18- Apr- 2017].

[10] 2017. [Online]. Available:


http://www.kalmatron.com/files/Files1/INDEXa/KALMATRON_ECONOMY.pdf. [Accessed:
18- Apr- 2017].

[11] "Frequently Asked Questions: Bollards & Post Covers", Bollards by Reliance Foundry,
2017. [Online]. Available: http://www.reliance-foundry.com/bollard/faqs-bollards#gref.
[Accessed: 18- Apr- 2017].

[12] "Concrete Calculator and Price Estimator - Find Cubic Yards and Bags of Concrete
Needed for Slabs and Footings - Inch Calculator", Inch Calculator, 2017. [Online]. Available:
http://www.inchcalculator.com/concrete-calculator/. [Accessed: 18- Apr- 2017].

[13] "Cost of a pedestrian bridge? | Excel Bridge Manufacturing", Excelbridge.com, 2017.


[Online]. Available: http://www.excelbridge.com/for-owners/cost. [Accessed: 18- Apr- 2017].

[14] "Concrete Calculator and Price Estimator - Find Cubic Yards and Bags of Concrete
Needed for Slabs and Footings - Inch Calculator", Inch Calculator, 2017. [Online]. Available:
http://www.inchcalculator.com/concrete-calculator/. [Accessed: 18- Apr- 2017].

[15] "Fill Dirt Cost: How Much is a Truckload?", Braen Stone, 2017. [Online]. Available:
http://www.braenstone.com/2016/08/cost-fill-dirt/. [Accessed: 18- Apr- 2017].

47
[16]"Steel in Salt Lake City | Wasatch Steel", Wasatch Steel, 2017. [Online]. Available:
http://www.wasatchsteel.com/?gclid=CjwKEAjwz9HHBRDbopLGh-
afzB4SJABY52oFdKpniuR3V3hC1zvPpfuNaWyfFsH2llS6QXZSSPM8EBoClO3w_wcB.
[Accessed: 18- Apr- 2017].

5.4 Environmental References


[1] “2015 Salt Lake County Integrated Watershed Plan,” slco.org. [Online]. Available:
http://slco.org/uploadedFiles/depot/publicWorks/fwatershed/resources/2015SLCoIWP.pdf

[2] "People Counting System For Toilets". Sensmax.eu. N.p., 2017. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.

[3] Pyzyk, Katie. "What Is Denver Learning From Its Public Restroom Pilot Program?".
CityLab. N.p., 2017. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.

[4] “BOOM Clovermist Standard Toliet Elevations,” boomcon.com. [Online]. Available:


http://www.boomcon.com/2014pricelists/STD%20Drawing.pdf.

[5] “BOOM Clovermist Vault Toilets,” boomcon.com. [Online]. Available:


http://www.boomcon.com/2013pricelists/2013%20Boom%20Clovermist%20Single%20GS
A.pdf

[6] "National Environmental Policy Act Review Process | National Environmental Policy Act |
US EPA". Epa.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.

[7] “Taos Standard Sanitation Sewer Connected Toilets,” [Online]. Available:


http://cxtinc.com/taos.asp

[8] “Montrose Standard Sanitation Sewer Connected Toilets,” [Online]. Available:


http://cxtinc.com/montrose.asp

48
1
Traffic and Parking

APPENDIX I - ADDITIONAL FIGURES AND TABLES

Figure 12: Proposed Striping Plan for Canyon Entrance

Figure 13: Proposed Striping Plan for Lower S-curve Lot

49
Figure 14: Proposed Striping Plan for Donut Falls Lot

Figure 15: Proposed Striping Plan for Solitude Lot

50
Figure 16: Proposed Striping Plan for Brighton Restaurant Lot

51
Figure 17: Proposed Striping Plan for Main Brighton Lot

52
Figure 18: Bus Stop and Bike Lane Locations at Ledgemere Picnic Grounds

Figure 19: Bus Stop, Bike Lane and Crosswalk Locations at S-Curve

53
Figure 20: Bus Stop and Bike Lane Locations at Mineral Fork

54
Table 16: Spot Count Data from July 8, 2016

55
1
Traffic and Parking

Figure 21: UDOT Parking and Standing Signs Plaques

56
1
Traffic and Parking

APPENDIX II – PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION PHASING AND COST ESTIMATES


Table 17: Preliminary Phase Design Items and Costs

Senior Design ‐ Big Cottonwood Canyon Cost Estimate
Project Name: Big Cottonwood Canyon  Engineer's Estimate
County: Salt lake County
Date: 3/27/2017
Item No. Item Description Quantity Unit Unit Price Cost
Preliminary Phase
1 Contract Time 150 Days $          1,270.00 /Day $             190,500.00
2 Public Information Services 1 Lump $          2,500.00 Lump $                 2,500.00
3 Surveying for Phase 1 1 Lump $        35,000.00 Lump $               35,000.00
4 Engineering Plans/Design 1 Lump $     200,000.00 Lump $             200,000.00
5 Legal 1 Lump $        50,000.00 Lump $               50,000.00
Subtotal $             290,000.00

Table 18: Phase 1 Design Items and Costs

Senior Design ‐ Big Cottonwood Canyon Cost Estimate
Project Name: Big Cottonwood Canyon  Engineer's Estimate
County: Salt lake County
Date: 3/27/2017
Item No. Item Description Quantity Unit Unit Price Cost
Phase 1
per 
Contract Time $                           ‐
1 0 Days 0 Day
2 On the Job Training 300 Hour $               10.00 Hour $                 3,000.00
3 Mobilization 1 Lump $     145,000.00 Lump $             145,000.00
4 Public Information Service 3 Lump $          2,500.00 Lump $                 7,500.00
5 Traffic Control 1 Lump $     200,000.00 Lump $             200,000.00
6 Silt Fence 8200 LF $                  2.25 LF $               18,450.00
7 Sign "No Parking" 120 Each $             120.00 Each $               14,400.00
8 Striping 30100 LF $                  1.00 LF $               30,100.00
9 HMA ‐ 1/2 inch 362 Ton $             122.00 Ton $               44,164.00
10 Sawcut 377 Lump $          2,500.00 Lump $             942,500.00
11 Curb & Gutter 400 LF $               18.00 LF $                 7,200.00
12 Gantry & Toll Technology 2 Lump $     500,000.00 Lump $         1,000,000.00
13 Surveying for Phase 2 1 Lump $        35,000.00 Lump $               35,000.00
14 Excavation 17456 CF $                  8.00 CF $             139,648.00
Tolling Operations‐Fee collection and equiment 
$                           ‐
15 management 0 Year $     300,000.00 Year
16 Parking Enforcement 0 Year $     172,000.00 Year $                           ‐
17 Increased Bus Service 0 Lump $  1,580,000.00 Lump $                           ‐
18 Concrete Paving 8200 SF $                  7.50 SF $               61,500.00
19 UTBC 14260 CF $                  3.00 CF $               42,780.00
Subtotal $         2,690,000.00

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Table 19: Phase 2 Design Items and Costs

Senior Design ‐ Big Cottonwood Canyon Cost Estimate
Project Name: Big Cottonwood Canyon  Engineer's Estimate
County: Salt lake County
Date: 3/27/2017
Item No. Item Description Quantity Unit Unit Price Cost
Phase 2
per 
Contract Time
1 150 Days $          1,270.00 Day $             190,500.00
2 Automated Sign "Parking Stalls" 1 Lump $     350,000.00 Lump $             350,000.00
3 HMA ‐ 1/2 inch 52 Ton $             122.00 Ton $                 6,344.00
4 Stripping S‐Curve Bus Stop 0 LF 0 LF $                           ‐
5 Benches with Cover 2 Each $          1,500.00 Each $                 3,000.00
6 Concrete Paving 1 SF $                  7.50 SF $                         7.50
7 Silt Fence 358 LF $                  2.50 LF $                    895.00
8 Traffic Control 1 Lump $     200,000.00 Lump $             200,000.00
9 Surveying for Phase 3 1 Lump $        35,000.00 Lump $               35,000.00
10 Excavation 2508 CF $                  8.00 CF $               20,064.00
11 Temporary Bus Stop Sign 6 Each $             200.00 Each $                 1,200.00
12 Tolling Operation 0 Year $     300,000.00 Year $                           ‐
13 Parking Enforcement 0 Year $     172,000.00 Year $                           ‐
14 Increased Bus Service 0 Lump $  2,534,000.00 Lump $                           ‐
15 Parking Availability System O&M 0 Year 0 Year $                           ‐
16 UTBC 12468 CF $                  3.00 CF $               37,404.00
Subtotal $             650,000.00

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Table 20: Phase 3 Design Items and Costs

Senior Design ‐ Big Cottonwood Canyon Cost Estimate
Project Name: Big Cottonwood Canyon  Engineer's Estimate
County: Salt lake County
Date: 3/27/2017
Item No. Item Description Quantity Unit Unit Price Cost
Phase 3
per 
Contract Time 0 Days 0 $                           ‐
1 Day
2 HMA ‐ 1/2 inch 123 Ton $             122.00 Ton $               15,006.00
3 Stripping Bus Stop 1 LF $                  1.00 LF $                         1.00
4 Benches with Cover 4 Each $          2,500.00 Each $               10,000.00
5 Concrete Paving 0 SF 0 SF $                           ‐
6 Silt Fence 2550 LF $                  2.50 LF $                 6,375.00
7 Traffic Control 1 Lump $     200,000.00 Lump $             200,000.00
8 Excavation 5950 CF $                  8.00 CF $               47,600.00
9 Tolling Operation 0 Year $     300,000.00 Year $                           ‐
10 Parking Enforcement 0 Year $     172,000.00 Year $                           ‐
11 Increased Bus Service 0 Lump $  3,100,000.00 Lump $                           ‐
12 UTBC 4250 CF $                  3.00 CF $               12,750.00
Subtotal $             290,000.00
Table 21: Summary Cost of All Phases

Item Description Total


1 Preliminary Phase $ 290,000.00
2 Phase 1 $ 2,690,000.00
3 Phase 2 $ 650,000.00
4 Phase 3 $ 290,000.00
Subtotal $ 3,920,000.00
15% Contingency $590,000.00
Grand Total $4,510,000

NB: Table 14 includes only the direct construction costs of each phase, excluding variable
operation and maintenance costs. Operation and maintenance costs for each service during
each phase are separately included in the tables for that phase.

59
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Roadways and Trails

APPENDIX III – ADDITIONAL FIGURES

Figure 22: Geofoam Shoulder Expansion Details

60
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Roadways and Trails

Table 22: Typical Geofoam Section Details (Expected Forces and Displacements)

Table 23: Typical Geofoam Section Details (Continued)

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Environmental
APPENDIX IV – RESTROOM DETAILS
Restroom facilities were assessed from two different regional companies that specialized in
sanitation sewer connected toilets and vault toilets. The companies were CXT Concrete and
Boom Concrete.

CXT Concrete bathroom facilities are easily available for public purchase and is a local
company. The buildings are typically factory assembled, and can be easily dropped into place
for quick installation. CXT does not include the compaction or plumbing and mechanical work
as part of their service. For the Midwest region, the price of installation varies between $10-
20,000 for the Montrose and Taos units [6][7]. This work can be contracted out to
geotechnical engineers, mechanics, and plumbers. The bathrooms are brought in on trucks
in sections and then dropped into place using cranes. All the utility work and foundation work
must be done prior to the placement of the restroom facility segments. The Montrose and
Taos are bigger bathroom facilities that CXT offers, and the segments will be transported on
several trucks.

Figure 23: Placement of CXT Unit [7][8]

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Environmental
Below are pictures and drawings of the Taos bathroom facility. This facility offers two sides
with one stall for men and one for women.

Figure 24: Taos Restroom Facility [7]

Figure 25: Taos Restroom Interior Details [7]

   

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Environmental
Below are pictures and drawings of the Montrose bathroom facility. This facility offers two
sides with one stall and one urinal for the men’s side, and two stalls for the women’s side.

Figure 26: Montrose Restroom Facility [8]

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Environmental
Boom Concrete vault toilet facilities are also easily available for purchase and the company is
based out of Newell, SD. The transportation cost, construction cost, installation cost and unit
cost have been incorporated into the cost estimates. The Boom Standard Plus and Double
vault toilets were proposed to accommodate areas where no sewer lines were available.

