Neighbors: Comtock is frightful | ParkRecord.com

Neighbors: Comtock is frightful

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Displeased with the amount of traffic in the neighborhood, people who live on Comstock Drive and nearby streets are pressuring City Hall to cut traffic and slow down drivers.

The neighbors recently submitted a 48-signature petition to the local government asking for what they describe as "simple and inexpensive" ways City Hall can assist. They include putting up signs, stopping trucks from using Comstock Drive and lowering the speed limit on the street from 25 mph to 20 mph, the petition says.

Other requests include installing speed bumps and installing a ‘No left turn’ sign at the Kearns Boulevard-Comstock Drive intersection.

"Bottom line, until actions are initiated to both reduce the amount of traffic on Comstock and reduce the speed of traffic on Comstock, this is an accident/tragedy waiting to happen," the petition says, confident the steps could make the neighborhood safer for pedestrians.

Many of the people who signed the petition live on Comstock Drive, which connects Kearns Boulevard and Sidewinder Drive. People on Sidewinder Drive signed the petition as well.

The petition organizers collected the signatures in mid-June. City Hall provided The Park Record a copy on Monday. Park City officials on Tuesday night were scheduled to hold a meeting with the neighbors. It was planned after the newspaper’s deadline.

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"We see some speeds that are above the posted (limit,)" says Brian Anderson, a Public Works Department official assigned to the Comstock Avenue discussions. "We always have those who feel they can push the envelope."

Traffic on the Kearns Boulevard entryway, which is part of the state highway system, has perplexed officials for years. The latest discussions between City Hall and the neighbors have been ongoing for months.

The neighbors say lots of drivers turn off the state highway onto Comstock Drive. The drivers, many being commuters, use the street as a shortcut to the Prospector business district, turning onto Sidewinder Drive from Comstock Drive. That allows them to avoid school-year backups outside the Park City School District campus, off S.R. 248.

"It’s a very convenient connection into and out of Prospector Square," says Eric DeHaan, the Park City engineer and a key figure in the talks with the neighbors, adding, "It serves the traffic well. You don’t see backups, but that doesn’t go to pedestrian safety."

DeHaan confirms others’ assessment of speeding on Comstock Drive, saying studies have found drivers commonly traveling at between 35 and 40 mph.

DeHaan, who planned to attend Tuesday night, says he wants to talk to neighbors about narrowing Comstock Drive, which he prices at about $500,000. Narrower streets typically influence drivers to slow down.

DeHaan says, perhaps, the street could be narrowed from 40 feet wide to 30 feet. DeHaan says the 40-foot width is wider than he prefers and wider than nearby streets like Buffalo Bill Drive. If the road is narrowed, he says, enough room would remain for parked cars.

The neighbors are the most recent Parkites to complain about traffic. Others include people who live in Park Meadows. City Hall conducted a wide-ranging study of how to make Park City safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and others not driving cars, but some criticized the work for not targeting ways to reduce traffic.

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