Bus shelters needed ASAP on S.R. 224
Park City and, more recently, Summit County have been working hard to encourage residents and visitors to use public transit. Both have invested heavily in equipment, expanding routes and promoting the free service, and those efforts have paid off with increasing ridership every year. Earlier this week the two agencies celebrated a new benchmark – surpassing 2 million riders in one year.
That is a remarkable feat in a town that is beginning to feel the pangs of urban congestion, including parking shortages, air pollution and miles-long traffic jams. But it might be tough to convince those riders to get on board a second time if their bus stop is alongside S.R. 224.
During last weekend’s snowstorm, forlorn bunches of people waiting for the bus could be seen scaling icy snowbanks and trying to avoid the slushy wake of passing cars. In addition to offering no protection from the weather, several of the posted stops look extremely dangerous – especially those that force people to stand in the emergency lane of a busy state highway.
Park City has a number of eye-catching bus shelters around town, the result of a contest among local artists. Some day we would love to see similar enticing shelters out in the county. For now, though, we would settle for a plowed turnout and perhaps a plexi-glass windbreak.
In fact, we’ve heard the county has already purchased a number of shelters but they are still in storage.
According to Summit County’s transit director, the shelters will be allocated based on usage. It might be preferable, however, to put them where riders are most vulnerable.
Some of the posted bus stops along S.R. 224 are nothing more than signposts in the middle of snowbanks. Watching people clutch those posts and then scramble down into traffic as the bus approaches is probably enough to deter others who might be willing to try public transit.
We say keep the buses rolling on S.R. 224 but, until the shelters or plowed turnouts can be provided, move the stops off the highway.
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