• Infrastructure Funding Update
  • Please Welcome New Members of WFRC's Team
  • Transportation and Land Use Connection Project Highlight - North Salt Lake
  • Salt Lake Chamber’s Webinar Series on Growth Issues
  • Street Connectivity: WFRC's February Map of the Month
  • Pedestrian Safety Awards
Infrastructure Funding Update
The Utah State Legislative session is underway, concluding on March 5. One of the items under discussion is potentially authorizing additional investment in infrastructure for transportation, broadband, and outdoor recreation. Recently, WFRC, the Utah League of Cities and Towns, the Utah Association of Counties, and Utah’s other metropolitan planning organizations, prepared this joint letter of support and principles for state infrastructure investments:

  1. Invest in infrastructure.
  2. Support multi-modal transportation choices - including driving, public transit, and active transportation (see below).
  3. Utilize the professional planning and prioritization process.  
  4. Be fiscally prudent - balance current infrastructure investment needs with long-term fiscal stability.

A related area of transportation infrastructure that has experienced huge additional use during the pandemic is “active transportation” -- biking and walking as a means of transportation. A broad coalition of community leaders is urging -- through this joint letter -- additional investment in high priority, regionally important “active transportation” (i.e. biking and walking) projects throughout the State. The goal is to complete a core backbone of safe, family-friendly active transportation facilities for all Utahns. Our State is already a world-class place for recreational biking and is now poised to make the leap to be a world-class place for biking as a means of transportation and commuting. Biking and walking are universally recognized for their myriad personal and community benefits:

  • Better air quality
  • Decreased traffic congestion
  • Increased physical activity
  • Decreased healthcare costs
  • Improved access to social, educational, and job opportunities
  • Expanded recreational opportunities closer to home
Please Welcome New Members of WFRC's Team
The Wasatch Front Regional Council is happy to announce that Marcia White has joined us as the new Regional Economic Development Planner. She comes to us with broad experience throughout our region, including her current service as a member of the Ogden City Council. Marcia will staff the Wasatch Front Economic Development District and lead our efforts to promote regional economic opportunity. She will also work with the Transportation and Land Use Connection program, and help to further integrate economic development into the program.

Marcia can be reached at mwhite@wfrc.org.
We are also excited to let you know that Miranda Jones Cox will be joining the WFRC team as our new Government Relations Manager. Miranda comes to us from the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget where she has worked in state infrastructure policy and budget analysis. She will be joining the team shortly after the legislative session and is eager to begin working with WFRC members and partners. In this role, Miranda will play a critical part in furthering the work of WFRC to promote legislative priorities at the state and federal level, and implement policies aligned with the Wasatch Choice Vision and Utah’s Unified Transportation Plan.
Transportation and Land Use Connection Project Highlight - North Salt Lake

North Salt Lake (NSL) is a largely built-out residential suburban community in Southern Davis County. In recent years the city has focused on how to create a heart of the community - a town center - and on how to recast the character along the main road through town, Highway 89.

It is a challenging endeavor to create a new center along a major arterial road and have it occur through the reuse of already developed land. To work through these details NSL has worked with the Transportation and Land Use Connection (TLC) program and its partners. NSL applied to the TLC program for assistance in developing a Town Center master plan (subsequently adopted) which in turn set the stage for development of a new zoning code for the Town Center (in the late stages of consideration by NSL). This “form-based code” was also applied for and funded by the TLC program.

Recently the city also recently adopted a Town Center Branding and Wayfinding plan which gives the city a brand and aesthetic that identifies it as a distinctive destination that residents and visitors want to experience. Check out the Town Center Branding and Wayfinding plan here.

TLC is a partnership between the Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC), Salt Lake County, Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), and Utah Transit Authority (UTA). The TLC program provides technical assistance to local communities to help them achieve their goals and plan for growth. The program helps communities implement changes to the built environment that reduce traffic on roads and enable more people to easily walk, bike, and use transit. This approach is consistent with the Wasatch Choice Vision and helps residents living throughout the region enjoy a high quality of life through enhanced mobility, better air quality, and improved economic opportunities.
Salt Lake Chamber's Series on Growth Issues

The Salt Lake Chamber, Utah League of Cities and Towns, Wasatch Front Regional Council, and Envision Utah recently co-sponsored a two-part webinar series on key growth issues in Utah.

The video below focuses on growth and housing, with the following panelists:

  • Derek Miller - President and CEO, Salt Lake Chamber
  • Ari Bruening - Chief Executive Officer, Envision Utah
  • Jim Wood - Ivory-Boyer Senior Fellow, Gardner Policy Institute
  • Ty McCutcheon - President and CEO, Daybreak Communities
  • Terry Buckner - Co-chair, Housing Gap Coalition
  • Cameron Diehl - Executive Director, Utah League of Cities and Towns
  • Dawn Ramsey - Mayor, South Jordan; 1st Vice President, ULCT; Regional Growth Committee Chair, WFRC
  • Mike Mendenhall - Council Member, Spanish Fork; Immediate Past President, ULCT
  • Jeff Silvestrini - Mayor, Millcreek; 2nd Vice President, ULCT; Chair, WFRC
  • Andrew Gruber - Executive Director, Wasatch Front Regional Council
The video below focuses on growth and transportation, with the following panelists:

  • Derek Miller - President and CEO, Salt Lake Chamber
  • Theresa Foxley - President and CEO, EDCUtah
  • Ogden City Mayor Mike Caldwell
  • Andrew Gruber - Executive Director, Wasatch Front Regional Council
  • Teri Newell - Deputy Director of Planning and Investment, Utah Department of Transportation
  • Ari Bruening - Chief Executive Officer, Envision Utah
February Map of the Month: Wasatch Front Street Connectivity

Gridded or otherwise highly-connected street networks respond better to peak period travel and, in general, make it safer and more convenient to walk or drive to nearby destinations.

Our February Map of the Month presents a brief exploration of how well the surface street network is interconnected along the Wasatch Front and Wasatch Back. The map identifies how different areas of our region compare using intersection densities and other methods described in the 2017 Utah Street Connectivity Guide. A link along the top of the map provides download access for all the GIS data that is shown.

In addition to creating a more efficient transportation system, street connectivity can help improve a wide range of community aspects reaching into safety, health, economic vitality, the environment, and quality of life.

For your convenience, the complete collection of WFRC’s Map of the Month series is now easily accessible from a single webpage.
Pedestrian Safety Awards
The Utah Pedestrian Summit, coming up on April 12th, is an opportunity for planning, design, health, education, law enforcement and safety officials and advocates to share experiences, opportunities and successes in improving pedestrian experience in our communities. UDOT facilitates a broad partnership including WFRC to convene the Pedestrian Summit.

The Pedestrian Summit is pleased to announce a new award category this year. The Pedestrian Safety Award recognizes an individual or group for their innovative approaches to pedestrian safety design and implementation. It also recognizes those who have made significant contributions to educating the public regarding pedestrian safety and facilitating behavior change. A recipient must have significantly improved pedestrian safety in Utah to be eligible. Nominate someone today!