Provo council votes unanimously on BRT

2014-06-03T21:30:00Z 2014-09-05T07:22:05Z Provo council votes unanimously on BRTGenelle Pugmire Daily Herald Daily Herald
June 03, 2014 9:30 pm  • 

PROVO -- It may have taken a handful of revisions in the final hours and minutes leading up to Tuesday's meeting of the Provo Municipal Council, but come voting time all seven members voted unanimously on a joint mayor and council resolution supporting the preferred route of Option 4 and Bus Rapid Transit.

The joint resolution between the council and the administration did not come easy. Many hours of discussion, negotiation and hard work on both sides of the table were spent getting exactly the right words in the resolution. One resident said he appreciated the stronger language that went from the "mights" to the "shalls."

"No small amount of effort has gone into this resolution that encompasses all the needs," said Mayor John Curtis. "It's a compilation of passions. It's gone through a lot of review. Some words were analyzed for hours."

In passing the resolution, and during the public comment period, residents living on 900 East asked that they be intimately involved with the enhancements that will go along the street, including safety issues, and particularly the discussion between bike paths and bike trails.

Sue Cox owns three properties along 900 East. She said it is important that nearby residents' voices be heard because those living in the area will have their lives most impacted by the project. 

"A safe environment is so important," Cox said. "As we're trying to design in detail what the cosmetics will look like, we want safety first. I am also concerned about bike paths versus bike lanes. It's a serious issue."

"This signals a transition with this vote," Curtis said. "It makes this the absolutely best project it can be."

As a promise to stakeholders and neighbors adjacent to the BRT project, Curtis expressed his commitment to engage fully and to represent their concerns. He also said the city would look outside the BRT project for resources to take care of inherent issues the city already has with the road.

A number of the council members offered their thanks not only to those involved with designing the resolution, but for the public having patience with the council during the lengthy BRT process.

"I'm grateful for the patience of residents and our partners," said Councilman Gary Winterton. "I'm grateful for the input of those residents."

"This has been quite an experience," added Councilman David Sewell. "I express appreciation to all involved. We have now reached the best project possible."

Sewell made particular mention of the hard work and time Councilwoman Kim Santiago had put in to the project.

Santiago also thanked Melissa Kendall, Wasatch neighborhood chair, and other colleagues for their extreme efforts and hard work. 

"I feel lucky to interact with these people [the council] and I am grateful for the good people in the Wasatch neighborhood," Santiago said. "I'd like to give a thank you to the mayor for taking my very direct questions and for your ability to negotiate.

"I am grateful mostly to be at a point that we can move forward."

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can contacted at, (801) 344-2910, Twitter @gpugmire

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