Church lowers its sites • The leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have backed down from their plans to build a new, nine-story building at their Missionary Training Center in Provo. Thus do we learn that the secular process of zoning laws, public hearings and neighborhood activism has a significant amount of influence, as it should, even in places where one religious organization predominates. Neighbors of the planned building objected in each of the many ways open to them under state and municipal law, enough that the church announced Friday it would not go forward with the planned high-rise, and would work with the city and the neighborhood to find an alternative way of expanding its facilities. It was the right decision.
Getting away with it • Imagine that you had occasion to give information to a trooper from the Utah Highway Patrol in 20 different cases and that, in 11 of those exchanges, you lied. Can you imagine that you'd walk away from that without retribution? While the situation is far from full disclosure, patrol leaders have said that a trooper was suspected by a superior of including false statements in at least 11 DUI arrest reports. The trooper, Cpl. Lisa Steed, remains under investigation and, at last report, had been removed from road duty. But the UHP's admission last week that Steed received no disciplinary action for those 11 reports only that "the issue was addressed" is not news that will give Utahns the kind of confidence that any criminal justice system needs to properly function in a democracy.
UDOT gets flexible • The number of people in the Salt Lake Valley is growing rapidly. And the number of automobiles that drive around in the valley is growing even faster. Building enough highways and roads to keep up is expensive and, sometimes, nigh unto impossible. One ameliorating step to take is a gimmick called "flex lanes." In Salt Lake County, as in most high-traffic metropolitan areas, there are many roads that are busy one way in the morning, and the other way in the evening. As a result, half of a roadway is jammed, while the other is comparatively empty. The solution: Use various traffic devices to have more lanes run inbound in the morning, then turn it around so that more lanes run outbound in the evening. The first test of the system is set for late next month, on 5400 South in Taylorsville, between Bangerter Highway and Redwood Road. It's a good idea, but one that will only work with a lot of publicity and a lot of alert drivers. Here's hoping.