Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Utopia Fiber and Highland

(435) 200-4051.  Pin: 5500Fiber Optics 1

On February 4th, 2020 Roger Timmerman, executive director of Utopia Fiber, reviewed with the city council Utopia Fiber’s program for installing and running “Municipal Open Access” fiber in Highland (video, copy of slides). The short version of their proposal is:

Friday, January 31, 2020

2019 Road Projects Review

Road WorkWe completed 2.2 miles of rehabilitation (orange on map below) and 5.8 miles of preservation projects (yellow)) during 2019 at a cost of ~$1M. Five rehabilitation and one preservation projects were delayed for one year (red). Some of the money from those projects was applied to twelve preservation projects previously scheduled for 2020 which we were able to complete early. The remaining money was held to help fund 2020 projects. Note, 22 other preservation projects originally scheduled for 2019 were completed in prior years.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Wimbleton Trail Referendum: Comments on the Do Not Sign the Petition Flyer

On December 3rd 2019 the city council agreed to sell trails and adjacent open space property in the Wimbleton subdivision to neighboring land owners. The map below shows trails in the vicinity. The yellow ones are those that the council agreed to sell.

I read with some interest the flyer I received today from the “Neighbors and Friends of the Wimbleton Subdivision.” The subject of the flyer was a referendum that was filed to overturn the city council’s decision to sell the trails and adjacent open space in the Wimbleton subdivision. The flyer states “You will soon be asked to sign a referendum to reverse the wise decision to sell this property.” Was it a “wise” decision?  Let’s begin by reviewing their questions and answers.

Monday, December 23, 2019

2019 Highland Living Magazine Mayor’s Messages

Highland Living Masthead

The following are my messages in the Highland Living magazine for 2019. Occasionally the editors shortened my message or revised it slightly. What I’ve included below is the message that was originally submitted. Most Highland residents now receive the publication at no charge. We were able to get the parent company to add over 500 additional households to the original delivery list which did not include a significant number of households.

January 2019 Highland Living Magazine

The Power of Positive ThinkingIn the foreword of the 2008 edition of the Power of Positive Thinking, Pastor Robert Schuller shares a story from 1957 when he introduced its author, Norman Vincent Peale, a guest Speaker to his congregation.

It was time to introduce our guest. Before I knew what I was saying, I heard the following words come out of my mouth. “We have with us today the greatest positive thinker who has ever lived. His words have been heard and read by millions of people all over the world. He has changed more lives than can be counted. The greatest positive thinker who ever lived is here—with us—today!. In person! His name is … Jesus Christ! and here to tell us all about him is Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.”

2019 Highland City Newsletter Mayor’s Messages

Highland Newsletter Masthead

Below are my city newsletter messages from 2019. Let me know if there are items you’d like me to cover in 2020 and if you have any suggestions for other content in our monthly newsletter. You can find city newsletters on our website by clicking here.

January 2019 Newsletter

David Marcum, a Highland Resident, co-authored a book entitled Catalyst. In it they reference a paper written by two university professors who were trying to find out if decisions made for others produced more creative solutions than solutions made for self. The professors conduct 4 experiments. In one of them the following question was posed to 137 students.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Highland Trails–Eagle Project Improves Trails In N. Canterbury

One of the strengths of our community is unselfishness and service. For example, earlier this year one of our youth, Jonathan Daniels, organized a trail maintenance Eagle project on 1 mile of trail in the Canterbury North neighborhood (this represents about 6% of  the city trails in Highland).

N Canterbury Trail

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Highland City Trail Use–Freedom Elementary

Here is the latest data from the trail use survey and two trail counts that were run in the area. We’ve just started using a trail counter to measure trail use and so have limited data to compare. To get daily trail use estimates from the survey for households that said they used the trail:

  • 1 or more times a week we assumed they used the trails 2.5 times per week
  • 1 or more times a month we assumed they used the trails 2 times per month
  • 1 more more times a year we assumed they used the trails 4 times per year.

Highland City Trails - Freedom Elementary

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Highland City 2019 General Election Result Summary

Highland City Council 2019 General ResultsA big thank you to those who took the time and made the effort to run for city council. We all benefitted from your contributions. Congratulations to Brittney Bills, Kim Rodela, and Tim Ball who will be sworn in on Tuesday January 7th, 2020.

Below are charts summarizing the results for the city plus a chart showing the turnout for cities in Utah County. Our turnout (35%)was slightly above the average for the county (33.8%). Congratulations to the Highland 7th precinct for having the best turnout (44.3%). the 6th (40.5%) and 2nd (37.6%) precincts were  2nd and 3rd.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Crime in Highland, Utah, and the US 2009-2018

Police LightsBelow you will find charts and graphs that show what type of specific types crimes were committed in Highland and Alpine over a 10-year period of time (2009-2018) and how we ranked within the state and nation over that time period. All data came from the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting system.

I used a report published in 2010 entitled “The Cost of Crime to Society: New Crime-Specific Estimates for Policy and Program Evaluation” to attach a value to the specific types of crime reported by the FBI. This creates a total cost of crime to a community. At the end of this post are tables from the report that show the costs of  different type of crimes and what these costs were based on.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

How Safe Are We In Highland?

