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Author Topic: "Conservative" Salt Lake City "gets" transit. Why don't we?  (Read 5200 times)
TheArtist
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« on: July 07, 2013, 09:08:20 am »

  Ever since I have run across what is going on in Salt Lake City, seeing how well and fast their economy is growing, all the new opportunities, jobs, infrastructure and buildings going up, I have been keeping an occasional eye on their city.  They are a conservative city, yet they have embraced transit and seem to be quite successful building transit oriented/pedestrian friendly developments.  

The Salt Lake Tribune

Utah holds the No. 1 spot for states with the best economic outlook in 2013, according to a report released Thursday by the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council.

"Utah’s economic policies have remained strong, and because of its firm commitment to economic growth and competitiveness, the state has ranked first in all five previous editions of our report," said Jonathan Williams, director of ALEC’s Center for State Fiscal Reform and co-author of "Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic State Competitive Index."

States with low tax rates, limited government regulations and right-to-work laws were most likely to have a better economic outlook than states with high tax rates and lots of regulations, the report said.

Rounding out the top five states were North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Virginia.


Here is a recent article in one of their papers.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865582157/Transportation-plan-will-result-in-economic-growth-group-says.html

Some excerpts... (my bold)


According to a comprehensive study conducted by the Economic Development Research Group of Boston, further state and local government investment in broad-based transportation could result in more than 180,000 new jobs over the next three decades.

Transit-oriented development, he said, will allow the state to grow more efficiently and effectively over the long term and reduce the volume of vehicles on the roads, which will have numerous significant benefits.

“Instead of having two cars or three, families will be able to have just one car if they have to even have a car at all,” Beattie said. “They could get by using transit.”

Air quality would also improve with the resulting reduction in exhaust emissions, he added.

Speaking at a news conference Monday in Sugar House near the soon-to-be-completed streetcar line, Beattie said construction of the streetcar line accelerated or is partially responsible for creation of more than 1,000 residential units and nearly 2 million square feet of redevelopment on several sites, resulting in $400 million in private investment in the local business district, according to the Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency.

We need to continue to do what is needed, and we will continue to see the support (from Utah residents),” he said.

Gochnour said a possible source of revenue needed for improving the system could be a user tax of some kind, such as a motor-fuel tax that charges more to those who use roads more often — “the more you drive, the more you pay,” she explained.


From some other articles...

FARMINGTON — A recent approval from the Utah State Legislature will allow the Utah Transit Authority to contribute its
real property in exchange for an interest in a joint venture company. That means the transit centers are allowed to
become moneymaking zones
for UTA, in addition to earning revenue from ticket sales and getting a share of tax
money.

Project managers for UTA have chosen to develop such an area within the property it owns at Station Park, and
a developer has been chosen to begin a mixed-use residential and retail zone.

The Thackery Garn Company was awarded the contract to oversee that development, which will be called
“Farmington Station.” A development of similar use and size is being planned for the Clearfield Transit station, and the
same developer has been awarded that project.

It is expected that 300-500 residential units will be built within the eight-acre property, and a full range of amenities
will be offered for the residents.

From another article about SLC's downtown bikeshare program...

Residents can check out a GREENbike and make quick trips across the city for up to 30 minutes before checking in at another solar-powered kiosk.

Riders, for example, can rent a bike from a kiosk near the LDS Church Office Building and ride to the Intermodal Hub to catch FrontRunner. Or at Salt Lake Main Library, patrons could grab a bike and ride to Squatter's Pub Brewery for lunch.

Riders can use these 30-minute sessions on an unlimited basis for the price of a $5 day pass, a $15 weekly pass or $75 for an annual pass. Day passes can be purchased at a kiosk using a debit or credit card (not cash). Longer-term passes can be purchased online at www.greenbikeslc.org.  

“It just goes to show that alternative transportation is a big part of the city’s future,” said Nick Como, a spokesman for Downtown Alliance, which assisted the city’s Transportation Division and its Bike Salt Lake City program in completing the project. “Between all of this, as well as new TRAX lines to West Valley City and the airport, you could really eliminate having to use a car.”...

But city officials say the goal of the bike sharing is ease of travel from one business or lunch obligation to the next rather than daylong recreation. Trips longer than 30 minutes will be rare because even the outlying stations are no farther than a mile from each other.

Each bike kiosk, however, is located within two blocks or less of a TRAX line within the free ride zone. But GREENbike Project Director Ben Bolte isn't worried this will cause potential bicycle riders to take the train instead. Biking has separate advantages over taking the train within a concentrated downtown area, he said, where a mass transit commute typically slows down considerably.

