Campaign launches to address local, state transportation needs; public welcome

East side of the boardwalk on the Virgin River Boardwalk Trail, 965 S. Washington Fields Drive, Washington, Utah, Oct. 11, 2014 | Photo by Aspen Stoddard, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – City and county officials will be at the Confluence Trailhead near Dixie Center Tuesday morning to support the Utah Transportation Coalition‘s launch of an educational campaign focused on raising public awareness concerning the need for increased transportation funding for projects necessary to meet the growing needs of Washington County and the state.

Marc Mortensen, assistant to the St. George city manager, said that while transportation needs as whole will be discussed, there will also be a special emphasis on “active transportation” needs as well.

Active transportation includes walking and cycling, and additional funding is needed to help keep up with the growing demand for infrastructure that includes walking paths and bike trails, Mortensen said.

Another focus of the statewide campaign is to help the public understand what their tax dollars do and do not do in relation to transportation infrastructure. It is hoped that through education, the public will influence how state legislators approach funding needs in the upcoming 2015 legislative session, Mortensen said.

According to a news release from the coalition organizers:

Through smart, sustainable transportation projects, the business-led Coalition is working with the Utah League of Cities and Towns and the Association of Counties to address Utah’s growing population, estimated to double by 2050. Adequate funding for transportation systems will stimulate economic development in the area by creating efficient distribution channels, open markets for moving products and services, and ensure reliable access to world-class recreational activities.

Area officials anticipated to be on hand to support the campaign will include St. George Mayor Jon Pike, Ivins Mayor Chris Hart, Washington County Commissioner Victor Iverson and Myron Lee, director of the Dixie Metropolitan Planning Organization.

People are invited to bring their bicycles, as a bike ride will take place from the Confluence Trailhead near the Dixie Center following the news conference.

Even recap

  • When: 10:30 a.m.,Tuesday, Nov. 18
  • Where: Confluence Trailhead by the Dixie Center, 1835 S. Convention Center Drive in St. George

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  • Rick November 17, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Which trail is pictured in this story?

  • Bender November 17, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Set the state gas tax back at the same level as 1997 when it was last increased. Because of inflation, the gas tax is now 40% less than it was 17 years ago. Then build that Northern Corridor from I-15nWashington Exit to Ivins.

  • Redrock lover November 17, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    St George needs done type of bus shelters for shade! I’ve noticed elderly, parents with tiny ones, etc all standing waiting for SunTrans (the bus) is BLAZING heat with no shade! Come on St George- give these people some shade to wait for the bus in!!!

  • Floyd Kitchen November 18, 2014 at 8:52 am

    Less work on Trails and more work on Highway and road repair in St George. Some surface roads in this city creates a lot of business for the Front End Alignment business and of Course Tire repair. Dodging man holes in this city is a very dangerous game that has to be done to save repair work when hitting them. However the walking and cycling trails are perfect and smooth and kept up to be better even if not needed. It seems the priorities are on road work is set in the wrong places.

  • Trail Enthusiast November 18, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Good effort by the City and County officials on holding this event. Strongly disagree with “less work on Trails” comment made by someone who appears not to appreciate the benefits of riding and walking on a trail free of auto and truck traffic. Those who drive absolutely everywhere all of the time simply would not know or appreciate that a lot of errands can be done on bike and foot via the city trail system. It’s uninformed and shortsighted to say that work on the trails is “not needed”. An appropriate and common sense approach to funding the roads and the trails is how I vote!

    • Floyd Kitchen November 18, 2014 at 9:35 pm

      I am very Happy that you can walk everywhere you go. There are people that are disabled that need to drive where they go. I think you over thought your answer to make my comment look like I don’t like the trails. I am sorry you took it that way. The only other solution I guess would be fun the roads for repair along with your trails then. so we people that have to drive to the store and to Church can have a fair ride.

  • bishpoul November 18, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Washington county assessor’s office is out of control. We need to someone to stop
    their abuse of authority. Bad Government.

  • Herd November 18, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    More Government!

  • beacon November 19, 2014 at 8:52 am

    I appreciate the fact that the healthy individuals in our community who can drive, bike and walk have a strong voice in community decisions about transportation spending for roads, trails and bike lanes. Who provides a voice for the disabled, low-income and elderly population that needs public transportation? That discussion was virtually lost in this effort to raise taxes to provide for the healthiest in our community while those who could use some support languish in the shadows. What a shame for such a conservative community of people who assert they help others. Public transportation must be a bigger part of the discussion and spending.

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