The recent federal review of transportation planning ("Feds seeking public comment on local transportation planning," Tribune, Aug. 12) invited public comment on the Wasatch Front planning process but failed to consider transportation planning goals.
Reducing automobile vehicle miles traveled should be the planning goal. If we continue to expand freeway capacity to accommodate population growth then we are encouraging longer commutes. As a result, Wasatch Front communities will be more spread out and less dense, which discourages the efficient use of public transit and requires more driving. More driving results in more congestion, more energy consumed, more pollution, and increased air quality problems.
Current planning focuses on freeway expansion, relegating public transit to a diminished role. If not treated as a preferred alternative, public transit will not reach its full potential to boost clean air, public health and quality of life.
Shouldn't we be discussing goals of reduced vehicle miles and cleaner air?