Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Salt Lake, Davis Counties to Be Proactive on Corridor Preservation

Last year's legislature passed a bill (SB8) which gives counties the option of increasing auto registration fees and use the money for corridor of critical transportation corridors in that county.

So far, only two counties are considering adopting the fee and moving ahead -- Salt Lake and Davis. With the rapid growth rates in our state and the relative dearth of funding to accomplish all that is needed to build the planned future transportation system, development can easily overwhelm the areas where future corridors are needed, as legal constraints prevent local and state governments from banning development for more than a year or so. And with land prices escalating as rapidly as they are recently, the cost for acquiring and preserving corridors goes up exponentially.

Though it seems like a tax increase to implement the fee, in reality it is the "one donut now, or two donuts tomorrow" parable -- ask someone to do a task, and offer them one donut right now in payment, or two donuts tomorrow. By buying right-of-way for corridors now, in the long run taxpayers are saved a lot of money by acquiring the property before the values increase dramatically or it is developed and homes and businesses must be removed.

The actions are described in more detail in stories in the Trib (see here, here and here) and in the Davis County Clipper. Also a story in the DesNews. The Standard-Examiner editorializes in favor of the action, and Utah Policy Daily also praises such action.

It is truly a long-view planning action to take action to preserve corridors. It can be used for both highways and transit, so it is truly an integrated transportation tool.

1 Comments:

At 11:00 AM, Blogger google_PEAK_OIL said...

Even if you don't believe that the highway will ever be built, a wide ribbon of undeveloped publicly owned land cutting through suburbia is not necessarily a bad thing. It can become community gardens or a bike trail or a light rail route.

 

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