Thursday, March 24, 2011

West Davis Corridor - Part 4 - My Opinion (if you care)

First and foremost, I wish we could do away with the highway. I stated some reasons earlier, but that would be my honest wish. Keep our city the way it is. But, it will continue to grow. That growth will take away some of the things I love about Syracuse. But I think we have an option today to keep at least some of an identity with the advent of a highway coming through.

UDOT has laid a ground work of what is feasible. They have taken into consideration costs of the road as well as impacts to all people. They have already stated (as told to us by the city administrator) that a Bluff Rd alignment has too many impacts to work. They have identified option C, which runs west of 3000 W, crossing Antelope West of the Arts Academy and continuing north along the Bluff.

If they take the Bluff Route which many of the farmers want, it will impact hundreds of homes, taking value from residents as noise and visual pollution, will impact many residents who live along that road. In addition to those that live on Bluff, you will also impact those who use the trails and parks. This will add to the number impacted if this route is taken.

Further out west is a bit of an unknown. UDOT has not done the studies necessary to consider them fully. I fear that the wetlands will be too large to overcome the other alignments. I think these options do the best to mitigate impact on the city. The biggest problem is interchange location - which would be on the very outskirts of the city and right along the Great Salt Lake edge. There would be no sales tax to recoup from this location and the traffic patterns, I would suggest, would shift south to an interchange on the south end of town, which is being considered. Though I am not against this entirely, an entrance or exit to the city closer to the city center will make the rest of our roads much more manageable as the smaller collector roads would see increased traffic to the south. This would impact 1000W, 2000W, greatly, and the southern end of Bluff Rd slightly. But since we wouldn't see pass thru traffic from other cities, the volume would be mitigated somewhat.

This location would also impact how and where it connects up with West Point City. Not a big concern, generally as the city views it, but regionally, UDOT has to consider how the road worms in and around the region.

Going out west would also limit, to the max, the impact a road would have on farmers and residents combined. Though these impacts alone do not a decision make.

Overall, at this point, as much as I think the west options are best as far as making less impacts, I think UDOT's option C stands as the best option for the future of the city. It allows the road to impact little to residents, and the city can further reduce that impact by adding in a commercial/office district, to come to along either side of the highway from Gentile Rd through and Past Antelope (though the geography make it work best to the south of Antelope Dr.). This mitigates the impacts on residents, increases the value of the farmers land (location, location, location - important to any business, right off the highway is often the best location for any office) as office space generally creates higher values than residential.

Traffic flow would work much better, using UDOT roads to carry most of the traffic in and around the city rather than our local roads which we struggle with keeping in good repair as it is.

Putting it along this alignment also lessens the impact to the school (vs. the Bluff alignment) as there is more space to put a highway interchange west of it than east. You also wouldn't have a lot of historical homes that would need to be demolished. Though, on all accounts, I would rather have no interchange near the school - another reason going west would work better.

Keep the park and trail system free from highways. Make it the central feature of why people would want to live in the city. Multiple parks all connected together with a trail system is very unique. Other cities have similar offerings, not many, but even they do not do the justice that Syracuse has put together.

By keeping the highway off of Bluff, you keep brightest spot of Syracuse a central feature of why people would want to move to, and live in, our great city. With multiple parks connected together with the trail system is unique and the majority of it would remain highway free. This would add to the Bluff Rd. eco-system that is already in place and have it remain a vibrant place for families and individuals to be active and give them a place to get out doors.

This option C has the future written on it. It provides us with transportation options that will be needed as the city continues to grow, but with options to allow businesses to come in and fulfil future job growth that will be required for the populous.

Option C will impact people. It will impact farmers. It will impact the city. I know and understand the impact. I don't like impact. But based on my (knowingly) biased opinion, I think this is the best option for the city, and for UDOT, and the taxpayers of Utah.

Change is hard. To whomever this road impacts, my heart goes out to you. If me, I will grieve. If you, I too will grieve. There is no winner here.

For those that don't like my opinion, share me yours. And tell me why I am wrong in my considerations.

Let's discuss not fight.

Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.
~Arnold Bennett

2 comments:

  1. Alright, Fred. Here I was mourning with you when the highway was going to be in front of your house. Now you want to stick it in front of mine. Good thing I like you so family functions won't be awkward :)

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  2. I mean no harm, honestly. It hurts no matter where it goes.

    The difference is that for most of the homes in your subdivision they they don't face the road. More homes in your subdivision back to Bluff than face 3000. I would also expect the road to be out in the center of the field out there and wouldn't be right on top of the subdivision as it would be if it were on Bluff.

    That said, just think, Jeremy can get right on and off the highway and home quicker than ever. He can leave later and get home sooner.

    A wish come true:)

    Here's to hoping for the best for all of us.

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