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Transportation Planning

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The latest planning document from the Wasatch Front Regional Council offers another reminder of what lies ahead transportation-wise for residents along the Wasatch Front.

Foremost, is the need for new roads and expanded mass transit to keep the region's burgeoning population mobile. And that comes with an enormous price tag, which likely will include future increases in the tax on gasoline as well as tapping other funding sources.

The Regional Council, of course, is charged with updating the long-range transportation improvement plan for the region every few years. The latest 300-page version is ominous in one sense: even if the plan through 2030 comes to fruition in total, Wasatch Front motorists will still see more hours of traffic delays per vehicle than they do today. But if the plan isn't realized - if money isn't spent to expand the integrated transportation system - severe congestion, even gridlock, will soon be our lot.

Fortunately, the message in recent years has been getting through. More Utah tax dollars than ever before are being directed toward meeting the region's transportation demands. While the investment of late is already significant, the Regional Council reminds us that tens of billions more will be needed as the years go by to get the job done.

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