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U.S. 89 HAS BIGGER FLAWS THAN I-15, SAY 20% IN DAVIS

SHARE U.S. 89 HAS BIGGER FLAWS THAN I-15, SAY 20% IN DAVIS

Many Davis County residents believe U.S. 89 has more serious traffic problems than I-15 does, and they favor improvements to make it more safe, according to a recent poll.

A Dan Jones and Associates poll conducted for the Deseret News says 20 percent of residents believe U.S. 89 has a severe problem, as compared to only 12 percent thinking the same about the interstate freeway. Six percent said I-15 has no problem with congestion, while only 3 percent said that about U.S. 89.On another related traffic question, 61 percent said they strongly favor or somewhat favor having additional stoplights along the road, while 59 percent said they favor the addition of frontage roads and a reduction of access to create an expressway on U.S. 89.

Although those statistics may seem contradictory, Bob Wall, chairman of Layton's citizen advisory committee for the highway, said he thinks it reveals that county residents are so fed up with the wait for a decision on the road's future that they might tend to vote for any development there, as long as it means some sort of action is being taken.

In public meetings held in December for Layton's advisory council on the highway, Wall said citizens voted 137-13 in favor of having stoplights added to the busy highway, instead of having an expensive expressway development.

No decision has been made yet, but the Utah Department of Transportation will hold public hearings later this winter or in early spring.

UDOT had informed Layton City last year it would be installing at least two more traffic signals on the highway, at Sunset and Cherry lanes. However, late last month, UDOT informed Layton it has put those two signals on hold.

Lynn Zollinger, assistant director for UDOT District 1, said the delay was directed by the state's transportation committee. He also said, despite rumors to the contrary, that the delays are not part of any plan UDOT has to push the expressway proposal through for U.S. 89 at any cost.

Layton Mayor James Layton said he's upset the two stoplights are not being installed this year as promised. He said the lack of lights at those intersections causes some real safety concerns.

Wall said the many school buses that must cross U.S. 89 at Cherry Lane without traffic signals constitutes a disaster waiting to happen.

Meanwhile, construction on the highway's first interchange in Davis County is ready to start. Zollinger said advertisements for bids on the project at the U-193 intersection, south of Weber Canyon, will go out later this month.

He said property acquisition problems have caused some delays on the project, which will take two years to complete.

POLL

Deseret News Poll

Now some questions about traffic in Davis County

Using the 1-7 scale, this time with one meaning "no problem" and seven meaning "severe problem" please rate the problem of traffric congestion on the following roads in Davis County...

The I-15 Freeway

No problem Severe problem Don't know

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

6% 9% 12% 20% 26% 14% 12% 2%

Highway 89

No problem Severe problem Don't know

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

3% 7% 10% 15% 23% 16% 20% 8%

Do you favor or oppose the following measures?

Installation of additional traffic lights along Highway 89:

Strongly favor 40%

Somewhat favor 21%

Somewhat oppose 17%

Strongly oppose 15%

Don't know 8%

Addition of frontage roads and reduction of access to create an expressway on Highway 89:

Strongly favor 38%

Somewhat favor 21%

Somewhat oppose 12%

Strongly oppose 15%

Don't know 14%

Number polled: 400. Error margin: +/-5 percent.

Conducted Jan. 4-9, 1993. Dan Jones and Associates.

Copyright 1993 Deseret News

Next: What Davis County residents like about their county.