Environmentalists, educators, concerned citizens and all-around good neighbors gathered at the annual Salt Lake City Neighborhood Conference Saturday to discuss transportation and numerous other issues.
"Beam Me Up Scotty" was the theme transportation enthusiasts called their session dealing with future transportation problems in Salt Lake City.Paul Burchard, member of the Mayor's Bicycle Committee, outlined plans for future bike routes in the city. Plans include a route along the Jordan River by 900 West, which will also be used as a walking and equestrian trail, as well as plans to designate, with signs and road markings, space on major roads for cyclists.
"We want there to be a significant number (of people riding their bikes to work), but we're not trying to be Peking, China," said Burchard.
Mike Allegra, of the Utah Transit Authority, outlined UTA's plans for combating the inevitable increase in traffic expected to plague Utah within the next 20 to 30 years. Allegra blames the expected increase on future employment growing twice as fast as population. He explained that with such an increase in employment, most people will be commuting to work, causing potential gridlock on Utah's freeways.
UTA's "Transplan 2000" plans to alleviate these problems by increasing the frequency of bus service. In the year 2000, a Utahn can expect to catch a bus at any bus stop without having to wait longer than 10 minutes, said Allegra. UTA also plans to increase night and holiday services as well as flextran bus service for the handicapped.
"The inconvenience of the bus system is what's stopping people from using it," Allegra explained. "We will be increasing frequency and expanding the areas covered to make the bus services more convenient."
Transplan 2000 also includes the proposed light-rail bus system which Allegra says, "works in other major cities, and will work here." Salt Lake County commissioners will decide on May 29 whether or not the issue will be voted on.