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Lee Davidson

Politics/transportation/demographics reporter, Government

801-257-8752, ldavidson@sltrib.com


  • (Francisco Kjolseth |  Tribune file photo)   Development is expected to explode around the Point of the Mountain when the state prison is moved. Leaders want to implement sensible development guidelines to prevent the area become a helter-skelter patchwork of homes and businesses with a huge traffic problem. Leaders warn that the Point of Mountain is destined to become a congested mess without careful planning
    Unless current trends and practices change, officials say Point of the Mountain will be a mess by 2050 — with traffic often at a standstill amid a cro...
    Updated Jul 20 2017 10:41 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Steve Griffin  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)     Former Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, a Democrat, right, and Jeff Wright, a one-time Republican congressional candidate, talk about the formal launch of the Better Boundaries initiative at the Cicero Group offices in Salt Lake City on Thursday, July 20, 2017. The petition asks voters to support creating an independent commission to redraw congretional and legislative district boundaries in Utah following the 2020 Census. Reform group hopes to create independent commission in wake of allegations of Utah gerrymandering
    Leaders of the bipartisan Better Boundaries initiative filed Thursday to start a petition drive to give voters the chance to form an independent commi...
    Updated Jul 20 2017 11:06 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Steve Griffin  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)     A cyclist crosses 300 south at 500 east in Salt Lake City Wednesday July 19, 2017. UTA study: Want to boost Utah economy, health? Invest in biking, walking
    If government invests more to promote bicycling and walking, it would help both Utah’s economy and the health of residents, according to a study condu...
    Updated Jul 20 2017 02:59 pm   |     |   Share

  • photo courtesy Salt Lake International Airport  This rendering shows a view of what the airport remodel may look like. Counties sue state to overturn Legislature’s ‘unfair’ tax breaks for airlines
    Utah homeowners and businesses are paying higher property taxes to make up for unfair discounts that the state is giving to the airline industry, five...
    Updated Jul 18 2017 12:25 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |  Tribune file photo)   New houses have sprung up just north of I-15 in Lehi near the Outlets at Traverse Mountain.  Utah County is growing at a rapid rate and that is expected to continue in coming decades as the No. 2 largest county in the state draws closer to Salt Lake County. Study predicts: Utah County will ‘become much more like Salt Lake County’ in next 50 years
    Watch out Salt Lake County, Utah County is gaining on you — and in the next 50 years will become almost as populous. By 2065, Salt Lake County is proj...
    Updated Jul 18 2017 09:30 am   |     |   Share

  • (|  Tribune File Photo)    People exit a southbound UTA FrontRunner train at the Draper Station on June 6, 2013. UTA ranks well at keeping costs low — but has trouble attracting riders, according to new report
    The Utah Transit Authority decided to compare itself with similar agencies nationwide and found that it is among the best for holding down costs, but ...
    Updated Jul 17 2017 11:10 am   |     |   Share

  • (Steve Griffin  | Tribune file photo)   Jim Bennett, center, amid members of the new United Utah Party, at the centrist political party’s launch in May.  The party has sued in federal court, claiming state rules are unfairly blocking its ballot access. New Utah party barred from special election argues only mind readers could meet state's deadlines
    The lawyer for Jim Bennett and his new United Utah Party argued in federal court Friday that unreasonable state rules would have required them to magi...
    Updated Jul 17 2017 11:00 am   |     |   Share

  • Utah task force asks: How did Seattle win support for doubling transit taxes?
    With millions of new residents expected to pack into the Wasatch Front’s tight geography in coming decades, Utah officials are studying how to fund be...
    Updated Jul 17 2017 11:10 am   |     |   Share

  • S.R. 201 freeway stretch to close overnight Friday
    All lanes on the State Road 201 freeway will close Friday at 9 p.m. until Saturday at 6 a.m. between Bangerter Highway and Redwood Road. The Utah Depa...
    Updated Jul 17 2017 11:14 am   |     |   Share

