I was listening to a story on NPR about young Indians abroad returning to help their country. One statement that caught my attention was the assertion that Indians who have lived in Western cultures have experienced the problems and some of the attempts to fix problems that the West has been dealing with for decades and which the Indian culture and economy are just beginning to experience as the economy there expands. Because of their perspectives from other nations they have a unique ability to help India avoid some pitfalls that the West has seen – if enough people will listen to them.
Later I was having a conversation about transportation issues in Utah and it occurred to me that the same phenomenon applies here. People in Utah who have spent appreciable time back East in areas of higher population density are much more likely to be supportive of mass transit options, tolling, and other transportation options that are often distasteful to those who have lived in the sprawling west all their lives. If those with the perspective of having lived back East are heard we might be able, as Utah continues in its rapid population growth, to avoid some pitfalls such as becoming another concrete urban jungle like Los Angeles. Only if we start making better use of transportation infrastructure options besides increasing amounts of asphalt.
Trax is good, FrontRunner is good, but lets try to make sure that such transportation options are part of the fabric of the area, not just an anomaly that feeds people into the downtown Salt lake City area.