Candidate for Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski submitted the following statement regarding the Mountain Accord Proposed Blueprint:
I participated in the Canyon Transportation Study and gained a great deal of knowledge from my experience in that study.
The Mountain Accord blueprint addresses many important issues such as a trail network, transit service, and reduction of traffic congestion. However, the survey for public comment creates several questions for me due to the lack of details provided to survey takers. Parts of the blueprint are written in such a way that if feels as though we are being lead to believe the rail line is the direction we need to go and support. I am concerned about the cost of a rail line, the environmental impacts of it, especially on the watershed, and the tunneling that comes with it. What are the costs to mass transit riders in this valley who depend on it for transportation? And what is the trickle down impact on low-income riders for an elaborate rail system up the canyon designed primarily for visitors?
If the fundamental goal is to reduce traffic congestion and move more people efficiently up the canyon, with less environmental impact, then there are better options than the rail line. I hope the executive committee has not bought off on the rail line at this point and keeps things like the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) on the table.