It’s frustrating to read articles such as the Daily Herald’s “Lehi residents talk about east-west freeway” because the title suggests that there might be a Lehi viewpoint to the article. It looks more like a UDOT viewpoint.
The results of their informal survey – asking whether people prefer the UDOT plan for a 2100 North freeway or the Lehi plan for a 4800 North freeway – are that six people chose the UDOT plan, one chose the Lehi plan, and one person said “whichever gets my mom home from Salt Lake the fastest.”
There are two things that really disturb me about this. First, of these 8 “Lehi residents” there are 4 residents of Eagle Mountain, 1 from American Fork, 1 from Alpine (really not connected to this issue), and only 2 from Lehi. Lehi did not even have the highest individual representation, let alone a simple majority. Second, the single question does not provide enough background to make any kind of informed choice between the options.
Of the two residents from Lehi, one chose the Lehi plan for 4800 north and one chose the UDOT plan for 2100 North. I accept that there are residents of Lehi that would choose 2100 North, but the reasoning behind that particular answer seems to confirm what I suspected – that the people being questioned were not generally informed on the issue. The reason given by that Lehi resident was that 2100 North would “harm less people putting it there because they wouldn’t have to remove as much.” That is true only when the 2100 North option is compared to the other UDOT options but not true when compared to the 4800 North freeway that UDOT has not yet considered. 4800 North would not remove any residents while 2100 North does. It is probably safe to say that respondents were also not aware that the UDOT plan is for 2100 North and nothing else while the Lehi plan is for 4800 North plus boulevards at 2100 North and 1000 South in addition to making Main Street wider west of the city where traffic is heaviest.
Next time I see an article about “Lehi residents” I hope they are actually residents of Lehi. I also hope that we can circulate more complete information on this important project.