City Hall staffers have outlined a 10-step list of transit-related work that they want to accomplish through 2007, including preparing for park-and-ride lots.
The Park City Council reviewed the list in early February as it was preparing to approve an agreement with Summit County to cooperate on regional-transportation issues.
Some of the steps, like completing an assessment of the needs for a maintenance and storage facility, are estimated to be completed this month. The city wants to form a task force to research traffic and transit issues by March 1 and by that date the city wants to work with the Park City Chamber/Bureau on what has been called a ‘transportation management association.’
Later in the year, the city wants to begin securing federal funding to build what is described as a "transit facility" and park-and-ride lots. It wants to secure land for the facility and form a planning task force with Summit County in 2006 as well.
Other steps include continuing studying traffic levels on S.R. 224 south of The Canyons and, in 2007, conducting a "more rigorous" study of traffic increases.
Traffic has long been a chief complaint of Parkites and many people say that the traffic in the Park City area is quickly getting worse.
The park-and-ride statements in the list are notable in the aftermath of last month’s Sundance Film Festival, when Park City streets were clogged with traffic.
Afterward, there was talk about creating satellite parking lots along S.R. 224 and S.R. 248 in an effort to lessen the congestion in Park City, especially Old Town, as early as the 2007 festival. This year during the festival, a park-and-ride lot operated at Snow Park Lodge in lower Deer Valley.
Bus driver shortages
The Public Works Department said recently that it had difficulty recruiting bus drivers for the winter and that it has drafted contingency plans if drivers are out sick, injured or quit.
Kent Cashel, the assistant director of Public Works, said there are enough bus drivers to staff the current routes. If they are out, the contingency plans would be put into effect.
If up to five drivers are out, others will cover the shifts with voluntary overtime. If between five and 10 drivers are not available for less than 45 days, voluntary and mandatory overtime will be instituted and supervisors will cover shifts if they are able to.
If between five and 10 drivers are unavailable for more than 45 days, the city will cover shifts with voluntary overtime and the city will contact Logan officials and the Utah Transit Authority for temporary drivers.
If the city reaches what is described as a crisis with a "major shortage" of drivers, routes would be halted or reduced.
The Bonanza Express route would be eliminated, one bus assigned to The Canyons route would be eliminated and the Kimball Express would be reduced or cut. Also, service for seniors would be limited or the city would seek volunteer drivers.
The city would continue recruiting bus drivers during each of the levels of the contingency plans.
Officials have long touted the free bus system as one of City Hall’s best programs and during the ski season the buses are especially crowded. Routes travel through Park City’s neighborhoods and to the Snyderville Basin.
Compiled by Jay Hamburger
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