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  #2721  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2011, 7:32 AM
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Metropolitan Transportation Master Plans

Weber, Davis and Salt Lake Counties

The WFC just released their 2040 Transportation and Transit development master plan. Really interesting stuff.

http://wfrc.org/RTPAlternatives/Draf...for%20TACs.pdf

One the Transit side:

I was pretty overwhelmed by the level of Rapid Trainsit Bus lines being planned for the future, but not very excited about the lack of rail projects or at least any new rail project besides the extension from the Sugar House Streetcar line to Westminster College, the Odgen Streetcar line to Weber State and downtown circulator and the University TRAX line extension to the SLC Inter-model Hub. As of now, it looks like South Davis County's Streetcar has been downgraded to a BRT.

http://wfrc.org/RTPAlternatives/Draf...ng%20Map_a.pdf

On the Highway Projects side:

Some interesting highlights include a plan to convert Bangerter Highway over to a Freeway as well as plans to reconstruct I-15 where the high mast center freeway lighting currently ends all the way to Utah County and a giant $1.9 billion project to rebuild I-15 from where I-215 meets it in Davis County all the way North of Farmington between 2030-2040. And of course you have the West Davis Corridor project and Mountain View Corridor project as well.

Utah County

Also, in December of 2010 Utah County with all cities working together under the Mountainland Association of Governments released their 2040 Transportation and Transit developments master plan. There are all kinds of crazy surprises in these plans.

http://www.mountainland.org/Transpor...0Jan%20RPC.pdf

On the Transit side:
FrontRunner will extend to Payson starting sometime in 2020 and to Santaquin starting in 2030. They have an entirely new Commuter Train on the plan (it does not have a proposed timetable) that would connect at the 1st FrontRunner station in Lehi and go through Eagle Mountain and end in Santaquin at a their 1st Front Runner Station. One of the plans also includes a big TRAX project that from 2030-40 would start where the line left off in Drapper and continue all the way into Orem meeting with their FrontRunner and BRT. Oh and Lehi wants in on some Light Rail Action of their own as well (though no timetable is given).

http://www.mountainland.org/Transpor...0Jan%20RPC.pdf

On the Highway Projects side:
The Utah County Metro shouldn't expect a break along I-15 right after UCORE; before 2020 I-15 will be rebuilt from where UCORE left off in Lehi all the way around the point of the mountain (before 2020 from Spanish Fork to the beginning of Davis County I-15 will be concrete, have 100% high mast center lighting and most of it will have a HOV/Toll lane) and from Spanish Fork through Payson there will be a widening of the existing I-15. The Mountain View corridor becomes a Freeway between 2020-2030 and among other interesting things to see, Provo Bay gets a Freeway bridge.
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  #2722  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2011, 11:12 AM
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Awesome info!! So is UDOT installing High mast lighting in Utah county as part of the I-15 CORE project?
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  #2723  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2011, 6:03 PM
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Awesome info!! So is UDOT installing High mast lighting in Utah county as part of the I-15 CORE project?
Sound walls + high mast lighting!
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  #2724  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2011, 9:36 PM
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Oh, im speaking about the area. Its not really one of the nicest entrances to downtown..Pretty rundown and unfriendly. I usually stay away from it when I can and I for sure don't take friends visiting SLC on a tour through there
Heh, I like Beck Street, the speed limit is like 50 and there isn't much traffic. It has such an odd feeling about it too, like you can't tell which businesses are still operating and which aren't because everything just looks run down. It's strange to say the least, grit to the max.

I hope that area gets cleaned up eventually. It's so close to downtown, it could be a really cool neighborhood one day.

Was that the refinery that had an explosion a few years ago, or was that Holly?
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  #2725  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2011, 4:37 AM
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Thanks for posting that, s.p.!

Looks like there's plans to extend the Sugar House Streetcar to Westminster College! And more TRAX along 400 S to the hub (creating a downtown loop)! It's also great to see that there's still a possibility of a streetcar line in Ogden. I had no idea there were plans for a Draper to Provo TRAX line! I thought the farthest South they were planning was Lehi. I'm hoping either Ogden or Provo takes a major step that sparks a rail race between the two cities!!!

Just one problem...

Where's the downtown Salt Lake City streetcar!?!? I'm not seeing it.

