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Pay to commute

Published January 23, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

I appreciate Allen Klinefelter's frustration with his long commute from Eagle Mountain ("Train too expensive," Forum, Jan. 16). I do not dispute his right to fair representation as a taxpayer, but I urge him and others to reconsider their decisions to live in far-flung exurbs.

City life isn't for everyone. But when the cost of your commute becomes prohibitive, it is time to consider relocating.

Salt Lake's inner suburbs offer exceptional quality of life at a reasonable cost. Yes, buyers sacrifice some square footage to live closer to downtown, but they gain tree-lined streets, walkable neighborhoods and better transit.

As suburban sprawl continues, the burden of supplying infrastructure to the distant "frontier" rises. This helps make suburban growth so inefficient.

Dollar for dollar, it costs more to bring a commuter from Eagle Mountain to downtown than from Sugar House, the Avenues, or Foothill, whether by train, bus, car or bicycle. The infrastructure is paid for by everyone. It is therefore fair that Utah Transit Authority service is sparser in the far reaches of the valley.

As the population grows and resources become scarcer, we must all learn to live in closer quarters or bear the extra cost.

Wyatt Levinson McKean

Salt Lake City