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John Daley ReportingThat's the short term, but transportation planners are busy on the long term mapping out what Utah's transportation future will look like--not just next year, but in the next 30 years. It's called the "Transportation 2030" plan.
Just a decade ago any long-range transportation plan the state developed undoubtedly would have focused almost exclusively on roads. But times are changing. Citizens are worried about things like sprawl and traffic congestion. So the 2030 outlook includes not just roads, but plans for rail as well.
Population on the Wasatch Front is booming and UDOT is developing a new long range plan to meet those future needs, called "Transportation 2030”, which agency leaders unveiled today.
John Njord, UDOT Executive Director: "There's a popular term out there that you can't build your way out of congestion. Well, you can't hope your way out either. And you have to do something to make what you've got work at an optimum."
The 2030 plan lists more than 500-projects that would cost 3.6 (b) billion dollars. Among them, a plan to refurbish Interstate-84 in northern Utah between Blue Creek Summit and Tremonton.
In the Salt Lake City area, U-DOT wants to ease congestion on the west side of the valley and along Interstate-80 between 1300 East and Parley's Canyon. They also plan to increase capacity of Interstate-15 and other roads in Utah County. In southern Utah, a possible belt route in Washington County and a focus on safety.
But the plan is not all about roads; it envisions improvements in everything from transit and rail to freight, air and bike travel.
John Thomas, UDOT Planning Manager: "Transit is a part our solution to our transportation needs and we are quantifying that so we end up with world class facilities throughout the state."
Transportation planning advocate Roger Borgenicht applauds the plan.
Roger Borgenicht, Utahns for Better Transportation: "Well, it's certainly moving in the right direction."
One key he says is the amount of investment in rail. In the past it’s been a tiny percentage compared to roads, but now because of increasing public support…
Roger Borgenicht, Utahns for Better Transportation: "Now they're moving, through the efforts of mayors and the citizens toward a much more balanced investment program that includes a much better balance between road capacity and transit."
The "Transportation 2030" plan will be available to the public via your local public library and, of course, the Internet.