Figure 27: Clovermist PLUS Restroom [4]

Figure 28: Clovermist DOUBLE Restroom [4]

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Environmental
Table 24: Costs for Each Proposed Location [4][5][7][8]

Table 25: Total Cost by Facility Type

Table 26: Phasing Costs By Year [4][5][7][8]

66
3
Environmental
Table 27: Costs by Facility Type [4][5][7][8]

67
APPENDIX A: PRESENTATION SLIDES FOR PRELIMINARY ENGINEERING
REPORT

68
69
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76
77
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APPENDIX B: FEASIBILITY STUDY

0
2017

BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON


3T MANAGEMENT PROJECT
Managing Traffic, Trails, and Toilets

Alternatives Study
Prepared for the Big Cottonwood Community Council
March 2017

CVEEN 4910-001 [Spring 2017]


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
The University of Utah
PROJECT TEAM LETTER

Dear Big Cottonwood Community Council:

The CVEEN 4910 Senior Design Class of Spring 2017 at the University of Utah is pleased to
present the feasibility study component of the Big Cottonwood Canyon 3T Management
Project (BCC3T). The team has considered many solutions to improve safety and access while
preserving the beauty of the canyon. These solutions were selected based on their potential
to be both sustainable and aesthetically pleasing while addressing principle needs presented
by the Big Cottonwood Community Council. A major factor in our definition of sustainability is
that the project be financially self-supporting. Although estimated costs and budgets may
present significant constraints to implementation in Big Cottonwood Canyon, the overall
intention of the BCC3T is to present both immediately attainable solutions as well as a
possible long-term vision. In order to promote creativity and innovation, potential political or
legal constraints were not addressed in this phase of the project.

Due to the time limits imposed by the University of Utah semester schedule, this feasibility
analysis cannot be as complete or in-depth as the complex situation of Big Cottonwood
Canyon warrants. While the focus of the class must be solutions that can be achieved through
the lens of Civil Engineering, the Senior Design team hopes that this report can be useful in
future planning discussions and community organization efforts for the diverse group of
canyon stakeholders.

Our team looks forward to presenting these solutions and receiving your vision and feedback
while moving forward with a preliminary engineering report.

Sincerely,

CVEEN 4910 Senior Design Class of Spring 2017

1
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Big Cottonwood Canyon is a highly desired location for recreation and retreat in Salt Lake City.
Overuse of the canyon has created safety, sanitation, and congestion concerns that must be
immediately addressed. The purpose of this report is to propose feasible and sustainable
solutions for the present needs in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

The solutions found in this report are presented as models that are differentiated by the
amount of impact the canyon would experience during implementation. Low impact solutions
can be implemented immediately at little cost and will have the smallest effect on the natural
environment in the canyon. Medium impact solutions may require a lengthier implementation
process, will result in a greater impact on the canyon while alleviating problems in critical
areas, and be more expensive. High impact solutions will be the most expensive, the most
impactful throughout the canyon, and require the longest time to implement. All models were
assessed based on six criteria: sustainability, environmental impact, health and safety,
aesthetics, time to implement, and accessibility. These criteria were weighted by importance
based on input from the Big Cottonwood Community Council. Each solution was evaluated
based on the resulting weighted criteria and the highest scoring solutions were selected as
the most feasible options for implementation in the canyon.

This report found that the majority of the low impact solutions were viable and could be
implemented immediately, although they would not adequately address the needs of a
growing visitor population. All low impact models would also need to be accompanied or
supported by a medium or high impact solution.

The final recommended options for Big Cottonwood Canyon include implementing lighted
crosswalks at areas of high traffic, striping bike lanes and existing parking lots for efficiency
and safety, conducting a pilot study using temporary toilets to determine where demands for
sanitation services are not being met, placing new permanent sanitation facilities at the S-
Curve and Donut Falls, creating geofoam overhangs to expand the road near hazardous
curves, and creating a variable parking fee or tolling system to both reduce congestion and
generate revenue to implement other project elements.

A preliminary engineering report will explore and estimate the costs of the selected models in
greater detail while considering the potential legal and political challenges for
implementation.

2
CONTENTS
Project Team Letter ....................................................................................................................... 1
Executive Summary ....................................................................................................................... 2
Contents ......................................................................................................................................... 3
List of Figures ................................................................................................................................. 7
List of Tables .................................................................................................................................. 8
I. Statement of Needs .................................................................................................................... 9
II. Vision Statement ...................................................................................................................... 10
III. Project Objectives and Purpose ............................................................................................. 10
Health and Safety ................................................................................................................ 10
Affordability and Sustainability ........................................................................................... 10
Environmental Impact.......................................................................................................... 10
Aesthetics ............................................................................................................................. 11
Time to Implement ............................................................................................................... 11
Accessibility .......................................................................................................................... 11
IV. Analysis Lens: Impact Models ................................................................................................ 12
1 Big Cottonwood Canyon: Traffic and Parking.......................................................................... 13
1.1 Background ........................................................................................................................ 13
1.1.1 Canyon Use................................................................................................................. 14
1.1.2 Statement of Needs ................................................................................................... 15
1.1.3 Tolling and Pricing Concepts ..................................................................................... 17
1.1.4 New Types of Tolling .................................................................................................. 18
1.1.5 Mill Creek and American Fork: Examples of Existing User Fee Systems in Utah .. 18
1.2 Traffic and Parking Models ............................................................................................... 19
1.3 Low Impact Model: Signage, Enforcement, Restriping, More Frequent Buses ............. 20
1.3.1 Summary .................................................................................................................... 20
1.3.2 Tolling.......................................................................................................................... 20
1.3.3 Parking Enforcement and Signage ........................................................................... 20
1.3.4 Parking Capacity ........................................................................................................ 21
1.3.5 Bus Service and Bus Stop Locations ........................................................................ 21
1.3.6 Bus Service Cost ........................................................................................................ 22
1.3.7 Advantages ................................................................................................................. 23

3
1.3.8 Disadvantages............................................................................................................ 23
1.3.9 Evaluation ................................................................................................................... 24
1.4 Medium Impact Model: Tolling and Parking Improvements ........................................... 25
1.4.1 Summary .................................................................................................................... 25
1.4.2 Tolling.......................................................................................................................... 25
1.4.3 Parking Capacity ........................................................................................................ 25
1.4.4 Parking Fees ............................................................................................................... 25
1.4.5 Bus Service and Bus Stop Locations ........................................................................ 25
1.4.6 Advantages ................................................................................................................. 26
1.4.7 Disadvantages............................................................................................................ 27
1.4.8 Evaluation ................................................................................................................... 28
1.5 High Impact Model: Entrance Pricing and Extended Public Transit ............................... 29
1.5.1 Summary .................................................................................................................... 29
1.5.2 Canyon Entrance Tolling ............................................................................................ 29
1.5.3 Parking Capacity ........................................................................................................ 32
1.5.4 Variable Parking Fees ................................................................................................ 32
1.5.5 Bus Service Expansion and Bus Stop Locations...................................................... 35
1.5.6 Advantages ................................................................................................................. 35
1.5.7 Disadvantages............................................................................................................ 37
1.5.8 Evaluation ................................................................................................................... 37
Appendix I - Additional Figures ................................................................................................. 38
Appendix II - Conceptual Cost Estimates ................................................................................. 42
2 Big Cottonwood Canyon: Roadways and Trails ....................................................................... 44
2.1 Background ........................................................................................................................ 44
2.2 Low Impact Model: Signage, Safety, and Restriping ....................................................... 46
2.2.1 Advantages ................................................................................................................. 47
2.2.2 Disadvantages............................................................................................................ 47
2.2.3 Evaluation ................................................................................................................... 47
2.3 Medium Impact Model: Geofoam Improvements ............................................................ 48
2.3.1 Advantages ................................................................................................................. 51

4
2.3.2 Disadvantages............................................................................................................ 51
2.3.3 Evaluation ................................................................................................................... 51
2.4 High Impact Model: Bypassing the S-Curve ..................................................................... 52
2.4.1 Advantages ................................................................................................................. 54
2.4.2 Disadvantages............................................................................................................ 54
.4.3 Evaluation ..................................................................................................................... 55
3 Big Cottonwood Canyon: Environmental ................................................................................. 56
3.1 Background ........................................................................................................................ 56
3.2 Low Impact Model: Pilot Study .......................................................................................... 59
3.2.1 Advantages ................................................................................................................. 61
3.2.2 Disadvantages............................................................................................................ 61
3.2.3 Evaluation ................................................................................................................... 61
3.3 Medium Impact Model: Expansion of Facilities at High Use Trailheads ....................... 62
3.3.1 Advantages ................................................................................................................. 63
3.3.2 Disadvantages............................................................................................................ 64
3.3.3 Evaluation ................................................................................................................... 64
3.4 High Impact Model: Expansion of Facilities at High and Medium Use Trailheads ........ 65
3.4.1 Advantages ................................................................................................................. 65
3.4.2 Disadvantages............................................................................................................ 66
3.4.3 Evaluation ................................................................................................................... 66
4 Evaluation and Conclusion ...................................................................................................... 67
4.1 Summary ............................................................................................................................. 67
4.2 Final Evaluations ................................................................................................................ 67
4.2.1Traffic and Parking ...................................................................................................... 67
4.2.2 Roadways and Trails .................................................................................................. 67
4.2.3 Environmental ............................................................................................................ 68
4.3 Conclusion .......................................................................................................................... 69
5 References ................................................................................................................................ 70
5.1 Statement of Needs References ....................................................................................... 70
5.2 Traffic and Parking References ......................................................................................... 71
5.3 Roadways and Trails References ...................................................................................... 72
5.4 Environmental References ................................................................................................ 73

5
Appendix A: Criteria Tables .......................................................................................................... 74
Appendix B: Presentation Slides ................................................................................................. 76

6
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1: Activity Days from the 2014-2015 Central Wasatch Visitor Use Study.................... 14
Figure 2: Big Cottonwood Canyon Average Annual Daily Traffic (1987-2015) UDOT ............. 15
Figure 3: Bus Stop Locations ...................................................................................................... 22
Figure 4: Projected Pricing Income Based on Time of Day ....................................................... 31
Figure 5: Projected Summer Pricing Income Based on Time of Day ........................................ 32
Figure 6: Conceptual Design for Donut Falls Low Impact Restriping ....................................... 38
Figure 7: Conceptual Design for Donut Falls Low Impact Restriping ....................................... 38
Figure 8: Conceptual Design for Donut Falls Medium Impact Restriping and Parking
Expansion ..................................................................................................................................... 39
Figure 9: Conceptual Design for Donut Falls Medium Impact Restriping and Parking
Expansion ..................................................................................................................................... 39
Figure 10: Potential Uphill and Downhill Locations for Bus Stops in the S-Curve................... 40
Figure 11: Potential Uphill and Downhill Bus Stop Locations at Ledgemere Picnic Grounds 40
Figure 12: Potential Uphill and Downhill Bus Stop Locations at the Old Mine ........................ 41
Figure 13: Geofoam Bike Path Concept (Isometric View) ......................................................... 49
Figure 14: Geofoam Bike Path Concept Elevation .................................................................... 50
Figure 15: Pedestrian Trail and Bridge Location ....................................................................... 52
Figure 16: Conceptual Sketch of Pedestrian Bridge ................................................................. 53
Figure 17: Simple Steel Frame Bridge Design (Profile) ............................................................. 53
Figure 18: Steel Frame Bridge Design........................................................................................ 54
Figure 19: USFS Watershed Conditions for Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons .................... 57
Figure 20: Stream Water Quality for Salt Lake County.............................................................. 57
Figure 21: Sanitation Facility Locations in Big Cottonwood Canyon ........................................ 60

7
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1: 7% Growth Rate Calculations ....................................................................................... 16
Table 2: Proposed Tolling Fee Structure Based on Number of Users ...................................... 30
Table 3: Theoretical Parking in Big Cottonwood Canyon Winter and Summer With and
Without Pricing ............................................................................................................................. 34
Table 4: Low Impact Conceptual Cost Estimate Donut Falls .................................................... 42
Table 5: Low Impact Conceptual Cost Estimate at Park & Ride ............................................... 42
Table 6: Medium Impact Conceptual Cost Estimate Donut Falls ............................................. 43
Table 7: High Impact Conceptual Cost Estimate at Donut Falls ............................................... 43
Table 8: Total Crashes and Crash Rate Summary in Selected Canyons .................................. 44
Table 9: Total Severe Crashes and Crash Rate Summary in Selected Canyons ..................... 44
Table 10: Preliminary Cost Analysis for the Roadways and Trails Low Impact Model ............ 47
Table 11: Preliminary Cost Analysis of the Roadways and Trails Medium Impact Model ...... 51
Table 12: Preliminary Cost Analysis of the Roadways and Trails High Impact Model............. 55
Table 13: Portable Toilet Costs ................................................................................................... 59
Table 14: Preliminary Total Costs for Proposed Permanent Facilities ..................................... 63
Table 15: Overall Rating Criteria and Weighting Values ........................................................... 74
Table 16: Traffic and Parking Final Evaluation .......................................................................... 74
Table 17: Trails and Roadways Final Evaluation ....................................................................... 75
Table 18: Environmental Final Evaluation ................................................................................. 75

8
I. STATEMENT OF NEEDS
Big Cottonwood Canyon is a majestic natural beauty that has become a beacon for recreation,
admiration, and retreat year-round. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, at least
82% of Utah residents participate in outdoor recreation each year [1]. Big Cottonwood Canyon
is located within the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National forest, which has a net acreage of 2.17
million and consists of seven Ranger Districts spanning Utah and Wyoming [2]. Popularly
known as the “Forest Next Door,” the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache is considered an Urban National
Forest with a nearby population center of greater than 1 million residents [2]. Based on the
size of the watershed according to the U.S. Forest Service, Big Cottonwood Canyon has a net
acreage of 32,000 and is projected to host 3 million visitors per year by 2040 [3].

