BOUNTIFUL As the Utah Transit Authority continues to prepare its Environmental Study Report for a South Davis light-rail line, it invites the public to comment on proposals that include the alignment of the line, station stops, park-and-ride lots and various other aspects of the project.
A recently completed analysis identified either a TRAX line or streetcar could function well in southern Davis County from Centerville to Salt Lake City.
Monday, during a public scoping meeting at the South Davis Recreation Center, the public got a chance to look at the difference between a TRAX light-rail line and a streetcar and where stations would be located along the 11-mile corridor. TRAX, which currently functions throughout Salt Lake County, where more lines are under construction, uses a larger vehicle than a streetcar, said UTA spokesman Chad Saley. It typically runs at faster speeds and acts as a commuter vehicle.
A streetcar, Saley explained, is more of a community-transit vehicle that shares the roadway with other vehicles.
Both types of transit are being evaluated during this study.
The alignment for the South Davis line begins in Salt Lake City at 400 West near 200 South and heads north on 400 West. It turns left onto Beck Street where it runs down the middle of the road until it approaches U.S. 89 in North Salt Lake.
The line will veer along the east side of Beck Street, where a new frontage road would need to be built. Through North Salt Lake, Woods Cross and West Bountiful, the line would travel north along U.S. 89 to state Route 106 and then turn east at 400 North and follow Main Street until it reaches Parrish Lane.
From there, riders can pick up a bus to the Farmington FrontRunner Station.
By spring 2009, UTA expects to have a draft ESR available for comment. Between now and then, it plans to decide locations for transit stations, which are proposed for Eagle Ridge Drive and Center Street in North Salt Lake; 2600 South and 1500 South in Woods Cross; 500 South and 400 North in Bountiful; and Pages Lane and Parrish Lane in Centerville.
For most segments along the South Davis corridor, the rails would run in a dedicated space, but three segments exist where the corridor is too narrow to accommodate a separate line, so the rail vehicle will share a lane with other vehicles on the road. Bountiful City Councilman Tom Tolman said he's pleased with the plan and expects more businesses to open up on some of the vacant land along the corridor.
Marc Heileson, southwest representative of the Sierra Club, said he's also pleased with what he's seeing because this study is a result of the Legacy Parkway settlement between the Sierra Club and the state of Utah.
He said the South Davis transit line is the final peg in a balanced transit plan.
Commuter rail primarily benefits residents in northern Davis County and Weber County, he said, adding that a community-based system in South Davis is important for those residents.
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