Tuesday, January 5, 2010

FrontRunner and Legacy, wrongly conjoined

As I was reading a Deseret News story, this sentence gave me pause: "In fact, FrontRunner was built as part of UDOT's compromise with environmentalists on Legacy Parkway, which has helped alleviate congestion on I-15 in Davis County."

I don't think that's correct. At all. Seems to me both Legacy and FR were being planned long before there was an environmental lawsuit that stopped construction on Legacy, and that FrontRunner was actually under construction by the time the state compromised with enviros in order to get Legacy back on track.

At any rate, Davis and Weber county residents voted to increase their own taxes in, I think, 2000, to fund transit upgrades including heavy commuter rail between Ogden and Salt Lake City. If my memory is accurate, Legacy construction wasn't halted by the lawsuit until about 2002, and the compromise (55-mph speed limit, blacktop instead of cement, etc.) wasn't reached until years later.

It may seem insignificant to some people, but I'd hate for the notion that FR was only the result of the Legacy lawsuit to somehow take hold in the public imagination going forward. A lot of people were planning, designing and lobbying for FR years and years before the Legacy squabble -- both environmentalists, transportation officials, politicians and newspaper editorial boards.

(Photo by the Deseret News)

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