PROVO — Another freeway, smaller arterial roads and transit could be transportation solutions in north Utah County, depending on what the people want.

The Mountainland Association of Governments Metropolitan Planning Organization, in conjunction with the Utah Department of Transportation, Utah Transit Authority and north Utah County cities, is conducting a study of east-west transportation options based solely on public input.

Workshops will be held throughout north Utah County for residents from all cities to give input for what type of transportation they think will be the best to accommodate current and future problems.

"We're here with no preconceived ideas," said Shawn Seager, a project member with MAG. "We'll hear what their preferences are (first)" before they design transportation solutions.

Population projections from the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget estimate that the population of Utah County in 2030 will be 900,000 and 1.2 million by 2040, with the majority of the growth happening in the west side of valley. Projections show that Eagle Mountain, Saratoga Springs and Lehi will be the largest cities in the north county when they are built out.

During the February workshops, residents can vote for what type of transportation they prefer. MAG and the two companies conducting the study, HW Lochner and InterPlan, will take the suggestions and design different possible roads, which will then be put into models and will show how fluidly those options would work, said Jason Phillips, the project manager with HW Lochner. The study and roads will also take into account community and environmental impacts, noise, residential replacement, travel times and many other factors.

The road models and suggested alternatives will be brought back again for public scrutiny in about May for residents to give further input on the suggestions, said Shawn Seager, a project member with MAG. The group will then report the findings to a legislative interim committee in the summer and those findings may be worked into a long-range transportation plan, Seager said.

MAG's studies are working under the assumption that the UDOT roads that have been proposed and those that are being built are in place, such as the corridor along 1000 South in Lehi, the widening of I-15 and the Mountain View Corridor, Phillips said.

Biking and pedestrian plans have already been studied by MAG and are not involved in this specific study because they didn't want to re-create a plan that already exists, Seager said.

Randi Shover, public involvement coordinator, said that they decided to have several meetings in different locations because each community has unique transportation problems.

"Each city is different," she said. "Some have hot issues; others (don't have) a lot of hot-button issues."


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