Clear the Air Challenge: Week One

On week one of the Clear The Air Challenge we at Lloyd Architects are re-connecting with our bike-friendly streets.  I am glad to have 600 East on my morning and evening commute path.  Perhaps one of the greenest streets in Salt Lake City, the 9-block stretch of 600 East from South Temple to Liberty Park is a great place to see from a bicycle or on foot.

Now 600 East is not the street you would want to be on if you were running late for school in the morning. The signals at 100 to 500 South are better timed for people pushing shopping carts with kids in tow than for cyclists in a hurry.  However, from 900 South at the stately entrance gates to Liberty Park, as you walk or bike northward along this tree-lined boulevard that is the backbone of the Central City Historic District, you experience a rhythm of porches, bay windows, and dormers that you miss from behind the windshield.

With a rich stock of “Victorian eclectic” houses lining its northern and southern edges, the street has one of the few remaining landscaped parkways in the city. The grass medians are a lasting benefit of Utah Light and Traction Company’s construction of a consolidated streetcar system that included a “mammoth car barn [which] had a capacity for 144 double truck cars.”

The mission-style trolley barns now known as Trolley Square have come to define this street as truly the original Transit Oriented Development of our City.

The latest remake of Trolley Square which now includes the noontime organic salad mecca Whole Foods just got a huge boost with the announcement that Sam Weller’s Bookstore will relocate its home to Trolley in the near future.

What streets have you re-discovered away from the windshield?