"It’s actually a good partnership. Light rail is great at carrying you long distances, but what TRAX is not good at is getting you to exactly where you want to go," Bolte said. "Still, we want the stops close enough to where you can hop on TRAX if you need to."

The city estimates that the GREENbike system, which will operate 24/7, will save about 77,000 vehicles miles in its first year.


and another...http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865577940/Heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-taking-TRAX-to-the-SLC-airport.html

• The trip from downtown Salt Lake City's Arena station at 400 West and South Temple is estimated to take 20 minutes, with trains departing every 15 minutes on weekdays and every 20 minutes on weekends.

• The downtown free fare zone does not apply to the airport route.

• The Airport Line is part of UTA’s Green Line, with service between West Valley City and the airport. Riders can transfer from TRAX anywhere between Central Pointe Station (2100 South) and Arena Station. FrontRunner riders may transfer to the new line at the North Temple Bridge Station.

• The six-mile, light-rail Green Line has stops along North Temple at 500 West, 800 West, 1100 West, 1500 West, 1950 West and at Salt Lake International Airport...

...“It’s also excellent for (local) businesses and people traveling here for hotels and conventions. The new line will be very convenient for the customer.”...

...Under construction since January 2009, the new $393 TRAX extension is one of five rail projects UTA has had on its construction agenda in the past few years. The others included the $535 million Mid-Jordan Red Line that operates between Daybreak and the University of Utah, along with the $370 million West Valley Green Line that will now operate between Valley Fair Mall and the airport. There is also the $212 million Draper TRAX extension and the $850 million FrontRunner South commuter-rail line that runs from downtown Salt Lake City to Provo.



And I could go on.  They seem to be able to "be conservative and low tax" but also get that transit IS efficient, good for business, the environment, lessen car driving miles and exhaust, part of a healthy lifestyle, and balance tax money spent on roads, highways AND transit/rail.  That good transit policy is also a commitment to economic growth and competitiveness over rival cities that do not have these policies.






 
« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 09:14:40 am by TheArtist » Logged

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AquaMan
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2013, 10:14:47 am »

Why ask a question you probably know the answer to? Direct it to Bridenstein, Coburn, Inhofe et al instead. Or move to Utah.
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sgrizzle
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Inconceivable!


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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2013, 12:25:24 pm »

Salt Lake City got the olympics too...
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davideinstein
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2013, 12:48:13 pm »

City proper SLC is blue.
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AquaMan
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Just Cruz'n


« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2013, 02:55:59 pm »

Its a matter of leadership and education. As long as people keep voting in idealogues of either persuasion we remain in stasis. Our population likes and wants better mass transit. We all use it in more progressive communities then we come back and are told it won't work here, people don't want it and its a government money pit and we dutifully nod our heads.
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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2013, 05:57:57 pm »

Its a matter of leadership and education. As long as people keep voting in idealogues of either persuasion we remain in stasis. Our population likes and wants better mass transit. We all use it in more progressive communities then we come back and are told it won't work here, people don't want it and its a government money pit and we dutifully nod our heads.


And the suburbs keep sprawling...population density decreases....destroying farm and ranch lands at a dramatic rate (see Owasso and Broken Arrow).  And the resources for infrastructure for these excessive, expansive lifestyle "appetites" is spread thinner every year.  Not to even mention the fact that the people moving to those remote locales take the same carp with them that they moved to that area to escape!





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TulsaRufnex
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2013, 06:59:16 pm »

Salt Lake City got the olympics too...

... and Major League Soccer...
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PonderInc
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« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2013, 12:49:12 pm »

If I remember correctly, the rail transit system in SLC was built for the Olympics.  Obviously, if we could get a well-designed rail system built in Tulsa, it would be a lot easier to prove that transit works.  But it's hard to build it b/c people will oppose it without any actual knowledge or understanding of the economics.  (Like most things in Oklahoma.)  They will just call it a commie plot.  Unlike, say, our totally private and/or taxpayer-free road and highway system! 

But it is interesting to walk around SLC and see how much urban residential development is obviously directly tied to transit.  Very smart, very efficient, and keeps the tax dollars / reinvestment in the heart of the city.
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PonderInc
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« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2013, 12:52:41 pm »


Rounding out the top five states were North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Virginia.
Those states aren't leading the pack due to any particular genius.  It's all about oil and gas -- which helped them prosper during an economic meltdown.  Just sayin'.
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