Joint Moab City Council & Grand County Commission Meeting re Arches Hotspot Funding Report 2020-10-30

The agenda and packet can be found here.

Action to Approve the Arches Hotspot Region Coordinating Committee’s Recommended Transportation Project Concept Package and Prioritization List (Commissioner Curtis Wells)

Hotspot Funding Goals:

  • Dispersed Parking in the Downtown Core & Emma Blvd Area:
    • Reduce Congestion. Downtown Dispersed Parking will alleviate congestion by drawing vehicles looking for parking off Main Street.
    • Support Economic Development. The parking will serve businesses on the north end of town that lost street parking as a result of the UDOT U.S. 191 North Main Street widening project. It will also serve the business community located in the downtown core.
    • Increase Recreation and Tourism Opportunities. More plentiful parking near Emma Boulevard and in Downtown Moab will better accommodate the influx of Moab visitors.
  • Shared Use Path Connecting Spanish Valley to Moab:
    • Reduce Congestion. The project reduces congestion by replacing car trips with bike trips.
    • Support Economic Development. The project supports economic development by increasing pedestrian and bicycle transportation options to areas that are targeted for future growth.
    • Increase Recreation and Tourism Opportunities. The project fulfills this goal by providing a safe continuation of the northern pathway for families, e-bikes, road bikers, pedestrians, and equestrians, and by increasing access to high use recreational opportunities.
  • Shuttle/Transit Pilot Program:
    • Reduce Congestion: A transit shuttle has the potential to maximize Grand County residents’ ability to reach businesses as a customer or employee without having to drive during the peak seasons.
    • Support Economic Development: A transit shuttle will expand the access to town for low income employee housing development in Spanish Valley by enabling those without reliable transportation to reach businesses in town from more affordable areas out of the city center. It will also serve existing residential areas that benefit lower-income families and individuals.
    • Increase Recreation and Tourism Opportunity. This project allows visitors staying at hotels and campgrounds in town to access businesses and recreational amenities without clogging the streets with additional vehicles

Approved by City Council 4-1 (Boyd opposed); Approved by County Commission 5-0 (Paxman and Halliday absent).

Discussion of Potential Resolution in Support of a Bypass (Mayor Emily Niehaus and Commissioner Curtis Wells)

There were various comments from City Council, County Commission, and Hotspot Committee members including:

  • Over the course of several years, community members have strongly opposed the bypass idea as bad for neighborhoods, not addressing the downtown congestion problem, if trucks were the main problem Monticello would also be experiencing same problem – which is not the situation, etc.
  • The community should be looking at more creative solutions to improve downtown experience for locals, tourists and business owners.
  • Downtown business owners have a lot of diverse views and opinions of the bypass – there’s not a consensus on this issue.
  • Keeping this idea alive and investing more time and money is not in best interests of community.
  • Even though several citizens submitted comments about the bypass today and previously, we should try to do more outreach to the community – citizens and businesses – before taking this idea off the table.

At the end of the discussion it appeared that perhaps the City Council and County Commission might schedule a discussion of the bypass issue at their respective upcoming meetings. Stay tuned.