  • (Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Speaker of the House, Greg Hughes, R-Draper, in the Utah House of Representatives, Wednesday, January 28, 2015. On anti-DUI-law ad, Hughes says 'Bullying like that doesn't work in our state.' But it wasn't meant for Utah anyway.
    Sure, the ad attacked a Utah law. It pictured the Utah governor and 10 Utah lawmakers. And, not surprisingly, it offended Utah politicians. But that a...
    Updated Jul 13 2017 11:13 pm   |     |   Share

  • |  Courtesy of CLEAR  Biometrics readers like these will allow some customers at Salt Lake City International Airport to skip to the front of security lines. The service, called CLEAR, costs $179 a year, although some discounts and trial periods are available. Want to cut to front of the SLC Airport security line? Fork over cash, undergo fingerprinting and iris scan
    Travelers at Salt Lake City International Airport may now sign up for a service that allows them to skip to the front of security lines literally with...
    Updated Jul 13 2017 11:12 am   |     |   Share

  • (Steve Griffin  |  Tribune file photo)   Riders disembark a train at the Farmington’s Station Park and Ride/FrontRunner Station Monday, November 17, 2014 in Farmington, Utah. New draft UTA mission statement: provide mobility, improve public health, boost quality of life
    The Utah Transit Authority is planning what the agency should accomplish through 2040 — and how to rebuild public trust after scandals — and outlined ...
    Updated Jul 17 2017 11:10 am   |     |   Share

  • Two studies give Utah state government Top 5 financial ratings
    Two new studies agree: Utah is among the nation’s top five state governments for its financial condition. The Pew Charitable Trusts ranked it No. 5 in...
    Updated Jul 17 2017 11:13 am   |     |   Share

  • Highway crews reopen shortcut across northwestern Utah
    A highway that is a major shortcut across the northwestern corner of Utah has reopened after being closed for more than five months because of flood d...
    Updated Jul 10 2017 11:40 am   |     |   Share

  • Another weekend freeway closure coming at mouth of Parleys Canyon
    Another weekend freeway closure is coming at the mouth of Parleys Canyon. The Utah Department of Transportation plans to close access from eastbound l...
    Updated Jul 07 2017 05:49 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Trent Nelson  |  Tribune file photo)   Jensen Nature Park in Syracuse, along the proposed route of the West Davis Corridor highway, Thursday May 4, 2017. Final proposal: West Davis freeway takes controversial route, with environmentally friendly tweaks
    The final route of the West Davis Corridor — a 19-mile freeway heading northwest from Legacy Parkway through Davis and Weber counties — will closely m...
    Updated Jul 06 2017 11:11 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Trent Nelson  |   Tribune file photo)   Night falls on the State Capitol Building on the second to last day of the legislative session, Wednesday March 8, 2017 in Salt Lake City. Ballot initiative forming to create independent commission to redraw political districts
    Yet another voter initiative may be headed for the Utah ballot next year. While petition drives already are underway to ask voters to raise taxes for ...
    Updated Jul 03 2017 10:37 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth  |  Tribune file photo)   University of Utah and Roseman University Pharmacy students gather at the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, for Pharmacy Day. Prescription drugs are among the big sales tax exemptions granted by Utah. , Utah loses $650 million each year due to sales tax exemptions
    In 1996, Utah offered 48 exemptions to its sales tax. Twenty years later, that has mushroomed to 91, a near doubling in two decades. New estimates say...
    Updated Jul 03 2017 05:03 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |  Tribune file photo)   Voters cast their ballots at Hawthorne Elementary School in Salt Lake City during the 2014 general election. Utah’s elections chief will turn over public voter records — but not Social Security numbers — to Trump’s election fraud commission
    Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox said Friday that Utah law requires him to comply with a White House commission’s request for the state’s public voter rolls, whic...
    Updated Jun 30 2017 11:13 pm   |     |   Share

