Utah mayors plan for thirty-year population boom

SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) - By 2050, the projected population along the Wasatch Front is expected to increase by 1.5 million. Many of Utah's mayors met Tuesday to plan for the boom. 

Mayor's Metro Solutions was held at the Salt Palace Convention Center, where mayors, experts and stakeholders discussed how to address Utah's projected growth. The discussion included economists, transportation planners, university leaders and others. 

The population boom would make already heavy traffic and infrastructure problems an even bigger nightmare, experts said. That's why mayors from different cities need to coordinate as more people move in. 

[The increase] is going to have huge impacts on the amount of time it takes us to travel and our air quality," said Andrew Gruber, director of the Wasatch Front Regional Council. 

WasatchChoice 2050 outlines the plan for new roadways, more efficient public transit that can carry more people and expanded housing choices. All these things will help alleviate potential problems that could come from the population increase. 

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams kicked off the summit today. 

"We are trying to provide a mixture of housing throughout this landscape," McAdams said, mentioning ideas for new developments closer to town centers and within walking distance to cut down on traffic and pollution. "That way, people are not spending hours in gridlock traffic."

Ogden's Mayor Mike Caldwell mentioned a similar approach, as more and more people vie for housing in that city's flourishing downtown. 

Officials said the public can make suggestions and get more information on the website listed above. 

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