Last edited by SLCdude; Jan 12, 2011 at 5:04 AM.
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  #2726  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2011, 8:08 AM
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Originally Posted by John Martin View Post
Heh, I like Beck Street, the speed limit is like 50 and there isn't much traffic. It has such an odd feeling about it too, like you can't tell which businesses are still operating and which aren't because everything just looks run down. It's strange to say the least, grit to the max.

I hope that area gets cleaned up eventually. It's so close to downtown, it could be a really cool neighborhood one day.

Was that the refinery that had an explosion a few years ago, or was that Holly?
The refinery that exploded was in Woods Cross.
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  #2727  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2011, 5:52 PM
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Originally Posted by SLCdude View Post


Thanks for posting that, s.p.!

Looks like there's plans to extend the Sugar House Streetcar to Westminster College! And more TRAX along 400 S to the hub (creating a downtown loop)! It's also great to see that there's still a possibility of a streetcar line in Ogden. I had no idea there were plans for a Draper to Provo TRAX line! I thought the farthest South they were planning was Lehi. I'm hoping either Ogden or Provo takes a major step that sparks a rail race between the two cities!!!

Just one problem...

Where's the downtown Salt Lake City streetcar!?!? I'm not seeing it.
I think the Weber, Davis and Salt Lake Counties Transportation Master Plan errors on the side of being conservative when it comes to funding for new projects. I'm sure with a bit extra Federal funding and perhaps some local property tax increases you will see many of the Rapid Transit Bus lines become streetcar and light rail lines. Since the Federal government has shown a strong tendency to fund both the transit studies for streetcar lines and a good portion of the streetcar lines construction as well, I think we will see more streetcar lines than has been alluded to in the master plan.

From the same master plan there is a document titled "unfunded needs" that basically showcases what the WFRC would really like to see on some of these BRT routes. In this document it is pretty clear that the street car lines in SLC and in Bountiful are still the desired way to go. Either way, Ogden's street car construction is secure (it will have funding); we don't have to worry about it becoming a BRT or having to wait until 2020 for construction to begin.

http://wfrc.org/RTPAlternatives/unfunded%20list.pdf

And the refinery that blew up was the Silver Eagle refinery in WX.

Also, on a side note, I did some major Google snooping on the prospects of recovering the gravel pit mining along Beck Street and removing/ relocating the refineries. And I can safely say that there is absolutely no detectable political mobilization of any body of citizens to make this happen. After the Silver Eagle blew up not one person sued the refinery and instead chose to work with the refinery itself to pay for the expenses to expedite the process of repairing their damages.

That idea that Utah could just offer incentives to rebuild the refineries somewhere else is never likely to be possible because of two major hurtles. From 2007 our gas consumption has dropped (the experts agree we will never reach that level of consumption in the US again). Though projections have been made that vehicles on the roads will increase over the next 20 years, oil is still expected to decrease. This comes in light of easily drilled crude becoming harder to come by, a massive increase in electric and hybrid cars in the future and more of an admixture of bio-diesel and natural gas in the market. With China consuming more oil gas prices will still be kept high which will continue to propel the US backing off from oil.

What all of this means is that the US will actually be decreasing its capacity in oil refining which will involve shutting down many refineries. It will also mean that it will no longer be economic to build a new refinery in this county. So our best bet at losing the refineries will simply be the market becoming to steep for them to survive. And the odds of them being shut down are also helped by the fact that they are small compared to their mega refinery contemporaries. Crude keeps becoming more diversified and the market really desires refineries to have the capability to process more and more different kinds of crude. Small refineries can't make the change and thus will be the first on the firing line to be abandoned.

So once these refineries die (in the next 20 years) I think the Beck Street gravel pits will immediately be next to cease operation as redevelopment becomes a real prospect. The delayed but still planned Eaglewood Village is a good sign and a harbinger of things to come for the Beck Street area.
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  #2728  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2011, 6:42 PM
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IMO there is no need to increase taxes to upgrade from BRT to Light Rail in so many areas, a true BRT is just as effective as light rail and much more cost effective. Maxx is not yet a true BRT, once it is, people will be amazed at how effective it is in spurring economic development along the line. Right now it's simply a different bus with fewer stops and it's own shelters. When completed it will transform the area it runs through.

