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City Briefs

Officials gather highway comments

City Hall recently released six pages of information describing public opinions about plans to redo S.R.248 on the Park City entryway, a major highway project that is under consideration.

Consultants gathered the information, including a set of comments, during a September open house that drew a crowd of Parkites, commuters and others who are interested potential changes to S.R. 248.

According to the report, which was distributed recently to Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council, the majority of the people who provided input backed a plan to install a reversible lane on S.R. 248. Under that scenario highway officials would change the direction of the lane based on the time of day, with traffic using the reversible lane inbound in the morning and outbound in the afternoon.

Other people at the meeting supported expanding the stretch of highway to four lanes, with minimum widening, a scenario that was second in popularity at the open house. Meanwhile some who attended desired carpool and bus lanes and an expansion to four lanes, with a full widening.

Some of the comments about the reversible-lane idea include:

"Least cost. Implement immediately.

"Do this right away."

"My favorite idea, but I think there should be a four-lane (road) after Comstock going into town."

"Great solution, please limit to rush hour to prevent accidents/confusion late at night."

There was some concern, though, that the putting in a reversible lane would not be a long-term solution.

The City Council at a recent meeting indicated they want City Hall staffers to further consider an idea to install a reversible lane and a separate idea to make part of S.R. 248 a four-lane road, with a carpool lane, without widening the highway east of Wyatt Earp Way.

S.R. 248 is especially clogged with traffic in the morning rush hour, when backups are common from the edge of Prospector toward Quinn’s Junction.

Commuters from parts of the Snyderville Basin, the East Side of Summit County and Wasatch County regularly drive on S.R. 248 as they head in and out of Park City.

Silly Market 2009 approved

Park Silly Sunday Market organizers won an approval from the Park City Council to hold the open-air bazaar on lower Main Street next year.

The elected officials endorsed plans to hold the Silly Market on Sundays between June 14 and Sept. 27, with the exception of the first Sunday of August, when the Park City Kimball Arts Festival is scheduled on Main Street. Hours of operation for the Silly Market will be between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The Silly Market debuted in 2007 and it has become a popular destination on Sundays, with organizers saying they drew about 2,000 people each week in 2008. Artists, craftsmen, musicians, food sellers and not-for-profit organizations occupy booths each week at the Silly Market, which bills itself as an environmentally friendly event.

There have been mixed opinions on Main Street since the Silly Market started, with some merchants and restaurants on the street complaining that they have lost business.

As the City Councilors approved the 2009 plans, they received testimony from supporters and critics. The City Council cast a 4-0 vote in favor of the Silly Market, with Joe Kernan not in attendance.

The supporters, including nearby gallery owner DeVon Stanfield, indicated their businesses benefited from the Silly Market, with one clothier saying sales climbed 40 percent on Sundays, and the event has long-term prospects.

But others disagreed. Store owner Monty Coates said the Silly Market is flawed and people stay there instead of visiting others places on Main Street.

"It draws people. It holds people," Coates said.

At Silver Queen Fine Art, meanwhile, co-owner Timm Hilty said sales fell during the Silly Market. He said people who go to the Silly Market are not the sort of shoppers who buy at his gallery.

"My business can’t afford it," Hilty said about having the Silly Market.

Kimberly Kuehn, the executive director of the Silly Market, said in a later interview she wants the businesses on Main Street to benefit and the organizers will continue to work closely with the street. Not everyone on Main Street, however, will like the Silly Market, she acknowledged.

"We can’t please everybody. We’re always willing to listen conscientiously and cautiously," Kuehn said.

Compiled by Jay Hamburger


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