Saturday, February 24, 2007

Story in Valley Journal- Jan 2007

Vintage trolley could be viable option for SSL
Valley Journal

By Liesel Gowen
Imagine walking along 2100 South
by a lush green park. The birds are
singing and you stop at the trolley station
to catch a ride to Sugar House for a day
of shopping.
Doug White, South Salt Lake resi-
dent and organizer of the Sugar House
Trolley Association, presented this pic-
ture to the South Salt Lake City Council.
“All the trolley systems currently in
use have been set up in the last 10 to 15
years,” he said. “And everywhere they
have gone in, property values dramati-
cally increased.”
UTA currently holds the rights to
put in whatever transportation system
they find feasible along the 2100 South
corridor. They are researching White’s
suggestion to see if it fits into the larger
In the meantime, White has found
several workable trolleys the city could
use for less than half the cost of a TRAX
car. White has also collected $500,000 in
donated time and materials from corpo-
rations and individuals.
UTA project manager George
LaBonty said their major concerns are
whether it is safe and efficient. They will
not put in a system that does not fit with
the community, he said.
“People are concerned with what the
cars will look like. They want to know
how noisy it is and whether it will rum-
ble when it goes by,” LaBonty said. “We
will not move forward on a project that
does not meet these basic needs.”
The system that goes in will not
exceed 30 miles per hour and will stop
frequently, LaBonty said. This addresses
the concern brought up by city attorney
Dave Carlson, who said many residents
initially did not favor a TRAX line
because they believed it would pass them
by without serving them.
“We have met with the neighbors in
the area and we have pretty well convert-
ed everyone to the idea of having a line
by their homes,” said Mayor Bob Gray.
Because it holds the legal rights to
public transportation in South Salt Lake,
UTA would have to sign the right-of-way
over to White for him to complete his
trolley project. LaBonty said UTA would
take longer to complete the project than
White would, because UTA has so many
projects that are a higher priority, where-
as White’s main focus is to complete this
“Land use drives transportation,”
Labonty said. “We are working with Salt
Lake City, South Salt Lake and Sugar
House to make sure there are no fatal

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