By comparison, Yellowstone National Park has a net acreage of 2.2 million, slightly less than
the entirety of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National forest, and approximately 4 million visitors
per year [4]. Based on these visitation statistics, by 2040 Big Cottonwood Canyon will also
host 75% of Yellowstone National Park’s typical visitors in a land area 1% of Yellowstone’s
size.

According to the 2014-2015 Central Wasatch Visitor Use Survey, the majority of canyon
visitors were local to Salt Lake County, and “access” was the most valued characteristic of Big
Cottonwood Canyon; however, the current state of unmanaged access to Big Cottonwood
Canyon has significant costs for public safety, public health, and the potential for recreational
enjoyment for all users [5]. Illegal and unsafe parking, pedestrian and cyclist interferences
with automobile traffic, and restroom facility availability are common problems.

Existing conditions along the Wasatch Front in general and Big Cottonwood Canyon in
particular have been extensively documented by other studies and research teams including,
but not limited to, the 2014-2015 Central Wasatch Visitor Use Study, the Mountain
Transportation Study, Wasatch Canyons Tomorrow, the Big Cottonwood Canyon General Plan,
the Cottonwood Canyons Parking Study, and Mountain Accord [4,5,6,7,8,9,10].

The present alternatives study takes into account the recommendations and findings of these
reports while presenting a vision of Big Cottonwood Canyon as it may be operated in the future.

9
II. VISION STATEMENT
Our vision for Big Cottonwood Canyon is to maintain the integrity of the environment and trails
while also implementing efficient multimodal transportation, improved sanitation facilities,
and increased safety for all enthusiasts who visit and recreate in the canyon.

III. PROJECT OBJECTIVES AND PURPOSE


The purpose of the Big Cottonwood Canyon 3T Management Project (BCC3T) is to develop
solutions that address congestion, automobile/pedestrian safety, parking, and sanitation
within Big Cottonwood Canyon. Additional complexities when developing and selecting viable
alternatives include addressing and balancing the needs and wishes of various stakeholders
while considering other legal and administrative constraints. To this end, the evaluation
criteria adopted for this study are:

Health and Safety


The highest priority is to reduce the rate of vehicular, cyclist and pedestrian conflicts
throughout the canyon. Safety improvements and implementation of policy and practices that
benefit the community in terms of accident prevention and health and safety are essential.

Affordability and Sustainability


Sustainable solutions must have the ability to accommodate anticipated growth, maintain the
integrity and natural beauty of the environment, and potentially generate revenues for
improvements and maintenance of canyon facilities. This criterion favors solutions that do not
impose burdensome expenditures for maintenance and/or solutions that generate sufficient
revenues to offset operational and maintenance costs while contributing surplus capital for
future improvements.

Priorities for meeting affordability and sustainability goals include: (1) providing adequate
facilities for all visitors and recreators while continuing to protect the Salt Lake Valley
watershed, and (2) developing alternatives with the potential to generate future operational
and improvement revenues for the Canyon.

Environmental Impact
Potential solutions must reduce impacts on forest vegetation, watershed, and wildlife and
improve the surrounding water, air, and land. Maintaining a healthy environment in the
canyon and providing feasible solutions consistent with environmental law and policy is
paramount.

10
Aesthetics
Solutions must preserve the landscape character, scenic integrity, and unique value of Big
Cottonwood Canyon. Improvements and infrastructure proposed for the canyon must
contribute to and respect the aesthetics of the canyon and its environs.

Time to Implement
The canyon currently suffers from the effects of overuse. Time required to initiate and
complete solutions within the canyon is an important consideration. The varying complexity,
costs, and length of construction for each solution will be considered in the evaluations.

Accessibility
An accessible canyon allows recreators to move easily and safely when they visit.
Alternatives will be evaluated based on the criteria of meeting multi-use and dispersed
recreation demands, improving emergency vehicle access, and facilitating overall mobility
throughout the Canyon.

11
IV. ANALYSIS LENS: IMPACT MODELS
Addressing the known concerns of the Big Cottonwood Community Council regarding the
“Three T’s” (i.e., toilets, traffic, and trails) necessitated organizing potential alternatives into
three themes: (1) traffic and parking improvements, (2) roadways and trails operation and
improvements, and (3) environmental considerations.

Within each theme, it became evident that potential solutions and engineered alternatives
tended to require different levels of impact within Big Cottonwood Canyon. Some solutions
provided substantial benefits, easily described and quantified, while other solutions required
greater up-front investment, more complex evaluations, and an extended implementation
timeline including potential changes in administrative requirements and the need for involved
environmental studies (e.g., NEPA).

Project themes and proposed solutions were therefore divided into low, medium, and high
impact models, which allowed for an integrated evaluation of the complex recreational,
environmental, and transportation contexts of the canyon. Both the preliminary analysis and
final recommendations have been framed throughout this report in terms of the following:

Impact Levels and Characteristics

Low Impact Models: Minimal impacts within the canyon, low construction times, fewer
potential costs.
Medium Impact Models: Medium impacts to the canyon, including additional
infrastructure in targeted or high-use areas which may require a NEPA process (1-2 years).
High Impact Models: Comprehensive and wide-ranging impacts within the canyon. Long-
term construction timelines and generally higher capital and maintenance costs. Such
solutions typically require a NEPA process (1-2 years).

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Traffic and Parking

1 BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON: TRAFFIC AND PARKING

1.1 Background
Big Cottonwood Canyon (BCC) is an increasingly popular natural recreation area that
experiences overcrowding and traffic congestion. Traffic congestion, characterized by
increased idling and travel times, magnifies CO2 emissions which in turn impact air quality.
The demand for parking in some areas is almost four times larger than the amount of available
parking spaces on an average traffic day. This combination of congestion and overcrowding
further aggravates the number of auto and cyclist or pedestrian interferences on the narrow
canyon road.

Existing conditions along the Wasatch Front in general and Big Cottonwood Canyon in
particular have been extensively documented by other studies and research teams including,
but not limited to, the Mountain Transportation Study, Wasatch Canyons for Tomorrow, the
Big Cottonwood Canyon General Plan, the Cottonwood Canyons Parking Study, Mountain
Accord, and the 2014-2015 Central Wasatch Visitor Use Study [1].

The following sections address existing uses, a statement of needs for Big Cottonwood Canyon
in the context of parking and traffic, and definitions necessary to understand the case for
tolling or user fee collection. At higher levels of impact, potential revenue generation through
either tolling or user fees became critical to funding and sustaining other improvements in Big
Cottonwood Canyon.

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Traffic and Parking

1.1.1 Canyon Use


In order to begin to address the issue of congestion, it was essential to evaluate when and
how the canyon was being used and which of those uses created traffic congestion as
overcrowding took place. The primary document referenced when determining the uses of the
canyon was the “2014-2015 Central Wasatch Visitor Use Study: Follow-Up E-Survey” [2]. In
this report, use of the canyon was measured by “activity days,” which were calculated by
taking the total number of respondents who participated in an activity, separating them out
into how frequently they participated in that activity, and multiplying the respondents in each
subgroup by the frequency used to define the subgroups. This study found that the most
popular uses of the canyon were hiking and walking. Other popular activities included skiing,
mountain biking, road biking, and driving. Additional uses were illustrated in the following
figure generated by the Central Wasatch Visitor Use Study.

Figure 1: Activity Days from the 2014-2015 Central Wasatch Visitor Use Study

The mixed recreation uses of Big Cottonwood Canyon, including a near match in activity days
between “driving for pleasure” and “road cycling,” provided clear evidence for use-based
conflicts throughout the canyon. High-traffic areas where trailheads, parking lots, and limited

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Traffic and Parking

sightlines converged were common and also characteristic of Big Cottonwood Canyon. In
short, visitors must use similar access channels for their activity of choice, which causes road
congestion and poses an imminent threat to public safety.

1.1.2 Statement of Needs


The popularity of the canyon is growing each year as manifested by its use, which in turn
means more vehicles traveling on the canyon road. This continued growth must be addressed
in order for the canyon to maintain its excellent recreational opportunities and living
environment. Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) from the Utah Department of Transportation
(UDOT) from 1987 to 2015 at the lower entrance to the canyon show a marked increase in
traffic during the past 5 years, with a new maximum observed in the year 2015 (Figure 2).
While AADT may have temporarily decreased between 2006 and 2011, AADT has rarely fallen
below 4000 vehicles. The canyon already experiences congestion at these levels, as peak
traffic during weekends and holidays may increase daily traffic to double the typical daily
average (~10,000 vehicles at peak vs. 5000 typical).

Figure 2: Big Cottonwood Canyon Average Annual Daily Traffic (1987-2015) UDOT

Traffic growth rate from 2011 to 2015 was averaged in order to estimate future transportation
demand in BCC. The calculations resulted in a growth rate of 7% (Table 1). If the demand on
the canyon grows by 7% each year, the amount of people visiting in 2040 might be as high as
28,000 people per day. This estimate may not be reasonable for several reasons, the most
prevalent being that the canyon simply cannot host that much traffic per day in its current
configuration as a two-lane road. To adjust for this, the projected growth rate was revised

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Traffic and Parking

downward. Based on an assumed 2% annual growth rate, the 2040 AADT count is estimated
to be approximately 8,500 vehicles, instead of the values shown in Table 1.

Table 1: 7% Growth Rate Calculations

The United States has developed a national standard for roadway assessment called Level of
Service (LOS). Roadways are given a letter grade between A and F to indicate how crowded
they are. A roadway with a LOS “A” would have few cars on it, while a LOS “F” would be bumper
to bumper traffic. LOS “E” is a condition in which vehicles are closely spaced together, leaving
little to no room to maneuver within a traffic stream. The capacity for SR-190 (Big Cottonwood
Canyon) at LOS “E” was estimated to be 12,000 vehicles per day [10]. Using this capacity
estimate of 12,000 vehicles per day, the volume to capacity ratio is 0.705:

𝑇𝑟𝑎𝑓𝑓𝑖𝑐 𝑉𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑚𝑒(𝐴𝐴𝐷𝑇) 8,466 𝑣𝑒ℎ𝑖𝑐𝑙𝑒𝑠/𝑑𝑎𝑦


= = 0.705
𝑅𝑜𝑎𝑑𝑤𝑎𝑦 𝐶𝑎𝑝𝑎𝑐𝑖𝑡𝑦 12,000𝑣𝑒ℎ𝑖𝑐𝑙𝑒𝑠/𝑑𝑎𝑦

A ratio less than 1 indicates that the volume has not exceeded the capacity, which means that
the roadway can still somewhat functional. However, LOS “E” is the second worst LOS
possible for a roadway, which can result in longer travel times and inefficient network function.
A LOS of “D” or “C” would provide better operating conditions and a more consistent flow of
traffic. The latter level of services are likely consistent with the design level of service for Big
Cottonwood Canyon road during average demand. If capacity is not increased or demand is
not diminished, the canyon it is likely that the canyon roadway will operate at a less than
desirable level of service with routine delays, congestion, and stoppages in the future.

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1.1.3 Tolling and Pricing Concepts


“Tolling” is a general word referring to any form of collecting a direct user fee on a road. A
better alternative to tolling is pricing. Pricing refers to the practice of using price to manage
traffic, where revenue generation is a secondary consequence rather than a primary benefit.
When applied to highways and roads, pricing has three distinct, yet interrelated benefits.

Pricing can manage traffic to make the system flow more efficiently and reliably. A highway
originally built to operate at a capacity of 2000 cars of flow traffic per hour can quickly break
down to 500 cars per hour under congested conditions. If the amount and flow of traffic that
uses a highway during peak times can be managed, it is possible to achieve the reliable
movement of people and goods. Managing traffic effectively may also serve commuters more
efficiently and cause less of a demand for bigger facilities to reduce traffic.

Pricing is focused around the idea that time is money. By pricing the system to operate more
efficiently and reliably, the resulting time savings are a bonus to the economy and to society.
Pricing also generates revenue. This revenue can contribute to the construction and operation
of the transportation system.

The traditional approach of creating faster transit systems was to build new and wider
highways. However, there are also limits on how much can be built.

