Residents of the Sun Peak community are making their voices heard regarding what they see as a high level of traffic coming through their neighborhood. The Sun Peak Traffic Calming Committee is hoping to collaborate with Summit County and Canyons Resort to address this concern.
Scott Johansen, the driving force behind the Sun Peak Traffic Calming Committee, said in an open letter to the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission that his community is also concerned about the effect that future development at Canyons will have on his neighborhood.
"We want to establish a communication with Canyons Resort, communicate our concerns and address some immediate interventions," Johansen said. "We see ourselves as being potentially the bearers of these external development costs."
Among the concerns Johansen describes are: traffic from residents, non-residents like guests of Canyons, commercial vehicles headed to Canyons and recreational visitors headed to the Millennium Trail nearby. The high volume of traffic he says residents see on Sun Peak Drive, Cooper Lane and Bear Hollow Drive.
"It's a situation where the people who live here have the problem of Cooper Lane being considered an ingress/egress to Canyons," Johansen said.
Kyle Smith, a Sun Peak resident and member of the Traffic Calming Committee, said there is also a speeding problem in his neighborhood. He says both cyclists and motorists on Bear Hollow Drive often go far too fast, especially dangerous since the road features many curves and has a double-yellow line.
"Somebody's going to get killed on Bear Hollow [Drive], or hurt really badly," Smith said. "People need to be aware of the speed limit. We have children that walk up from the bus stop on Bear Hollow."
Smith said he has a slogan, "Keep 'em alive, drive 25," that he says needs to be spread, as he said he often sees people "roaring past him" on Bear Hollow when he is driving 25 miles per hour. He added that two moose have already been killed in the neighborhood.
Summit County Transportation Engineer Kent Wilkerson said that, based on his traffic counters, he has only seen speeds in Sun Peak between four to six miles over the speed limit, with the average being a bit lower. The traffic on Sun Peak Drive and Cooper Lane, he added, is "pretty light."
"The speeds are not as wholly egregious as I thought they'd be," Wilkerson said. "[Cooper Lane] is a back door [to the Canyons]. It's a public road. That makes it difficult to say, 'You can't use it.'"
Canyons Resort is required to complete a master transportation plan as part of its development agreement, Wilkerson said. As to the extent of the Sun Peak community's involvement with that plan, he said Canyons does need to give their concerns "some consideration," but is unsure of how much detail they can go into.
Jennifer Guetschow, Executive Director of the Canyons Resort Village Association, said Canyons is still reviewing proposals for the master transportation plan and is not ready to provide comment.
The newly approved Hyatt hotel on State Road 224 will have an entrance on Sun Peak Drive, and Smith and others hope there is a way the county can discourage those coming out of the hotel from using Cooper Lane to access the Canyons. A potential connection for the Millennium Trail across Cooper Lane could present other challenges, Johansen said.
"We see the complexities and see the need for a multi-dimensional approach. We respect the developer's rights and don't want to incur these external costs," Johansen said.
Guetschow was present at a meeting the Sun Peak Traffic Calming Committee held with Wilkerson, and Johansen hopes all parties involved can come to an agreement.
"The worst case [situation] for everybody would be for nothing to get resolved and a master transportation plan to be presented that doesn't represent the concerns for all of the parties involved," Johansen said.