Letter: Canyons aren’t the only places that need better bus service

(Rick Egan | Tribune file photo) A UTA bus drives down 100 South in Downtown Salt Lake City, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019.

Along with many friends and family members over the past few decades, I have been frustrated that accessibility is drastically limited to public buses in Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County, especially as air pollution and other environmental impacts continue to be of paramount concern. The frustrations discussed among my friends and family stem from what seem to be obvious solutions, given our grid system of roads that could very naturally provide frequent east-west bus lines that feed into the TRAX lines and bus routes that run north-south in the Salt Lake Valley.
Having recently attended The Tribune’s Cottonwood Canyons Congestion public forum, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that expansive and comprehensive improvements to the UTA bus system across Salt Lake County, in combination with ski resort parking fees in Big and Little Cottonwood canyons, could provide enormous relief to the this issue of canyon traffic congestion during “peak powder days.”
Far more broadly, these improvements to the busing system would also serve residents throughout the entire county.
My sense is that the vast majority of residents in Salt Lake County already agree with the concept expressed by forum panelist and executive director of Central Wasatch Commision, Ralph Becker. Becker suggested that traffic congestion will be resolved by “thinking both broadly and innovatively” and tying the solutions to improvement opportunities in the infrastructure of mass transit that is already in place.

Broad-based solutions like this would serve the entire population of Salt Lake County, not just those who use the amenities in the Cottonwood canyons.
Matt Kitterer, Salt Lake City
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