BY TOM BUSSELBERG
FARMINGTON — A bus circulator study will seek ways to make it easier and possibly safer for commuters to get to and from the Clearfield FrontRunner station.
The Davis County Commission on Tuesday morning ratified an agreement with the Utah Transit Authority to obtain a consultant to complete study-related work.
The study should be completed by this fall, said Kent Sulser, Davis County Community & Economic Development Department director.
The area around the station is a “work center,” that is, home to many jobs, such as the Freeport Center, which is immediately to the west. The old World War II facility’s businesses employ more than 7,000 people.
In addition, plans shared previously with the Clipper by Clearfield City officials indicate there will be a business/industrial park component adjacent to the station.
Sulser said further that Weber State University Davis is also close by and serves more than 3,000 students a day.
Davis Hospital and other facilities could be served in north Layton, as well, County Commissioner Bret Millburn said.
“I think the study should be broadened to include that area simply because the transit operations definitely effect the Davis campus of Weber State,” Layton Mayor Steve Curtis said. “I think it’s something that can improve not only opportunities for Clearfield but also Layton.”
Hill AFB, the Falcon Hill business park/retail area and downtown Clearfield could also benefit, Sulser said.
“This is now ground for us,” said Hal Johnson, Utah Transit Authority Manager of Project Development. “There is a lot more need for (bus) circulators,” with FrontRunner now completed between Ogden and Provo.
This study is being modeled after work done in Phoenix, Johnson said, adding that students in a class he teaches at the University of Utah have already completed some preliminary work.
“I hope we can make (FrontRunner) much more accessible in Davis County,” he said.
Safety would be enhanced if a circular bus route were set up to the Clearfield station, said County Commissioner Louenda Downs.
“It’s not the safest route to walk,” and has been difficult for some to reach, she said.
The station is placed hundreds of yards west of State Street, Clearfield’s main thoroughfare. There is no direct route to it for pedestrians coming from the Freeport Center.
“The UTA is on a great path with a skeleton system,” Millburn said. “This will enhance, put meat on the bones, get people to and from jobs.”
It will also help get more people to use transit and will improve air quality, he said.
Utah Transit Authority is footing the bill for most of the study with a $30,000 contribution. Others participating include the city of Clearfield, at $10,000; the Freeport Center and the Utah Department of Transportation at $5,000 each; and, Davis County and the Military Infrastructure Defense Authority, at $2,500 each.