Breaking the Blocks

Salt Lake City is looking to improve the alleys and walkways that cut through our large downtown blocks. This site is the place to keep up to date on the City's efforts to improve our walkways and alleys downtown. We are always listening, tell us what would make you love the alleys and walkways downtown on our Speak Out page.


Sal Lake City has set up a texting service to get your thoughts and ideas about improving our alleyways! Text us at 801-430-9906 or let us know your thoughts at our online forum!

Imagine the Possibilities

In 2010, students from the University of Utah College of Architecture and Planning under the direction of Dean Brenda Scheer, looked at how to improve the alleyways in Salt Lake City. Shown is just one of the illustrative renderings created by the class that displays the possible improvements that could be implemented in these spaces.

Latest Updates

A long-awaited update

In the last year since we hosted the walking tours of some mid-block walkways downtown, we have been sidetracked by a much larger project that is closely related to this one. The Downtown Master Plan is a 25-year vision and policy plan that will direct growth and development in Downtown Salt Lake City. This includes development of mid-block streets and walkways.

Last spring, in conjunction with the Congress for New Urbanism conference hosted here in Salt Lake, we released an early version of the Mid-block Walkway Design Guidelines. Our current zoning code directs property owners and developers to these guidelines, which never existed until now. These draft guidelines will continue to be honed as the Downtown Master Plan develops.

Since last spring, we have held two Urban Design Debates associated with the Downtown Master Plan the results of which have a direct impact on the Walkable SLC project. The SixtyNine Seventy competition provided our city with countless ideas for the development of the spaces between buildings (like our mid-block streets and walkways) and was the focus of the first Debate. The second Debate broadened the conversation beyond the Central Business District and asked participants to apply their creativity on a larger scale, looking at major landmarks, views, and districts. Both Debates will contribute to the creation of an Urban Design Framework for the downtown. Mid-block streets and walkways are a key component of this emerging framework.

I invite you to read through the DRAFT Mid-block Walkway Design Guidelines and share your comments.

Thanks for Participating!

We had a large turnout for the walking tours held last month and appreciate everyone who took valuable time out of their day to participate.  Your thoughtful comments and feedback are invaluable to the development of good walkway policies for our downtown area.

Our chalkboards were up for over a month and now have been taken down as we wrap up our initial public outreach campaign. We have collected hundreds of great comments from the chalkboards! Thanks for your participation! The feedback we received from this outreach will help us as we develop a policy proposal for Salt Lake City’s downtown walkways and will help inform our elected officials about what you would like to see in our alleys and walkways.

The team is working to compile the comments we have received and will post a summary online soon. We will also update this page with more information as walkway policies are drafted in order to get your feedback.

Although our chalkboards have been packed up, if you have thoughts about what you’d like to see in our downtown alleys and midblock walkways, please visit our Speak Out page and leave us a comment!