BY MELINDA WILLIAMS
Clipper Staff Writer
SYRACUSE — Protesters gathered Tuesday to voice their opposition to the planned West Davis Corridor.
They don’t like any of the alternatives proposed by the Utah Department of Transportation, but said they would like the state to consider a “shared solution” that incorporates better management of arterial roadways and connections with mass transit, as well as creating “boulevard communities,” where housing, jobs and services are closer together.
UDOT is considering eight alternatives ‘ four variations each of two main routes ‘ as its locally preferred alternative. That choice will be released May 16, but a final decision on the road is still a year away.
During that time, Utahns for Better Transportation and the Sierra Club are proposing UDOT undertake an additional study of a non-build solution that does not include the corridor.
“We have consulted with several experts and are optimistic that there may be a good strategy for creating a truly shared solution that leaves affected communities with something they’ll find far more appealing than an expensive, destructive under-utilized freeway,” the groups wrote in a memo to UDOT.
That shared solution would rely on both transportation and land-use strategies, said Roger Borgenicht, co-chair of Utahns for Better Transportation.
The shared solution alternatives would incorporate roadway designs and innovative intersections on existing arterial roads, placing jobs and services closer to homes and connecting roads with mass transit, Borgenicht said.
A representative of SaveFarmington, a citizens group that opposes the corridor, told reporters that UDOT needs to consider and adopt guidelines set by Wasatch Choice for 2040, a visioning process for growth and development conducted by Wasatch Front Regional Council, Mountainland Association of Governments and Envision Utah.
“Wasatch Choice for 2040 basically outlines protocol for building roadways,” Lori Kalt with SaveFarmington told reporters at Tuesday’s protest. “Things like the roads should foster a robust economy, lead to improved quality of life, preserve and promote conservation of the environment and conserve critical lands and natural resources,” she said.
“The roads should help reduce travel time to and from work, connect to trains and other modes of transportation and generally the roads should lead to improved quality of life. The highway UDOT is planning through Farmington will do none of these,” she said.