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In-Progress 2023-2050 RTP
Overview

The Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) sets the regional long-term strategy for our Region’s future transportation system. The 2023-2050 RTP outlines investments for all modes of transportation and forms the transportation element of the Wasatch Choice Regional Vision. WFRC, in partnership with local governments, transportation agencies, community organizations, local stakeholders, and residents, has begun the process to develop the 2023-2050 RTP, with an expected adoption date of May 2023.

The 2023-2050 RTP is informed by research, discussions, and technical modeling and forecasting to help us understand how the Plan might help us collectively achieve regional quality of life goals. The RTP acknowledges that the Region will not be able to afford all our transportation needs – we must prioritize maintaining a good state of repair, improving safety, and constructing and operating new roadways, transit services, and active transportation facilities. Therefore, RTP is financially constrained within a reasonably anticipated budget using a performance-based planning approach.

This planning process is coordinated with statewide transportation partners to develop common goals, planning time horizons, performance measures, and financial assumptions, which collectively form Utah’s Unified Transportation Plan.

Why is the RTP important?

Utah is experiencing rapid growth. This amplifies the weight of the decisions we make now and over the next few decades. The RTP addresses growth patterns and the transportation of people and goods which impact growth related issues such as poor air quality, high costs of living, and congested roadways. The RTP looks to the future to consider how transportation infrastructure can work with land and economic development decisions to maximize overall quality of life. Further, this RTP creates a framework for understanding and responding to future uncertainties and external forces that have the potential to alter our transportation, land use, and economic systems. By doing so, WFRC hopes to foster resiliency in the Region that helps cities respond and adapt to future challenges and changes.

Recent four-year planning cycles have increasingly recognized the relationship between transportation, land use, and economic development. Holistic planning of these three elements in concert has led to the adoption of the Wasatch Choice Regional Vision, our communities’ shared vision for transportation investments, development patterns, and economic opportunities that will enhance the Region’s quality of life. The RTP informs the Wasatch Choice Regional Vision. Several partners are involved in the development of the RTP and the Regional Vision, including the Mountainland Association of Governments (MAG), the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), and county and city governments, along with other agencies, stakeholders, and the public.

As the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Davis, Salt Lake, Weber, and southern Box Elder Counties, WFRC is responsible for coordinating the Wasatch Choice 2050 Regional Vision and the regional transportation planning process that is updated and adopted every four years. The planning process looks out several decades into the future to anticipate needed transportation investments. Wasatch Choice 2050 identifies transportation projects and investments, the use of land near those investments, and associated economic development strategies to achieve desired outcomes for local communities and the Region as a whole. Wasatch Choice 2050 also provides recommendations and resources to help stakeholders achieve those outcomes.

The Wasatch Choice Regional Vision is built upon four key strategies.

Provide transportation choices: offering better access to transit, trails, on-street bicycle facilities, and safe and connected sidewalks.

Support housing options: responding to market demands and meeting the needs of a variety of household sizes, types, and budgets.

Preserve open space: providing unparalleled access to the outdoors, which is key to our quality of life and our state’s competitive advantage.

Link economic development with transportation and housing decisions: thinking about the interplay between them and, ultimately, the outcomes we want to achieve.

Wasatch Choice 2050 Goals

Ten goals form the foundation for the development of the Wasatch Choice Regional Vision and the 2023-2050 Regional Transportation Plan. These goals were adopted by the Wasatch Front Regional Council in October 2016.

Livable And Healthy Communities
Livable and healthy communities
Access To Economic And Educational Opportunities
Access to economic and educational opportunities
Manageable And Reliable Traffic Conditions
Manageable and reliable traffic conditions
Quality Transportation Choices
Quality transportation choices
Safe, User-friendly Streets
Safe, user-friendly streets
Clean Air
Clean air
Housing Choices And Affordable Living Expenses
Housing choices and affordable living expenses
Fiscally Responsible Communities And Infrastructure
Fiscally responsible communities and infrastructure
Sustainable Environment, Including Water, Agricultural, And Other Natural Resources
Sustainable environment, including water, agricultural, and other natural resources
Ample Parks, Open Spaces, And Recreational Opportunities
Ample parks, open spaces, and recreational opportunities
RTP Focus Areas
External Forces & Policies
External Forces & Policies

WFRC is beginning the 2023-2050 RTP process with a focus on exploring and understanding external forces and future-thinking transportation policies – transportation technologies, shifts in market and consumer demand, and emerging policies – that may impact transportation, land use, and economic development decisions. The intent of this approach is to elevate the discussion of these factors and understand impacts statewide, regionally, and locally.

Equity
Equity

WFRC acknowledges the impacts that transportation and regional planning can have on historically marginalized and underserved groups and has placed equity at the forefront of their planning efforts both in the RTP and as a part of the Wasatch Choice Regional Vision. WFRC is incorporating equity and equity focus areas (EFA) into the scenario analysis and project prioritization processes of the RTP and analyzing how external forces impact EFAs. More information on WFRC’s ongoing work on addressing equity in regional planning will be available on a forthcoming Equity Planning webpage.

For additional information regarding the RTP, please contact Jory Johner.

Header photo courtesy of the Utah Department of Transportation.

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