Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cleaner Air

My comments at the Clean Air Forum last week:

Air quality is the responsibility of all of us, each one of us as individuals.  Our life style choices, our daily decisions, all affect our air quality.  We like to blame Kennecott, the oil refineries, our neighbor's SUV, even the Governor (and I suspect he deserves a fair share of the blame for lack of leadership on this issue), but it all comes down to each of us as individuals.

Most of us would like to make better decisions that reduce our contribution to air problems, and it helps to have good alternatives, particularly when it comes to transportation.  In this valley, we need better public transportation.  UTA should be congratulated for its excellent light rail system; however this has come about by sacrificing bus service to our neighborhoods.  In the Avenues, we now have worse bus service than several years ago.

I realize expanding public transportation options comes with a cost.  I'd support an increase in the sales tax allotment going to UTA if they would use it to expand service and lower fares.  I know tax is a dirty word around here, but it's not as dirty as our air in January.

In the eastern cities and European cities, public transportation is well integrated into daily lives; however, out west, it seems that we still have the old one man, one horse mentality.  Thankfully that may be changing.  Some recent studies indicate that the younger generation is buying fewer cars, even less likely to get driver's licenses.  I hope UTA jumps on this trend and provides the transpiration options that enhance this trend before people get frustrated and return to car purchases.

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Please feel free to comment or suggest. I want to keep and open dialog with voters.