Environment Magazine

Mile Long Protest in Utah Says “No to Freeways!”

Posted on the 25 February 2013 by Earth First! Newswire @efjournal

Mile Long Protest in Utah Says “No to Freeways!”

Cross Posted from Standard-Examiner

Christina Roskelley loves to see the eagles nest in trees in her backyard near Farmington Bay but is afraid plans for the West Davis Corridor will change all that.

Roskelley joined with neighbors, farmers, birdwatchers, hunters and doctors on Saturday to rally against a proposed highway that would link Centerville to Weber County.

Organizers held a milelong protest along Glovers Lane near the turn for the bay.

Organized by SaveFarmington.org, protesters made it clear that the Utah Department of Transportation should choose an option that takes the proposed highway away from the bay and their homes, if UDOT should build the highway at all.

The rally drew the young and the old.

Nine-year-old Miriam Anderton held a sign that simply said “Don’t U Dare.” Her siblings and mother held other placards urging UDOT to look elsewhere.

Even a heavy snowstorm didn’t deter the group.

“We want our concerns to be heard,” Lori Kalt said of the rally.

Those concerns include worries about a raised highway through the area near the bay and noise and air pollution. The western route is one of two options UDOT is considering.

The project is in the Environmental Impact Study phase. Once the EIS is completed, UDOT is expected to hold public meetings to discuss the planned option.

Several protestors suggested any option is one too many.

Carl Ingwell is worried about the impact the highway could have on the environment, saying, “This will drastically change Farmington Bay as we know it.”

Tim Wagner, of the Sierra Club, said the corridor will impact the quality of life in the area and suggested “no road at all” would be UDOT’s best option.

While most of the talk at the rally was not political, a media advisory the group sent out was.

The advisory pointed a finger of blame at Sen. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, who chairs a key transportation committee and is also a developer. The advisory said the corridor would not improve transportation options and was only being done because Adams wants it.

It claims that, in supporting the project, Adams is making land more valuable to what they term a list of cronies — “Utah’s road contractors, cement plants, rock quarries and oil refineries.”

It also quoted one resident calling the highway “the Stuart Adams Highway to Hell.”

Adams said he has no direct role in the decision-making process for the highway and pointed out that complaints being lodged against the project mirror the same raised against Legacy Parkway before it was built.

“To blame me for this,” he said, “I can’t imagine why they would do that.”

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