If the transportation changes proposed for Salt Lake County have the backing of the business community, they will be successful, according to Ted Beck, area manager of Parsons Brinkerhoff Engineering.
He told members of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce's board of governors that when the Urban Mass Transit Administration has two transportation proposals before it for approval and a limited amount of money to grant, the area with the most support from the community will win.In presenting an update on the transportation changes proposed for the county, which includes expanded bus service, a light-rail system and addition of lanes to I-15, Beck said the planning has reached the preliminary engineering stage when the Utah Transit Authority and the Utah Department of Transportation seriously look at the routes and environmental issues.
When the preliminary design is completed, UMTA will be asked for a grant, and having community support will help get the grant. Beck said the chamber is the key to moving the work forward.
Sometimes it is difficult to compare light-rail systems in other areas to Salt Lake County because each has its own characteristics, but light-rail systems in Portland, Ore., and Atlanta, Ga., are doing better than projected.
Mayor Palmer DePaulis said as people look at all of the transportation changes proposed for the county and learn that they will help clean up the air, they are beginning to support the idea.