As end approaches, process is critiqued |

As end approaches, process is critiqued

In the few weeks before a City Hall consultant is scheduled to complete a set of recommendations to make Park City safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, his work came under an unexpected round of criticism, with some wondering whether the long-running probe is misguided.

During a recent meeting, as Mark Vlasic’s team was preparing the recommendations, several people argued the consultant did not address thoroughly enough ways to reduce traffic.

But City Hall officials argue the consultant was not hired to investigate traffic. The local government drafted Vlasic, the officials say, to consider pedestrian and bicycling improvements, not to figure out ways to cut the amount of traffic.

"We were asked to look at specifically (project) improvements for biking and walking," Vlasic says, adding that the work has not been "just one-dimensional."

At the recent meeting, Jonathan Weidenhamer explained to a frustrated audience that cutting traffic is not the key point in the work. It is anticipated, though, traffic would be reduced if walking and bicycling improvements are made, which the consultant plans to recommend.

In one exchange, Carolyn Frankenburg, an activist who helped mobilize neighbors to press for the pedestrian and bicycling improvements, claimed "nothing’s happened" with the work. But Park City Manager Tom Bakaly countered, "I’d like to know what’s not working."

Others in the audience wanted traffic better addressed.

People at the meeting were especially interested in projects that would benefit their neighborhood. The meeting seemed disjointed compared to others about the topic, with many of the little more than 30 people talking at the same time and audience members holding discussions between themselves instead of with the consulting team.

Suggestions included building a bus terminal at Quinn’s Junction, placing a clause in business licenses requiring employees to takes buses to work and designating Comstock Drive as a through street for traffic heading into Park City on S.R. 248, which, an audience member said would reduce the number of commuters on other streets in Prospector.

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