Street cars are great to move from place to place within the city itself, light rail is good for commuting with less frequent stops than BRT.

When I moved away from Cleveland it was about 2 months away from completing its BRT from downtown to Case Western University, and the Cleveland Clinic Hospital campus. I left in mid 2008, and many millions of dollars were being invested in new projects along the line, even in a down economy and a economically challenged city.
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  #2729  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2011, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by s.p.hansen View Post
I think the Weber, Davis and Salt Lake Counties Transportation Master Plan errors on the side of being conservative when it comes to funding for new projects. I'm sure with a bit extra Federal funding and perhaps some local property tax increases you will see many of the Rapid Transit Bus lines become streetcar and light rail lines. Since the Federal government has shown a strong tendency to fund both the transit studies for streetcar lines and a good portion of the streetcar lines construction as well, I think we will see more streetcar lines than has been alluded to in the master plan.

From the same master plan there is a document titled "unfunded needs" that basically showcases what the WFRC would really like to see on some of these BRT routes. In this document it is pretty clear that the street car lines in SLC and in Bountiful are still the desired way to go. Either way, Ogden's street car construction is secure (it will have funding); we don't have to worry about it becoming a BRT or having to wait until 2020 for construction to begin.

http://wfrc.org/RTPAlternatives/unfunded%20list.pdf

And the refinery that blew up was the Silver Eagle refinery in WX.

Also, on a side note, I did some major Google snooping on the prospects of recovering the gravel pit mining along Beck Street and removing/ relocating the refineries. And I can safely say that there is absolutely no detectable political mobilization of any body of citizens to make this happen. After the Silver Eagle blew up not one person sued the refinery and instead chose to work with the refinery itself to pay for the expenses to expedite the process of repairing their damages.

That idea that Utah could just offer incentives to rebuild the refineries somewhere else is never likely to be possible because of two major hurtles. From 2007 our gas consumption has dropped (the experts agree we will never reach that level of consumption in the US again). Though projections have been made that vehicles on the roads will increase over the next 20 years, oil is still expected to decrease. This comes in light of easily drilled crude becoming harder to come by, a massive increase in electric and hybrid cars in the future and more of an admixture of bio-diesel and natural gas in the market. With China consuming more oil gas prices will still be kept high which will continue to propel the US backing off from oil.

What all of this means is that the US will actually be decreasing its capacity in oil refining which will involve shutting down many refineries. It will also mean that it will no longer be economic to build a new refinery in this county. So our best bet at losing the refineries will simply be the market becoming to steep for them to survive. And the odds of them being shut down are also helped by the fact that they are small compared to their mega refinery contemporaries. Crude keeps becoming more diversified and the market really desires refineries to have the capability to process more and more different kinds of crude. Small refineries can't make the change and thus will be the first on the firing line to be abandoned.

So once these refineries die (in the next 20 years) I think the Beck Street gravel pits will immediately be next to cease operation as redevelopment becomes a real prospect. The delayed but still planned Eaglewood Village is a good sign and a harbinger of things to come for the Beck Street area.
Thanks for your analysis I think it is well thought out. I am not sure I agree with all of your conclusions, but your post was very worthwhile to read.

I would love that area to change, as much as I would love Rocky Mountain to close their natural gas plant on North Temple, but I think there are strong economic and practical reasons for them staying. It would be interesting to know if the pressure would build for these types of industries to relocate out of the metro if air quality standards got much tougher.
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  #2730  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2011, 1:28 AM
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Originally Posted by WeST View Post
Thanks for your analysis I think it is well thought out. I am not sure I agree with all of your conclusions, but your post was very worthwhile to read.

I would love that area to change, as much as I would love Rocky Mountain to close their natural gas plant on North Temple, but I think there are strong economic and practical reasons for them staying. It would be interesting to know if the pressure would build for these types of industries to relocate out of the metro if air quality standards got much tougher.
Thank you WeST.

Please don't get me wrong. I'm not a fan of de-industrializing Utah or America for that matter. Right now the 5 refineries in Utah are estimated to be bringing in 500 million dollars a year. Ideally we would be able to move them out to some place in Utah that is far from a national and state park and an area that is not going to boom in population in the next 50 years. Maybe Delta Utah (they even meet the railroad requirement)?
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Delta+...ed=0CCIQ8gEwAA

But the fact is, that the free market has become such that it wouldn't be profitable to rebuild a refinery in the US for a couple of decades. And assuming we do figure out how to do a good economic job reinventing cars without any oil, then the need to build a new refinery in the U.S. will be uneconomic indefinitely. You never need to mourn such things because when one industry dies that employed a lot of people, a new one always takes its place and hires even more people.