Whereas the historical use of tolling has been to fund high cost projects, it can now be used
to manage congestion on a network with limited capacity. Economists have long argued that
using flat user charges such as a gas tax does not reflect the true value of a highway travel
under congested conditions [15]. Using price to manage demand is common in a number of
industries and, with improvements to electronic tolling technology, there is a better case for
considering tolling as a way to manage demand in limited or highly congested transportation
networks such as Big Cottonwood Canyon.

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1.1.4 New Types of Tolling


HOT (High Occupancy Toll) Lanes - Let lone drivers pay a toll to use a carpool lane. Prices are
set to ensure that the lane remains free-flowing. This option has been implemented on I-15.

Cordon Tolling - Tolls all vehicles entering a congested downtown area during peak times to
reduce congestion and improve circulation for buses.

Mileage-based Pricing - All vehicles pay a per-mile fee to drive. Prices could vary by the time
of day, type of facility, or location.

FAIR (Fast and Intertwined Regular Lanes) - Is a special type of tolled express lane. Drivers in
the express lane would a pay a toll, but drivers in the regular lanes would receive toll credits
(electronically). The toll credits could be used on the future days, when the driver needs to
arrive on time.

One or more of these tolling options may be appropriate to consider in Big Cottonwood
Canyon.

1.1.5 Mill Creek and American Fork: Examples of Existing User Fee Systems in Utah
Mill Creek Canyon has a toll system to charge vehicles for the use of the canyon. Traffic uses
in the canyon greatly increases over the summer compared to the winter seasons with
Saturdays being the highest traffic passing the fee booths. 49% of traffic carpool of two, 37%
are single occupants, and 14% carpool with three or more. Due to the user fee system
implication, the parking dynamic changed throughout the canyon.

The booth was installed in 1992 as a partnership between Salt Lake County and Forest
Service. The benefit of the Mill Creek booth is that the revenues stay in the area for the benefit
of the canyon. Fees pay for daily operation cost and maintenance for picnic sites, restrooms,
trials, snow grooming, law enforcement, and other necessary functions.

The American Fork system is a fee system at the mouth of the canyon that uses self-service
fee tubes. It is a recreational user fee system that can be purchased at a station in the canyon.
Visitors driving through without using the recreational amenities are not subject to a fee.
Annual passes are not available at the self-service fee tubes. Fees collected go to enhance
recreation opportunities and visitor services in American Fork Canyon. A future system could
have similar benefits for Big Cottonwood Canyon.

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Traffic and Parking

1.2 Traffic and Parking Models


Potential solutions have been divided into low, medium, and high impact models.

Each model was considered in light of six evaluation and rating criteria: sustainability,
aesthetics, health and safety, environmental, time to implement, and accessibility. At higher
levels of impact, revenue generation through either tolling or user fees becomes critical to
funding and sustaining other improvements in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

The low impact model focuses on increasing public transit availability and using existing
infrastructure more efficiently to increase the capacity of existing parking lots in the canyon.
Current parking capacity is much lower than the demand, which may be addressed by
increasing the amount of legal parking spaces that do not interfere with pedestrian and cyclist
safety, allowing visitors to use public transit to access the canyon, and eliminating the option
of parking on the side of the road. The result of this option is a decrease in the number of
cars entering the canyon and an increase in the number of people parking safely.

The medium impact model builds on the solutions of the low impact model while further
increasing bus service and optionally implementing a basic user-fee system.

The high impact model requires further integration of electronic signage, variable fees, and
more substantial infrastructure improvements.

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1.3 Low Impact Model: Signage, Enforcement, Restriping, More Frequent Buses
1.3.1 Summary
This model is comprised of the simplest and least impactful/expensive solutions for improving
safety, reducing congestion, and protecting the environment. Suggested improvements
include prohibiting parking in selected areas, increasing parking signage, increasing
enforcement of illegal parking, restriping parking lots to increase capacity, and increasing bus
frequency.

1.3.2 Tolling
This model will not include any form of tolling or user fee for Big Cottonwood Canyon. In doing
so, it is anticipate that this this will not change the current traffic patterns of the roadway.
These congested traffic patterns will most likely continue to increase in future years which
may prove to be unsustainable and result in lower levels of service.

1.3.3 Parking Enforcement and Signage


Parking on the shoulder of road throughout the canyon is problematic. It reduces safety by
taking away space for cyclist lanes and reduces sight-distance severely in some places, which
can make the area unnecessarily hazardous for pedestrians and others. These safety
concerns can be addressed through the installation of improved signage informing users that
parking is limited to designated lots and through increased of parking enforcement. Parking
enforcement is currently limited to areas where there is signage prohibiting parking, which is
only the case for a short stretches of road. Parking is not enforced in areas like the S curve,
which may become dangerous when overcrowded.

Current parking enforcement is provided by the Unified Police Department. In the future, it
may be more efficient to contract a private entity to handle enforcement, although there may
be legal barriers to setting up a third party ticketing system. However, we believe that creating
a dedicated enforcement team is essential to the success of any other method suggested
here.

In order to encourage more efficient parking throughout the canyon, we recommended that a
system of signs be installed giving drivers a real-time count of spots available. This system
would require the installation of counting mechanisms to identify the number of spots
available in each lot as well as large signs at select places in the canyon displaying the
available parking slots. In the placement and appearance of these signs, we believe it is
important to achieve a balance between aesthetics and functionality. This system is also an
integral part of the parking-based user fee systems described in following models, potentially
displaying rates for each lot as well as available spaces.

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1.3.4 Parking Capacity


The current US Forest Service management plan for the canyon is to preserve its current state
with regard to infrastructure. In order to decrease roadside parking and make the canyon
safer for its users, we recommend an expansion to the number of lots available in the major
parking lots is necessary and described below. In evaluating the site models discussed below,
all improvements strived to maintain the aesthetics of the canyon, while optimizing parking
capacity and improving canyon safety

Proposed parking capacity was calculated by drawing a conceptual site plan for each
potentially impacted lot: (1) low impact (Donut Falls), (2) medium impact (Donut Falls), and
from (3) Park & Ride (mouth of canyon) locations. These low, medium, and high impact
models were evaluated using Salt Lake County Parking Standards. All stalls were designated
with a typical 9 feet width and a minimum of 18 feet length. The current parking capacity
estimation at Donut Falls is 79 vehicles. By adding parking striping to the Donut Falls parking
area, it is estimated that the parking capacity can be increased by up to 20.2% (Appendix I)
with 95 total stalls. Re-striping the parking lot at the mouth of the canyon could increase the
parking capacity by up to 25.5% (Appendix I) with 128 total stalls.

The estimation of the costs for these improvements considered striping, heavy duty paving
and base, sawcut (used to blend existing asphalt to new asphalt), and asphalt curbing. A
conceptual site cost estimate at Donut Falls location for low impact model was estimated to
be approximately $67k (Appendix II). The models and their pricing did not consider the effect
these improvements would have on the county’s system due to storm runoff; instead, storm
runoff will be determined for a specific design selected based upon the design rating system.

1.3.5 Bus Service and Bus Stop Locations


There are a total of eleven existing, signed bus stop locations throughout the canyon. The
existing locations include the Park & Ride at the bottom of the canyon, Donut Falls area,
Spruces campground, Silver Fork Lodge, Solitude Ski Resort, Solitude Nordic Center and
Brighton Ski Resort. Stops are found on either side of the road with the exception of the Park
& Ride, Solitude and the Brighton Loop. Figure 3 shows the location of both existing and
potential bus stops within the canyon (potential stops discussed in medium and high impact
models).

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Figure 3: Bus Stop Locations

UTA currently runs all bus routes that service the canyon; this plan recommends that they
increase service to summer months to better service the users of the canyon. Current bus
service in the canyon is limited to the winter months (late November to early April) and runs
to Solitude and Brighton Ski Resorts. Bus service expansion to the summer would allow people
to access the canyon when there is no legal parking available. Increased transit can help to
reduce congestion while still providing the public with year-round access to the canyon. This
model includes no additional infrastructure improvements.

1.3.6 Bus Service Cost


Conservative assumptions were made to determine the approximate cost of increasing transit
services. UTA’s 2014 budget estimated that a per-mile cost of $6.00 is required to run a bus
in the state of Utah [3]. This results in a $168 cost per route up and down the 14 mile canyon.
Assuming the bus runs hourly during normal operating hours, operation costs for the months
of April to November would be approximately $0.5 M. Normally scheduled ski bus services
would then run during the winter months.

Assuming 40 riders per bus, it would take roughly 65 round-trips per day to transport 50% of
today's 5,160 users up and down the canyon at a cost of roughly $4 M annually. Assuming
four stops at each location per hour as the maximum service that could be provided, the
maximum costs may be somewhat less at $3 M annually. The amount of trips needed per
day will vary by season as would the average number of passengers per bus. Bus service could

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therefore be supplied to the canyon at costs ranging from $0.5 to $3 M per year depending
on the desired level of service.

1.3.7 Advantages
Parking Lot Restriping
Restriping the available parking lots would allow existing space to be used more efficiently
and would increase the number of spots people could park that were not on the road.
Theoretically, this would reduce the number of people who need to park on the side of the
road and thereby create a safer roadway. Re-striping would also minimize interferences within
lots themselves by creating a more consistent flow. An environmental impact statement would
most likely not be necessary since the parking lot footprints would not be increased. This
solution also would not significantly change the appearance or aesthetics of the canyon. It is
projected that maintenance for re-striped parking lots would be the same as current
expenditures.

Adding a Summer BCC Route


The addition of a summer BCC bus route will encourage and facilitate less personal vehicle
trips up the canyon; this gives the users of BCC more traveling options as well as an
opportunity to lower CO2 emissions in the canyon.

1.3.8 Disadvantages
Parking Lot Restriping
Restriping requires expenditures by the U.S. Forest Service that may not be included in the
current budget. Restriping also requires temporary interruption of service for parking lots.

Parking Enforcement and Signage


Enforcement generates a significant cost, if revenue from fines or not apportioned to
operation budgets. In addition, fines may contribute to public dissatisfaction if enforcement
zones are not well marked. Increased signage also requires funding and may potentially lead
to a loss of aesthetic appeal for some BCC users.

Summer BCC Bus Route


The addition of a summer BCC bus route potentially increases interferences between buses
and cyclists; this also requires additional expenses for UTA.

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1.3.9 Evaluation
The low impact model preserves the current state of the canyon and adds safety
improvements without addressing traffic congestion. Minimal construction will be required
and a NEPA process would not be necessary.

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1.4 Medium Impact Model: Tolling and Parking Improvements


1.4.1 Summary
The medium impact model augments solutions provided in the low impact model. In addition,
tolling was analyzed as a method to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow in the canyon.
Parking improvements were also studied as a method to decrease interaction between
motorists, cyclists, and public transit. These improvements would include an increase in
signage, striping, and pavement in undeveloped shoulders and potentially unsafe areas
throughout the canyon.

1.4.2 Tolling
In this model, a uniform user access fee for the canyon would be applied. The fee would apply
to all personal vehicles entering the canyon, including residents of the canyon, however, a
yearly user pass would also be available. Partnerships with resorts within the canyon to
include annual access passes with season passes might be part of a pricing schedule.

1.4.3 Parking Capacity


The medium impact model involves paving current roadside parking areas and an additional
area with asphalt, asphalt curb, and striping. These improvements from medium impact would
increase parking by approximately 68.4% (see Appendix I) with 133 total stalls. A conceptual
medium impact site cost estimate at the Donut Falls location is about $122 k (see Appendix
II, Table 3).

1.4.4 Parking Fees


One option for reducing demand and increasing revenues in the canyon is to charge parking
fees. The total number of existing parking stalls in the canyon was estimated at 2800 using
Google Earth (visual counts for each trailhead). There are about 2250 parking stalls in areas
designated as parking lots and 500 unofficial parking spots in roadside pullouts in the canyon.
If a parking rate of $1.00 per hour was assessed, and it was assumed that half of the parking
lots in the canyon were occupied for 10 hours per day, the canyon could generate upwards of
$6 million per year. This fee would present a disincentive to personal vehicle traffic in the
canyon. Some of the revenue from this system would be best used as a payment to UTA in
exchange for the operation of a dedicated summer bus service.

1.4.5 Bus Service and Bus Stop Locations


In addition to increasing bus service as outlined in the low impact model, infrastructure
improvements would also be made to existing bus stop locations. Bus stop locations would
be evaluated and adjusted to provide functional stops that could handle high volumes of
people without disrupting traffic flow. Additionally, one bus stop location would be added at
the S-curve to support summer demand. The stops would be placed on either side of the road.

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An aerial view of the potential locations is included in Appendix I. Due to safety concerns
regarding pedestrians in the S-curve, a signed and lighted crosswalk would also be installed
in conjunction with the planned bike lane explained in the Roadways and Trails chapter of this
report.

