Dozens protest in South Salt Lake to “save our streets”

Dozens protest in South Salt Lake to “save our streets”

(KUTV) Dozens in South Salt Lake turned out in force Saturday morning to protest, demanding two streets in their neighborhood be re-opened.

Parts of Truman Avenue and Burton Avenue were closed a few weeks ago to allow car dealership Salt Lake Valley Chrysler Dodge to expand.

Many neighbors have long opposed the plan and they haven't been successful so far. They hope a court hearing Monday will change that.

“They’re helping one business, they're not helping the residents,” said protest organizer and resident Jeanette Potter.

“It adds on 10 minutes to my commute time,” added resident Seth Losser of the road closures.

The neighbors rallied near the dealership Saturday. They were joined by Craig Cook, an attorney representing a group of neighbors and property owners who are suing.

“We’re hoping that the judge will overturn that decision of the council and reopen the streets,” Cook said.

Neighbors argue the closures will lead to more traffic, lower property values, and slower response times in emergencies.

“Time is of the essence when there's an emergency,” said resident Tammi Diaz.

Cook believes the law is on the side of residents. He said the dealership originally petitioned the city in 2008, but a year later, the Legislature tightened the standard for closing a street.

“One person -- if they are harmed by the closure of a street -- the city can't close it,” Cook told 2News.

The city voted to close parts of the two streets in December.

“There's hundreds of residents that are being inconvenienced,” said Potter.

That's what neighbors say. Whether the judge agrees remains to be seen. The court hearing is scheduled for Monday afternoon at Matheson Courthouse, according to Cook.

Bruce Baird, an attorney for the dealership, released the following statement to 2News Saturday evening:

"Most of what the very small group of protesters (who mostly don't live on the two streets) said to your reporter was false. The matter is before the court so I won't comment on the details except to say that we believe that the City Council 's decision was correct and supported by the facts and the law."

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