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Virginia Street Reconstruction (South Temple to 11th Avenue)

Virginia Street Reconstruction (South Temple to 11th Avenue)

Project Update (April 2024): The City’s Construction Management team is getting a contractor under contract. Construction is anticipated in late spring/early summer of 2024. The City will have a construction timeline after the contractor is on-board. It is anticipated that construction timing information will be provided in the May newsletter and at the May Community Council meeting. As of now, most of the elements shown in the concept are still included in the design; however, some adjustments have been made. Please select the Engineering Design drop-down menu to review changes from the concept design.

Project Overview

Reconstruction of Virginia Street from South Temple to 11th Avenue is expected to begin in May and complete in late 2024/early 2025. Improvements include pavement restoration, continuous sidewalks on the west side, uphill bike lanes, improved bus stops, and intersection safety upgrades. During this work, nearby residents may experience an increase in noise, vibration, and dust. Motorists should consider using alternate routes to avoid traffic delays due to flagging operations.

Final Concept Design

2023 Engagement Summary Report

Fall 2022 Engagement Summary Report

This report includes a detailed summary of the feedback we received during our public engagement efforts in the fall of 2022.

FAQ

What is being done to slow traffic?

This project will add speed cushions along Virginia Street to help slow vehicles. Speed cushions are a traffic calming measure similar to a speed hump but designed with wheel cutouts specifically to accommodate emergency vehicles like fire trucks (click here for more information on speed cushions). People riding bicycles downhill will also be able to use the wheel cutouts to avoid going over the cushion.

Bulb-outs are also proposed at various locations on the west side of Virginia Street. Bulb outs improve safety by shortening the crossing distance for people walking. Additionally, they provide a visual narrowing of the road that tends to slow drivers.

Are you connecting the missing pieces of sidewalk on the west side?

Yes

Why aren’t you adding park strips between the sidewalk and travelway?

The project is not adding park strips, the landscaped areas between the road and sidewalk, because Virginia Street does not have consistently wide enough space to add them.

What are the proposed widths for the sidewalk, bike lane, and travel lanes?

Travel lane widths will vary between 10 and 12 feet. The bike lane widths will be between 7 and 8 feet, including a striped buffer. And sidewalk widths are expected to be 5 feet.

Why is a bike lane being added on such a steep road?

A bike lane will provide people riding bicycles uphill with a dedicated space to ride and will add consistency and predictability for people driving as they won’t need to navigate around people riding bicycles uphill.

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan, which is used to guide the implementation of bikeways in the City, identifies a buffered bike lane as the recommended bikeway type for Virginia Street. Virginia Street is one of many routes in the area identified as future bikeways. To learn more, click the link above.

Why aren’t you installing a physical barrier between the bike lane and vehicle travel lane?

Virginia Street is not wide enough to install a physical barrier, like a curb, between the bike lane and travel lane.

Are more crosswalks being added?

Yes, the project adds new crossings at 1st Avenue and Federal Heights Drive. Crosswalks will be striped across Virginia Street at 3rd Avenue and 11th Avenue.

Please note that the crosswalk at the church (approximately 275 North Virginia Street) will be removed and relocated to Federal Heights Drive because it does not meet standards in its current location as it leads pedestrians into driveways.

Will on-street parking be allowed on Virginia Street?

East Side: All on-street parking on the east side of Virginia Street will be removed. The road is not wide enough to maintain east-side on-street parking and the other elements of the project.

West Side: Some on-street parking will remain on the west side of Virginia Street, mostly in locations where the road is wider.

However, no parking will be allowed on two blocks where new sidewalk connections will be made and the right-of-way is narrow: South Temple to 1st Avenue and 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue. There isn’t sufficient width in these blocks to provide both on-street parking and the other roadway elements included in the project.

How was this decision made: During concept design the transportation team conducted a parking evaluation, recording the number of parked vehicles during multiple hours of the day. This was compared to the existing parking supply and the demand for parking was found to be low.


Design Renders


Map of the Virginia Street Project Extent, which runs the length of Virginia Street from 11th Avenue to South Temple.

