Project for Deeper Understanding will address traffic in Summit County | ParkRecord.com

Project for Deeper Understanding will address traffic in Summit County

Park City’s Project for Deeper Understanding is a public forum that has addressed such topics as fossil fuels, immigration and the relationship between Christianity and Islam.

The two-hour events start with a panel discussion and finish with an hour of questions and answers with the audience.

The next session will be held at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 4595 Silver Springs Road, on Thursday, March 26, at 7 p.m.

The topic will be "Transportation’s Uncomfortable Choices: More Lanes or Fewer Cars?" said the forum’s co-founder Rev. Charles Robinson.

"A little more than a month ago, on Feb. 5, we hosted a forum that tackled the topic of the overall future of Summit County and the conversation was really productive and laid the foundation for this one," Robinson said during an interview with The Park Record. "We started to get into some of these issues of growth that included everything from development to the role of the resorts to county and city planning.

"However, it was clear that one of the issues that is on everybody’s mind is the growing traffic congestion problem in western Summit County," he said. "So that’s the focus for Thursday night. The plan is to discuss transportation and weigh the need for us as residents to be proactive in responding to what’s going to continue to be a growing congestion problem in this area."

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This is a concern that will involve residents and tourists alike, Robinson said.

"As the last group of panelists made clear, even if we were to wave a magic wand and stop all future development, there has already been so much approved development that are in the books, that this is a relevant issue anyway," he said. "There will be more and more businesses and homes in Summit County regardless of what happens in future government decisions."

That is the direct result of people not only seeing Park City and Summit County as a recreational destination spot, but also a place to live.

"There is no stopping the developing," Robinson said. "If you take the level of traffic congestion we currently have and take in consideration the other development that is coming our way, we as residents clearly have to do something. Whether that means we have to get out of our cars, use more mass transit — we have to make some kind of cultural shift to make this work in the coming decades."

The panelists on Thursday will include Alison Butz of Historic Park City Alliance, Summit County Council Chairwoman Kim Carson, Kent Cashel, long-range transit planner for Park City, Wasatch County Transportation’s Shawn Seager, Mountain Accord’s Andy Beerman and Leslie Crawford, Summit County transportation engineer. The moderator will be KPCW’s Bob Richer.

"Unfortunately, we’re not able to get anyone from the resorts." Robinson said. "Mike Gore really tried to get someone from the Vail Corporation to help us out, but the travel schedules from the various executives just didn’t work out.

"They were willing to participate, and I didn’t feel like they were dodging us, but the schedules wouldn’t match up with the day of the forum," he explained. "So, Leslie will fill in that slot that we have set aside for the resorts."

The Project of Deeper Understanding will host a panel discussion titled "Transportation’s Uncomfortable Choices: More Lanes or Fewer Cars?" at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 4595 N. Silver Springs Dr., on Thursday, March 26, from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. The event, which will be simulcast on KPCW, is free and open to the public. For more information, call 435-901-2131.