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Tired of traffic at Point of the Mountain? UTA hopes to help

Posted at 10:24 PM, Nov 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-15 00:24:52-05

UTAH COUNTY—Could TRAX be coming to Utah County? Utah Transit Authority is exploring that question, as part of a study focused on the future of transportation around Point of the Mountain.

UTA hosted a public open house Thursday evening, to get feedback and input from commuters and residents.

Several boards with maps, pictures and bullet points sat on display. People placed stickered dots on two large maps spread across several tables.

“This is the concern that I have,” Draper resident Stan Akagi said to a transit study representative, as he pointed at the table map.

He said he takes the bus to the TRAX station in Draper, then rides it to downtown. He’s worried about the limited public transit options in that part of the valley.

Across the room, Abby Evans looked at one of the display boards.

She lives in Taylorsville, but her husband works in Draper. Evans knows what traffic is like in that part of the valley.

“I'd have to fight the traffic of I-15 all the way over to here, and that was the worst part,” she said, pointing at a map on the board.

UTA spokesperson Carl Arky described how population, development and traffic are exploding in the Point of the Mountain area.

“We need to be paying attention to this part of the valley,” he said. “Point of the Mountain is congested already. And if we don't do something about it now and don't start planning now, we're going to be behind the curve.”

They’re hoping to stay ahead of the Point of the Mountain curve, he indicated, by launching the transit study now in order to plan for later.

“How are we going to get people back and forth from Silicon Slopes to, say, Draper, and around whatever is going to be built at the existing prison site?” He asked.

The study will come up with a ‘Preferred Alternative,’ which will identify locations for UTA to serve, as well as the type of transit service they’ll provide.

“Do they want to see buses built? Do they want to see more FrontRunner? Do we do double-tracking?” He asked, what people want to see for public transportation.

Another option, he explained, is extending the TRAX line from Draper, down around Traverse Mountain and into Lehi.

It’s possible UTA would take an “all of the above” or “some of the above” approach as well.

Once they spend a year on the transit study, Arky said they’ll look at what’s feasible, and figure out the cost.

Then, will come more studies—like one to look at the environmental impact.

From there, Arky explained, comes making the plan.

At the open house, Evans was particularly interested in what kind of development would happen around her husband’s work that could impact future transit.

“The prison site-- I wonder what they're going to do?” She asked.

As she and others mulled over the possibilities, they also gave their two cents on what they want to see happen.

“I'm really a believer in public transportation,” Akagi said. “So the less I can drive, I think, is the better.”

Click here to learn more about the Point of the Mountain Transit Study, including how to submit a public comment.