The City of Orem wants to follow poet Robert Frost's counsel and take the "road less traveled."
Orem and Provo are at odds over the future function of Carterville Road, a winding road on the west side of the Provo riverbottoms that stretches to the mouth of Provo Canyon.Orem would like to leave the road as is, a windy, rural road - but Provo wants the road to be improved or closed off with another access from the Provo side.
According to Orem City Manager Daryl Berlin, "Our City Council is prepared to ensure that Carterville Road doesn't take too much more traffic."
Berlin said Orem has looked at the possible functions of the road and has hired an independent traffic consultant to give another opinion.
"My gut feeling is that all studies will show that the road can't handle any extra traffic," Berlin said.
Richard Secrist, Provo's assistant community development director, agrees that the road could be left in a rural state, but something will have to be changed as the area develops more.
"The Provo City Council has approved the new Riverwoods Research Park," Secrist said. This will cause more traffic in the area, especially as the second phase of the park is constructed.
"We basically agree with the proposal to make a dead end of Carterville Road, if we get another access road from the Provo side," he said.
And, according to Secrist, Orem hasn't been willing to give that.
Orem's senior planner, Jim Wilbur, said the city feels Provo has enough accesses already.
"We had it worked out with the developer to close off the road," Berlin said. But Provo still wanted access to the road.
Orem City believes that any extra traffic from the residential area or the proposed business park should be directed to Center Street or east to Canyon Road.
Wilbur said the developers told Orem that they didn't want to encourage traffic into the residential area.
"We are not saying `no' to development or `no' to access, we are just saying we need to look at these things based on more information," Wilbur said.
But Secrist said there will have to be some give, maybe on both sides, because when the technology park expands, there will assuredly be more traffic.
After discussing the situation a few weeks ago, both cities decided to step back and take a look at the situation.According to Wilbur, both cities have recognized the road as a possible collector area (an area with heavier traffic than a local or rural street), but Orem's City Council is planning to change that designation.
Though collector is not the exact designation of the entire Carterville Road, it may function as a collector road sometimes and in some places, Wilbur said. But it does not do so all the time.
Occasionally people do drive through the area, but a specific collector designation would mean an intent for possible future expansion, he said. "And if we started encouraging traffic by a new designation, we would lose the character and design of the road."