Officials want to hear from Wasatch Front residents about how to spend some $4 billion on transportation over the next six years.
The Wasatch Front Regional Council has released its draft 2020-2025 Transportation Improvement Plan — which includes proposals on when to build highway, transit, bike and pedestrian projects, and how much to spend on each.
All facets of “the transportation system really have to work well together with our population growing so fast,” said Andrew Gruber, executive director of the regional planning agency.
The comment period on the plan runs through Aug. 3, and residents can weigh in either by posting on an interactive map online that shows all of the projects at wfrc.org, or by attending one of two upcoming open houses.
The plan is updated every year, so most projects have been included and scheduled for years. But Gruber highlighted as examples a few projects that have been added for the first time or had key additions to them. They include:
• The first seed money — $2 million of a $40 million project — toward construction of a new Midvalley Connector bus-rapid (BRT) transit line from West Valley City through Taylorsville to Murray.
Construction is envisioned to begin in 2025. The BRT would have some bus-only lanes and limited stops to speed travel. Like TRAX, riders must buy tickets before boarding extra-long buses.
The Utah Valley Express, a BRT opened by the Utah Transit Authority last year, has quadrupled ridership along its line through Provo and Orem, largely because of a federal grant that offered free-fare on it for the first three years. Also, buses are frequent — every six minutes at peak times.
• Adding money — and essentially completing needed funding sources — for a new BRT from downtown Ogden to Weber State University. Construction on that $79 million project is now projected to start about 2022.
• A $5.8 million project to widen Parkway Boulevard in West Valley City west of the Mountain View Parkway in 2025. It will add lanes, sidewalks, bike lanes and lighting. “It’s an example of how road projects are not just road projects” in many plans, but also help alternative transportation, Gruber said.
• Relieving a bottleneck at Parrish Lane and Marketplace Drive in Centerville, a $1.7 million project slated for 2025.
• A $100,000 project to extend a paved bike path along the Utah and Salt Lake Canal in Magna in 2021.
Two open houses have been scheduled to allow residents to comment. One is July 9 at the Ogden Intermodal Center at 2350 Wall Ave. in Ogden from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The other is July 11 at the Salt Lake Central Station, 250 S. 600 West, from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The regional council handles transportation planning in Salt Lake, Davis, Tooele, Weber, Morgan and Box Elder counties.