There is plenty of excellent planning in the Salt Lake Valley. “But we have to focus on implementing what we say we are going to do,” says Soren Simonsen, executive director of the Jordan River Commission.
Simonsen says that the focus on the auto must evolve to emphasize public transit and personal mobility. “We don’t solve our traffic problem by adding capacity to roads. We need to change the narrative to say its okay to walk or bike a mile.” In addition, he points out that about 25 percent of the local population does not drive since they are juveniles or seniors. “We have to invest money to offer them more choices.”
Interconnection between neighborhoods and the environment is one priority that Simonsen promotes, especially linking the Parley’s Trail with the Jordan River Trail.”We have to view the river as an asset. There are two million people living within 15 minutes of the river.” As the region continues to grow, densely populated areas will need parks for recreation.
From more effective zoning to implementing free public transit, Simonsen advances ideas that can be heard in depth by listening to the Utah Stories podcast
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