In response to Betty Christensen's letter (Forum, June 3), I question some of the arguments she uses to state her case opposing light rail.
First, she claims a light-rail system would "spoil a city internationally acclaimed for its wide, clean streets." How attractive are wide streets during rush hour when you're sitting in your car wondering when you will get moving again?Second, she contends Salt Lake City "does not in any way meet the criteria for a successful light-rail system." Whose criteria is being used here? Salt Lake City meets the criteria better than many Western cities that have successful systems.
Salt Lake City is a middle-size city experiencing astounding growth and the associated stress to our infrastructure. Salt Lake City has a predominantly north-south commuting route. UTA could use light rail as a "spine" for its busing system, using buses to run east-west routes and greatly improving UTA's current transit times. Because much of the rail system for the proposed light rail is already in place (and bought by UTA), this would be far less expensive than alternative transportation systems proposed by others.
Of course, areas that have light rail are looking for ways to cut death and injury rates. But they are also looking for ways to cut deaths and injuries on the highways, which kill many more people than light rail does.
If the federal government is willing to help us pay for an alternative transportation system, let's take advantage of it while the offer is there. Current growth trends indicate we will have to do something sooner or later anyway.