The estimated cost of installing a bus stop sign is approximately $400. If two new signs are
added, it would cost approximately $800. Average costs for a solar powered crosswalk sign is
approximately $5,000. The cost of asphalt is approximately $4.00 per square foot. Using
green book values, a national standard design reference for transportation engineering, a
paved area of 50 feet by 20 feet with additional space for pulling in and out would be
proposed. An approximate estimate to pave one bus pullout is $8 k to $10 k. Additional costs
would be incurred for excavation and labor, which are dependent on the site. The total
estimated cost for the installation of a bus stop at the S-curve area is about $15 k.

1.4.6 Advantages
Tolling
Tolling allows the flow of traffic in BCC to be monitored while focusing efforts to reduce high
congestion patterns. With one tolling price, drivers will be better prepared when entering the
toll booths on congested traffic days. Tolling could reduce CO2 emissions if it proves effective
at minimizing congestion, however it could also increase CO2 emissions if tolling delays are
large. This might happen if toll booths are not electronic.

Parking Lot Expansion


● Fewer people will need to park on the road, leading to a safer roadway.
● Areas with high demand will better be able to serve their users.
● Part of a sustainable solution to help the canyon will be to serve its users and meet
congestion demands.

Parking Fees
● Will reduce demands of needed parking in the canyon.
● People will find more of an incentive to carpool to avoid the fees.
● Revenue will be generated daily through use of the canyon by each vehicle that comes up
to park.
● The majority of the revenue received from parking fees will come from those who use the
canyon most

Bus Service and Stop Improvements


● Provides passing opportunities for personal vehicles which improves vehicular flow

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● A lighted crosswalk will increase pedestrian safety in the S-curve area


● Summer bus service allows more users the opportunity to access the canyon without using
a personal vehicle, which could decrease congestion.

1.4.7 Disadvantages
Tolling
Currently there is a negative perception of regarding the potential use of access tolling for the
Canyon. Many dissenting editorials have been printed in local newspapers and online about
its implementation. Because the roadway is state highway, and the land is generally public,
the public's response to additional access fees has been almost uniformly against such
implementation. From and operation standpoint, tolling might also create a choke point at the
mouth of the canyon unless an automated toll system is used. In addition, the installation of
a tolling infrastructure may somewhat impact aesthetics of the mouth of the canyon. Most
importantly, this type of system would require administrative cooperation by UDOT, US Forest
Service and others regarding its implementation, operation and dispersals of costs and
revenues.

Parking Lot Expansion


Parking lot expansion would be very costly, and it would also impact the aesthetics of the
canyon. It would most likely require more time to implement because an EIS would probably
be necessary. Further, the USFS Management Plan does not allow for parking expansion, so
this would have to be amended.

Parking Fees
Increased enforcement of legal parking areas could potentially require additional staff.
Implementation costs including infrastructure to support a variable tolling system (i.e.,
signage and a tracking method) and the costs associated with communicating parking
availability throughout the canyon could also be significant. Increased public transportation
(i.e., a free shuttle service) in order to accommodate visitors and maintain canyon accessibility
could also be costly. User fees are often publically and politically unpopular,

Bus Service and Stop Improvements


Adding a bus stop at the S-curve is a significant improvement requiring a significant
completion time. It may also require environmental assessment, perhaps including an EIS,
depending on the scope of the improvement. Minimal space in the S-curve may require
excavation and slope stabilization. The construction of the pedestrian crosswalk and pullout

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area for the stop would reduce the capacity and operations of the roadway for a short time.
The USFS Plan for BCC also states that no roadway expansion should occur, so the USFS Plan
would have to amended to allow for this solution.

1.4.8 Evaluation
This model provides improvements and features than the low impact alternative, however it
is also more costly. The solutions presented address the issue of congestion, however the
user perception of a user system may be negative and the canyon access might significant
change with the implementation of either entrance tolling or parking fees. However, the
addition of free bus service that extends through the summer season would have the dual
benefit of allowing users to access the canyon and the forest for free while mitigating roadway
and parking congestion.

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1.5 High Impact Model: Entrance Pricing and Extended Public Transit
1.5.1 Summary
The high impact model can be described as a pay-to-park or pay-to-access model with a
variable fee system based on real-time demand. Visitors would pay to park in a lot or pay to
enter the canyon. If users had to pay to park there would need to be rigorous enforcement
for those who are illegally parked. The parking lots would also be expanded to hold more
vehicles and designed for space efficiency. Public transit would be extended to include
summer service and the installation of several new stops to serve summer usage needs.

1.5.2 Canyon Entrance Tolling


Effective tolling allows the flow of traffic in BCC to be monitored while focusing efforts to
reduce high congestion patterns. With variable data taken from UTA, daily hourly traffic counts
for up canyon traffic were analyzed for each month of 2016. In the findings, it was suggested
that the summer months displayed much different traffic patterns than the winter months
through the day. Therefore, February and July were chosen as the peak winter and summer
months respectively in data analysis [16].

Use-based fees would allow tolling rates to be adjusted hourly; thus allowing for better control
of the congestion. For example, if tolling rates increase during heavy traffic hours, more users
might be inclined to find an alternative method of transportation. If the toll rates are too low,
there might be no significant change to the traffic patterns in the canyon. Therefore, based on
the number of vehicles per hour, congestion might decrease allowing for the designed
roadway to obtain Level C service. This is generally defined as vehicles having limited freedom
to move within the traffic stream, but movement is possible. In Table 2 below, variably-priced
tolls were estimated for design depending on the number of cars that are on the roadway for
any given hour of the day. When traffic amounts are below 25 cars per hour, measured from
the mouth of the canyon, the toll would be considered free. In peak times of the day where
traffic is currently estimated around 700+ vehicles at any given time, the fee would be
$11.50. These fee amounts would decrease with the implementation of the tolling rates as
users feel inclined to choose an alternative method of transportation.

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Table 2: Proposed Tolling Fee Structure Based on Number of Users

This high impact model would also provide an alternative method of transportation by
implementing a free shuttle system starting at the mouth of the canyon. Users may access
these shuttles at the mouth and be dropped off at designated locations influenced by popular
hiking trails and ski resorts in the area. These shuttles would also help decrease congestion
up the canyon by allowing users easy access to alternative transportation. With this model of
variable-priced tolling, total revenue from the tolls for the year was estimated at $4.45 million
as displayed in the estimated Figure 4 and Figure 5 below. This revenue projection takes into
account the cost of providing a free shuttle system to supplement personal vehicle access.

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Figure 4: Projected Pricing Income Based on Time of Day

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Figure 5: Projected Summer Pricing Income Based on Time of Day

1.5.3 Parking Capacity


The high impact model was designed similarly to low impact model. However, the high impact
will expand more on the current parking locations with asphalt paving, asphalt curbing, and
striping in and outside of the canyon, than the medium impact model. Assuming that a high
impact model would triple the size of a medium impact model the conceptual cost estimate
for these types of improvements equals $377,100 (see Appendix II). This cost estimate is only
for the categories stated in low impact.

1.5.4 Variable Parking Fees


The high impact model proposes a pay-to-park with a variable parking rate based on system
demand. In addition, parking space at or near the mouth of the canyon need to be expanded
to allow for increased transit use. Parking within the canyon would be monitored, and the
amount of open spots in each lot would be displayed on an electronic sign at the mouth of the
canyon to inform users where parking is available, or to discourage users from entering parts
of the canyon where parking lots are full. This study estimates the amount of parking in the

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canyon to be around 2800 spots, excluding ski resort parking. It is estimated that charging
people to park in these spots may generate a revenue of approximately $6 M per year. This
report considers it essential that this revenue be invested to make much-needed
improvements to the canyon (e.g., parking expansion, roadway repair, restroom
improvements, trail maintenance, etc.). If the revenue is not used in this manner, the
proposed solution(s) become unsustainable

A variable parking system would be capable of making real-time count of available stalls and
would increase the rate in each lot as it fills. This system would apply economic incentives to
encourage efficient use of the canyon. This system incentivizes users to park away from the
busiest lots, use transit, and arrive early at their destination. A variable parking system in BCC
would incorporate fee gates, consistent updates of parking availability, advanced parking
meters, and potentially a mobile app to provide real-time parking information.

The following table provides a conceptual example of the effect variable fees may have on
various parking lots in the canyon. Boxes colored red represent lots that are more than ⅔
full. Boxes colored yellow represent lots that are between ⅓ and ⅔ full. Green boxes
represent lots that are less than ⅓ full.

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Average Winter Average Summer


With With
Now Now
Pricing Pricing
Park & Ride
Dogwood
Storm Mtn.
S Curve
Donut Falls
Spruces
Silver Fork Lodge
Solitude
Condos
Solitude Nordic
Center
Brighton
Table 3: Theoretical Parking in Big Cottonwood Canyon Winter and Summer With and Without Pricing

The first example shown in Table 3 is the evaluation for an average winter day with 2000 cars
parked at a given time. With no parking fee, all the lots at the top of the canyon near the
resorts are almost full and the lots near the canyon entrance are empty. The next column
shows how variable pricing might affect the cars parked in each lot. A high fee would be
charged to park near the resorts and a much lower fee would be charged to park either near
the canyon entrance or outside the canyon. Higher fees for more desirable parking spaces
may shift the overall vehicle distribution throughout the canyon. With variable pricing, the lots
near the canyon entrance become more attractive and the lots near the resorts less
congested.

Additionally, with variable pricing, the total number of cars parking in the canyon will be most
likely reduced. This incentive to encourage more users to park near the entrance could be
applied in numerous ways in order to balance the needs of ski resorts while improving the
efficiency of the network. An example of pricing system that would encourage more resorts
users to take buses up in the winter is a green transit pass that would be cheaper than a
regular season pass but would require its holder to park near the canyon entrance or in a park
and ride lot on the busiest days of the season.

The next example shown in Table 3 is an average summer day. This example shows an
average weekday in the summer with approximately 700 cars parked throughout the canyon.
There are two very popular lots that fill up quickly during the summer (shown in red). The
demand on the S-curve lot significantly exceeds its capacity. A system using variable parking
rates is introduced in the next column. A high fee would be charged for the S-curve lot and
this would deter many people from parking there. Theoretically, it would reduce the number

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of cars parked there by more than half. The missing cars would park outside of the canyon for
free or in other areas lower in the canyon for a lower fee.

1.5.5 Bus Service Expansion and Bus Stop Locations


It is recommended that Bus stops be constructed at two locations in addition to the previously
mentioned S-curve location. These stops will be at the Ledgemere picnic grounds and at the
Old Mine. Both of these locations were identified as areas of need due to the popularity of the
area and a lack of available parking. Each location will have paved and signed pullouts on
both sides of the road. This will bring the total number of signed bus stops in the canyon to
17. Aerial views of the potential locations can be found in Appendix I.

It has been estimated that four new signs will be needed to service the most popular areas of
the canyon, in addition to the two new signs needed for the S-curve area proposed in the
medium impact model. This brings the total cost of the bus stop sign installation to about
$1,500. Each bench will cost approximately $500 to $1000, and each shelter will cost
between $5,000 and $12,000. These costs are in addition to those outlined in the low and
medium impact models.

1.5.6 Advantages
Canyon Entrance Tolling
This solution inherently reduces congestion and creates revenue that can be used to improve
the canyon and maintain proposed improvements. There would be no need for parking fees
if vehicles were tolled at the entrance to the canyon, and if a computer license plate
recognition system were installed to limit access delays.

Parking Capacity and Safety


Increasing the parking capacity decreases the amount of people that will have to park on the
road, which increases the safety of the roadway for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.

Variable Parking Fees


The implementation of variable parking fees would generate revenue that might be for canyon
improvements and maintenance. This system is more sustainable because of the supply and
demand concept it uses to determine fees and parking availability. In addition, users will
know where is parking available and thus be better positioned to avoid congestion. If there is
no available space at a specific locations, users will not be permitted to park at this location.
Additionally, the Forest Service has jurisdiction for parking, so there does not appear to be
significant barriers to implementing this solution.

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Bus Service Expansion and Bus Stop Locations


The addition of summer bus service and the installation of bus stops at popular summer
destinations will encourage users to use public transportation instead of personal vehicles,
which will decrease congestion and CO2 emissions. Adding more bus pullouts will also
increase boarding opportunities and provide additional passing opportunities for vehicular
traffic.

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1.5.7 Disadvantages
Canyon Entrance Tolling
Disadvantages are discussed in Section 1.4.7

Parking Capacity
Increasing the parking capacity by expansion of lot size mighty require an EIS and the requisite
approval time. Such expansion would be costly and require considerable up-front investment
in this system.

Variable Parking Fees


Charging users for parking that was previously free will most likely result in a negative user
perception of the system similar to that of a usage fee. However, the additional infrastructure
needed to charge people for parking would be minimal for most locations. Construction of
these improvements would also cause minor user delays and would temporarily interrupt the
service of these areas.

