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DON’T RAM LIGHT RAIL DOWN THROATS

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Advocates of light rail in the Salt Lake Valley still seem determined to forge ahead with their project whether the rest of us want it or not.

Would light rail be a good idea? A bad idea? I don't know. I'm willing to be persuaded by facts and relevant information. But persuasion doesn't seem to be an approach they've considered. In fact, those who are pushing this idea seem determined to ram it down our throats, afraid to let it stand on its own.There are too many questions unanswered. Will it really cut commuting time? I can't see it doing anything but lengthening my commute if I have to take a bus to a rail station, wait for the train, then make way to work from a downtown station that is bound to be farther away than my current bus stop.

Will it really cut traffic? I doubt it, unless there are badly needed improvements in east-west routes toward the center of the valley, where the rail line may run.

Will it favor east-siders? That seems likely, unless there are spur lines to the west, where much of the expansion in the valley is talking place.

Have I overlooked important facts? Probably. I'd be glad to consider them, if only I had the information. I'd love to have answers to questions like how much this is going to cost us in money and time, and how the cost would compare with alternatives like expanded bus service and improved commuter routes.

But I'm tired of having advocates of light rail in effect patting me on the head and telling me, "Trust us, it will all work out because we say so." We who will eventually pay for this system, both directly and indirectly, deserve to be fully informed and deserve to have a voice in its approval or rejection.

Don L. Searle

West Valley City