We are at a crossroads about how we are going to deal with transportation. Do we continue with Legacy Highway and more roads along with its sprawl-inducing nature, or do we begin to focus public money on mass transit, which historically has encouraged higher densities? It is found that the more viable public transit, the denser the growth without the intrusion of zoning, reducing pressure to use up all the farmland.
The proposed interurban along the Wasatch Front has the potential of extending commuting distances and growth. Safe and stress-free travel, time for yourself to catch up on some reading, some laptop work, money which would have gone to another car can go towards savings, more house, or mothers now have the opportunity to stay home with their children.Too much money is being put into roads, with still many roads and bridge structures throughout the state in dire need of repair; while more cost-effective rail and mass transit have been ignored for so long, that a tremendous amount of money is needed to bring about a balance in transportation.
Salt Lake City and the Wasatch Front have a unique opportunity to get more for their money because the bulk of the population lies in two directions instead of four, thereby increasing viability.
In any case, money for the interurban is doubtless not enough because the monopoly mentality of Union Pacific, which would put Microsoft to shame, has left us with insufficient rail infrastructure. This is already causing many freight rail delays along the Wasatch Front, which we will have to assist in alleviating if we are going to expect the trains to run on time.
A congested I-15 is the best incentive to get people on the interurban. Build Legacy Highway and you only postpone the inevitable.
Bruce B. Allen
Salt Lake City