Concentrated Growth

According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Utah Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB), the state’s population is projected to increase by over 50 percent between now and 2040. This growth presents both challenges and opportunities for how to collaboratively plan for transportation, land use, and development in a coordinated manner. With over 85 percent of the state’s population living in Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) boundaries and the majority of future growth projected to occur in those areas, proactive planning with local communities is essential. When land use and transportation are coordinated, it helps determine where to make transportation investments, promotes economic vitality, fosters a conducive environment for growth, and creates a sense of community.

Unique Geography

Utah’s unique geography also presents challenges and opportunities. Vehicle emissions contribute to air quality challenges such as winter inversions and summer ozone. Utah’s transportation agencies are committed to planning in a way that more efficiently deals with travel demand and encourages the use of alternatives to driving alone. Over the life of the Unified Transportation Plan, vehicle emissions are expected to decrease by 68 percent, largely due to cleaner fuels and vehicles.

Providing Alternatives

Providing transportation alternatives to driving alone, such as biking, walking, carpooling or taking transit, is important not only for air quality but also for improving the way products and people get around. Due to Utah’s population growth, the vehicle miles traveled in the state are anticipated to increase by 80 percent between now and 2040. Without proactive planning, congestion will increase substantially. Utah’s transportation agencies are committed to working together and with local communities to address these future challenges.