Matheson planning to improve transportation

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    By David Hinckley

    Gubernatorial candidate Scott Matheson, Jr. released Tuesday his plan to improve transportation by integrating the planning for projects such as highways, bike paths and light rail.

    “We need to think about transportation systematically,” he said from a conference room at Utah Valley State College. “Highways, commuter rail, light rail, trails, walkable communities, rapid bus transit: all of those ingredients are part of our transportation planning system.”

    Matheson said that if elected, he would immediately call for a forum to discuss funding for transportation projects. He stopped short of proposing funding through any tax increase.

    “All options should be on the table,” he said.

    Matheson said transportation improvement was needed to accommodate an increasing population. He joked that the state needed to act quickly to prevent every-day traffic from resembling Provo during a BYU football game.

    The campaign for Republican Jon Huntsman Jr. offered no criticism for Matheson”s plan. Instead, it insisted that economic growth was the key to improvement in a range of issues, including transportation.

    “Our future depends on economic revitalization,” said Huntsman campaign manager Jason Chaffetz. “Without it, we won”t be able to pay any of the bills. Jon Huntsman has repeatedly said the key to education, transportation and water needs is real economic development.”

    As of Tuesday, the Huntsman campaign Web site included a fifty-one page economic plan, but no information under the heading, “transportation.”

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