Bus Service Expansion and Bus Stop Locations


The addition of extra bus pullouts will be costly and may require an EIS, depending on the
impacts. Such permitting, if required, would increase the project timeline significantly. The
addition of bus pullouts would also cause roadway delays due to construction, which will
create less safe conditions and congestion.

1.5.8 Evaluation
The proposed high impact model is feasible and achievable with current available technology.
Time to implement these solutions is significant in comparison to the low and medium impact
models. This model is an involved approach to improve Big Cottonwood Canyon and would
require more complex and integrated systems, but has the benefits of providing real-time
information to users regarding congestion and usage. This high impact model also has the
potential to provide real-time traffic and parking data for future analysis and developments
within the canyon.

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Appendix I - Additional Figures

Figure 6: Conceptual Design for Donut Falls Low Impact Restriping

Figure 7: Conceptual Design for Donut Falls Low Impact Restriping

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Figure 8: Conceptual Design for Donut Falls Medium Impact Restriping and Parking Expansion

Figure 9: Conceptual Design for Donut Falls Medium Impact Restriping and Parking Expansion

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Figure 10: Potential Uphill and Downhill Locations for Bus Stops in the S-Curve

Figure 11: Potential Uphill and Downhill Bus Stop Locations at Ledgemere Picnic Grounds

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Figure 12: Potential Uphill and Downhill Bus Stop Locations at the Old Mine

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Appendix II - Conceptual Cost Estimates

Table 4: Low Impact Conceptual Cost Estimate Donut Falls

Table 5: Low Impact Conceptual Cost Estimate at Park & Ride

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Table 6: Medium Impact Conceptual Cost Estimate Donut Falls

Table 7: High Impact Conceptual Cost Estimate at Donut Falls

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Roadways and Trails

2 BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON: ROADWAYS AND TRAILS

2.1 Background
The roads within Big Cottonwood Canyon were initially constructed in 1941 as access for
miners and mountain advocates [1]. Since its construction, there’s been a substantial
increase in automobile technology, recreational amenities, and outdoor recreation demand.
This increase in popularity, without the corresponding expansion of infrastructure
requirements, has led to frequent vehicular incidents.

The main concern for roadway and trail improvements is the high volume of traffic on the
canyon road, US-190, that has created serious safety concerns for pedestrians and cyclists.
The number of auto/pedestrian interferences has reached a level where some bike clubs are
afraid to use the canyon.

The Mountain Accord project did some preliminary studies of vehicular crashes in September
2016 and found that BCC has roughly 5 crashes per year per mile. Of the total 376 crashes
reported prior to 2014, 14 were severe, and 3 were fatal. This data is summarized in Tables
8 and 9 below [2].

Table 8: Total Crashes and Crash Rate Summary in Selected Canyons

Total Crashes and Crash Rate Summary

Canyon Total Crashes/year Crashes/year


Crashes per mile per MVMT
Parleys 1312 16.8 1.01

Big Cottonwood 376 5 4.82


Little Cottonwood 292 6 3.45

Table 9: Total Severe Crashes and Crash Rate Summary in Selected Canyons

Severe Crashes and Crash Rate Summary


Severe Severe Severe
Total Severe
Canyon Injury Fatal Crashes Crashes/year Crashes/ year
Crashes
Crashes per mile per HMVMT
Parleys 32 10 42 0.54 3.2

Big Cottonwood 14 3 17 0.23 21.8


Little Cottonwood 14 3 17 0.35 20.1

In addition to concerns about vehicular traffic, members of the Big Cottonwood Community
Council have also reported habitual parking in the shoulders along the canyon road. Due to

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the small shoulders, especially around the tight curves, parked vehicles have caused many
sight obstructions for drivers. The inhibited sight and limited mobility caused by the parked
cars can become a serious hazard for pedestrians and cyclist crashes.

The areas of greatest concern for conflict are the many blind corners throughout the canyon,
including the S-curve. To address the serious safety concerns, a 3-phase plan has been
designed beginning with a low impact solution. The low impact design includes some minor
improvement to paint striping and sign posting. The medium impact solution details a
functional and aesthetic geofoam shoulder expansion for the troublesome blind corners in
the up canyon roadway direction. The third model is a high impact model, which includes all
improvement from the low and medium impact models, but also introduces a stylized
pedestrian bridge that would allow bicyclists and hikers an alternative to the congested
canyon road in the S-curve area.

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2.2 Low Impact Model: Signage, Safety, and Restriping


The trails and roads low impact model is a minimum infrastructure improvement option that
would enhance safety through re-striping the parking ways along the S-curve, as well as
striping a dedicated pedestrian path, installing new signage (including pedestrian only access
signs), electronic speed indicators, convex mirrors around blind corners for safety, and
minimal barricades to support the safety of non-vehicular traffic. This option can be
implemented immediately and at lower cost than more elaborate solutions. The elements of
the low impact solution will be a part of the medium and higher impact solution options as
well.

Re-striping would allow clear designations of where vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians are
permitted. This would be done along the S-curve to increase traffic flow, ease of access for
the pedestrian through this area, and provide safer travel for pedestrians. Re-striping would
reduce cyclists being a danger on the road, because it would clearly designate where they
would be permitted to ride.

Similarly, the addition of new signage would help restrict parking in unwanted areas and
regulate behaviors that would decrease capacity and safety concerns. Signage solutions
include signs on posts, and signs within the lane such as a painted bicycle within a cyclist
lane. Concrete barricades would be allowed in certain areas where prohibited car parking
rules are commonly violated. The low impact solution would also include strategic placement
of convex site mirrors for the blind corners to help reduce crashes in highly volatile areas.

Additionally, an ‘Adopt A Trail’ model might be enacted in which various clubs would keep a
stretch of the canyon clear of debris. This might be done by placing posts along the trail/path
advertising the name of the cycling club, or boy/girl scout troop and they, in return are
responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of their area. This option comes at little expense
except for minor signage, painting, and barrier costs. Each club would oversee weekly upkeep
of their section, and will be on call in case needed. A small garage will be needed (either at
the base, or half way up the canyon) in which supplies could be kept. These supplies would
include leaf blowers, push brooms, garbage bags, and snow blowers. If a club does not keep
up with their obligations, then a vote to be removed would occur and another club or institution
would take its place.

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2.2.1 Advantages
This low-impact model is the most cost-effective and BCC. This solution can begin immediately
and will not cause any road closures while being implemented. It directly benefits the roads
and trails within BCC and mediates the serious traffic/pedestrian hazards

2.2.2 Disadvantages
The main disadvantage of this solution is that it will not support the expected growth in the
canyon alone and would need to be used in addition to other models.

2.2.3 Evaluation
This low-impact model is feasible and can be completed in a relatively short period of time
and have relatively important contributions to roadway safety. This low impact option would
utilize existing bike lanes and would require no additional infrastructure requirements. Table
10 below shows a preliminary cost analysis of the low-impact solution.

Table 10: Preliminary Cost Analysis for the Roadways and Trails Low Impact Model

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2.3 Medium Impact Model: Geofoam Improvements


The medium-impact model has an option for widening lanes and providing infrastructure
improvements. There is not currently enough space to widen a lane without going beyond the
current roadway shoulder. To affect the widening for a cyclist path, a geofoam should
improvement, e.g., “Geofoam overhang” is recommend to minimize impacts to shoulder slope
stability and potential stream impacts (Figure 13). The geofoam overhang does not require
significant alternation to the present roadway.

Geofoam is a relatively new material used in roadway and slope construction that is somewhat
inexpensive and environmentally friendly. It consists of expanded polystyrene (EPS) and has
been used to support roadway and rail for several major projects in Salt Lake Valley. In
addition to the geofoam embankment, there will be support piling and a concrete capping
slab to ensure a smooth riding surface and safety [3]. The support piling will be embedded
about 3 feet into the side slope to guard against downslope movement of the system. The
overhang will be construction from the existing road, thus minimizing construction impact on
the watershed and environment.

Lastly, a 6-inch concrete slab will be added on top of the geofoam to allow for a comfortable
walking/cyclist path. The overhang will be 5 feet wide and serve as a barrier between
pedestrians and vehicles throughout the canyon.

This option ensures the use of environmentally friendly construction, or ‘ecostruction’ (Figures
13 and 14). This option will include all phases of the low-impact option as well, including
striping, signage, and barriers.

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Figure 13: Geofoam Bike Path Concept (Isometric View)

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Roadways and Trails

Figure 14: Geofoam Bike Path Concept Elevation

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2.3.1 Advantages
The advantages of the medium-impact model include all of the benefits determined in the
low-impact model, with the included safety of a dedicated bike/hiking path that would expand
the length of the canyon. This model will not only increase pedestrian safety, but decrease
congestion along troubled areas like the S-curve, and areas where there is little to no shoulder.

2.3.2 Disadvantages
The main disadvantage of the medium impact model is the required construction. Although
the overhang could be constructed in a few weeks, the construction would affect the traffic
on the roadway. Traffic would need to be diverted one lane at a time, which could limit
recreation in the canyon and be a burden on residents.

2.3.3 Evaluation
Based on the analysis, this solution is both feasible and achievable. The timeframe needed
to achieve this option from design to build has been calculated at roughly 8 months to 1 year
and the overall sum of the benefits is exceptional when considering the increases in safety
and accessibility to the canyon. Table 11 below shows the preliminary cost for this model.
Despite the amount of construction and material needed, this is a relatively inexpensive
option and is highly recommended.

Table 11: Preliminary Cost Analysis of the Roadways and Trails Medium Impact Model

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2.4 High Impact Model: Bypassing the S-Curve


The high impact model includes a pedestrian bridge that allows pedestrians and cyclists to
bypass the S-curve completely. This model will also include the elements from the low and
medium impact solutions, namely striping, signage, barriers, and shoulder expansions.

By bypassing the S-curve, an environment of relaxation and safety for both bicyclists and foot
traffic is created. This bridge will be designed with a basic steel skeleton, and have a natural
rock façade that will blend in beautifully with the canyon. Upon visiting the site, it was
determined that building from the end of the Lake Blanche trail and connecting to the road
above would prove to be the best possible position and would allow for a grade acceptable by
the ADA. A preliminary map of the trail-to-bridge option is shown in red in Figure 15. Figure
16 shows a preliminary sketch of the bridge concept and Figures 17 and 18 show the detailed
design of the bridge.

Figure 15: Pedestrian Trail and Bridge Location

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Figure 16: Conceptual Sketch of Pedestrian Bridge

Figure 17: Simple Steel Frame Bridge Design (Profile)

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Figure 18: Steel Frame Bridge Design

2.4.1 Advantages
The main advantage of this high-impact model is the safety created for pedestrians by
completely bypassing the congested S-curve and creates a more scenic and peaceful
atmosphere for cyclists and pedestrians traveling within the canyon. This model also includes
all the benefits of the low and medium models. Combined, this solution decreases pedestrian
and vehicular interaction the most and is the safest model created.

2.4.2 Disadvantages
The disadvantage of this model is the cost and construction. This model includes the overhang
expansion throughout the canyon and the additional construction of a steel frame bridge.
These projects will also require substantial time to construct and implement. During
construction, there will be potential for watershed and environmental impacts and traffic
congestion.

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.4.3 Evaluation
The high-impact model is the most expensive option and has some environmental concerns.
Initial assessments of the bridge costs puts this project at approximately $600k in addition to
the cost of the previous phases of the build. With a 20 year expectancy cost of $950k this
option will bring a guaranteed safety for pedestrians and be a great asset to the canyon. Table
12 presents a preliminary cost analysis of the high impact model [4,5].

Table 12: Preliminary Cost Analysis of the Roadways and Trails High Impact Model

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3 BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON: ENVIRONMENTAL

3.1 Background
The environmental team worked under the assumption that canyon use will increase
significantly over the next 30 years. Traffic in the canyon has already reached a level where
detrimental traffic and environmental impacts are being felt by visitors. Overuse of the trail
system and insufficient restroom facilities threaten water quality and habitat preservation.
Improvements are not only desired by residents in the canyon, but by all visitors who enjoy
the recreation opportunities.

This element of the project has many involved parties, including: canyon residents, federal
agencies (e.g., USFS), private citizens, environmental organizations, and state and local
government entities. However, it is believed that all groups would like to see the canyon
environment either maintained or improved to varying degrees. Therefore, protection and
preservation of the environment constitute an important component of the overall analysis
and proposal of management solutions for Big Cottonwood Canyon. Analyzing each solution’s
potential impact on the environment is of concern to all stakeholders and is regulated by local,
state, and federal law. Of primary concern is the maintenance of water quality due to Big
Cottonwood Canyon’s status as a protected watershed.