BurglarAccording to the recently released FBI Crime Statistics for 2018 Highland and Alpine are the second safest cities in Utah. There are multiple ways to compare crime rates. I chose the four categories listed below to compare Highland with cities in the state and across the nation. We ranked second in all categories except for property crimes where we were first.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Traffic Count and Speed Analysis for Canal Blvd at 5625 West

2019-09-26 Canal Blvd and 5625 W

We collected traffic data and speed information on Canal Blvd from Sept 10th through Sept 26th 2019. The primary purpose of this data collection was to measure the impact on Canal Blvd due to the closure of 9600 N at Alpine Hwy. The short story is that the closure added between 400 and 500 trips per day to the current 1,000 trips a day. Note, Canal Blvd is a designed collector road that can readily accommodate`4,000 to 5,000 trips a day.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Evaluating Highland City Council Candidates: Tips and Videos

2019 Election ResultsBallots will be arriving in your mailbox shortly. I thought I would make it easy to watch videos of the candidates to help in your decision making. Let me also share with you a couple of thoughts on selecting candidates.

One of the attributes I value most in council members is civility. In my view in order to be an effective member of council you need to be able to work with the other council members, staff, and residents to move the ball on a variety of issues. Everyone brings different perspectives to the table. The ability to share these in a civil manner is an essential part of developing good public policy. There is no member of council that I have served with that I have agreed with 100% of the time. On the other hand, every member of council whom I served with has contributed a unique idea or thought that helped create better policy.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Highland Traffic and Speed Count Summary


Traffic in Highland is a concern and will continue to be as the city finishes build out. Our population is approaching 20,000. At build out it looks like we may reach 25,000. In an effort to provide accurate traffic information to residents I have shared information about traffic counts taken at different locations over the last two years. This post compares the results of those counts.

As you can see from the charts below the state roads (Timp. Hwy/SR9, Alpine Hwy/SR74, and North County Blvd/4800 W) carry three to five times the load of the cities busiest collector roads (6000 W and Highland Blvd).

The table below lists traffic counts that Highland City has done since late 2017. Clicking on the links in the first row opens a Google spreadsheet containing the raw data along with summary information and associated charts. The links in the 2nd row will open a Google map showing the location that the counters (tubes) were placed. UDOT (Utah Department of Transportation) traffic count data was used for state roads (Alpine Highway, North County Blvd, and Timpanogos Hwy) and  collector roads (Highland Blvd & parts of 6000 W) for which we do not have current counts.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Traffic Count and Speed Analysis for 10400 N at 5750 W

2019-09-05 10400 N and 5750 W

We collected traffic data and speed information on 10400 N from August 21st through September 5th 2019 at 5750 W (see red markers above).

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Traffic Count and Speed Analysis for 6000 W at 9760 N

2019-09-04 6000 W and 9770 N

We collected traffic data and speed information on 6000 W from August 21st through September 4th 2019 at 9760 N (see red markers above).

Friday, August 30, 2019

Highland City 2019 Primary Election Summary

2019 Election ResultsI first want to thank all those who took the time and made the effort to run for city council. Running for office requires a lot of work. While not everyone who run gets to serve in office, all candidates meet new people, learn more about how the city operates, and gain a better understanding of the community they live in. In my book all candidates were winners! Congratulations to those who are continuing (Brittney, Kim, Tim, Doug, Ken, and Wayne). They now have the opportunity to meet more people and learn more about the city. Good luck to all.

Below are a few charts of the election results for the city and a chart showing the turnout for cities in the county. Congratulations to the Highland 2nd precinct for having the best turnout (29.8%). Highland 7th (29.4%) and 5th (28.9%) were a close 2nd and 3rd.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Traffic Count and Speed Analysis for 9600 N at 5900 W

2019-07-31 9600 N and 5900

We collected traffic data and speed information on 9600 N from July 16th through July 30th 2019 at 5900 N (see red markers above).

Friday, July 19, 2019

Highland Resolution On Protecting All Human Life

A culture obsessed with technology will come to value personal convenience above almost all else, and ours does. That has consequences we will explore. Among those consequences, however, is impatience with anything that interferes with personal convenience. Religion, morality, and law do that … .” Bork, Robert H., Slouching Towards Gomorrah, HarperCollins, 1996, pp 8-9

As Judge Bork observed, over 20 years ago, we have a culture the puts a high value on convenience. Life is not always convenient. My wife and I volunteer at the Utah State Developmental Center (USDC). Each week we have the opportunity to work with youth and adults who come their to serve those who are less physically and mentally able. Is this convenient? No. The community at large spends about 19,000 hours a year in service at the USDC. Is that convenient? No. However, as I watch the youth (and adults) who come and serve I can see eyes being opened and hearts changed. Youth and adults are more accepting of those that are different and less likely to bully others as a result of spending time with residents of the USDC. They have a renewed appreciation for their blessings and are motivated by the resident’s efforts to progress and the kindness they show each other. I cannot find a way to put a true value on that service or the influence for good that the residents have on all of us.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

2019 Highland City Survey

2019 Survey Staff

First of all I want to thank those who took the time to complete the 2019 survey, especially those that took the time to add comments. We had 1,106 respondents, 22 more than last year. 700 respondents provided a total of 1,370 comments on. I enjoyed reading them and replied to over 1,000. I literally laughed out loud for several minutes after reading one.  I will buy a Roxberry Smoothie for the first person who identifies it – city staff and elected officials are ineligible (

The top four issues in terms of comments were:

Monday, July 1, 2019

Evaluating City Council Candidates

Scales of Justice

“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” -- John Quincy Adams

In Highland there are three open city council seats this year. The nine candidates that are vying for your vote are asking for the privilege to spend ten or more hours a week for four years making decisions that affect us now and years into the future.

The issues they deal with will range from approving changes in user fees for parks to budgetary expenses totaling $18M, from zoning changes to park amenities, and from road maintenance to how to deal with legal issues.

Let me offer a few thoughts on what principles can be applied in selecting candidates for city council: