Governor, we have been listening to your messages regarding the pollution problem in our state, which include leaving cars behind for mass transit. We would LOVE to support you in that endeavor!
You have asked us to DRIVE LESS but you are considering ONLY the options that UDOT has set for itself, which ENCOURAGE us to drive MORE. Their recommendations are in direct opposition to your messages. A major reason for this opposition is that UDOT is motivated to build freeways since they receive almost a quarter from every gallon of gas. Our message is that we want you to INSIST that UDOT engage in a SHARED SOLUTION with UBET to devise smarter ways to deal with the traffic congestion, economic development and continued population growth than building freeways. UDOT has used the phrase in their advertising (which taxpayers PAY for!) "locally preferred alternative' which makes it sound to the rest of Utah as if the locals prefer it. WE DON'T! THERE IS NO NEED FOR THIS FREEWAY. THERE ARE OTHER SOLUTIONS THAT ARE NOT LISTED AS ONE OF THE OPTIONS.
The PROPOSED West Davis Corridor is a massive, elevated freeway recommended to begin at Farmington City and run through Hooper, Utah that will cost taxpayers upwards of $600 million! And that doesn't include the upkeep for years to come. This freeway will divide communities, spew noise, light and particulate pollution endangering both our citizens and the environment. Meanwhile, our failing infrastructure issues are not being addressed. Furthermore, building this freeway actually DISCOURAGES the use of mass transit. PLEASE LISTEN TO US and work on a SHARED SOLUTION, creating a win-win situation for our citizens AND our communities!
Utahns for Better Transportation (UBET)
would like the opportunity to work WITH UDOT on a shared solution. However, the financial burden of researching the alternative is being placed on the backs of private citizens. Governor, PLEASE insist that UDOT bears the expense of exploring and analyzing this shared solution in partnership with UBET. We want to work WITH our adjacent communities, not be pitted against them in a survival of the fittest contest. YOU can help!
The Shared Solution is ONE example of how to re-work our existing infrastructure in smarter ways, but it will take more funding and having UDOT experts work hand in hand with UBET to come to a SHARED solution to FIND THE LEAST ENVIRONMENTALLY DAMAGING PRACTICABLE ALTERNATIVE. (LEDPA)..
By building the WDC, it will violate the EPA’s 404(b)(1) guidelines to select the Least Environmentally Damaging Practicable Alternative . UDOT has not studied other solutions which have a FAR LESS DAMAGING IMPACT because they purposely did not include them on their 46 alternatives and did not ask for other alternatives.
The nearly 300 members of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment (UPHE.org) have compiled thousands of medical studies confirming the health consequences of our air pollution, which is sometimes the worst in the United States. Those who live within 2 miles of a freeway are the most victimized by this pollution. UDOT is ignoring the entire body of medical research that would condemn this project as a serious health hazard.
One of UDOT's own stated objectives is to "support the objectives of the adopted local land use and transportation plans for communities west of I-15 in Weber and Davis Counties." UDOT is NOT meeting their own stated objective. The roads we build should improve and enhance our communities.
UDOT has come up with its own options for the freeway and has been successfully using a "divide and conquer" strategy to create citizen "buy in"... I even fell for it, writing an article only in support of leaving the freeway out of my backyard. But, I am now convinced we must work TOGETHER for the benefit of ALL our communities.
BY SUPPORTING A SHARED SOLUTION WITH THE STATE OR FEDERALLY-FUNDED ASSISTANCE OF UTAHNS FOR BETTER TRANSPORTION, UDOT CAN MEET THEIR STATED OBJECTIVE OF IMPROVING AND ENHANCING OUR COMMUNITIES. UDOT can't seriously think that a MASSIVE, NOISY, POLLUTION-SPEWING, ELEVATED EYE-SORE of a freeway is going to enhance our communities!
In conclusion, UDOT's proposal is in direct opposition to the Federal Highway Administration's Livability Principles contained in this document:
We, the undersigned request that our taxes are used for transportation projects which do not waste our money. We also request that UDOT work side by side with other agencies such as Utahns for Better Transportation, UTA, as well as environmental groups to protect Utah's landscape, air quality, and wildlife! Our infrastructure is outdated and in need of repair BEFORE considering more freeways.
*****EXAMPLES OF SMARTER TRANSPORTATION PLANNING*****
Watch this video of the removal of the San Francisco Embarcadero elevated freeway with a boulevard showing how smarter planning can enhance beauty of natural surroundings increasing tourism, reduce emissions, encourage mass transit and other forms of travel, while increasing economic development and tourism. http://www.streetfilms.org/lessons-from-san-francisco/
Read this article on effective bicycle planning:
"Urban freeways are also ineffective as transportation solutions. Caught in the vicious feedback loop of induced demand, they cannot be expanded fast enough to keep up with increasing traffic — yet each expansion lures yet more drivers who create yet more congestion and demand more lanes, ad infinitum. The maintenance and expansion of these roadways gobble up transportation funds that could create and maintain less costly and destructive alternatives."
