American Fork pauses transit oriented development 08

Construction continues at The Meadows apartment complex Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018, near the American Fork FrontRunner Station. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

The American Fork City Council held a public hearing Tuesday to allow residents a voice about the design for 200 South.

Residents’ response was mixed that evening, and included a variety of concerns, questions and suggestions about the road’s design. 200 South runs by the American Fork FrontRunner commuter train station, and American Fork planners are looking at preliminary concepts for widening the two-lane road.

Mandy Winters lives in the east section of 200 South, and shared concerns about parking. The concept designs for the road include bike and walking paths, and Winters wondered if residents would lose the ability for visiting family and friends to parallel park in front of their homes. Designers responded that they would look into that concern.

David Bunker, city administrator, said Winters’ concern is a common one city staff and officials are hearing from residents responding by email and phone calls. Residents also voice concern about access to their homes. Many also have questions about the size and placement bike lane along the road.

“Many residents who live there, and others outside of there, have said they want a place to bike and walk safely on that road,” Bunker said in a phone call Wednesday. “We are getting some very good ideas from residents who live in that immediate area, and even outside the area.”

Stacie Carter, a 200 South resident, spoke Tuesday evening about the buffered trail in the plan.

She suggested moving that to the north side of the road instead of the south side. She is worried about exiting and entering her home across that buffer.

“That eliminates travel issues for residents who live on the south side of 200 South,” she said.

City Council members and staff are determined to hear from as many residents as possible before the road design is finalized. Bunker said they realize how important it is to do the project right, both for the sake of residents there on the road, and commuters who will use the access to transit.

“It has been very helpful to have number of citizens expressing a wide range of opinions. In our final plan we will try an accomplish everything we can to make our residents happy,” said Mayor Brad Frost in an email Wednesday. “There will need to be some compromise on everyone’s part to see this to fruition. We do find ourselves in the middle of providing a traffic corridor that will allow traffic flow to neighboring communities, and I will admit this has been a challenge, but the more we talk with our residents the closer we come to achieving our goals.”

200 South will be an important component to American Fork’s transit-oriented development near the FrontRunner station. It will not be the only access road, but will be an essential throughway for residents and commuters. Frost said the city feels it a big responsibility to plan the TOD “in a thoughtful manner that will create a good transportation pattern and maximize the potential of the Frontrunner Station and contribute to helping air quality in the county.” Bunker estimated the TOD area, extending from the freeway to the lake, could potentially house about 10,000 to 15,000 people.

“When you put that many people in an area, traffic corridors become vital,” he said.

Residents can still view the 200 South plans at https://afcity.org/276/planning-department.

Karissa Neely reports on Business and North County events, and can be reached at 801-344-2537 or kneely@heraldextra.com. Follow her on Twitter: @DHKarissaNeely

Karissa Neely reports on Business & Community events, and loves telling people’s stories.

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