Infrastructure and Transportation
The Salt Lake Chamber believes that believes that a safe and efficient transportation system, modern energy infrastructure and reliable supply of water are integral parts of the foundation for economic growth and improved life quality. This includes a focus on long-term planning and disciplined investments are required to meet our infrastructure needs.
2016 INFRASTRUCTURE POLICY PRIORITIES: TRANSPORTATION
- Federal transportation funding – We support a sustainable, predictable and long-term federal investment in Utah’s highways and public transportation. It is imperative that the reforms to streamline infrastructure projects are implemented swiftly. The current five-year reauthorization for our nation’s federal transportation infrastructure will enable business to plan for the future, creating jobs and strengthening the economy.
- Maintain momentum – We support continued investment in our state’s multimodal transportation network as identified in Utah’s Unified Transportation Plan to address capacity expansion, maintenance and operations of our state’s significant transportation assets.
- Increased frequency and service – We support efforts to enhance and increase transit service throughout the state to ensure employees have public transportation options, to address future growth and to improve our air quality. This includes enhanced early-morning, late-night, weekend and holiday service. Additionally, we support efforts to improve the transparency, governance and effectiveness of our state’s public transit agencies.
- Local transportation needs – We support efforts to address the critical need of maintenance funding and improve transportation options in Utah’s local communities.
- Urban mobility – We support future projects that enhance mobility in our urban centers, including a downtown Salt Lake City streetcar and a direct TRAX connection between the airport and the University of Utah through downtown.
- Grand Boulevards – We support improvements to revitalize the main arteries in and out of Utah’s capital city that enhance safety and improve the perception of our state. We also support the thoughtful redesign of downtown way-finding.
- Active transportation – We support increased investments and additional expansion of active transportation projects that enhance Utahns’ quality of life and improve air quality, including the GREENbike | SLC Bike Share program.
- Mountain transportation – We support the Mountain Accord effort to explore transportation options in the Central Wasatch Mountains that increase accessibility, are a net-positive for the environment, encourage transit, enhance Utah’s global brand and pass a rigorous environmental and local public process.
- Improving safety – We support Utah’s primary seat belt law, as employers understand that failing to buckle up harms others on Utah’s roads. This will protect operators and passengers in vehicles, saving lives, reducing risk and financial costs.
- Airport redevelopment – We support the Salt Lake International Airport as an extraordinary asset to Utah’s economy. We will continue to champion the $1.8 billion terminal redevelopment, funded without any increases in taxes or state funds, as a major investment in our state’s global competitiveness. Utah businesses should receive priority in the development of this project.
2016 INFRASTRUCTURE POLICY PRIORITIES: WATER
- State water strategy – We support the development of a comprehensive state water strategy to identify how to continue the legacy of meeting our long-term water needs, protect our current water resources and make disciplined investments. This includes a thorough discussion with all stakeholders about the advantages and disadvantages of how we pay for future investments in water infrastructure and how best to utilize user fees. We support key aspects of Gov. Herbert’s methodical approach to addressing water needs. We will evaluate our support for significant investments once this strategy is completed.
2016 INFRASTRUCTURE POLICY PRIORITIES: ENERGY
- Rural infrastructure – We support rural transportation and energy infrastructure investments, especially in the Uinta Basin, that increase accessibility, improve safety, protect the environment, drive economic development and respond to rural needs. n Energy infrastructure – We support efforts to expand and modernize Utah’s energy infrastructure to take full advantage of new and existing sources of energy, as abundant, affordable energy contributes directly to our quality of life and strengthens our economy. Additionally, rate setting should acknowledge the full cost of our energy infrastructure and distribution.
To see specific principles, positions or priorities for Business Climate, Taxes and Regulation, please see the: 2016 Public Policy Guide.
Government has a proper, even crucial, role in providing good infrastructure. Nothing is more fundamental. It’s a bread- and-butter issue, and the economy depends on it.