Transportation bill: McEntee

Salt Lake Tribune article by Peg McEntee: Democrat has her reasons to buck colleagues

It was pretty much a Republican sweep as the Utah Senate voted to override Gov. Gary Herbert’s veto of a transportation bill that would have earmarked as much as $60 million a year for road construction.

The anomaly came when Democratic Sen. Karen Mayne, a fierce defender of her West Valley City constituents, sided with her GOP colleagues.

Mayne’s explanation was simple. Her already sizable district is growing, congested and is hard to get around by car and certainly by bus, as a result of the Utah Transit Authority’s own budget woes and its increasing emphasis on TRAX.

“We can’t walk to the store. We get in our car and go,” she said during Friday’s Senate debate. “That’s what we do in West Valley City. We don’t have city blocks, we have county blocks.”

Work is continuing on the Mountain View Corridor, which will connect northern Utah County with the western edge of the Salt Lake Valley. As these things do, it will take a toll: 54 houses are scheduled for demolition to make room for the freeway.

But for those that remain, there’s no UDOT money for sound walls that would protect people from the freeway itself and the clamor of an estimated 24,000 cars and trucks roaring by every day.

“I don’t want a chain link fence to be the only barrier,” Mayne said.

She’s also an outspoken champion of labor and the men and women who would find jobs in the construction trades.

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