SANDY A vocal group of residents from Draper said "no" on Wednesday to the idea of extending a TRAX light rail line through their neighborhoods in the city, saying the line would impact views, increase crime and have few riders.
Instead, the residents proposed the TRAX line be built closer to I-15 or nearer to a commercial or business area. Only a few people said the line should be built near the neighborhoods.
"We think that there's some real cost versus benefit issues here," said Summer Pugh, leader of a Draper group called Citizens for Responsible Transportation (CRT) that is fighting against the TRAX route. "There may be other routes that are better, where (residents) can better access TRAX in a more central location."
Pugh was one of a few dozen residents who attended a meeting Wednesday held by the Utah Transit Authority at Sprucewood Elementary. The meeting was to gather public comment about alternatives to a city-preferred TRAX route that would run from 10000 South in Sandy to about 14600 South in Draper. UTA's north-south line currently ends at 10000 South.
The preferred route is already owned by UTA and extends in a loop eastbound through primarily residential neighborhoods in the Draper area. The CRT tried last December to get a referendum approved so that Draper residents could vote on where the preferred TRAX route should run.
Draper officials rejected the referendum attempt because they said residents did not collect enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot for a vote. Members of the CRT have appealed the rejection to the Supreme Court and are in the process of submitting written arguments.
UTA officials said Wednesday their agency wasn't directly involved in the lawsuit but was watching it closely.
"We just want to get the people their public transportation that they've been asking us for," spokeswoman Carrie Bohnsack-Ware said.
For Ron Page of Draper, the issue with the TRAX line isn't its location, but more a matter of cost-effectiveness. He said during the meeting that he doesn't believe people will ride it.
But Jerry Borrowman of Sandy said people opposed to the line have forgotten the success of UTA's north-south TRAX line.
Draper mayor Darrell Smith said Wednesday that he believes residents will rally around the rail line once built.
"I just think the mushroom effect of acceptance will be very positive," he said.The public is invited to comment on the Draper TRAX extension and submit possible alternatives for consideration until Jan. 14. Additional information is available at: www.rideuta.com under the tab that says "Projects/Programs."
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