Rolly: Utah lawmakers study light rail in Switzerland
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Four Utah legislators and five officials of the Utah Transit Authority just returned from a five-day trip to Switzerland to learn about light-rail transportation to and around ski resorts.

Rep. Greg Hughes, R-Draper, said the legislators paid their own way, except for him because he is chairman of the UTA Board. UTA paid the hotel and travel expenses for its own officials.

The other legislators on the trip were Rep. Brad Dee, R-Ogden, and Sens. Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, and Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton.

Hughes said the "whirlwind" trip included five cities. Two days were spent in transit.

Hughes said he hopes this will be the first of several trips by Utah policymakers because developing a system that would take masses of people up the mountains to ski resorts in minutes "would be a game changer for the Utah ski industry."

Hughes said Utah has a unique advantage over other ski areas in the U.S. because of the proximity of Salt Lake City International Airport to the resorts. He said the group viewed rail systems that move up steep grades quickly. Some of the ski towns, he said, had no automobiles because of the efficiency of trams and other mass transit systems.

He admitted the cost of such a system would be "massive," but the benefits make it worth the study.

More parking meter sludge • Tony Rampton parked his truck earlier this month on Main Street between 100 and 200 South to shop at a clothing store, noted his space number and walked to the parking kiosk to pay his fee.

He had to wait behind a woman who was having trouble getting her debit card in the machine and when he turned around, he noticed a Parking Enforcement officer putting a ticket on his windshield. He told her he had just parked and was in the process of paying at the kiosk. She said OK, took the ticket off his windshield and drove away.

Two weeks later he received a notice in the mail that he was late paying the ticket and he owed the city $55.

He called Parking Services, explained the situation and was told he still had to see a hearing officer at the Justice Court. He went to court, told the hearing officer the story and got the ticket dismissed — but it was a trip he shouldn't have had to make.

Funny kind of enforcement • Bruce Huber was turning from Sugar Beet Drive onto 4000 West Tuesday afternoon when he suddenly was confronted by a white pickup truck driving toward him in the parking lane and going the wrong direction.

Huber had to stop to avoid a collision, and the truck pulled around him. Then, as he pulled out onto 4000 West there was another white pickup parked in the parking lane, also facing the wrong direction.

A few minutes later, he returned and observed the same two vehicles and their occupants parked on the wrong side of the road on Sugar Beet Drive. Huber started to approach the occupants of the two vehicles to ask what they were doing, but they drove away.

Both vehicles had "Code Enforcement" written on their sides.

prolly@sltrib.com