According to the USFS Watershed Condition Framework (2011), Big Cottonwood Canyon is
classified as a watershed that is “functioning at risk” (Figure 19). This framework is an
assessment that analyzed soil conditions, aquatic ecosystems, roadways and trail conditions,
forest health, and water quality to rate watershed health. For Big Cottonwood Canyon, risks
were primarily attributed to increased foot and vehicular traffic. In addition, nearby Little
Cottonwood Canyon is classified as an “impaired function” watershed. This is a possible future
for Big Cottonwood Canyon that could be prevented by implementing effective management
practices [1].

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Figure 19: USFS Watershed Conditions for Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons

Salt Lake County has also assessed stream health. The Stream Function Index was developed
for the Salt Lake Countywide Water Quality Stewardship Plan (WaQSP). There is a pronounced
difference between quality in the lower and upper portions of Big Cottonwood Canyon (Figure
20). This change may be attributed to higher visitor use and access in the lower part of the
canyon as well as the existence of trails in close proximity to water sources.

Figure 20: Stream Water Quality for Salt Lake County

Improved and expanded sanitation facilities will enhance user experiences in the canyon and
preserve natural resources for generations to come. Constructing new facilities will provide

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an affordable solution to the risk of polluting Salt Lake City’s water supply. Providing additional
facilities could address this problem year-round. Improving sanitation would also prevent
negative impacts on health for residents who rely on the canyon for their drinking water.
Waterborne diseases, including Giardia, can lead to illness and death. Preserving water
resources is not only a significant environmental issue, but one of public health and safety.
Preventative measures against waterborne contaminants, including additional toilet facilities,
should be taken.

Increasing the number of stalls throughout the canyon and new and existing locations is the
best approach, and can be scaled to work within project limitations and budget. The main
areas of concern are the following: Donut Falls trailhead, Mill B/S Curve, Spruces
campground, Mill D North, and Guardsman Pass. Usage statistics for sanitation facilities is
currently not available, but areas of high use are evident by the volume of people/vehicles
present. In addition, areas of high use have been outlined in previous studies and were
discussed with the Big Cottonwood Community Council (BCCC) at a stakeholder meeting.

In accordance with safety and health concerns, it is necessary to have adequate restroom
facilities distributed throughout BCC. Currently, there are 14 stalls in Big Cottonwood Canyon.
The Big Cottonwood Community Council has expressed an ideal outcome of 10 facilities with
58 stalls. Solutions were evaluated in accordance with these criteria. 12 stalls would be
vaulted toilets, while the remaining 46 stalls would require toilets connected to local
sanitation sewer system. These toilets would be located throughout Big Cottonwood Canyon
as follows: 12 stalls at Silver Lake, 6 stalls at Cardiff/Mill D, 6 stalls at Mill B-S Curve, 4 stalls
at Willow Heights, 4 stalls at Butler Fork, 6 stalls at Donut Falls, 6 stalls at Guardsman’s Pass,
6 stalls at Lake Mary, 4 stalls at Dogwood Climbers’ Area, and 4 stalls at Storm Mountain
Climbers’ Area. In accordance with the Salt Lake County government, a restroom facility within
300 feet of a sanitation sewer line is required to connect to the mainline. This requirement
limits vault toilets to more remote locations [2].

Preservation and improvement of the canyon environment is a major priority for all
stakeholders. Many solutions are available to address sanitation and environmental concerns
that vary in complexity and cost. Three models were constructed to show variations in cost for
improvements in low, medium, and high impact models.

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3.2 Low Impact Model: Pilot Study
The low impact model would conduct a pilot study by placing portable restrooms throughout
Big Cottonwood Canyon in order to analyze demand for sanitation facilities and determine
potential areas for permanent improvements. The study will determine the areas where
restrooms are in high demand based on the amount of maintenance the portable restrooms
require. Portable toilets are available at a low and variable cost depending on the size of the
pilot study (Table 13). The placement of these facilities throughout the canyon would also
temporarily address sanitation concerns while providing valuable usage statistics.

The study should take place over a full year to better assess usage during the winter months.
A reasonable amount of facilities should be placed throughout the canyon to capture areas of
high traffic in the study (Figure 21, Table 14).

Table 13: Portable Toilet Costs

Units 3 Month 6 Month 9 Month Annually


1 $312 $587 $863 $1,138
2 $624 $1,175 $1,725 $2,276
3 $936 $1,762 $2,588 $3,414
4 $1,248 $2,350 $3,451 $4,552
5 $1,561 $2,937 $4,314 $5,690
6 $1,873 $3,525 $5,176 $6,828
7 $2,185 $4,112 $6,039 $7,966
8 $2,497 $4,699 $6,902 $9,104
9 $2,809 $5,287 $7,765 $10,242
10 $3,121 $5,874 $8,627 $11,380
11 $3,433 $6,462 $9,490 $12,518
12 $3,745 $7,049 $10,353 $13,656
13 $4,057 $7,636 $11,215 $14,795
14 $4,370 $8,224 $12,078 $15,933
15 $4,682 $8,811 $12,941 $17,071
16 $4,994 $9,399 $13,804 $18,209
17 $5,306 $9,986 $14,666 $19,347
18 $5,618 $10,574 $15,529 $20,485
19 $5,930 $11,161 $16,392 $21,623
20 $6,242 $11,748 $17,255 $22,761

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Figure 21: Sanitation Facility Locations in Big Cottonwood Canyon

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3.2.1 Advantages
This option has the lowest fiscal cost and would temporarily address sanitation concerns. In
addition, no construction would take place. This would have a positive environmental impact,
as little habitat would be disturbed in high impact areas. In addition, this model will provide
information that will be beneficial to other solutions. Conducting this study prior to
implementation of either the medium or high impact model would allow restroom facilities to
be added in the high priority areas first.

3.2.2 Disadvantages
The main detriment of this model is that it will only temporarily address concerns. The lack of
additional facilities over the next 30 years will lead to degradation in water quality as
recreational visitation increases, especially in areas close to waterways. All stakeholders have
expressed immense concern about the maintenance and improvement of the environment in
this canyon. In addition, this model does not address other threats to environmental quality,
including littering and trash near trailheads.

3.2.3 Evaluation
While this model is the most cost effective, it will only temporarily address sanitation concerns.
In addition, the cost of portable toilets is not sustainable to address problems for the next 30
years. However, this solution does address current concerns at a low cost, and could be
installed quickly. This study is also scalable, which means that it could be tailored to any
budget or length of time, while providing valuable data.

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3.3 Medium Impact Model: Expansion of Facilities at High Use Trailheads
The non-resort areas in Big Cottonwood Canyon that experience the highest use are the
popular trailheads at Donut Falls and the Mill B/S Curve. It is not uncommon to see full parking
lots and vehicles parked on the surrounding shoulders. In this model an assessment and
implementation of additional restroom facilities will be commenced at these high tourist
volume areas. These locations were recognized by the number of vehicles attracted to these
locations on a daily basis. Donut Falls currently has 6 vault stalls and no current sanitation
sewer line, while the S-Curve contains 6 stalls that are connected to a sanitation sewer line.
It is also important to clarify that the 6 vault stalls located in Donut Falls are in operation only
during the summer months, while the facilities at the S-Curve are in operation year-round.

Three companies that have constructed restroom facilities in the Salt Lake area have been
quoted for pricing: Boom Concrete Inc., American Ready Kontainer, and Salt Lake City
Engineering. These entities specialize in the construction of vault toilets and sanitation sewer
connected toilets. Boom Concrete Inc, specializes in vault toilets and the approximate
construction cost of one stall is $11,300 [2,3]. American Ready Kontainer specializes in
housed toilet stalls and the approximate construction cost of one vault unit is $174,100 [4].
Salt Lake City Engineering specializes in housed toilet stalls and the approximate construction
cost of one vault stall is $239,600 [4]. More than one facility is required and funding will
increase significantly as more units are installed.

By assessing the current traffic volumes at the congested areas of Donut Falls and the Mill B-
S-Curve, a decision to add improvements to these areas are of the highest priority. In
accordance with safety and health concerns for the environment and public, it is necessary to
have adequate restroom facilities distributed throughout Big Cottonwood Canyon. Currently,
there are 10 restroom facilities with 58 stalls in commission located throughout the canyon.
12 stalls are currently vaulted toilets, while the remaining 46 stalls are toilets connected to
local sanitation sewer system. These toilets are located throughout Big Cottonwood Canyon
as followed; 12 stalls at Silver Lake, 6 stalls at Cardiff/Mill D, 6 stalls at Mill B-S Curve, 4 stalls
at Willow Heights, 4 stalls at Butler Fork, 6 stalls at Donut Falls, 6 stalls at Guardsman’s Pass,
6 stalls at Lake Mary, 4 stalls at Dogwood Climbers’ Area, and 4 stalls at Storm Mountain
Climbers’ Area [2]. In accordance with the Salt Lake County government, a restroom facility
within 300 feet of a sanitation sewer line is required to connect to the mainline [4]. This limits
vault toilets to more remote locations and will require more structures housing restrooms to
populated heavily utilized areas.

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The National US Forest Services does not provide guidelines that dictate the number of
sanitation facilities per individual entering the area. However, the Occupational Health and
Safety Administration (OSHA) does provide information based off building requirements. OHSA
requires that buildings in the U.S. have one toilet seat for 40 workers [5]. Based off the 2015
Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) provided by the Utah Department of Transportation
(UDOT), the traffic count is 5160 vehicles and would require 129 stalls based off OSHA
recommendations when accounting 1 person per vehicle [6]. The current number of facilities
throughout the canyon (58 toilets) only accommodates approximately 1160 people entering
the canyon daily and the need for an additional 71 stalls will only bring the canyon up to the
2015 demand. This additional increase will bring up the number of stall to the 2015 demand
of 129 with a net cost of 11 million dollars (Table 14).

Table 14: Preliminary Total Costs for Proposed Permanent Facilities

3.3.1 Advantages
This model addresses environmental concerns and provides additional facilities at areas
under the most stress. Additional restroom facilities will be beneficial in reducing waiting times
at present stalls and it will reduce the number of people relieving themselves along the trails.
In addition, construction of facilities has already occurred, so expansion would require
minimal environmental impact.

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3.3.2 Disadvantages
New and expanded facilities will require funding that is currently not allocated to the canyon.
Having adequate financial support for construction, maintenance, and improvements will
require a dependable source of revenue. Therefore, this solution is dependent on the
implementation of either tolling or government funding allocation.

3.3.3 Evaluation
Projections show that the increased popularity of the canyon is occurring steadily and
increases the annual visitation. According to the Big Cottonwood Community Council,
visitation into the canyon is expected to reach 3.5 million by 2040 as a result of population
growth. If these projections are true, addressing the immediate sanitation deficiencies
throughout the canyon is imperative for preserving the quality of the environment for years to
come.

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3.4 High Impact Model: Expansion of Facilities at High and Medium Use Trailheads
Following the pilot study, funds could be allocated to improve existing sanitation facilities and
construct additional permanent stalls. Access to existing bathroom facilities could be
increased by transitioning to year-round operation by installing propane-based heating at the
sewer connected facilities and also opening pit facilities during the winter months. This model
also would expand the number of trash receptacles at all the facilities and trailheads.

When looking ahead 30 years, high use bathrooms will need expansion to meet demand
during normal operating hours. Further, the facilities will receive even more use during
holidays and weekends, when trail use is at a peak.

To keep the canyon aesthetically pleasing, the stalls will all be built to mimic their natural
surroundings. Other areas, such as Zion National Park and Yosemite, have done this to
increase their aesthetic appeal. These improvements are variable in cost, and can blend the
restrooms into their natural environment. One possible solution is to plant trees around the
structure.

The overall aesthetics of the bathrooms will vary greatly on how much the beneficiaries would
like to spend and where the funds come from. It is however a priority to expand bathrooms
and increase the number of facilities for the safety of the valley and quality of Salt Lake
County’s drinking water. For the facilities that will be placed next to a parking lot, it may be
best to keep the cost low and minimize the extra features of a bathroom. There are two
primary reasons behind this, one being that most people will not care too much beyond the
functionality of the bathrooms, and secondly, this could help allocate funds towards other
projects such as trail development.

Other areas of interest, including the proposed medium impact trailheads with existing
facilities, are: Cardiff/Mill D, Guardsman Pass, Lake Mary, Silver Lake, Willow Heights, Butler
Fork, and the Dogwood and Storm Climbers area. As recreational use increases in the canyon,
these areas will experience more human and vehicular traffic.

3.4.1 Advantages
This model best addresses current and future sanitation concerns, and has the least
environmental impact with regards to water quality. When sanitation and trash facilities are
provided to the public, it is not necessary for them to leave waste. This model will also best
meet the projected demands over the next 30 years. In addition, constructing new facilities in
the near future could lead to decreased costs in the long term.

