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Carpooling popular at Jeremy Ranch

After a year in use and despite nay-saying, the Park and Ride lot at Jeremy Ranch has been a huge success.

Despite concerns from the community about it being an eyesore, Kevin Callahan, Summit County public works administrator said he always knew it would be popular.

"We had requests for a good period of time to help commuters heading down to the Salt Lake Valley," he said. "We didn’t have anybody who said, if you build it, we’ll use it, but we identified that several thousand people live in the area and work in Salt Lake every day."

Callahan said Park and Rides have been in use in other communities for some time and were always successful.

Sue Follett of Coalville wishes there was one in the north end of the county.

"A lot of us drive to Kimball Junction and add to the pollution," she said.

Follett was waiting at the Park and Ride Monday evening after getting off work in Park City to meet up with her daughter and drive together to Salt Lake City.

"We’re saving gas, basically doing a ride share," she said.

Another indication that Summit County residents are looking for better alternatives to driving down the canyon are the requests for a bus service up Parley’s Canyon.

The logistics of that are complicated, Callahan said, and may be long in coming. But the Park City Transit bus that stops at the Park and Ride enables people coming from Salt Lake City to park in Jeremy Ranch and ride into the city saving gas and not having to worry about parking.

The potential this concept has for lessening parking woes in the city has spurred proposals to build a Park and Ride on the south side of the freeway.

Callahan said they’re looking into this, but haven’t identified a suitable piece of property yet.

The lot in Jeremy Ranch was surplus land belonging to the Utah Department of Transportation that agreed to have it paved.

Several rules protect the integrity of the site as a Ride and Share. No vehicles are allowed to be left with "For Sale" signs and "big rigs" are not allowed to use the lot for sleeping at night.

One of the remarkable aspects of the lot’s success is how informal the carpooling is.

"It’s supported by individual initiative right now," Callahan said. "There’s a lot of informal activity of people thinking it’s a good spot to hook up and share a ride."

Its careful designing gained the support of the Jeremy Ranch home-owner’s association and the private security firm employed by association agreed to include the lot in its route, Callahan said.

Its close proximity to the Jeremy Store also increases the area’s safety, he added.

Nedra Richins, a manager for the store, said she too always knew it would be successful.

"I know people were really apprehensive about it, wondering if it would really work, but we’d have people want to park cars here for safety, and it’s been busy since day one," she said.

The increased traffic hasn’t hurt, she said, since traffic has always been "rotten" at her location.

Last winter, she saw a lot of parents drop off teenagers to catch the bus up to The Canyons.

"I’m very happy to see level of use it’s getting," Callahan said.

Park and Ride

Jeremy Ranch Exit on the north side of I-80. South west of The Jeremy Store.


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