An Unnecessary Freeway

The Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC) commissioned a study to predict future traffic demands on WDC freeway thirty years into the future, in 2040.   The study showed that the $600 million WDC freeway would be vastly underutilized — even in 30 years from now — with between only 20% and 40% of its capacity utilized, and that is during the worst rush hour traffic at 5:30 pm, peak traffic time.   In the future, I-15 and Highway 89 will experience double that traffic demand.   The charts below (some are zoomed-in images), show the results of the WFRC study.  WDC freeway is the blue line labeled “West Davis” or “Legacy Pk” that runs diagonally down the left side of the chart (“.20”  or “.40” mean 20% or 40% of capacity will be used).  The blue color of the freeway line signifies that it will be “Underutilized”.

Given the $600 million price tag for this unnecessary freeway, it should cause taxpayers, City governments, County Commissioners, and State Legislators to question if those tax dollars could be spent better elsewhere (e.g., on schools, law enforcement, mass transit, higher education, healthcare, etc.).  The astronomical cost of construction for WDC freeway (likely underestimated) does not take into account the additional tens of millions of dollars that will be required for future WDC freeway maintenance, repairs, or upgrades.   Who will pay those costs?   At present, UDOT cannot afford to maintain the existing State highway system.  How can UDOT or the State of Utah afford to build and maintain WDC freeway?  The Legislature will have to raise taxes to pay those future freeway maintenance costs.  Based on the WFRC study, WDC freeway is an unnecessary waste of taxpayer dollars — especially when the traffic demand will be so much greater elsewhere.

The Shared Solution provides a better transportation plan by improving our existing infrastructure of roads in Davis and Weber Counties to:

  1. Make existing intersections more efficient on main east-west roads,
  2. Improve traffic flow on the main east-west arterial roads (e.g., Antelope Drive, Gentile, 200 North, etc.),
  3. Redesign existing main east-west roads so they become efficient and attractive boulevards through our communities
  4. Create a better community environment for residential neighborhoods, commercial business areas, parking, pedestrians, bikes and mass transit (see how it would look).

The Shared Solution planning and design does all of those things, while at the same time preserving the semi-rural, small town feel of our communities.

The Shared Solution offers much better land use planning tools to local city planners, which will preserve the nature of our communities.  Instead of a State Bureaucracy like UDOT planning our local communities, the Shared Solution allows for more local control of the planning and design of our communities.

On the other hand, WDC freeway will only induce or cause commercial development and urban sprawl in our neighborhoods, which will ruin the character and feel of our communities.  We don’t want Davis County, Utah to look like Orange County, California, with freeways and off-ramps everywhere, but that is what WDC freeway will create.   Instead, we want a Shared Solution!