Monday, March 17, 2008

5600 West Corridor

Rapid Bus
Originally uploaded by skew-t
Developers discovering late-blooming 5600 West area

Here is an article from today's Salt Lake Tribune about development of 5600 West. Having worked at 2100 South and 5600 West from 1998 to 2000, I can attest to the changes that have taken place along the 5600 West Corridor.

However, part of the article details UTA's plans for the corridor and once again they just do not make sense.

First they propose putting in a BRT line. Next they plan to convert the line to full Light Rail configuration within the next 25 years.

This is a case of over engineering a solution to the problem. First of all there isn't even any transit service in this corridor except for a couple of "fast buses" during the peak hours and the 47 connection between 4700 South and 4100 South.

Considering the questionable success of current BRT projects, a much better solution would be to just implement a regular bus route for now from the airport to connect up with South Jordan TRAX line once it opens. This would service a larger market than a BRT line in the corridor.

Then instead of upgrading the BRT route to a full light rail service which would be overkill in the corridor, go back to the original plan and implement a streetcar or a semi-rapid streetcar.

The line could start at Daybreak on the TRAX line, travel with the South Jordan TRAX line where it would connect up with the former Rio Grande/ Union Pacific branch line to Magna. It could travel next to the branch line all the way to 5600 West when it would enter 5600 West travel through the airport Industrial park then hook up with the Airport TRAX line to the airport terminal.

This would allow a relatively fast trip connecting two important TRAX lines. In addition it would cost less to build than a full blown TRAX line which is not needed in this corridor.

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