Deer Valley lodges pledge to avoid Old Town street, but want less neighborhood harassment in return
A group of lodging properties in upper Deer Valley has drafted what the properties consider to be a letter of intent between themselves and City Hall outlining a series of steps they pledge to take to reduce traffic on a tiny Old Town street.
The long-running talks about commercial traffic on Hillside Avenue have become emblematic for the broader frustration by many with traffic in tightly packed Old Town. The lodging properties, delivery firms, taxis, shuttles and ridesharing firms have drawn much of the criticism from people who live in the southern reaches of Old Town, on streets like Hillside Avenue, Daly Avenue and the top of Main Street.
The residents claim the commercial traffic has overwhelmed the streets and have pressed City Hall for measures designed to reduce the impacts. Hillside Avenue has been especially notable in the discussions. There are just several residences on Hillside Avenue, but the tight, two-lane street provides an alternative route between Marsac Avenue and Main Street that has long been heavily used by the lodging properties and transportation firms in an effort to avoid congestion on Swede Alley and Main Street itself. City Hall released a document labeled as a letter of intent crafted by the lodging properties outlining a set of proposals for Hillside Avenue. Some of the details in the document include:
• a pledge by the lodging properties not to use Hillside Avenue between April 15 and June 1 as well as between Oct. 1 and Dec. 1, with exceptions being when the vehicle is headed to destinations in the southern section of Old Town or during emergencies.
• a pledge by the lodging properties to “avoid Hillside Avenue when possible” at all times. The pledge includes training for drivers but also an acknowledgment that “this does not mean 100% compliance all the time …” It says traffic from the properties, though, could be reduced by more than half.
The lodging properties in return request City Hall assist with outreach efforts and conduct enforcement “through education, not traffic violations.” They also want “assistance with reducing harassment / conflicts with Hillside Area neighbors.”
The document labeled as a letter of intent appears not to have been crafted for official consideration by Mayor Andy Beerman and the Park City Council. If the elected officials opt to pursue a letter of intent covering similar issues, it would be expected to be reviewed by City Hall attorneys prior to presentation to the elected officials. The City Council is not slated to consider a formal letter of intent on Thursday.
The meeting on Thursday is scheduled in the months before the start of the ski season and at a time when there continue to be worries about the traffic on Hillside Avenue. City Hall has taken steps designed to cut traffic, reduce vehicle speeds and increase pedestrian safety, but concerns in the neighborhood remain. Park City officials also intend to establish three locations for dropping off and picking up passengers in the Main Street core where commercial vehicle business licenses issued by City Hall will be required. An additional three locations, designed for staging, will also require the licenses.
The City Council meeting is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. at the Marsac Building. A hearing is not planned, but the mayor typically provides an opportunity for public comment.
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