Mayor Larry Smith says he won't let the city engineer sign off on an interlocal roads agreement with Draper unless the neighboring town makes good on its promise to let 12300 South be the area's major traffic collector.
Smith, during a testy Tuesday confrontation between the Sandy City Council and Draper officials, joined council members in criticizing Draper for "misrepresenting" its plans for 12300 South.Residents of Sandy neighborhoods just outside the Draper city limits say they fear 1700 East, a residential avenue through the area, will become a shortcut expressway to Interstate 15 unless Draper abides by its stated intentions of turning 12300 South into the main east-west corridor through the area.
Glade R. Johnson, representing the Sandy homeowners, said "what we all thought was going to happen" will occur unless Draper is held to the agreement.
Draper, however, appears to be in a difficult spot because in 1991 the city made a deal with Metropolitan Investment Co., developer of a subdivision that will be bisected by 12300 South, in which it agreed that the street would be an ambling three-lane road between 1560 and 2000 East.
Smith said engineers from both cities as well as the Wasatch Front Regional Council agreed the street ought to have at least five lanes.
The interlocal agreement, which was written largely by Draper and approved in May by the Sandy City Council, includes maps that show 12300 South as a straight road through the area.
Hollis Hunt, the attorney representing Draper on the matter, said Tuesday: "I don't think anything has been misrepresented."
Sandy Council members disagreed, however.
"When we got hit with the curve we thought we were thrown a curve," said John Winder.
"Our interlocal agreement will show that's a straight shot," said Scott Cowdell.
"It's not how it was represented," said Ken Prince, who said unless 12300 South becomes the traffic carrier intended, commuters will resort to using 1700 East, making it "a death trap for a lot of people."
The interlocal agreement stipulates that the concerns of residents must be addressed before roads between the cities are hooked up, and it leaves it to traffic engineers to ultimately sign off on the pact.
"One thing that's clear is there is a residential concern that needs to be resolved," Mike Frisbie, Sandy's traffic engineer, told the council. "I'd recommend five lanes, as they'll need in the future."
Frisbie also said, despite the council's skepticism, that Draper's plans to make 12300 South a 70-foot road through the subdivision will make the road wide enough to handle five lanes.
Draper traffic engineer Dave Wilding said the road will indeed have five lanes by the time routes further east open. The area to the east is mostly undeveloped, but planners say it inevitably will become a booming residential area.