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Letter: A train up Little Cottonwood Canyon is the best long-term solution

SHARE Letter: A train up Little Cottonwood Canyon is the best long-term solution
Letters to the Editor

Deseret News

The population in Utah is exploding. Every year, the drive up the canyons grows longer as more people flock to the outdoors. I am encouraged that the Utah Department of Transportation has recognized this and is progressing with plans to efficiently transport people up Little Cottonwood Canyon. However, I am disappointed that a train was not one of the final three options included in the environmental study for this proposal.

All three options (more frequent bus service, dedicated bus lane or a gondola) have their merits, but they are all temporary Band-Aids. A train would be the only long-term solution for the broader problems of traffic congestion and air quality on the Wasatch Front.

None of the final options addresses these issues in their entirety. They all require traffic to converge on the canyon before they are actually used. This requires roads being widened, more parking structures and continued hassle in the Cottonwood Heights neighborhoods.

A train is a proven mode of mountain transport that would be the most efficient, the cleanest and most importantly — expandable. If UDOT is serious about solving our traffic and air issues, the train could easily be expanded to connect into the successful investments the state has already made into rail (FrontRunner and TRAX).

The train may have the highest initial investment, but unquestionably has the highest return on investment over a 40-year period. If we are serious about shaping our future right now, why don’t we bite the bullet and invest in a long term solution instead of a short term Band-Aid?

Gus Gochnour

Salt Lake City