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3.4.2 Disadvantages
The main detriment of this solution is the high cost. Implementing the full scale construction,
expansion, and maintenance will require extensive funding as seen in Table 14 previously and
discussed in the medium impact section. The extent of proposed facilities makes this
significantly more costly than the low and medium impact models. In addition, there will be
additional environmental impacts due to the expansion and construction of new buildings.
There will also be delays and impacts on traffic in the canyon if there are a substantial amount
of facilities that are sewer connected.

3.4.3 Evaluation
The scope of expansion will be dependent on funding, and can be scaled to meet budget. This
alternative will meet all the criteria for sanitation, environmental quality, and sustainability. In
addition, this option has the most flexibility for modifications and can be tailored to fit the
most pressing concerns in the canyon.

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4 EVALUATION AND CONCLUSION

4.1 Summary
Each team completed evaluations of low, medium, and high impact models based on the six
evaluation criteria of sustainability, aesthetics, health and safety, environmental, time to
implement, and accessibility. While no alternatives were eliminated at this stage, there were
clear preferences for solutions that best addressed the multiple needs of Big Cottonwood
Canyon residents, recreators, and businesses without being constrained by current legal or
financial obstacles. A more detailed analysis of potential legal and political conflicts for each
of the suggested models will be included as part of the preliminary engineering report.

4.2 Final Evaluations


4.2.1Traffic and Parking
The traffic and parking team recommends a combination of low and medium impact models,
with the possibility of expanding to a high impact model in the future. Restriping parking lots
was the highest scoring alternative from the low impact model (Appendix A). It is also
important to note that the “no tolling” scenario in this model received a very low ranking and
should be rejected. Some form of collecting user fees or tolling as part of the medium impact
model will likely be necessary in order to address congestion and funding of improvements in
Big Cottonwood Canyon. However, if user or access fees are implemented, it is recommended
that an expanded free transit option also be included so that no person is required to pay in
order to travel to or between trailheads and other popular recreation destinations. Basic
access tolling, parking fees, and charging variable parking fees all received similar scores in
the medium and high impact models and will be further examined in the preliminary
engineering report.

4.2.2 Roadways and Trails


The roadways and trails team recommends the medium impact model, which includes all
improvements suggested in the low impact model (i.e., road striping, convex mirrors, “Adopt-
A-Trail”) as well as geofoam overhang expansions to Big Cottonwood Canyon Road (SR-190)
at narrow points in order to allow for pedestrian and cyclist paths in the most problematic
areas. Typical sections for proposed geofoam overhangs and locations will be further
examined in the preliminary engineering report.

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4.2.3 Environmental
The environmental team recommends both the pilot study suggested in the low impact model
as well as additional restroom expansions outlined in the high impact model. A pilot study in
Big Cottonwood Canyon provides a great deal of valuable information for a modest investment
of funds and may help to support the need for the restroom facility expansions outlined in the
high impact model. Pilot study locations and facility costs will be further examined in the
preliminary engineering report.

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4.3 Conclusion
While tolling or collecting user fees in any form may be politically and publically unpopular,
the current state of unmanaged access to Big Cottonwood Canyon has significant costs for
public safety, public health, and the potential for recreational enjoyment for all users. Illegal
and unsafe parking, pedestrian and cyclist interferences with automobile traffic, and restroom
facility availability are common and well-studied problems.

The Big Cottonwood Canyon Management Project team recommends a comprehensive,


integrated approach incorporating the low impact models outlined in the traffic and parking,
roadways and trails, and environmental sections, respectively, as well as geofoam roadway
expansions from the roadways and trails medium impact model and some form of user fees
and tolling from the traffic and parking medium and high impact model. Long-term plans to
expand or construct sanitation facilities should also be considered as part of the
environmental high impact model.

The low impact models include, in summary, parking lot restriping, increased signage and
illegal parking enforcement, an “Adopt-A-Trail” program, and a pilot study using portable toilet
facilities in order to determine where additional permanent facilities should be placed.

In addition to the low impact models, the medium impact model of geofoam roadway
expansions presented in the roadways and trails section received outstanding positive
support and is highly recommended to reduce auto-pedestrian and auto-cyclist conflicts at
problematic narrow sections of roadway throughout Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Finally, the traffic and parking team recommends implementing some form of user fee
collection (i.e., basic access tolling, parking fees, variable parking fees, etc.) in order to
manage traffic congestion and to provide a sustainable revenue stream for the other
suggested improvements. While parking and user fees may add revenue, this solution would
not necessarily address congestion in the same way as basic access or variable tolling. If
tolling is implemented, then it becomes imperative to expand or include a free public transit
option for access to popular trailhead and recreation destinations throughout Big Cottonwood
Canyon, which in turn may require additional bus stops or other infrastructure improvements.
Each of these recommended alternatives will be examined in further detail in the preliminary
engineering report.

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5 REFERENCES

5.1 Statement of Needs References


[1]Outdoor Industry Association. “Utah: the outdoor recreation economy.” Online. Available:
outdoorindustry.com.

[2]U.S. Forest Service. “Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest: Visitor guide.” U.S.


Department of Agriculture. Online. Available:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5370807.pdf

[3] U.S. Forest Service. “Resource management: watersheds in Salt Lake valley.” U.S.
Department of Agriculture. Online. Available:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/uwcnf/landmanagement/resourcemanagement/?cid=fs
em_035491&width=full

[4]National Park Service. “Visitation statistics.” Online. Available:


https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/visitationstats.htm

[5]C. C. Lamborn et al., “2014-2015 Central Wasatch Visitor Use Study: Follow-Up E-Survey,”
Institution for Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, Logan, UT, 2015.

[6]Fehr & Peers. “Mountain transportation study: final report.” Salt Lake County, UT, 2012.
Online. Available: http://slco.org/pwpds/zoning/pdf/wasatchCanyonGeneralPlans/MTS_-
_Report_-_FINAL.pdf

[7]Salt Lake County. “Wasatch canyons tomorrow.” Salt Lake City, UT, 2010. Online.
Available:
http://wfrc.org/Previous_Studies/2010%20Wasatch%20Canyons%20Tomorrow%20Final%
20Report%20Dec10.pdf

[8]Salt Lake County. “Big Cottonwood Canyon general plan draft.” Salt Lake City, UT, 2013.
Online. Available: http://slco.org/pwpds/pdf/BigCottonwood_-_DRAF.pdf

[9]Avenue Consultants. “Cottonwood canyons parking study.” Salt Lake City, UT, 2012.
Online.
Available:http://slco.org/pwpds/zoning/pdf/wasatchCanyonGeneralPlans/Cottonwood_Can
yons_P.pdf

[10]Mountain Accord. “Mountain Accord final report.” Salt Lake City, UT, 2016. Online.
Available: http://mountainaccord.com/mountain-accord-final-report/

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5.2 Traffic and Parking References
[1]C. C. Lamborn et al., “2014-2015 Central Wasatch Visitor Use Study: A Visitor Survey on
the Salt Lake Ranger District and Surrounding Public Lands,” Institution for Outdoor
Recreation and Tourism, Logan, UT, 2014.

[2]C. C. Lamborn et al., “2014-2015 Central Wasatch Visitor Use Study: Follow-Up E-Survey,”
Institution for Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, Logan, UT, 2015.

[3]“2014 Budget Document,” Utah Transit Authority, Salt Lake City, UT, 2014

[4] Federal Highway Administration. (2015). Equestrian Design Guidebook for Trails,
Trailheads and Campgrounds [Online]. Available:
https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/publications/fs_publications/07
232816/page14.cfm

[5]Avenue Consultants. (2012). Cottonwood Canyons Parking Study – Recommendations


[Online].
Available:http://slco.org/pwpds/zoning/pdf/wasatchCanyonGeneralPlans/Cottonwood_Can
yons_P.pdf

[6]R. Wilson et al. (2016). Dynamic Parking Pricing: A Comparison 2 of Evaluation Methods
[Online]. Available: http://docs.trb.org/prp/16-3069.pdf

[7](2013, July 17). Big Cottonwood Canyon General Plan - 2013 [Online]. Available:
http://slco.org/pwpds/pdf/BigCottonwood_-_DRAF.pdf

[8]Fehr and Peers. (2012, November). Mountain Transportation Study [Online].


Available:http://slco.org/pwpds/zoning/pdhttpf/wasatchCanyonGeneralPlans/MTS_-
_Report_-_FINAL.pdf

[9] Fehr and Peers. (2012, August). Mill Creek Canyon Transportation Feasibility Study
[Online].Available:http://slco.org/pwpds/zoning/pdf/wasatchCanyonGeneralPlans/Mill_Cre
ek_Canyon_Tr.pdf

[10] Mountain Accord. (2014, June). Existing Conditions & Future Trendlines of the
Transportation System [Online]. Available: http://mountainaccord.com/wp-
content/uploads/2015/06/MA_Transp_Existing_Conditions_FutureTrendlines_update_Mar
ch-2015.pdf

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[11] C. C. Lamborn. (2016, February 29). An Estimation of Visitor Use in Little Cottonwood,
Big Cottonwood, and Millcreek Canyons [Online].
Available:https://extension.usu.edu/iort/ou-files/Tri_Canyon_Visitor_Use_Estimate.pdf

[12] R.E. Wadsworth. (2009). Shuttle to serenity: The history and impact of Zion National
Park's transportation system [Online]. Available:
http://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1041&context=thesesdissert
ations

[13] O. M. Rouhani. (2014). Flat versus spatially variable tolling: A case study in Fresno,
California [Online]. Available:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0966692314000623

[14] Fehr and Peers. (2012). Mill Creek Canyon Transportation Feasibility Study [Online].
Available:http://slco.org/pwpds/zoning/pdf/wasatchCanyonGeneralPlans/Mill_Creek_Cany
on_Tr.pdf

[15] Cambridge Systematics. (2006). Washington State Comprehensive Tolling Study


Volume 1 [Online]. Available:
http://www.wstc.wa.gov/Rates/Tolling/WS_TollStudy_FinalReport_V1.pdf

[16] Utah Department of Transportation. (2016). 2016 Traffic Volume Reports [Online].
Available: http://www.udot.utah.gov/main/f?p=100:pg:0:::1:T,V:4652.

5.3 Roadways and Trails References


[1]"Big Cottonwood Canyon", En.wikipedia.org, 2017. [Online]. Available:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Cottonwood_Canyon. [Accessed: 20- Mar- 2017].

[2] “Draft Transportation System Existing Conditions,” 2014. Mountain Accord. [Online].
Available: http://mountainaccord.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/25-Report-March-
2014-Transportation.pdf. [Accessed: 20- Mar- 2017].

[3]"Geofoam", En.wikipedia.org, 2017. [Online]. Available:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geofoam. [Accessed: 20- Mar- 2017].

[4]Draft Transportation System Existing Conditions, 1st ed. 2014.

[5]Draft Transportation System Existing Conditions, 1st ed. 2014.

[6]"Home Page", rwstriping, 2017. [Online]. Available: http://www.rwstriping.com/.


[Accessed: 16- Feb- 2017].

72
[7]"Traffic Signs - Shopping - Regulatory signs", Trafficsigns.com, 2017. [Online]. Available:
http://www.trafficsign.com.

[8]2017. [Online]. Available: http://www.safetysupplyandsign.com/. [Accessed: 16- Feb-


2017].

[9]"Peck Road Striping", Peckstriping.com, 2017. [Online]. Available:


http://www.peckstriping.com/Road_Striping_s/24.htm. [Accessed: 16- Feb- 2017].

5.4 Environmental References


[1]“2015 Salt Lake County Integrated Watershed Plan,” slco.org. [Online]. Available:
http://slco.org/uploadedFiles/depot/publicWorks/fwatershed/resources/2015SLCoIWP.pdf

[2]Despain, D., private communication, Feb 2017.

[3]“BOOM Clovermist Standard Toliet Elevations,” boomcon.com. [Online]. Available:


http://www.boomcon.com/2014pricelists/STD%20Drawing.pdf.

[4]“BOOM Clovermist Vault Toilets,” boomcon.com. [Online]. Available:


http://www.boomcon.com/2013pricelists/2013%20Boom%20Clovermist%20Single%20GS
A.pdf.

[5]“Cost of Building Public Restrooms,” slcdocs.com. [Online]. Available:


http://www.slcdocs.com/council/agendas/2013Agendas/Jan15/011513A7.pdf

[6]“Occupational Safety Health Administration”, Osha.gov. [Online]. Available:


https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=
202

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APPENDIX A: CRITERIA TABLES

Table 15: Overall Rating Criteria and Weighting Values

Table 16: Traffic and Parking Final Evaluation

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Table 17: Trails and Roadways Final Evaluation

Table 18: Environmental Final Evaluation

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APPENDIX B: PRESENTATION SLIDES

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