A UTA informative, concise transit and light-rail update, with map and without proposed fares, is in my hands. It concerns me very much that UTA has gone ahead with this project after the voters showed their displeasure for such. I fear that a monster is being created.
From 1917-77, I lived on Long Island, N.Y., home of the infamous Long Island Rail Road. We lived on the south shore in a town about 20 miles from New York City. The trip took about 45 minutes, including many stops. Monthly commuter tickets were purchased at the station. A conductor walked through the cars calling out the stations and punching the tickets. The commuting trains were jammed, but the trains running throughout the day and late at night were mostly empty.Two of the lines were electrified by two third rails that ran between incoming and outgoing train rails. Children were taught not to go near those rails as one touch would mean instant electrocution.
Children being what they are, they still crossed on the wood cover above the rails. Some were lucky, and others were not. Some met death at the crossings by trying to beat the train across.
At first there was no traffic problem, but that changed when about every family bought a car. Crossings were protected by a watchman, gates that barred the road and a tall pole with crossbar that flashed red lights and rang a bell. The train also whistled before every crossing. Even so, cars were hit and people killed.
When my children were growing up, the traffic there was no worse than in the Salt Lake area today. The congestion at crossings when the gates were down was exasperating. I drove my husband to the station every morning and picked him up at night. That was the necessary suburban pattern - a real nuisance to us all.
As for the trains, they were filthy, cold and almost always late. Power outages halted trains between stations and in the tunnels under the East River, sometimes lasting for hours. Human errors caused ac-cidents.
What has happened to the LIRR in the past 19 years? I don't know, but it would be a good idea to send someone to investigate its problems and solutions.
One thing I do know, if we don't elevate tracks now, there will be east-west traffic problems, and as the population increases, so will the problems.
I would like to know if UTA will heat rail cars in the winter? Air condition in summer? How full do UTA buses run now? What about the Salt Lake-Bountiful congestion?
So far, everyone I've asked here near a proposed terminal has answered no, probably not, occasionally or absolutely not when asked if they will use light rail. Are you ready for all the lawsuits this light rail will engender? Please think this through knowledgeably and intelligently!
Martha D. Harger