By REBECCA PALMER
Davis Clipper Editor
BOUNTIFUL — The Davis Chamber of Commerce hasn’t taken a position on the best route for the West Davis Corridor, according to an email from CEO Jim Smith, but a statement released Thursday morning says findings released so far from the Utah Department of Transportation are sound.
“We support the recommendations as presented,” the statement reads, but points out that the plans have not been finalized.
It goes on to say that the chamber recognizes the need for another transportation corridor in western Davis County.
“The addition of the Legacy Parkway Scenic Byway in the south part of our county, combined with the opening of the FrontRunner, dramatically reduced congestion and improved the commute time to points south,” it reads.
Many opponents of the highway, and specifically of UDOT’s latest proposal to route the project near Glover Lane, also admit that new ways to move people will be necessary. However, they prefer a plan called Shared Solution and conceived by Utahns for Better Transportation and the Sierra Club that would mix public transit, local roads and development planning that would bring population density close to existing roads.
The chamber seems to agree that good planning is required, and praises higher-density housing and transit-oriented development,
“We are aware of the concern over air quality that has recently become a key political issue,” the statement reads. “We also recognize the need of an alternate north/south route through our county as essential in the event of an emergency, from earthquakes to terrorism to catastrophic accidents.”
The proposed highway is the answer, according to the statement.
The statement comes on the third day of public hearings about the project. The first two, held Tuesday and Wednesday, brought out dozens of protesters.
“We're doing the same thing again tonight in Hooper,” wrote Carl Ingwell on Facebook.“I encourage everyone from Save Farmington to come join us in talking to people and getting the shared solution on their minds.”
Oppposition groups have also started a position at http://chn.ge/11C9Oi3 called “Governor Herbert: Don’t allow the West Davis Corridor to be funded! Support the Shared Solution with UDOT and Utahns for better transportation instead.”
So far, the petition has garnered almost 500 supporters.
The Chamber is particularly focused on how the road could affect economic development, but also the people who will live near it.
“We encourage UDOT to work with local municipalities to design adequate on/off access throughout the system,” the Chamber statement reads. “If one of UDOT’s defined missions is to promote economic vitality, then allowing additional points of access to the business community is vital.“