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WVC wants UTA to delay rail designs for 5600 West

(Salt Lake Tribune) West Valley City officials are concerned that, with no guarantee that light rail will travel along the 5600 West corridor in the near future, the Utah Transit Authority wants to acquire too much right of way in that area for mass transit.

As part of the Utah Department of Transportation's plan to build the Mountain View highway mostly along 6200 West, federal provisions require building a mass-transit component along 5600 West. While the first phase of the project would be a bus rapid transit (BRT) system between 2700 South and 6200 South, the plan mandates a future upgrade to a rail system, said UTA spokesman Gerry Carpenter. That enhancement would occur in the far future, 50 years maybe, he said.

The BRT system uses a dedicated lane for the express buses.

UTA is designing a center-lane BRT corridor that allows for easier conversion into a TRAX line, but that means cutting off many left-hand turns and carving out space from certain intersections in an area that is seeing a lot of commercial growth.

"I'm not willing to sacrifice 50 years of economic viability of that road for the ideal solution 50 years from now," said Mayor Mike Winder, who said he supports mass transit and light rail, but has doubts over whether that area will ever need rail. "I think we need to make sure the road is still a vibrant working option for decades to come."

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