  • How to spend $5B on roads, trains, trails and bikes? Wasatch Front planners want to hear from you
    Regional planners are seeking public comment on an updated draft of the Transportation Improvement Program for 2018-2023 — which prioritizes how to sp...
    Updated Jul 02 2017 06:17 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Steve Griffin  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)     Dignitaries, employees and family members pose for photographs during the renaming ceremony of the DWS building, background, in honor of former Gov. Olene Walker. Twenty years ago, Walker led an effort to make Utah the first state to consolidate employment and public assistance programs. The event was held outside the DWS building in Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 29, 2017. Utah renames Workforce Services building for the ‘triple-tasking, night owl, working mother of seven’ who helped create the agency
    Twenty years ago, Olene Walker was the driving force behind making Utah the first state to consolidate its employment and public assistance programs —...
    Updated Jun 30 2017 02:05 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Steve Griffin  |  Tribune file photo)    A TRAX train pulls into the City Center TRAX station in Salt Lake City. UTA's poll says Utahns approve of the agency. Another poll says something different.
    As the Utah Transit Authority board heard this week that a poll it commissioned shows two-thirds of residents have a favorable impression of the agenc...
    Updated Jun 30 2017 09:19 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Leah Hogsten  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   A fight is erupting over how to develop the land around the Clearfield FrontRunner Station. It had long been proposed as a transit-oriented development that would be a regional center for growth with apartments, retail and offices. Now, much of it may become a train car manufacturing plant for Stadler, a company that has been at the center of some UTA scandals. UTA approves a controversial land deal involving players from past scandals
    By a 7-4 vote, the Utah Transit Authority board gave its final approval Wednesday to sell land for a controversial land development at its Clearfield ...
    Updated Jun 30 2017 11:58 am   |     |   Share

  • (Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)     Maureen Riley is retiring as executive director of the Salt Lake City International Airport.  Friday, June 23, 2017. Salt Lake saying goodbye to ‘tough negotiator’ who helped pilot its airport and keep $3.1B rebuild on course
    Delta Air Lines was developing cold feet about what became a $3.1 billion rebuild of Salt Lake City International Airport. So Maureen Riley ramped up ...
    Updated Jun 28 2017 12:44 pm   |     |   Share

  • Few highway delays expected over long July 4 weekend
    Travelers should enjoy relative clear sailing on Utah’s highways — with only minor delays in a few spots — for the long, upcoming July Fourth weekend....
    Updated Jun 30 2017 05:10 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   The Sugar House streetcar S-Line in Salt Lake City, Tuesday June 27, 2017. Sugar House streetcar to improve frequency, convenience with new stretch of double track
    The Sugar House streetcar, or S-Line, is about to become more frequent and convenient, thanks to $4.5 million from Salt Lake County. Officials say tha...
    Updated Jun 27 2017 11:08 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Trent Nelson  |  Tribune file photo)   Rush hour traffic northbound on I-15 in Farmington. A new study says Utahns are the second worst drivers in the nation. Salt Lake City drivers crash into nation’s second-worst ranking
    Despite what battle-weary commuters may think, Salt Lake City drivers are not the worst in the nation. They are the second-worst. That’s according to ...
    Updated Jun 27 2017 10:21 pm   |     |   Share

  • Utah GOP chairman Rob Anderson speaks during the Utah GOP Convention Saturday, May 20, 2017, in Sandy, Utah. Anderson was elected as the new chairman of the Utah Republican Party, defeating both incumbent chairman James Evans and current Vice Chairman Phill Wright. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) Court to hear GOP’s SB54 appeal, so why isn’t Utah party’s new chief turning cartwheels?
    The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to hear oral arguments in the Utah Republican Party’s challenge to a new law that allows qualifying ...
    Updated Jun 24 2017 10:38 am   |     |   Share

  • (Scott Sommerdorf   |   Tribune file photo)   Gary Herbert  •  Utah governor Guv says more fireworks bans likely with Utah’s tinder-dry conditions
    With tinderlike conditions in Utah — shown by the huge, quickly spreading Brian Head Fire — Gov. Gary Herbert warns that more bans on fire and firewor...
    Updated Jun 24 2017 10:38 am   |     |   Share

  • (Rick Egan  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    Utah Gov. Gary Herbert meets with the Tribune editorial board, Wednesday, December 7, 2016. Herbert defends special elections, urges lawmakers to ‘count to 10’ to cool heated rhetoric
    Gov. Gary Herbert sought Thursday to throw water on an intensifying fight with the Legislature over the legality of his plan to quickly elect a replac...
    Updated Jun 22 2017 10:11 pm   |     |   Share