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Can You Come Up With a Scenario Where a Mountain Accord Tunnel Would Be Stopped, if the State Really Wanted It?

In a previous article, I outlined that it only takes a simple majority of the Mountain Accord Executive Board to achieve a consensus vote for action. I thought it may be fun to run through some scenarios on how different people may vote on something like a tunnel from Brighton to PCMR (if the tunnel continues to be part of the Accord after public comments).

Of course this is all just guessing (and a little bit of fun). I have no idea how someone would really vote, but hopefully this will demonstrate what it would take to shut down a tunnel. If you are one of these people and I have your vote pegged wrong, let me know.


My Most Likely Scenario: Andy Beerman and Chris Robinson listen to their constituents. Environmental folks and US Forest vote against plan with a tunnel (with exception of water dept). All State and Federal vote for it.  Towns at base of Cottonwood Canyons vote for it. Alta Mayor votes for it because he has stated that it is likely transportation is going to be coming through Alta so they need to prepare for it.

Outcome: Near Consensus… Tunnel is included


Ski Industry Defection Just like above but Vail decides that it doesn’t want tunnel. They push Nathan Rafferty to oppose the tunnel. Outdoor industry follows.

Outcome: Near Consensus… Tunnel is included


Half of Cities Say No: Just like above but half the cities, like Salt Lake, Cottonwood Heights, and Alta decide a tunnel isn’t good.

Outcome: Majority… Tunnel is included


All Cities and Counties Say No: Just like above but all the cities and counties decide there should be no tunnel. That’s not likely but that’s not even enough to stop a tunnel.

Outcome: Majority… Tunnel is included


Effectively in order to prevent something like a tunnel, if it came to a vote of the executive board, is that our local politicians would need to be against it, all environmental groups would need to be against it, half the cities/counties in the Wasatch Front would need to be against it, and then we’d need someone from the state or federal government (legislature, UDOT, UTA, etc.) to stick a fork in it.

Maybe you have better info and can come up with a scenario where a tunnel wouldn’t pass. However, given that a consensus is really a simple majority, it’s hard for me to come up with a way a tunnel between Brighton and PCMR could be prevented if the powers that be really wanted it.

Let me know where I’m wrong.

Note: I also did not take into account the new GOED representative on the board, because they also wanted to add an “environmental” person to balance it. However, I don’t know who that is or if they’ve been added. So, I added neither.

Here’s the spreadsheet if you want to play along at home.


1 Comment

Bob Pruitt

Joan DeGiorgio was named as the added environmental person. She is with the Nature Conservancy, Alta Town planning commission chair, back country skier who opposes ski lifts on Flagstaff Mtn, used to work with Mayor Becker

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