New Movement Aims To Improve Traffic In Silicon Slopes

If you don’t like I-15 congestion along the Tech Corridor, email a state representative.

According to a non-official study I just barely conducted, here are the three most common behaviors exhibited by people stuck in I-15 traffic:

  1. Long, winding streams of Utah-approved profanity that include keywords like “gosh darn”, “golly gee”, “jumping jillikers”, “gee whiz”, “criminy”, “holy moses”, “jeebus”, “jooblers”, “patty cake”, “dangit”, “jiminy christmas”, “freakin heck”, “flippin”, “son of an ugly thing”, and “beefcake.”
  2. Constant, wide-eyed, frantic head-swiveling — a futile behavior for traffic-jam dwellers searching for an alternate lane to magically appear and offer a route to cruise-control approved safety.
  3. An unmovable, straight-forward gaze, patterned after the brainless cow herds trolling dumbly through Utah’s farmlands — this behavior is always paired with a cold realization that congested traffic has just ruined every hope, dream, and belief in a brighter future.

One particular area of I-15 known for its traffic problems is referred to as the Tech Corridor, which encompasses the Thanksgiving Point/Lehi stretch just south of the point of the mountain. Those of you who have lived in Utah long enough, know this portion of I-15 has always been a problem-child filled constantly with backed-up lanes of traffic.

News flash: as tech expansion has created an influx of jobs and people in the area, the Tech Corridor has turned into even more of a hellscape rife with traffic congestion. And as more and more tech companies pop up in Silicon Slopes, that will only increase. Here’s another news flash: that’s a problem.

On the bright side, a project has been approved by the Utah Transportation Commission that will allocate $450 million towards improving the Tech Corridor — new lanes, frontage road system, improved interchanges, bridge replacements, etc. The downside is the project isn’t scheduled to begin until 2020, which means everyone would have to survive three years of garbage traffic in a state growing like mad. Unless…

Unless there was a way to bump up the already-scheduled project, one that would allow construction to begin in 2018. Oh wait, there is a way, it’s called a bond and it’s part of a movement started by Flippin’ Traffic to, indeed, “Stop the flippin’ traffic problem in Silicon Slopes!”

Here’s how a bond would work: Utah would borrow $500 million two years early (in 2018 rather than 2020) and apply that money to immediately improving the Tech Corridor. This is a tactic Utah has used successfully in the past, including for I-15 expansion in Utah County. The idea behind Flippin’ Traffic is that Utah is already committed to improving the Tech Corridor, so why not get started as soon as possible?

“We’ve seen economic expansion in the state every time we make a significant investment in transportation infrastructure,” said Andrew Bybee, a developer and owner of STACK Real Estate. “We don’t see this time being any different. Advancing construction on already approved and funded projects saves money by borrowing at historically cheap interest rates, before those rates go up and inflation follows. The cost of economic growth more than outweighs the cost of borrowing to build now.”

The best way of doing this is through emailing your state representative, which anyone can do through the Flippin’ Traffic website. The hope is to send 10,000 emails, get the $500 million in bonds authorized, and begin construction in 2018. If that happens, flippin’ traffic comes to an end sooner rather than later.

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