LEHI Residents and members of several organizations from northern Utah County met Tuesday to lay out their worries about the proposed Mountain View Corridor. And there certainly was no shortage of concerns.
Yet cautions from most residents focused on potential ill-health consequences of a proposed 2100 North alignment of the corridor.
Members of several groups Citizens Organization for Smoother Transportation (COST), Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment and Utah Moms for Clean Air commended Lehi's City Council for raising the issue of a freeway cutting through Lehi. The City Council proposed a plan to the Utah Department of Transportation to have the Mountain View Corridor enter Lehi at 4800 North instead of the proposed 2100 North.
Residents and the City Council are upset with the proposed 2100 North proposal because it would go through a residential neighborhood.
COSTS's Dave Klock said the 4800 North plan is better than UDOT's plan because it would cost millions of dollars less and would be a more effective highway. A feasibility study done by the city provided a concept plan for the highway at 4800 North, which the city submitted to UDOT.
Brian Moench, a Utah physician and member of the physician's group, said the costs to health far outweigh the benefits of a corridor at 2100 North. Air pollution caused by thousands of cars on a highway is detrimental, especially to a child's health, and acts in the same way as secondhand tobacco smoke, he said. The pollution along the Wasatch Front makes everyone secondhand smokers, he said.
"We can choose not to smoke, but we can't choose not to breathe," he said.
He said studies have shown that pollution, especially for those living near freeways, increases morbidity rates in infants from diseases that are usually found in adults, such as heart disease, hypertension and diabetes; it also increases the rate of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, he said.
Cherise Udell, founder of Utah Moms for Clean Air, said that the children will be sacrificed if the corridor is built at 2100 North because of the increased air pollution.
"When we know ahead of time (that children will die) and we insist on going through with a project anyway, what can it be called other than human sacrifice?" she asked.
Klock said the meeting with the council was to make people aware of the possible implications from a freeway at 2100 North and encourage Utah County residents to attend the public hearings and make comments to UDOT.The Federal Highway Administration will ultimately decide where the corridor will be placed, but officials with the federal organization and with UDOT will consider comments from residents. The public hearing in Utah County will be today from 4 to 8 p.m. in Willow Creek Middle School in Lehi.