Read this article appropriately called "How to Slay a Concrete Dragon" about the proposed "ramps to nowhere" in Seattle that ultimately went unfunded. I have personally frequented the Arboretum mentioned in the article and was fortunate to have seen the natural beauty of the Japanese gardens that were to be removed for these ramps (corridors).
***********CURRENT NEWS ARTICLES IN REGARDS TO PETITION*********
"Meantime, transportation commissioners are hopeful that President-elect Barack Obama will advocate for a stimulus package for states of more than $500 billion over two years to provide 2.5 million jobs by investing in the nation's infrastructure. UDOT would apply for the money. "Hopefully, we'll be able to ramp up some of the projects," Commissioner Meghan Holbrook said."
Too bad that "infrastructure" is interpreted as freeways and not other options.
This news article was just written today AGAIN with Governor Herbert attempting to address the pollution problem... GOVERNOR: TELL ME AGAIN WHY UDOT IS PROPOSING A FREEWAY THAT WILL ONLY ADD TO OUR POLLUTION?
PERHAPS, it has to do with this 2008 article which showed that UDOT favors building roads and NOT building infrastructure because it reduces UDOT's capital: For every gallon of gas, UDOT receives 24.5 cents. They are receiving incentives to DISCOURAGE mass transit!
EPA is considering reducing the ozone standards from 75 ppb to 60 ppb. More freeways will create more pollution, idling or no idling.
"EPA Concludes Fine Particle Pollution Poses Serious Health Threats"
- "Causes early death (both short-term and long-term exposure)
- Causes cardiovascular harm (e.g. heart attacks, strokes, heart disease, congestive heart failure)
- Likely to cause respiratory harm (e.g. worsened asthma, worsened COPD, inflammation)
- May cause cancer
- May cause reproductive and developmental harm
—U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter, December 2009. EPA 600/R-08/139F"
Even the Government's Environmental Protection Agency knows that this freeway is not "smart" planning. Read the link below:
"Four transportation and land use strategies that enhance quality of life and protect human health and the environment are:
- Smart and sustainable street design.
- Transit-oriented development.
- Parking management.
- Sustainable transportation planning."
EPA REGULATORS LOOK TO REDUCE POLLUTION-CARS STILL BIG PROBLEM
Link between pollution and autism
UNACCEPTABLE AIR QUALITY:
UCAIR, INITIATED BY GOVERNOR HERBERT AND INTRODUCED JANUARY 31, 2012 BECAME A NON-PROFIT ON JUNE 11, 2013 http://www.ucair.org/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDV1-RrSoDc Jan 31, 2012 Governor Announces UCAIR
http://fox13now.com/2013/06/11/ucair-becomes-a-non-profit-organization/ June 11th 2013 UCAIR is now non-profit
CNN MONEY MAGAZINE RANKS FARMINGTON, UTAH THE 12TH BEST PLACE TO LIVE OUT OF AMERICA'S BEST SMALL TOWNS!
UBET attempted to work with UDOT on a shared solution
This section labeled "quality of life" encompasses more advantages for our citizens than the definition provided by UDOT. http://www.publictransportation.org/benefits/qualityoflife/Pages/default.aspx
Salt Lake Resident wrote letter against building this west davis corridor:
Dr. Moench's article in the Salt Lake Tribune regarding harmful ozone levels in Utah and the effect of the West Davis Corridor.
FEDERAL LAWS THAT PROTECT BALD EAGLES.. There are many in Farmington, Utah.
UDOT 'S RECOMMENDATION AND OAKRIDGE COUNTRY CLUB
Opposers to freeway attempted to meet with UDOT early on:
FEDS RECOMMEND THAT UDOT FUND THE SHARED SOLUTION:
*******************PUBLIC INPUT RALLIES 6-11-2013*********************
*******ORGANIZATIONS OPPOSED TO THE WEST DAVIS CORRIDOR and FAVORING A SHARED SOLUTION WITH UBET AND UDOT:********
(PLEASE CONTACT ME IF YOUR ORGANIZATION WOULD LIKE TO BE ADDED TO THIS LIST)
Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment
Protect Utah Wildlife
Utah Tar Sands Resistance
Governor We Cannot Breath
University Student Clean Air Network
Great Salt Lake Audubon
****************** CITIZENS SIGNING THIS PETITION: **********************
PLEASE MAKE COMMENTS WHY THIS ISSUE IS IMPORTANT TO YOU. OUR GOVERNOR AND ALL OF OUR ELECTED LEADERS NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU!
PLEASE MAKE AN OFFICIAL COMMENT ON THE LINK BELOW TO OUR GOVERNOR IN ADDITION TO A COMMENT ON THIS PAGE AND UDOT.
ALSO: MAKE COMMENTS THROUGH AUGUST 23rd 2013 ON UDOT'S WEBSITE: http://www.udot.utah.gov/westdavis/get_involved#contact
or VISIT THEIR WEBSITE http://www.udot.utah.gov/westdavis
Call, email, or write comments to your local leaders.
Syracuse citizens can make their comments via an online form.
Emails are not publicized...
* "Farmington Bay Bald Eagle" Photo Credit: Used by permission by Brent Clark. All rights reserved. Taken winter 2013 in Farmington Bay Farmington, Utah.