Provo needs to be friendlier to our already existing businesses and to future businesses that want to call our city home. We need businesses in Provo to help alleviate the tax burden we all are feeling and improve our quality of life. Convenient access to businesses and services is part of what makes living in Provo great. Better infrastructure with easy access, parking accommodations, and easier travel routes will only help to attract more businesses and customers to Provo, as well as make it better for all of us to live here.
The cost of living in Provo is increasing at a much higher rate than inflation. We have to look at the city budget carefully and choose only those things that are real needs – safety, infrastructure, and necessary road improvements. We need to evaluate each budget item to make sure we are getting the results and value we want for the money we are spending. We need to find a way to slow the spending and save for the inevitable future expenses that the city will face.
Provo has actually been unique in that it was a larger city but with a small town feel. We didn’t really have any major traffic issues until the last few years. The city started doing projects to improve roads and transportation and have caused, what I believe to be, unintended consequences. Even the best of intentions can cause frustrating traffic circumstances if we miss seeing the bigger picture of the domino effect in traffic.
As I have spoken with the residents of the West side, I have heard again and again how much the Center Street on-ramp and interchange has made traffic and safety worse. How University Avenue has made travelling the only street that goes all the way through Provo a frustrating experience. That travelling on 700 North and 300 South has become impossible to get to where you need to go because of the barriers down the middle of the street. Provo is now adding barriers to 500 West and Bulldog Blvd. I have heard from fire fighters that the barriers increase response time for emergencies. I question if all of these factors were taken into consideration as these projects were pushed forward even in the face of public protest.
I feel like I have the foresight to look at these transportation proposals and see the flaws and possible unintended consequences that can happen. I will try to be a voice of reason and represent the wishes of our district. I will oppose any plans that would reduce the number of lanes on major streets. I want to work on a master plan for our city that gives us a clear, detailed vision of what we want our city to end up looking like in the future and that will accommodate the amount of traffic that will come with Provo’s growth. I would carefully consider how any development proposals would affect traffic and if we have the roads and infrastructure to support the proposed development. If you look at the development in our neighboring cities you can see what having too few roads in any given development does to increase traffic to unbearable conditions and affect our quality of life. I do not want that for our city.
Provo needs a detailed master plan that establishes zoning for development that can be supported by our already stretched resources. Our police department is currently understaffed, our water treatment plant and sewer system are in need of replacement, and our roads cannot currently accommodate a significant increase in traffic. We need to make a plan of what we want Provo to end up looking like and then stick to it. Stop granting zoning exceptions and start with the end in mind.
I don’t want Provo to end up looking and feeling like Vineyard. Increased high density housing will affect the quality of life in Provo. We need to carefully consider how much, and where we want to allow high density housing to be developed.
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