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Thread: Toll in Big Cottonwood Canyon

  1. #1

    Toll in Big Cottonwood Canyon

    Articles in both papers today about the recommendation to implement a toll in Big Cottonwood Canyon. I don't drive up that canyon more than a couple times a year. When I do go up it always seems to be a madhouse. Even though this study is only a recommendation, and it's been discussed for years, I'm certain this is going to happen, and sooner rather than later.

    http://www.sltrib.com/news/5195044-1...dents-say-toll

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/8...od-Canyon.html
    Are we there yet?

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  3. #2
    Moderator jman's Avatar
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    Toll in Big Cottonwood Canyon

    That idea has never crossed my mind, but now that it has, it makes sense.

    It will be like a Mill Creek Canyon or Mueller Park in Bountiful.

    :(

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  4. #3
    Double taxation to use public land - NO THANK YOU

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe View Post
    Double taxation to use public land - NO THANK YOU
    Playing the devil's advocate but, why would having to pay a fee up the canyon be any different than paying a fee to enter our national parks like we do now? They are both public land.
    Are we there yet?

  6. #5
    Don't know that I'm either for or against a fee for BCC. I just know that the fee program has helped fund many projects up AF Canyon that we wouldn't have been able to do without it (very large trail reroutes for example). Besides the canyon improvements, it helps pay for a big summer trail crew as well as paying for more full-time, year-round Rangers. It also helps pay for a full-time law enforcement officer and Utah County Sheriffs patrols.
    Are we there yet?

  7. #6
    I probably drive up BCC 50 times from November to April and another 20 times the rest of the year. I would be good with a toll as long as the money is used to upgrade parking in the canyon. In a perfect world it would lower traffic levels, but the toll in Millcreek doesn't seem to do much to stop traffic.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by tallsteve View Post
    Playing the devil's advocate but, why would having to pay a fee up the canyon be any different than paying a fee to enter our national parks like we do now? They are both public land.
    User fees of any type for access to public land are a pet peeve of mine.... user fees are discrimination against the poor and by association the young as most the young have little disposable income (think college students ect.)

    Where is the left when you actually need them to protest something of importance?

  9. #8
    I think it's a bad idea too. There are too many climbs up the canyons to make them have tolls.

  10. #9
    I think we'll see more of this as the population grows and as funding continues to be cut for public lands maintenance.

    Last time I went up Big Cottonwood Canyon almost every parking space in the entire canyon was filled and then some.

    Eventually a shuttle bus might be needed (seriously). I wouldn't mind paying a fee for a shuttle bus.
    Utah is a very special and unique place. There is no where else like it on earth. Please take care of it and keep the remaining wild areas in pristine condition. The world will be a better place if you do.

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe View Post
    User fees of any type for access to public land are a pet peeve of mine.... user fees are discrimination against the poor and by association the young as most the young have little disposable income (think college students ect.)

    Where is the left when you actually need them to protest something of importance?
    Pet peeve of mine too.

    I belong to a couple of local groups where this issue is on the radar (SLCA, Save Our Canyons). I've hosted a meeting at my house to discuss strategy to address some of these concerns. Recently attended a policy meeting (within the last two weeks).

    Right or left...what people can do besides wishing someone else would protest something, is get involved.

    The solution(s) to traffic and parking issues up the local canyons aren't easy...

    Was interesting to consider the impact of the toll booth at Millcreek Canyon. Is there less people, traffic, litter, car smash-and-grabs? Nope. Maybe it had an impact but I haven't seen it and the crime reports don't show a huge dip in car break ins.

    Huge urban area next to some pretty nice mountains with easy access.

  12. #11
    I've never had an issue with parking in either canyon, but I only go there to climb. The only spot I ever see too crowded is the S-curve. But they already have a toll of sorts where you have to pay to park at Storm Mountain. They could do something similar at the S-curve. Park on the road for free, park in the parking lots for a cost.

  13. #12
    Yeah, I don't think a fee reduces traffic enough to notice but, from my experience with AF Canyon, it does give the Forest Service (or whoever has stewardship) the resources to deal somewhat with the massive amounts of canyon users.
    Are we there yet?

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  15. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by qedcook View Post
    I've never had an issue with parking in either canyon, but I only go there to climb. The only spot I ever see too crowded is the S-curve. But they already have a toll of sorts where you have to pay to park at Storm Mountain. They could do something similar at the S-curve. Park on the road for free, park in the parking lots for a cost.
    The Storm Mountain picnic area is a fee for use of the facilities, not for parking per se. If you aren't using the day use facilities, then, walk in and no fee. The parking is for day use and the facilities.

    Be tough for the Scurves area...its just trailhead parking with a pit toilet or two. Accesses venues on either side of the road, both hiking and climbing.

    In the winter...parking is problematic on the weekends. Spruces, Butler Fork, Beartrap, Scurves...all those places get jammed for parking.

    In the summer, the doughnut falls area parking lot is jammed with folks. But, you can park on the road and walk in.

    I hate fees and I hate having to leave my 80 dollar pass on my dash for anyone to smash and grab. In Canada they have a transferable hang tag. Wish we'd go to that.

  16. #14
    Basin Cruiser BasinCruiser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe View Post
    User fees of any type for access to public land are a pet peeve of mine.... user fees are discrimination against the poor and by association the young as most the young have little disposable income (think college students ect.)

    Where is the left when you actually need them to protest something of importance?
    In addition, user fees are also a tax for a government service (maintenance of public lands) levied ONLY on those who directly benefit from or use that service. If you don't want to go up the canyon, you don't have to pay for that service of maintenance of the canyon. If that's the model the government wants to follow, then they should make it a standard across the entire platform. There are plenty of other government funded interests, programs, project that I personally may not only benefit from, but actually not agree with funding. However, I don't have the option to pick and choose which of those items I want to support and help pay for. I have to pay my taxes (in its myriad of forms - property, income, sales, etc.) into general funds, which are then distributed to fund these jurisdictionally supported projects.

    Trumps Border Wall - I have no choice of whether or not I want to help pay for that. Why is the funding for that not set up the same as the proposal for maintenance of BCC/LCC? Put up toll booths along the border wall and charge a toll for people who want to come across - use that to pay for the wall, not make all tax paying citizens in the entire country pay for it.

    Of course, I say this tongue in cheek. Even I can argue for and against possible societal benefits of building a wall. However, I can just as easily argue societal benefits to the Wasatch Front community for having well maintained canyons with proper facilities that are experienced by more than just those who visit the canyons.

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  18. #15
    The bottom line is, they saw a YUGE opportunity to make some extra cash and they're doing just that.

  19. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by tallsteve View Post
    Playing the devil's advocate but, why would having to pay a fee up the canyon be any different than paying a fee to enter our national parks like we do now? They are both public land.
    Yeah, I agree with you.

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