The population here in Washington County has grown over the years. But the road capacity has not grown with it and we’re getting tired of being stuck in traffic.
This is another significant issue for our county and the region. I have no problem with providing for safe bike transportation, livability walking/accessibility plans for residents and other transportation improvement ideas and Washington County has many funding streams to continue these improvements. For example, 25% of all MSTIP (Major Streets Transportation Improvement Program) projects include these types of projects as part of all new major road development and URMDAC recently appropriated over 11 million dollars for an additional 12 projects in Washington County. I support all of these!
However, all local and nationwide data supports the fact that approximately 85% of all individuals still use cars and see that as a necessity. Commuters want transportation infrastructure to be improved, and this includes increased vehicle capacity on our major arterials and local streets. This is the epitome of evidence-based policy making. It is NOT governments job to tell residents how to commute or how to live. That is government overreach. The market and citizens can decide that for themselves. The majority of transportation dollars must be spent for the greatest number of residents.
The County can also more strongly advocate for ODOT to complete and improve our major arterials such as Farmington, TV Highway and 185th Ave. which include much needed safety improvements. Providing for proactive transportation infrastructure is even more important as we see the South Cooper Mountain expansion that has not been planned well regarding transportation needs. Another option is to partner with ODOT to provide cost-sharing for these projects if necessary, or simply take back ownership of these roads. Our priority is to our local citizens and I will work to provide the best options available to be responsive to the needs of the county.