Avenues residents frown on Main Street
Deseret News 7Jan99
By Spencer K. Young: Deseret News staff writer
A public meeting held at the Sweet Library on Wednesday,
January 6th was attended by about 200 residents of the Avenues
area of Salt Lake City. The residents oppose a plan proposed
last month by the LDS Church and Salt Lake Mayor Deedee Corradini
to close Main Street in Salt Lake City between North and South
Temple. The street lies between two city blocks owned by the
Church, Temple Square and the Church's administrative headquarters
block. The plan would turn the block into a pedestrian plaza and
underground parking facility.
The Church hired Salt Lake Attorney Marc N. Mascaro to promote
its proposal. "I go to public meetings for contractors all the
time," he said. "The people who come to the meetings don't support
Residents opposing the plan worrie about traffic problems that
would be caused by closing the street, and some called for more
study to make sure that the plan would not increase traffic into
The Church already acquired the land under the street and will
begin constructing the 650-car parking facility in the spring.
Church officials want to build the park when the parking facility
is completed. However, the Church's architects have not decided
what features the plaza would have. Under consideration are a
fountain, a bike lane and an amphitheater.
Other residents say they oppose the plan because it would only
benefit members of the LDS Church. "(The plaza) is not intended
for non-Mormons," said resident Cheri Roshek. "It won't be any
more inclusive than the rest of Temple Square."
Mascaro also noted that Salt Lake taxpayers will not have to pay
anything for the plaza, and that the Church would be prohibited
from constructing buildings on the plaza. Salt Lake City Councilman
Tom Rogan told the attendees that a Council committee will study
the proposal "critically."