There is a wasteland out there that pedestrians fear to tread, it stretches for miles from downtown all the way to Draper, at one time it was the main route for travelers in the region when it was Route 89 and 91 and nobody had heard of Interstate 15. Today, the street is still there but it has become a waste land of car dealerships, a few restaurants and not much else for miles on. Bad planning has created a street that is not friendly to the pedestrian but is only used by motorist to get from point A to point B.
I have stated before that Murray has missed a big opportunity. When the plans were first announced for the Murray Central TRAX station, there was mention of transit oriented development were pedestrians and transit riders are taken into account. Instead we got a Costco and a hospital complex neither one that is very pedestrian friendly. There is no connection from TRAX to the State Street area or to the west. So much opportunity lost.
Murray is now working on the Murray North Station at 4400 South. Once again we hear great plans for a transit oriented development. We will see what happens but so far the only action is the new Deseret Industries building that is not pedestrian friendly.
Now here is some ideas to improve State Street and make it a more pedestrian friendly area:
1. In areas where TRAX Stations and State Street are close together (1300 South, 2100 South, 3300 South, 3900 South, 4400 South, 5300 South, 7800 South) create planning zones that integrate the two areas to make State Street more pedestrian friendly.
2. Right now State Street seems to be a sea of car dealerships. Car dealerships sprawled out the way they are on State are a deterrent to a pedestrian friendly area. How many people do you see walking down state street from 3900 South to 5900 South? The answer is not many. The City of Murray and to a lesser extent South Salt Lake should work with the dealerships to decrease the car dealerships footprints. Reducing the footprints not only benefits the city by opening up areas to development, it benefits the car dealerships by reducing their property taxes.
3. Look to create green spaces between the TRAX stations and State Street.
By doing this we improve transit oriented development, pedestrian friendliness, and to improve several miles of State Street.