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Guest Editorial

Submitted by Carolyn Frankenburg, Coalition For Safe Streets

Points to consider in response to Tom Hurd’s (Oct. 13) letter to the editor:

The study conducted last October was the result of years of citizen activism by many people from all areas of town who participated in the city’s traffic calming process. The Landmark study and subsequent walkability bond did not "spring out of nowhere," as Mr. Hurd remarks. The bond is a product of broad based community-activism and a city willing to listen to it’s constituents.

Criticizing the appointment of a citizens’ advisory group to oversee the bond’s walkable projects is a ridiculous argument. Many dozens of community members have actively supported this effort through attendence at council meetings and participation in the extended public input sessions held by Landmark. Hundreds of citizens have endorsed this bond. How can this process be criticized? Isn’t this what we want?

The outcome and recommendation made by Landmark and the city STAFF to spend 1.9 million on improvements was pretty bold in light of how little money has been spent in the last 10 years in Park City to improve urban pathways (not mountain trails). The reason the city officials initiated the study in the first place was because so many citizens wanted them to look at the big picture. Where was Mr. Hurd during this process? I never saw him at any of these public meetings or if he was there, he was very quiet in his opposition to this public process.

It is a miracle that a child has not been hit by a car on Kearns Blvd and Bonanza Drive. You can add Comstock and Little Kate and Lucky John school zone to that list too. People drive well over the speed limits on these streets, distracted by their cell phones and schedules. The commercial traffic issues stemming from the growth in our town are explosive and Tom Hurd doesn’t think we should be addressing the increasing risks of pedestrians and cars mixing on these major roads? I don’t understand what the cost of COUNTY SERVICES has to do with making our streets safe for everyone here in Park City. We do realize it will have to be paid for eventually.

Taking out a mortgage to have results now verses haphazardly piecing together some form of pedestrianization over the course of years will result in not only an inferior pedestrian product but one that is more costly and potentially more lethal. We can’t continue to mix our traffic pressure with pedestrians and cyclists.

Tom Hurd suggests that the citizens’ group may not recommend the Landmark study conclusions and is suggesting this would be a waste of money and time. The Landmark "tiered" or prioritized recommendations are OUR recommendations for the most part. There is very little in the Landmark master plan update that does not fully address the problems of pedestrian safety and connectivity in our town. Just read it and you will see.

Mr. Hurd, the citizen-generated Landmark recommendations are not that complicated. Because the city is forming a citizen’ advisory group to oversee the walkable community projects, it would certainly be no reason to vote no on the bond.

If Mr. Hurd doesn’t want to spend the relatively small amount of money in his property taxes to pay for the improvements, then that is about his only good argument. But I would argue that he will pay for these improvements either through this bond or through capital budgeting over these next 15 years … where the outcome will be far inferior because it will be patched together with retrofits having to occur throughout the process.

It makes no sense to NOT pass the Walkability Bond (Proposition 1).

Vote Yes. It benefits us all.


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