It must be nice to be paid to publish your opinions – especially when there is nobody to dispute your position. With the power of the press you get to proclaim who is right and who is wrong, and you get to make your living taking the time to make a considered opinion not only about the right answer to current issues, but also to the best way to sell that position without regard to the truth. Such an attitude appears to be the driving force behind the Editorial Board of the Provo Daily Herald (DHEB) as they criticize Lehi city for what they see as the inevitability of a bridge across Utah Lake.
Using little more than their own words and logic from that one editorial it is clear that they are using Lehi as a scapegoat on an issue that is uncomfortable but which has no real villain.
Based on their words, only 17% of wage earners in Cedar Valley will be heading north for work in 2040. Would those headed East be very excited to drive to 2100 N in Lehi to travel to Provo/Orem just because it is a full freeway instead of a 6 or 8 lane arterial road (which it will undoubtedly be by 2040)?
The DHEB argues that there are “a dozen east-west corridors of five to seven lanes each” in Salt Lake County and only two in Utah County. If we compare apples to apples then we must recognize that the “measly two-lane compromise that Lehi forced on Utah County” is actually a 4 lane road (two lanes each direction) and will likely be at least 6 lanes within 15 years. That’s respectable compared to the 5 – 7 lane roads in Salt Lake County they are comparing it to as well as the 6 or 8 lane freeway that it is replacing. In addition, this compromise should be built in under 5 years rather than the 2100 N freeway which would not even be started for nearly 10 years. This early increase in capacity should allow for Main Street in Lehi to receive a long overdue widening as well so we could have an extra 10 east/west lanes within 15 years (not counting the 4 lanes at 1000 S. in Lehi). Between main street, 2100 N, and 1000 S, Lehi will have at least 14 east-west lanes for travel on the west side of I-15 – you could hardly expect more form a single city.
Do I expect that 14 lanes would be able to handle the traffic from 1/4 Million people expected to be in Cedar Valley? No. The real limitation on east-west travel in the county is that we have a lake spanning most of our north-south distance between our east and west side communities – why should the DHEB blame that on Lehi? The only possible solutions to that problem are a bridge over the lake or else a reduction in the necessity of east-west travel. Even the DHEB wording that this “will only hasten the construction of an east-west bridge across Utah Lake” is a reminder that such a bridge is a matter of when more than if. Is there any extra environmental impact if it is built 5 years earlier rather than 5 years later?
I find it ironic that it is the Mayor of Lehi, and not the DHEB, that has been talking for years about the need for a Cedar Valley highway (that DHEB is now calling an inevitability) and a lake bridge.