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Guest Editorial

Submitted by Donna McAleer, Pinebrook

With the many important issues facing Park City and neighboring counties, it is imperative that Park City residents elect council members who are willing and committed to working with Summit County and UDOT to identify and implement a variety of progressive solutions to address the increasing traffic issues our beloved area is facing.

Park City’s tourist-based economy is predicated on the ability of all people to get into Park City locals (which include those who live in Summit and Wasatch counties), employees, seasonal workers, and tourists.

In the last three weeks, inbound traffic to Park City came to a standstill on SR 224 at least three times. First was a fatal crash at the intersection of UOP and Redstone Center. This involved a pickup truck and a large flatbed truck carrying drywall. The second was the infamous Stop-Still Wednesday morning on October 10, 2007, when a plethora of construction vehicles dump trucks, cement mixers and double-long flatbed vehicles, to name a few clogged both inbound access routes to Park City, each taking almost one full traffic light to accelerate and get through the off-ramp at I-80 and US 40. Exactly one week later, passage into Park City was blocked when a two-car accident occurred in the left lane, just prior to The Canyons. Unfortunately, there was no middle lane for the stalled vehicles involved in the accident or the responding police to move into because of the new roadblocks, I mean beautification medians, installed this summer.

There is a lot of public chatter about programs and options to change individual driving habits encouraging people to take the free bus system and using park-and-rides. But what results are really expected? Is social engineering the answer to our traffic woes or just part of the solution? It is safe to assume that most of the drivers of large construction vehicles will not be "truck pooling" to their sites. The free bus system, while a nice amenity for those in town, seems to only service the few in the county who have the time to take the "local" service to their destination.

With nearly $2 billion in new real estate under development, why not ask the developers to prepay a portion of their future profits into a pool that supports the road infrastructure improvements necessary to ease the traffic burden?

What type of event or situation has to occur before our city and county elected officials develop a serious tactical plan beyond park-and-rides and buses for dealing with the increasing traffic into and out of Park City? Is it possible to limit hours of construction vehicles? Is it possible to create an HOV lane? Is it possible to use a middle lane, once the planters are removed, for an additional inbound or outbound lane depending upon the time of day? Is it possible to create another road from US 40 into Deer Valley?

We all have a stake in the traffic and economic vitality of Park City. Unfortunately, only the 7,500 plus residents of Park City are eligible to vote for City Council members. How will you exercise your vote?


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