I truly believe that light rail in the Salt Lake area is a big mistake. My reasons are as follows:

It is too expensive. As taxpayers, my parents don't care whether $200 million comes from Utah taxpayers or federal taxpayers; it is still taxpayers' money. Once it is built, it will be difficult to get rid of, even if it doesn't solve our problems, which it won't. I have based this conclusion on myriad of references, such as magazines, newspapers, etc.Even UTA acknowledges that light rail will result in minimal reductions of traffic. Also, our rush-hour problem is a four-hour-a-day problem, not a 24-hour problem. Light rail will only eliminate 2 percent of the traffic while requiring operation of up to 18 hours a day.

I have two alternative solutions to Salt Lake's traffic problem. They can reduce congestion and pollution significantly while not requiring hundreds of millions of dollars. We can reduce traffic by spending some money to buy "smart" traffic lights that sense which street has the majority of traffic and adjust the signal length to keep traffic flowing. Another way is to turn major north-south streets, 700 East, Redwood Road, etc., into one-way north from 7-9 a.m. and south from 4-6 p.m. This way we can double the capacity of these streets, which will reduce I-15 congestion much more than light rail's 2 percent.

Someone needs to take a stand before this goes any further. It amazes me that a small group of UTA and government officials are the ones who keep telling us there are no other options besides light rail. It seems to me that they are just trying to make government bigger, not better. I don't want to see Salt Lake make a big mistake that I and my schoolmates will have keep paying for my entire adult life.

Annie Baker

Age 12

Salt Lake City