Traffic: too much, too fast | ParkRecord.com

Traffic: too much, too fast

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Kyle Jessen is direct when he talks about his Comstock Drive neighborhood.

The people who live on the Prospector road want a nice, small-town street. But traffic is terrible, many who live there, including Jessen, say.

"We want to take back the quality of life in our neighborhood," Jessen told City Hall officials during a Tuesday evening open house at the Park City Library and Education Center.

The local government scheduled the open house as it grapples with the neighbors’ complaints. Officials recently received a 48-signature petition from people on streets like Comstock Drive and Sidewinder Drive. The petition asks for measures to cut traffic and slow drivers down.

"We have way too much traffic . . . going way too fast," Jessen said at the meeting.

Jessen’s comments were some of the most vivid of the meeting, which drew about 30 people. Members of the Park City Council and City Hall staffers who are crafting plans for the neighborhood listened to the wide-ranging concerns. They provided a few comments.

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Many of the complaints from the neighbors have been discussed before, as people in Prospector became increasingly frustrated with the traffic.

At the meeting, they said parked cars block the view of drivers at intersections, and the neighborhood is not inviting to pedestrians or bicyclists. They talked about reducing speed limits from 25 mph to 20 mph.

Someone suggested a widened presence by the Park City Police Department. The person said drivers slow down when they see a police SUV, whether an officer is inside or the vehicle is an unmanned decoy.

The concerns were similar to those outlined in the petition to City Hall.

Jessen, meanwhile, claimed he has seen Park City’s buses driving by at 30 mph, above the speed limit.

"They rip right by there," he said.

Jessen also talked about what many accept as an upward trend in commuter traffic in the neighborhood. The critics say inbound drivers on S.R. 248 turn into Prospector in an effort to avoid morning traffic jams on their way into Park City.

"They shouldn’t be in our neighborhood, that’s for sure," Jessen said.

Park City Engineer Eric DeHaan, whose opinion is important as City Hall considers traffic issues, and Brian Anderson, a Public Works Department official assigned to crafting plans for Comstock Drive, attended.

DeHaan noted City Hall would encounter difficulty if it tried to restrict trucks and other commercial traffic in the neighborhood, a wish of some of the neighbors. He wondered which sort of trucks would be allowed and which would be banned under the idea.

The officials were not scheduled to make policy decisions about the issue on Tuesday night. Instead they listened to the neighbors and made occasional comments.

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