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For week ended August 15, 1999 Posted 29 Aug 1999

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For better, but usually for worse, highways shape a city's destiny

Summarized by Derrick Roach

For better, but usually for worse, highways shape a city's destiny
San Diego CA Union Tribune 15Aug99 C9
By Timothy Egan: New York Times News Service

This article appeared in the Sunday paper of the San Diego Union Tribune. It is located on the front page of Section H. The article covers three pages.

It mostly talks about freeway construction in Salt Lake City and freeway demolition in Milwaukee. (the pro's and con's)

The article starts out....

Salt Lake City - Even a thousand feet above the valley, from the peak where Brigham Young mapped out his Mormon empire in 1847, one of the largest public works projects in the nation dominates the briny expanse of the Great Basin. Two thousand workers are pouring concrete around the clock, turning six lanes of Interstate 15 into 12 lanes through Salt Lake City and its suburbs.

And no sooner will the $1.6 billion expansion be completed in two years, state officials say, when they will need a new, parallel highway to keep traffic moving along the 100 miles of the Wasatch Mountian front, where most of Utah's 2.1 million people live.

The Salt Lake metropolitan area is growing by 1,000 acres a month, much of it to the alarm of Utah's political and business leaders.

The article contains pictures of Salt Lake City as well as quotes from many notable people. The article basically takes the position that Salt Lake City is taking the route that Los Angeles, Atlanta and Phoenix took and is making the same mistakes. Gov. Mike Leavitt is quoted as saying he has no choice but to build the freeways and is planning a new freeway that will be called the Legacy Freeway. The article makes mention that new housing developments are already springing up along the proposed route of the new freeway.

The article also states - More than most cities in the American West, Salt lake was carefully planned from inception, its blocks and avenues plotted with geometric precision, its neighborhoods zoned to reflect village atmosphere and to enhance the communal economics of the Mormon pioneers.

In Some ways the city is still like a big small town. But Salt Lake is on its way to becoming a Phoenix of the Wasatch range, bordered by new suburbs whose only connection to one another are the highways.

Many facts and figures are quoted.

The metropolitan area is projected to double in size, to more than 800 square miles by 2020, while the population grows by 50%.

The proposed Legacy Highway will ultimately run more than 100 miles, north and south.

There are 43 remaining dairy farms in the Salt Lake area, all of which are targeted by developers.

Utah has the nation's highest birth rate, averaging 20 births per 1,000 people in the 1990's, more than double the national average.

The state is projected to add a million people in the next 20 years, more than 70 percent from births, and 2 million more by 2050. (3 million over the next 50 years)

The article gives support for not builing additional freeways. It cites the closure of the Embarcadaro Freeway after the San Francisco earthquake, the closure of a six lane freeway in Portland, OR and the West Side Freeway that collapsed in New York. The closure of each of these main freeways had a positive effect on the surrounding communities.

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information