Project Timeline, Updates & Funding

March – July 2022Community input period and existing conditions investigation
December 2022Draft conceptual design available for community input
Early 2023                                           Final design available to the public
Spring – Fall 2024Construction

December 2022 Update

December 2022 Update

The draft concept design is available for review and comment.

The concept design is based on feedback from the public collected during several outreach efforts in 2022, evaluation of existing roadway and traffic conditions, and feasibility of implementing changes within City right-of-way. Key components of the draft concept include continuous sidewalks on the west side, uphill bike lanes, traffic calming elements, improved bus stops, and intersection improvements. The implementation of all elements shown in the draft concept design are dependent on engineering review and design and funding availability.

On-street parking availability on Virginia Street will change as a result of this project. All on-street parking on the east side of Virginia Street will be removed. The width used by the existing parking aisle is needed in this narrow corridor in order to provide the other roadway elements included in the project. Although parking will remain on the west side of Virginia Street, there will be no parking allowed on the blocks where the sidewalk is being proposed: South Temple to 1st Avenue and 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue.

November 2022 Update

November 2022 Update

Thank you to all the residents that showed up in the cold and rain to provide feedback at our pop-up event at Reservoir Park on November 5th!

The responses we heard have helped our team explore the positives and negatives of our preliminary design solutions/recommendations. We are currently refining these solutions, incorporating the issues that were identified and plan to have a draft concept ready for comment by early December.

Here are some highlights of the feedback we received at the traffic calming event:

  • A variety of responses on bike lanes from residents: some responses in support, some responses against because of realistic need, and some neutral responses.
  • Most residents were in favor of the reduction in on street parking along the corridor. Some residents were opposed to the reduction in parking, in lieu of bike lanes.
  • Medians along the corridor create issues with the crown of the road.
  • More stop signs were requested with LED flashers included.
  • Deer crossing sign near the intersection with 5th Avenue.
  • Speed feedback sign installation before construction starts.
  • Mid-block speed cushions between 3rd and 4th Avenues.
  • Install traffic calming treatments in adjacent neighborhoods during construction.
  • Tighten the southbound turn from 11th Avenue onto Virginia Street.
  • Install Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) if feasible.

Our team looks forward to hearing your comments on the draft concept and that will be available on this page once the details are finished. Thank you for all of your support and input. It will help this project reflect the neighborhood vision and create a coherent corridor for all users.

September 2022 Update

September 2022 Update

Thank you to all the residents that took our survey this past April and May!

Common issues identified by survey respondents were speeding, traffic noise, poor walking experience, missing sidewalks and too few places to cross the street, a variety of problems related to the curve in the street between 1st and 2nd Avenue, lack of bike lanes, inconsistent stop signs, and some poor sight lines at corners.

View PDF of survey results here

Almost 250 residents and neighbors completed our survey. 40 survey respondents indicated they live on Virginia Street itself. Of these:

  • 68% walk frequently on Virginia Street
  • 40% bicycle on Virginia Street
  • 18% take the 223 or F11 buses
  • Most own their homes
  • 2.5% are 22-30 years old, 7.5% are 31-40, 30% are 41-50, 12.5% are 51-60, and 45% are over 60

For the remainder of the respondents:

  • Half of them walk or bike on Virginia
  • They are demographically identical to respondents to this survey as a whole

Frequently cited issues from everyone include:

  • Speeding, especially downhill traffic
  • Traffic noise
  • Poor walking experience due to missing or narrow sidewalks and too few places to cross Virginia Street
  • Dangerous driving conditions when roads are slick from snow, at the curve between 1st and 2nd Avenues, and at the 11th Avenue intersection (no uphill stop)
  • Lack of (at least uphill) bike lanes
  • Poorly maintained and seemingly ineffective median islands
  • Poor sight lines and overgrown vegetation at some intersections

Your comments and ideas will make the project so much better. Over the next few months, the City’s Transportation and Engineering Divisions will work on developing design solutions/recommendations for the issues that you identified.

Funding

Funding

The reconstruction of Virginia Street is one of the projects funded through the 2018 voter-approved Funding Our Future bond, part of the Funding Our Future initiative. 


Contact Us

To be added to the project email list for construction updates, please send us an email.

Email | virginiastreet@slcgov.com

Social Media | @SLCmoves @SLCgov

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