There are some exciting real developments happening with new kinds of nuclear power that uses a fraction of the resources and creates much less radioactive byproduct. Thorium based nuclear power creates less waste and it only stays radioactive for 200 years (vs. over 1,000,000 years with traditional uranium rods)! And one of the biggest thorium companies in the US is based out of Salt Lake City Utah with mining rights in Idaho that has enough thorium to keep the US from being in the position of importing.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/40766873

Last edited by s.p.hansen; Jan 13, 2011 at 2:05 AM.
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  #2731  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2011, 1:47 AM
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From the link s.p. posted, it looks like they're considering a Little Cottonwood Canyon train to Snowbird and Alta. Thoughts?
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  #2732  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2011, 2:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Future Mayor View Post
IMO there is no need to increase taxes to upgrade from BRT to Light Rail in so many areas, a true BRT is just as effective as light rail and much more cost effective. Maxx is not yet a true BRT, once it is, people will be amazed at how effective it is in spurring economic development along the line. Right now it's simply a different bus with fewer stops and it's own shelters. When completed it will transform the area it runs through.

Street cars are great to move from place to place within the city itself, light rail is good for commuting with less frequent stops than BRT.

When I moved away from Cleveland it was about 2 months away from completing its BRT from downtown to Case Western University, and the Cleveland Clinic Hospital campus. I left in mid 2008, and many millions of dollars were being invested in new projects along the line, even in a down economy and a economically challenged city.
How dare you come in here and be a voice of reason in the wilderness.

The only counter points I can make is that according to the Ogden and Sugar House streetcar studies, Streetcars have better public support, more capacity and they generate less pollution (they run on electricity). And this is just my hunch, but I think Streetcars would do better with snow on the ground.

But mostly I just think electric trains are way coooler. Not very Pragmatic, but oh well, I'm not in charge so life goes on.
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  #2733  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2011, 2:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Future Mayor View Post
IMO there is no need to increase taxes to upgrade from BRT to Light Rail in so many areas, a true BRT is just as effective as light rail and much more cost effective. Maxx is not yet a true BRT, once it is, people will be amazed at how effective it is in spurring economic development along the line. Right now it's simply a different bus with fewer stops and it's own shelters. When completed it will transform the area it runs through.

Street cars are great to move from place to place within the city itself, light rail is good for commuting with less frequent stops than BRT.

When I moved away from Cleveland it was about 2 months away from completing its BRT from downtown to Case Western University, and the Cleveland Clinic Hospital campus. I left in mid 2008, and many millions of dollars were being invested in new projects along the line, even in a down economy and a economically challenged city.
I disagree with your comments on BRT being equal to Light Rail if done properly. First off as a frequent rider of Public Transit, I absolutely hate riding the bus vs. trains. With a bus it's constantly abruptly stop and go. Very rough rides, especially when riding in the back of the bus. I also appreciate that there will be a decrease in the amount of toxins released into our already horrible air. Additionally busses are extremely unpredictable, you never know when a bus may be running late/early. Perhaps BRT Lines are more reliable as I've never been on one, but I think the increased ridership on Trax vs. the bus lines that previously existed speaks to riders preference for them.
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  #2734  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2011, 2:10 AM
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Canyon Trains

I think Trains up the canyons would be awesome for multiple reasons 1. Less impact on the fragile canyon eco-systems. Better access to the canyons for all demographics.
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  #2735  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2011, 2:12 AM
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I disagree with your comments on BRT being equal to Light Rail if done properly. First off as a frequent rider of Public Transit, I absolutely hate riding the bus vs. trains. With a bus it's constantly abruptly stop and go. Very rough rides, especially when riding in the back of the bus. I also appreciate that there will be a decrease in the amount of toxins released into our already horrible air. Additionally busses are extremely unpredictable, you never know when a bus may be running late/early. Perhaps BRT Lines are more reliable as I've never been on one, but I think the increased ridership on Trax vs. the bus lines that previously existed speaks to riders preference for them.
BRTs are like Buses in TRAX lanes with no train tracks. So they don't stop as much and they go a lot faster and run a lot smoother. Here is an example of a large scale BRT that is very successful.

