Last night I went to a UDOT open house for the East-West Connector project. This has been informally known as the 1000 South boulevard and was previously part of the Mountain View Corridor project before being broken out into a separate project. I suspect that the people working on this project for UDOT already know this, but they and the public need to recognize and reconcile themselves tot he fact that there is no alternative on this project which will satisfy everybody. Planning and building this road needs to move forward not by compromising to hurt as few feelings as possible, but by building whatever is best in the long-term interests of the area.
That’s easy for me to say since there is no way the road can be built in such a way that it will inconvenience me. It can be built badly to inconvenience everyone, but it cannot be built in such a way that it would inconvenience me particularly. No matter how well, or badly it is built there will be some people who it will inconvenience particularly – the only question is who, how many, and in what ways. Those who are in danger of having to relocate, or of living very close to the new road can do a great service to everybody if they will come with an attitude of “how can we make this the best for everybody,” rather than an attitude of “what will cause me the least inconvenience.”
On the other hand, those of us who will not be directly inconvenienced by this need to be understanding of the fact that this will have some immediate negative consequences on some people. We should take that into consideration when we select an alignment.
I heard someone who lives near some of that land that Lehi City had already preserved for this road who wished that the land owners in the area would refuse to sell so that the road could not be built. I’m sure she recognizes that not building the road is not a feasible option considering our current traffic situation. As a distant neighbor I need to recognize that her wish is normal and rather than telling her to pull her head out of the sand I should help advocate for anything that might make this new road better for her and her neighborhood.
One thing to advocate for, which won’t help her neighborhood now but will help other neighborhoods in the future, is a more comprehensive master plan for the city which will preserve transportation corridors earlier and be more strict in adhering to the master plan. Initially Lehi City had planned for this road to run at 700 South. The result is that 700 South is much wider than it needs to be for a 25 MPH road. If they had set the speed limit higher (40 or 45 MPH) people would not have placed houses right on the road and they would have been able to use the original route