I attended another rally sponsored by C.O.S.T. to talk about the Mountain View Corridor (MVC). Any regular reader here will know that I am very much in favor of the positions advocated by C.O.S.T. and that I have very defined positions about the correct course of action where the MVC project is concerned.
As a known sympathizer with C.O.S.T., I am sorry to report that the rally tonight was probably not helpful to what they are trying to accomplish. The problem was that the tone and language of the rally were too negative. I could see the reactions of many of the people in attendance who went from interested to apathetic.
Interestingly, I had read earlier about how words can spin an argument one way or another. C.O.S.T. stands for Citizens Organized for Smarter Transportation. This sends a positive, issue oriented message. The rally was billed as a “protest rally” which has a negative spin. Unfortunately the rally had a negative orientation as well and the positive message about better alternatives was lost.
The positive side of their argument, which has attracted me, is that there are better alternatives to fix the traffic problem than what UDOT is proposing. These alternatives can alleviate traffic more effectively than the UDOT proposals. They are in favor of a transit system and commercial development that would reduce the need for commuting by providing good jobs closer to home.
The attitude that should be taken is, “let’s work with UDOT to help them see the error of their plans.” Unfortunately the tone of the meeting was, “fight UDOT – they’re trying to destroy our city.”
There are real problems to be addressed with the current UDOT proposals, but instead os spending time showing pictures of dead animals while talking about trash and roadkill, the meeting should have spent more time talking about more substantive concerns such as the possibility that the 2100 North freeway would further impede North/South traffic through Lehi when the city is already divided by I-15 cutting through it. Instead of talking about the height of the proposed freeway there should have been more emphasis on the traffic mess that will result where the Mountain View Corridor reconnects with I-15 just like the connection between I-215 and I-15. During the heavy traffic periods those interchanges come to a standstill – so much for the benefit of another freeway.
I want to see more talking about changing our city to reduce the need to commute. We should be talking about improving the city for the future so that we don’t have to spend our time sounding like poor, picked-on little citizens in this forgotten hamlet being ignored by the big, bad, bureaucratic government agency.