Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Too Easy to Build Roads

The Mountain View Corridor in Salt Lake City is a freeway to nowhere. It's basically a sprawl inducer and didn't have to go through any rigorous alternatives analysis to be built or have a cost effectiveness measure attached to auto trips, it also didn't need to prove that future residential infrastructure could pay for itself. And already, they are admitting the fault of freeways in general by paying for mitigation for local elementary schools. Well only little kids are in those schools and only a certain amount of time during the day. When are we going to figure it out?
The state also compromised with groups fearing the freeway's placement near several schools endangered children's lungs. UDOT will spend $3.1 million to filter air inside the schools and $1 million to monitor the air outside. It also will pay to relocate Hillside Elementary if school officials request that.
They are putting bus rapid transit in a separate parallel corridor which was a concession to environmentalists but instead of building a freeway up the corridor, why not just build a boulevard that could be used for better development and transit integration in the future. This is extremely short sighted and not very innovative. Another blown chance for a smarter way to grow.

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