Davis, Morgan, Salt Lake, Tooele, and Weber Counties

Regional (Long Range) Transportation Planning

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Federal regulations governing the development of transportation plans and programs in Urbanized Areas require Metropolitan Planning Organizations to update their long range transportation plans every three years. The Wasatch Front Urban Area Long Range Transportation Plan: 2004-2030, adopted in December 2003, takes advantage of the latest socioeconomic growth forecasts, projected increases in travel demand for the region, and changes in prioritization of various planned transportation improvement facilities. Periodic updates to the LRP allow for new information to be incorporated and recommended additions to the list of highway and transit projects to be made. The Wasatch Front Urban Area Long Range Transportation Plan: 2004- 2030 specifies a coordinated system of highways, freeways, arterial streets, transit facilities, transit hubs, intermodal centers, park-and-ride lots, airport improvements, freight movement corridors, pedestrian paths, and bicycle routes. A 30-year planning horizon was selected for this long range transportation plan update effort and the 2030 Long Range Transportation Plan covers the planning period from the year 2004 until 2030. Future updates will be known at the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP).

Click here to download the sections of the current Long Range Transportation Plan.

Efforts are now underway to prepare and adopt a new update of the Plan which will be known as the Regional Transportation Plan.  This new Plan update will incorporate National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) principles to assist project level planning and allow much of the work heretofore done at the project level to be done, rather, at the Regional Plan level.  In addition, the Regional Council and the Mountainland association of Governments have teamed with Envision Utah to engage in a ‘visioning’ process in which various alternatives for growth along the Wasatch Front are explored and recommendations made as to the most cost effective and quality of life enhancing transportation choices.  Many of those recommendations and attendant growth principles will be incorporated into the new Regional Transportation Plan Update.

The first comprehensive, regional transportation planning efforts in the Wasatch Front Urban Area began in the early 1960's. At that time, UDOT worked with local governments in the Wasatch Front Region to develop an area-wide Long Range Transportation Plan for 1980. As part of this study and analysis, an origin-destination survey was conducted to develop travel forecasting models for projecting future traffic flows for the region.

In the mid-1970's, a major update to the Wasatch Front Regions Long Range Transportation Plan was undertaken by the Wasatch Front Regional Council. The objective was to extend the LRP to the planning horizon of 1995 and to take into account the changes in development patterns and travel behavior that had occurred since the first LRP was adopted. The 1979 LRP, with a planning horizon out to 1995, consisted of Technical Report 13 for the Salt Lake Urbanized Area and Technical Report 19 for the Ogden Urbanized Area. This LRP was approved, published, and distributed in September 1979.

In the 1980's, a second major update to the Wasatch Front Regions Long Range Transportation Plan was undertaken by the WFRC. This update effort extended the LRPs time horizon to 2005. While earlier LRPs had developed a good master plan for future transportation facilities, with an emphasis on highways, many of the facilities would not be needed during the time frame of the plan and funding for other projects would not likely be available. The LRP developed in 1987 took a slightly different approach and made recommendations to address the projected needs for the year 2005. The WFRC also developed a separate plan for facilities needed beyond 2005 as a guide for local communities to use in future local transportation planning. The 2005 LRP update was approved by the Wasatch Regional Council in 1987 and consists of Technical Report 22 for the Salt Lake Urbanized Area and Technical Report 23 for the Ogden Urbanized Area.

With the passage of ISTEA in 1991, the Wasatch Front Long Range Transportation Plan was now required to include a financial element showing how the recommended projects and facilities could reasonably be implemented. This financial constraint meant that some needed projects could not be included in the LRPs recommendations. In 1993, the Wasatch Front Regional Council adopted an interim LRP to address the financial requirements and other criteria established by ISTEA. The Wasatch Regional Council approved a final Long Range Transportation Plan in 1995. This LRP, which had a planning horizon out to the year 2015, addressed ISTEA requirements. Three reports were published, including Technical Report 32, The Salt Lake Area Long Range Plan, Technical Report 33, The Ogden Area Long Range Plan, and Technical Report 34, The Financial Plan For The Wasatch Front Region Transportation Plans.

A comprehensive Long Range Transportation Plan For 2020 was developed and approved by the Wasatch Front Regional Council in October 1998 for the Salt Lake and Ogden Urbanized Areas. This LRP update placed greater emphasis on public transit improvements than previous long range transportation plans, and identified a system of fixed guideway light rail and regional commuter rail facilities. The Long Range Transportation Plan was documented and summarized in a series of technical reports, including Technical Report 35, The Wasatch Front Urban Area Long Range Transportation Plan 1998-2020, Technical Report 36, The Salt Lake Urbanized Area Long Range Transportation Plan 1998-2020, Technical Report 37, The Ogden Urbanized Area Long Range Transportation Plan 1998-2020, and Technical Report 38, The Financial Plan For The Long Range Transportation Plan 1998-2020.

Lastly, as noted above, the current update of the Long Range Plan was adopted in December 2002. 

Staff Contact: Val Halford

Updated September 26, 2006

 

Wasatch Front Regional Council

295 N. Jimmy Doolittle Road | Salt Lake City, Utah 84116 | USA

Salt Lake Phone (801) 363-4250 | Ogden Area Phone (801) 773-5559 | FAX (801) 363-4230

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