Traffic increases are outpacing road capacity
Ryan Summerlin August 22, 2014
Summit County’s population is expected to grow nearly 86 percent between 2010 and 2040.
Park City’s population will increase by nearly 38 percent during the same time period.
And current traffic patterns indicate roughly half of current traffic travels from the Basin to places outside the county on a daily basis.
All of those eye-opening statistics were included in a just-released Short Term Needs Identification prepared for Summit County about the Snyderville Basin.
The study, prepared by the Salt Lake City-based transportation consultants Fehr & Peers with extensive input from county staffers, is the first phase of a transportation study that will eventually be used to update the Snyderville Basin Long Range Transportation Plan.
"The current Snyderville Basin Transportation Master Plan is outdated and does not meet our current and future growth needs," said Summit County Manager Bob Jasper in a release. "Updating our transportation plan provides the County with the tools to analyze where we are, how we got there, and where we are going."
The Snyderville Basin study area, according to the study, is defined by the area that is bordered by State Route 224 to the west, State Route 248 to the south, U.S. Route 40 to the east, and Interstate 80 to the north. The study area also includes a segment of I-80 to the northwest of the Basin, up to Pinebrook.
The study was commissioned earlier this year by Summit County, Park City and Canyons Resort, and the second and last phase of the plan — focusing on long-range needs identification, followed by specific plans and implementation recommendations — is scheduled to be released by the end of the year, said County Engineer Leslie Crawford.
The study is meant to guide Summit County toward a safe, convenient transportation system that includes auto, public transit, bicycles and pedestrians, Crawford said. The last update was done in 2009, when the County was in the midst of the recession, and now with the economy and building on the upsurge, "there is an increased demand on our transportation system."
Community Developer Director Pat Putt said of the study, "As development takes off and accelerates, it’s good to recalibrate."
While most of the recommendations will come later — and will be merged with proposals aligned with the ongoing Mountain Accord initiative — some of the recommendations from the study included widening both State Routes 224 and 248; the realignment and widening of Landmark Drive; providing bicycle and pedestrian under- and over-passes where necessary; the consideration of improved transit for the peak winter season; the improvement of Canyons Transit Service; and constructing a Kimball Junction Transit Center and bus stop improvements.