Guest editorial: Help plan Summit County’s roadmap to the future |

Guest editorial: Help plan Summit County’s roadmap to the future

Robery Ett, Transportation ConsultantWe expect regional growth of 1.4 million people, a 67 percent increase in population by 2040. Wasatch 2040, Envision Utah, and now Mountain Accord are efforts to plan response to this growth proactively. Where will gr

We are blessed with wise, thoughtful people putting substantial effort into planning transportation for this enormous growth, but also responding to various other agendas. Among these are anticipating travel needs for recreation and hospitality from the Salt Lake airport and areas of Salt Lake (Sandy?) to our ski resorts and Park City; resolving issues in Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons and connecting the canyons and ski resorts with those in the Park City Area; responding to the growing traffic corridor from Kimball Junction to Park City; environmental concerns for the entire central Wasatch; and numbers of other concerns.

These efforts intend to reflect input from various past studies, planning documents and vision statements. Hopefully, they respond to the future we wish for our region and communities, but many voices are speaking for particular viewpoints. The decisions are being made NOW to be consolidated by year end.

The decisions made will determine how tax dollars are spent, location and kind of development to occur, whether more traffic and transportation will occur in your direct area of concern or less. The very nature of the communities that make up the region will be greatly affected. Will the decisions made reinforce and support the differing goals of our communities?

My personal concern is that Mountain Accord’s study boundaries do not substantively extend east of U.S. 40, so the study does not take into account the impact of growth on us, and we are ripe for uncontrolled growth to result in sprawl. A mass transit transportation spine along State Road 224 will force those seeking connection to mass transit from areas east of Park City with greatly increased populations, to combine with the vehicle traffic from Kimball Junction to Park City or add to the congestion on State Road 248. I do not believe this will serve the interest of those seeking transit to Salt Lake City, nor to those intent on "Keeping Park City Park City". There is discussion of "bending" the parameters of Mountain Accord to better encompass the needs of Summit County and Park City. What are your concerns?

You know that being uninformed is the best path to an unexpected, surprising and unacceptable result. Please go to the websites of the Mountain Accord, Wasatch Choice for 2040 Vision, as well as the government web pages of Wasatch and Summit Counties and Park City. View also the separate study in progress undertaken by Park City, Summit County and Vail.

Explore the direction these transportation agendas are taking us. Look at the maps. Do they reflect what you believe your community’s goals are? Do they threaten or reinforce the future you want?

In the last community meeting, there were perhaps 125 people, mostly either directly involved, in government or working for government. Not many people from the public attended. Go to a scheduled meeting; e-mail the consultant groups; write a letter to the editor; call or write to your local government representative.

Robert Ett is an architect, community, and Transit Oriented Development consultant. He currently serves on the Economy Systems Group of the Mountain Accord, has consulted for UTA, and took part in the Wasatch Choice for 2040 Vision Consortium.

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