Critic kept off panel |

Critic kept off panel

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Tom Hurd, a chief critic of City Hall’s $15 million bond to upgrade pedestrian and bicycling routes, was not selected to serve on a committee that will help decide how the money is spent.

The Park City Council, as they chose people for what’s being called the Walking and Biking Liaison Committee, left Hurd off. He had applied for one of five positions set aside for regular Parkites. Representatives of government panels and activists also will serve.

Hurd’s application for the committee was unexpected given his opposition to the bond, which Park City voters approved on Election Day.

"I wasn’t surprised at all. I think they want to put people on there who support the point of view" that Park City requires $15 million in improvements, Hurd says.

Before losing his bid, Hurd had told The Park Record it is important for the City Councilors to pick people with diverse views about pedestrian and bicycling safety. He has argued that Park City is relatively safe and the $15 million is unnecessary.

"First of all, the question is ‘Do we need to spend $15 million," he had said in an interview with the newspaper. "From what I have seen so far, no, I don’t think we need to."

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Hurd says he voted against the bond.

The money is expected to fund major work on Bonanza Drive and Kearns Boulevard, but Hurd wonders if those upgrades are needed.

He says it is "totally unnecessary" to build a pedestrian-bicyclist underpass on Bonanza Drive, which has been widely discussed. He says a pedestrian-activated crossing light now on the road is adequate.

As a member of the committee, he says he might have supported a pedestrian crossing light on Kearns Boulevard near the schools campus, but he would have questioned whether an underpass near the schools would be successful. He says students might choose to cross the street instead.