The route to Main Street will be easier for pedestrians once City Hall completes an improvement project on Swede Alley.
Park City officials are redoing four crosswalks and building a new one along Swede Alley, the heavily traveled street one block to the east of Main Street. The work is meant to ensure pedestrians are safer as they walk between the two streets.
Workers and heavy machinery were seen on Monday on Swede Alley outside the Old Town transit center. A section of the pavement had been torn out and the crew was preparing for the upgrade in the crosswalk.
The existing crosswalks that will be redone are:
The new one will be built on Swede Alley outside the back of the Egyptian Theatre.
The crosswalks at the locations now consist of painted lines on the asphalt. The workers will remove the asphalt at each of the locations and replace it with brick pavers. The crosswalks will be wider than the ones that were there before.
Main Street leaders had pressed City Hall for the upgrades, saying that the redone crosswalks will be easier for people to find.
"They want it to increase the visibility of crossings, especially China Bridge to Main Street," Matt Twombly, who is overseeing the work for City Hall, said.
He also said the increased visibility could result in drivers slowing down.
Swede Alley is vital to businesses on Main Street. The parking spots on Swede Alley itself, inside the China Bridge garage and in the flagpole lot are critical for Main Street-goers. There are more public spaces along Swede Alley than there are on Main Street. People are often seen crossing Swede Alley well outside the crosswalks that are now painted on the street.
The work started last week and is expected to continue through mid-October. Twombly said the work is pegged at $180,000.
There could be minor traffic delays and narrowed lanes at some points during the work. Twombly said there is a chance Swede Alley for short times could be restricted to one lane of traffic with flaggers directing drivers.
Main Street leaders are hoping City Hall completes an ambitious package of improvements on or close to the street. The crosswalk upgrades are seen as being among the less involved of the improvements but ones that could have immediate benefits as the busy ski season approaches.
Main Street has pressed City Hall for the improvements, arguing that the street is important to Park City's overall economy. The supporters say upgrades in the Main Street district are needed to keep it competitive with outlying shopping, dining and entertainment destinations, particularly those at Kimball Junction.
"They're just trying to enhance the downtown, to kind of make it a little more unique," Twombly said.
Bolder ideas include redoing the Brew Pub lot, perhaps with a Deer Valley Resort gondola terminal, plazas and paved areas that jut into the street. There will be additional discussions about those later.
The Historic Park City Association, a group that represents businesses on or close to Main Street, is pleased with the work on the crosswalks. The association acts as a lobbyist for Main Street. Alison Butz, the group's executive director, noted the possibility of the redone crosswalks leading to reduced speeds on Swede Alley.