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Roundabout traffic

Park City plans to designate lanes in the Old Town roundabout during the upcoming ski season, which the government says is needed to ensure that traffic easily flows through the critical location.

The roundabout is located at the intersection of Deer Valley Drive and Marsac Avenue and, in the winter, is busy with traffic from Deer Valley Resort on both roads.

According to a recent report by Eric DeHaan, the Park City engineer, the city hopes that drivers use both lanes of the roundabout once the lanes are designated. That, he says in the report, would reduce the number of traffic tie-ups on westbound Deer Valley Drive, the direction leaving the resort.

He says in an interview that the city plans to use upright plastic sticks to separate the lanes.

The report says that the police will sometimes be positioned at the roundabout but Deer Valley staffers will not be allowed to direct traffic there.

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DeHaan indicates that the traffic is at its worst about 15 days out of the ski season and the roundabout functions as designed "most of the time."

"Our visitors rarely complain about the traffic, since they have just enjoyed one of the best ski days of their lives," DeHaan writes in the report.

Meanwhile, he says, before the roundabout was built, traffic backed up at the northern stretch of Marsac Avenue and "the Roundabout merely transferred the location of the evening queue to westbound Deer Valley Drive."

The roundabout debuted in 2001 in anticipation of the Winter Olympics the following year. It was a sister project to the Old Town transit center, which sits on Swede Alley, just off the roundabout.

Before the roundabout, many people saw the Marsac Avenue-Deer Valley Drive intersection as an awkward spot for drivers and walkers.

Field snowmelt

Park City officials plan to spread black-colored crumb rubber on the synthetic-turf field at the Quinn’s Junction recreation complex in an effort to open the field earlier next spring.

Matt Twombly, the project manager of the complex, says the crumb rubber absorbs the sunlight, which melts the snow faster than usual. He estimates that the crumb rubber will provide two weeks more playing time on the field.

Last winter, crews did not remove snow from the field, which debuted in fall 2005.

Twombly says soccer players had wanted the field to be plowed during the upcoming winter. That, they said, would have made the field playable as early as March, according to Twombly.

But he says that the equipment needed to plow the field is used on sidewalks and trails, which he says are priorities over the field. Parkites have long supported the local government’s efforts to plow the sidewalks and trails.

Twombly says it is too expensive to buy equipment for the field.

The city plans to use a snowmobile to spread the crumb rubber.

In a recent report to Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council, city staffers say that the crumb rubber is also used on the Park City Golf Course.

"This process is proven in accelerating the natural melting process. The rubber will attract solar radiation from the sun, speeding up the melting process," the report says.

The report says advantages include that the field will not be damaged and that City Hall has funding for the operation.

The report also says that there is a possibility that an eight-year limited warranty could be nullified if the field is damaged by snow-removal equipment.

"Constant snow removal may be considered abuse under the warranty because our snow fall is above normal," it says.

Compiled by Jay Hamburger