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=187513

I do think going with rider preference is key though. Like you said.
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  #2736  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2011, 2:16 AM
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I think Trains up the canyons would be awesome for multiple reasons 1. Less impact on the fragile canyon eco-systems. Better access to the canyons for all demographics.
Here you go.

http://www.envisionutah.org/TrainToA...une_8Nov10.pdf
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  #2737  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2011, 2:19 AM
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[QUOTE=s.p.hansen;5123798]Thank you WeST.

Please don't get me wrong. I'm not a fan of de-industrializing Utah or America for that matter. Right now the 5 refineries in Utah are estimated to be bringing in 500 million dollars a year. Ideally we would be able to move them out to some place in Utah that is far from a national and state park and an area that is not going to boom in population in the next 50 years. Maybe Delta Utah (they even meet the railroad requirement)?
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Delta+...ed=0CCIQ8gEwAA

Although I think you have good intentions moving the plant to a less populated area (affecting fewer people in the long-run), it seems very unjust to move industries we see as hazardous from Urban areas to Rural. We get the benefit of the industry while they get to live with the consequences.
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  #2738  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2011, 2:49 AM
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Although I think you have good intentions moving the plant to a less populated area (affecting fewer people in the long-run), it seems very unjust to move industries we see as hazardous from Urban areas to Rural. We get the benefit of the industry while they get to live with the consequences.
I get in trouble here for debating these things too long but let me offer this last bit to think about.

Until better options are found we have to make due with what we have. Luckily for everyone the days of big oil are numbered. So the example of building refineries in Delta is now mute. BUT, if it wasn't, or if we substitute that for more power plants to be built there to help the Wasatch Front, they would still get the most benefits because of all the people employed there or people who would commute there to work and shop and eat in the town. If they want to take some of our pollution off our hands to make some money, who am I to stand in their way. It would of course, be their choice. They would still only be in the shadow of our Wasatch pollution (it wouldn't get as bad there).

And in general farmerboy, it is better to have industrial plants at home vs. abroad because we actually have standards and do the evil deed in the most clean manner. For instance, Kennecott (Rio Tinto) has one of the cleanest smelters in the world in Utah. If we shut down that mine because it makes us feel good inside about the earth, it will just get built in some 3rd world nation where they have no EPA and where many many more times the dangerous pollution will belch out of it. So it's better for the U.S. to keep these industries and its better to move them away from densely populated areas if possible.

Delta currently has the highest capacity power plant (coal) in the state of Utah; I would invite you to keep tabs on Delta to see if it ever gets near the same category of bad air as the Wasatch Front or Cache Valley.
http://geology.utah.gov/utahgeo/ener...plants/ipp.htm
http://www.kued.org/productions/wild...odneyClark.pdf

Last edited by s.p.hansen; Jan 13, 2011 at 3:05 AM.
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  #2739  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2011, 4:21 AM
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Although BRT has proven to be effective in places like Curitiba, Brazil, Salt Lake City desperately needs to reduce CO2 emissions. Pollution in the valley is only getting worse as the population grows and sprawls westward. Salt Lake County should be very inclined towards rail transit due to our unique geography!

I love the Idea of BRT, but Salt Lake County should go with streetcars for cleaner air in the valley.
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  #2740  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2011, 5:26 AM
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Street cars travel slower than BRT, and would thus not be a benefit for people commuting or trying to get to traxx, the sugarhouse street car line is short in comparison to the proposed BRT lines. BRT can run on natural gas, reducing emissions, they can also run on electricity, so BRT could eliminate a large number of cars on the street and not run on fossil fuels, plus the cost of BRT is substantially less than light rail.

I would like to see a light rail line N/S on 5600 W running from the airport, down to 7200 or 7800 S, with BRT's running east and west on a few of the major roads. I am also a big proponent for BRT on State street running from SLC to Sandy or Draper. Combine those with a nice network of street cars running throughout Salt Lake City and that would be a great transit system.

I would like to see a monorail type systems running up and down big and little cottonwood canyons and possibly connecting over the mtn to Park City.
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