Honors students help leaders understand transportation issues

Some students from the U are trying to make Salt Lake City a better place to live.

This past year, an honors class focused its efforts on revitalizing downtown Salt Lake.

Thursday, the U’s Honors Think Tank will present Salt Lake City officials with information from the study of the history and people surrounding the city’s new Intermodal Transportation Hub.

For the past four months, the students have directed their attention to the area around the new Intermodal Transportation Hub.

The Intermodal Transportation Hub, which is located behind the Union Pacific Station, is eventually where the commuter rail, which will run from Ogden and Provo, will meet TRAX and the Greyhound bus lines.

The Honors Think Tank is a class of 14 students “designed to confront a problem facing the community,” said Daniel Young, a member of the class. Keith Bartholomew, dean of the College of Architecture and Planning, teaches the class this semester.

During Fall Semester, the class had guest speakers, including Mayor Rocky Anderson, who “helped the group develop a complex understanding of the social issues facing downtown Salt Lake,” Young said.

This semester, the class split into groups to learn about the history and people in the area.

“In these two blocks, there’s tons of stories of people fulfilling the American dream,” said Young.

He mentioned Antonio Feran, “Pasta King of the West,” who once made pasta with his 25 employees across the street from where the new hub will be.

Students also asked people who live around the hub what they would like to see happen to their neighborhood.

A lot of them talked about the homeless population. Some people are scared, while others think it is a good thing they are there, Young said.

The teenagers of the neighborhood want a skate park so they don’t get in trouble for skating on the Delta Center steps.

Citizens also mentioned maintaining the diversity of the area, which used to be home to many Italians and railroad workers.

To hear the Think Tank present its group study findings at an open house, students can go to the new Intermodal Transportation Hub, located at the intersection of 200 South and 600 West, from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday.

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