Farmington official airs concerns over west Davis corridor study

Jun 14 2010 - 11:20pm

FARMINGTON -- A study looking at a potential west Davis corridor represents a great start, Farmington's director of community development says, but it needs to be more specific in addressing transit and freight issues.

In a letter written to the Utah Department of Transportation earlier this month, David Petersen applauded a recent "purpose and need for action" study done by UDOT regarding a potential corridor extending from Farmington to Weber County, but cited what he saw as holes in the assessment.

His biggest concern is that background information for transit and freight is not adequately supported, and he said there is no quantifiable information on either issue in the report.

He said the idea that improved mobility for automobiles will mean better mobility for freight and transit is hard to prove, based on data from the study.

In his four-page letter, Petersen said express buses are mentioned, but the report does not indicate if additional routes may be needed in the future.

He also questioned whether there will be more demand for the FrontRunner. The letter also cited concerns about east-west routes and said the study provided no measurable need for such routes.

While Petersen aired some concerns about technicalities in the report, other city officials renewed concern that other issues be carefully considered in looking at a new transportation system linking Farmington to northern Davis County.

During a recent work session, City Councilman Jim Talbot said Farmington residents have already provided significant input on any west corridor route going through the city.

He said Petersen was right to address technical issues with the transportation group, but wanted to make sure input already given wasn't put aside.

Mayor Scott Harbertson noted Petersen took a different tack in addressing his concerns about the corridor plan, but said it's important to remember that UDOT has not formalized any routes and is still in the input mode.

The topic of a possible corridor along the city's west side has been a sensitive issue in the city for years, with residents expressing particular concern about where a road linking Legacy Parkway to northern Davis County might go through western parts of the city.

Because of its geography, Farmington is especially vulnerable to any possible new transportation options on the west side of Interstate 15.

The city is much like the middle of an hourglass in Utah's most densely populated county, with the shortest distance between the mountains and Great Salt Lake of any community.

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