August 23 editorial |

August 23 editorial

What do we accomplish by eliminating trailhead parking

Doesn’t it seem odd, at a time when Parkites are spending so much time and money on their local trail system, that the city is eliminating parking spaces at some popular trailheads? The latest to go are the four valuable places at the Iron Canyon trailhead at the northern edge of Park City.

Even though we’re aware of a smattering of complaints from homeowners about illegal parking in the area, we have to wonder if this isn’t a knee-jerk reaction to the problem. After all, if someone parks in a restricted zone on Main Street, do we react by eliminating parking on downtown streets?

What, exactly, will be the ultimate result of eliminating those spaces besides increasing animosity between hikers and homeowners? It won’t stop people from using the trail. If no spaces are provided, they’ll just park on neighborhood streets. Is that the answer?

If Iron Canyon were a gated community, and its roads were maintained by the homeowners, then eliminating parking would be a different issue. But the last time we looked, the subdivision was still part of Park City and city plows were still clearing the streets.

Although there have been changes in the alignment of the trail, hikers have been wandering through Iron Canyon’s magnificent aspens for decades long before the subdivision was developed. It must be particularly galling for veteran hikers already mourning development of other scenic areas to see access limited at another of their favorite trailheads.

Some areas seem to have found ways to accommodate hikers and bikers while mitigating their impact on the surrounding neighborhoods. One example is the the Glenwild trailhead in the Snyderville Basin. Another creative solution when people were parking along State Route 224 was the construction of a parking area across from the McPolin barn.

At a time when Park City is winning so much praise for its trail system, we think that the arbitrary elimination of trailhead parking sends the wrong message.

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