What is the background of this project?
The Midvalley Connector project is building upon the previously-completed Taylorsville-Murray Transit Environmental Study Report (ESR) and the Taylorsville Expressway BRT Master Plan. The 2013 ESR identified a Preferred Alternative for a new bus rapid transit (BRT) system from the Murray Central Station to Salt Lake Community College (SLCC). The 2015 Taylorsville Expressway BRT Master Plan recommended additional features and refinements to the ESR’s recommendations along a segment of 4500/4700 South in Taylorsville (from approximately Atherton Drive to Redwood Road). The master plan recommended features to create a “complete street” along this portion of the route, including facilities to support various transportation modes (including walking and cycling) and urban amenities and design features such as uniﬁed streetscapes, signage, and architectural and landscape treatments.
What is the Midvalley Connector project?
The Midvalley Connector project will refine the Preferred Alternative identified in the 2013 Taylorsville-Murray Transit Environmental Study Report and the complete street improvements recommended in the Taylorsville Expressway BRT Master Plan, and complete an updated ESR and prepare the design for the BRT route from Murray through Taylorsville and West Valley.
Who is leading the project?
The project is being led by the City of Taylorsville, in close coordination with Murray City, West Valley City, the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC) and Salt Lake County.
What is bus rapid transit (BRT)?
Bus rapid transit (BRT) is a high-quality transit system that delivers fast, comfortable, and cost-effective transit service. BRT has faster, more frequent bus service; larger capacity buses; the addition of dedicated, bus-only lanes; and iconic stations with improved user amenities like off-board fare collection, real-time messaging, lighting and benches.
There are several BRT projects across Utah, including the 3500 MAX line and the most recent project that is currently under construction—the Utah Valley Express.
Why is the project needed?
In general, the existing transit network lacks a high‐quality, reliable, efficient, and direct transit connection from FrontRunner and TRAX to local and regional destinations in and between Murray, Taylorsville and West Valley. In addition, transit service demand and the need for alternative mobility options will increase as the population in the area and SLCC student enrollment continue to grow.
The project will:
- Provide a local and regional connection from the Murray Central TRAX and FrontRunner Station to Salt Lake Community College and the West Valley Central TRAX Station.
- Improve transit service quality, frequency, and reliability to attract riders.
- Potentially sustain and enhance the local economy by encouraging redevelopment and improving accessibility to existing and planned developments.
- Increase transit capacity and provide an alternative mode of transportation for the future population and student travel demand.
What is an ESR?
An Environmental Study Report (ESR) is a public document that provides and discloses a full and open evaluation of alternatives and potential environmental issues to aid in decision-making. Specifically, it includes the following:
- Purpose and Need: Briefly describes the need for the project and defines the goals and objectives the study will address
- Alternatives Development and Analysis: Identifies, analyzes and screens potential alternatives on how they meet the project need and their potential impacts; identifies a Preferred Alternative
- Analysis and Documentation of Impacts to Environmental Resources: Evaluates and describes potential impacts (both positive and negative) of the proposed alternatives to the human and natural environment
- Draft ESR: Draft report of the above findings; distributed for public review and comment
- Final ESR and Decision Document: Documents final approval of the Preferred Alternative
How long will the Environmental Study Report (ESR) take to complete?
The Final ESR and Decision Document are estimated to be complete in Winter 2018/2019
What are dedicated BRT lanes?
Dedicated lanes are designated for the exclusive use of BRT buses to help the buses bypass congestion and improve travel times for the BRT system. The segment along 4500/4700 South from approximately Atherton Drive to Redwood Road in Taylorsville is planned for dedicated lanes in the center of the 4700 South right-of-way. This portion of the road currently consists of a center median and two travel lanes in each direction, with wide shoulders on both sides of the street. The center median in its current configuration separates vehicular traffic and is planned to be modified to the dedicated BRT lane.
The new dedicated BRT lane will not take the place of any existing travel lanes for vehicles. This segment of 4500/4700 South will continue to have two travel lanes in each direction, as well as the additional BRT lane in place of the current center median area. For the rest of the BRT route, the buses will travel in the standard vehicle travel lanes (referred to as “mixed-use lanes”) like local buses currently do.
When will construction begin?
Currently there is no funding for construction of the project. After the Final Environmental Study Report (ESR) and Decision Document are approved, the Preferred Alternative can advance to design, right‐of‐way acquisition, and construction. Once funding has been identified, construction could begin as soon as 2020, following final design.
Will this route take the place of bus route 47 or other local routes currently serving the area?
Specific details about the BRT service, including coordination with existing local routes, will be determined through close coordination with the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) throughout the course of the project. Ultimately, UTA will be responsible for operations, pricing/ticketing and maintenance of the route. It is anticipated that route 47 will continue providing service, in addition to the new BRT route.
How can I provide input or comments?
Throughout the course of the project, comments and questions can be directed to the project team through the project website (www.midvalleyconnector.com), email (email@example.com) or phone (801.355.1112). The Draft ESR will be available for public review and comment in November 2018. At that time, a public open house will be held to provide detailed information about the project and gather public comment.