Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Utah’s highway boss wants more transparency, collaboration

Culture shift » Wants more transparency, quality, collaboration with others.

< Previous Page

"I believe we have a world-class highway network. I believe we have a world-class transit network. But I think we can do a lot better integrating the two," along with better facilities for bikes and pedestrians, he says.

"In the past if we did a big project like Mountain View or Legacy Parkway, we put trail systems in. But if we were to go out and do a chip seal on a road or a simple maintenance job, we didn’t think about, ‘Does the community have plans to put in a bike lane here, does the community want to improve pedestrian access here?’ "

At a glance

UDOT at a glance:

» 1,800 employees.

» Oversees the design, construction and maintenance of Utah’s 6,000-mile system of highways.

» It has four official strategic goals: Preserve roads and bridges, optimize mobility, zero fatalities and strengthen the economy.

» Executive director is adding six new areas of emphasis: integrated transportation, collaboration, education, transparency, quality, and operational excellence.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Braceras says he wants UDOT to constantly ask, "Is there a way to maybe narrow a lane here or put in a little extra pavement and provide for a bike lane that is safer?"

Benefits • Braceras is an avid, lifelong bicyclist, often riding with groups promoting safer cycling. He says that helps him appreciate that designing roads to help cyclists — and pedestrians and mass transit — is an important step toward reducing road congestion and air pollution.

"If a family is not comfortable in walking that last quarter-mile to get to a train, or walking to school because they are worried about safety, they are not going to make that trip. So they are going to start the car — those cold starts are not good for air quality — and they are going to drive a half mile to take the kids to school instead of walking," he says.

"I think for a small investment we can make a big difference."

Critics • Even UDOT critics like Braceras’s ideas, including Steve Erickson, spokesman for the Shared Solution Coalition of community and environmental groups that has been fighting the agency’s plan for the new West Davis Corridor freeway — the northern extension of Legacy Parkway. They say UDOT has too narrowly focused there on moving more cars faster, without giving enough attention to what it would do to urban sprawl, air pollution and wetlands.

"Overall, we can’t disagree with any of his intentions. That’s a positive way to proceed," Erickson said. "But UDOT is a big agency that has done things a certain way for a long time. That’s difficult to turn around and may not be as simple as it sounds."

story continues below
story continues below

Erickson said groups such as his will be watching to see if Braceras’ new vision makes much of a difference or is just talk.

Braceras says he knows his plan for a change in culture is making some UDOT employees anxious.

"I think," he adds, "I will be doing my job if I make people a little nervous."

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.