Measures to be taken to avoid unusually bad traffic jams in Park City
The Park City Police Department plans to post officers at key intersections during what is expected to be a busy holiday week, a step meant to guard against an unusually bad traffic jam in the afternoon and early evening.
Alfred Knotts, the transportation planning manager at City Hall, said stationing the officers at the intersection also allow them to more quickly respond to an accident.
Knotts said police officers in vehicles will be posted at locations where backups are commonplace during the ski season. The intersections are:
- Park Avenue and Deer Valley Drive
- S.R. 224 and S.R. 248
- Bonanza Drive and S.R. 248
- Bonanza Drive and Deer Valley Drive
The intersections are along important routes out of Park City from Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort. There are usually backups at each of the intersections on busy ski days. Knotts said the officers will be stationed at the intersections from Dec. 26 until Jan. 2 between approximately 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., three hours that generally cover the skier traffic as well as commuters.
“The avoidance of the gridlock,” Knotts said as he explained the reasoning for posting officers at the intersections.
Officials say, as an example, an officer at an intersection is beneficial since a driver is less apt to block a cross street if a police vehicle is present. Backups in Park City have been blamed before on vehicles blocking an intersection when the stoplight changes.
Knotts also said City Hall officials worked with the Utah Department of Transportation as the plans for the holiday were crafted. All of the intersections with stoplights in Park City are on state-controlled roads. Knotts said state transportation officials will modify the timing of the stoplights to prioritize traffic on S.R. 224 over the cross streets between 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Much of the traffic leaving the two resorts uses the state highway during the period between 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Knotts suggests skiers and snowboarders use the free buses rather than driving personal vehicles to the resorts. He also cautioned drivers not to use bus-only lane on S.R. 224 between Canyons Village and Kimball Junction.
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The Park City police responded to a series of accidents involving drivers and wildlife, indicating at least one of the animals was killed during a collision.