Coalition to rally tonight against South Davis light rail

Published: Monday, March 29 2010 4:05 p.m. MDT

BOUNTIFUL — A group of southern Davis County residents is planning to rally tonight to show disapproval over a proposal to bring a light-rail system down Main streets in Centerville and Bountiful.

The Utah Transit Authority is in the closing stages of an environmental study that examines the impacts of an electrically powered streetcar system. Public comment on the study closes Wednesday.

The streetcar was selected as the most likely option to be built following an analysis of various transit alternatives. The studies were mandated as part of the settlement ending the lawsuit that blocked the construction of the Legacy Parkway.

Tonight's rally, which begins at 7 p.m., will be held on Main Street between 100 South and 200 South and was organized by the Davis County Community Coalition, which formed to gather community support against a proposed petroleum coke plant in West Bountiful in 2009.

In a news release, the coalition states that a light-rail system would essentially eliminate parking, generate congestion and create safety issues for children and the elderly.

From UTA's perspective, the light-rail system would alleviate future congestion and pollution from the growing number of cars on Davis County roads over the next 30 years.

It would play a part in a balanced transportation system, UTA spokesman Gerry Carpenter has said. But the coalition says light rail would change the feeling of the community.

"The purpose of the rally is to draw support from the community in order to send a strong message to the UTA and Bountiful City officials that rail on Main Street is not the public's preferred option," the release states. "We love the hometown suburban feel. That's why we chose to live here in South Davis County."

The proposed project has not been funded by UTA and likely wouldn't qualify for federal funding.

Comments may be submitted via the project's Web site at www.rideuta.com. Click "projects" and "South Davis Transit Study." Comments may also be submitted in writing to South Davis Transit Corridor Project, c/o H.W. Lochner, 1245 E. Brickyard Road, Suite 400, Salt Lake City, UT, 84106.

Comments submitted by Wednesday's deadline will be addressed in the final environmental report.

A copy of the draft environmental report is available online and at city halls in Salt Lake City, North Salt Lake, Woods Cross, West Bountiful, Bountiful, Centerville and Farmington.

e-mail: jdougherty@desnews.com

twitter: desnewsdavis

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