BY MELINDA WILLIAMS
Clipper Staff Writer
FARMINGTON — Protesters made it clear Tuesday night that they don’t want the West Davis Corridor — no matter which route is chosen for it.
Representatives of about a dozen groups called on the Utah Department of Transportation to abandon plans for the 20-mile highway planned to run from Farmington to Weber County.
With AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell,” blaring, protesters hoisted signs and banners voicing their disapproval. “Don’t Delay, Commit Today,” “I Will Never Give Up the Fite,” and “More Road, More Driving, More CO2, More Bad Air,” were among the dozens of signs displayed.
“What I see is almost a movement here,” said Lori Kalt, president of SaveFarmington.org and protest organizer. She has found people throughout the county talking abut the road.
“I was at the store today and the lady checking me out was telling me about it,” she said.
Barbara Stevens, a Farmington resident, was among those holding signs. She is opposed to the route that would pass Glover Lane, UDOT’s locally preferred alternative.
Stevens has learned about the Shared Solution that several environmental groups are advocating. It relies on public transportation and land-use strategies and would incorporate roadway design, innovative intersections on existing arterial roads and placing jobs and services closer to homes.
As the protesters were having their say outdoors, many people inside the Legacy Events Center praised UDOT for choosing the Glover Lane alternative and asked that the transportation agency build the road as it did the Legacy Parkway.
“I emphatically support UDOT’s decision,” said Eric Brenchley, a Kaysville resident, “and give them my heartfelt thanks. (The Glover Lane alternative) affects fewer people and costs significantly less.”
The planned road would cost an estimated $600 million, but no funding has been allocated by the state legislature.
Brenchley asked that the road be a continuation of the Legacy Parkway so it will not allow trucks, keep the speed limit low and have a quiet surface.
“You’ve taken an emotional kind of situation and analyzed it thoroughly,” Dale Newbold, an engineer who lives in Kaysville told the hearing panel. “I commend you for that.”
He encouraged UDOT to build the road as far west as possible.
While environmentalists say the road is not needed, UDOT holds that Davis County’s population will increase by 33 percent by 2040 and that the population in the road’s target area of north Davis and south Weber counties is expected to increase by 80 percent.
“Even before I-15 it was needed, “ he said.
Others at the meeting called on UDOT to build the road quickly.
Another public meeting was held Wednesday night at West Point Junior High School. There, many would be affected by the planned road.
At a protest held in Syracuse in May, patrons of the Legacy Arts Academy said the Glover Lane option would run too close to the school’s eastern boundaries. If the road were built, it could mean the demise of the charter school.
A final decision on the route won’t be made until the spring of 2014. That decision will go to the Federal Highway Administration, which has the final say.
Comments will be accepted on the proposal through Aug. 23. Comment at firstname.lastname@example.org or via mail at West Davis Corridor EIS Team, 466 N. 900 West, Kaysville, 84037.