Light rail, now well under way for a Sandy to Salt Lake connection, will not be stopped. However, there are some compelling reasons to consider a monorail alternative to any expansion considered for the project. A full-page advertisement by the Willmore Group Consultants in the April 25 Deseret News was very revealing.
Public officials cite the UDOT study to support the need for a light-rail solution to Salt Lake County's transportation needs. This study was conducted by a company with a vested interest in a light-rail solution.Add to the impeachable decision-making process a few facts:
1. Safety: Ground-based trains cannot turn or effectively stop to avoid hitting an object. To predict a certain number of deaths from light rail is statistically sound.
2. Speed: Ground-based trains must nec-essarily stop intersecting traffic, slowing their progress. The trains' heavy weight reduces acceleration, as well as braking, slowing light rail's progress.
3. Public will: The only public vote taken was whether a tax increase would be supported. This was rejected by an impressive margin, leading any thinking person to question public support.
4. Experience: Seattle, which enjoys a monorail system, has voted to approve expansion. Denver, St. Louis and Phoenix have voted against expansion of their light-rail systems.
5. Technology: Light-rail proponents agree that monorail technology is superior. Turn-key systems are available from multiple suppliers.
6. Appeal: A system that offers slower, less convenient travel than the automobile offers no compelling reason to park the auto and jump on a train.
According to Willmore Group, extensions to the light-rail system don't have to be light rail.
Monorail can be made to interface with light rail, for east/west routes, for example. Because alternatives still exist, this voter calls for a thorough, unbiased investigation of all alternatives before further committing us to a system that is arguably flawed.