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Neighbors chart pedestrian problems

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Jody Woods is like lots of parents who live in Prospector, worrying about the kids while they walk to school.

Woods, who lives on Annie Oakley Drive and has three children, says drivers are traveling too fast, endangering the kids on their way to school.

"It’s not safe for our kids to walk to school," she says on Monday evening, as she reviews suggestions from the neighbors to make Prospector and Park Meadows safer for walkers and other people not driving.

Woods joined an estimated crowd of about 70 at the Racquet Club gymnasium for the first of three scheduled open houses this week about sidewalks, trails, crosswalks and other topics related to pedestrians and bicyclists.

City Hall called the gatherings as a government-hired consultant seeks opinions about people’s walking and bicycling habits, including conducting a survey.

The Monday open house, which drew lots of people from Prospector and Park Meadows, was expected to be especially important to the city and the consultant since people from the two neighborhoods have approached City Hall in recent weeks with traffic complaints.

The people at the open house split into groups, discussed lots of issues and provided a wide offering of ideas. They marked on maps where they see problems between drivers and walkers.

They targeted Little Kate Road, Bonanza Drive and intersections along Kearns Boulevard, among a scattering of other streets, as places of concern.

Park City Councilors, Planning Commissioners and City Hall officials like City Manager Tom Bakaly attended and this week’s open houses are seen as critical to the consultant’s wider work.

The consultant, Mark Vlasic, says that the open house on Monday "confirmed quite a bit," including that Little Kate Road is popular with walkers. Vlasic, though, says, surprisingly to him, few people mentioned to him Kearns Boulevard crossings.

Vlasic’s team plans to craft recommendations to City Hall but he says he has not gathered enough information to predict what he will suggest.

"We have a lot of analysis . . . This is expected," he says.

At the tables, the groups of Parkites made lots of comments. Someone suggested that a three-way stop is needed at the Little Kate Road-Monitor Drive intersection, another person recommended that a tunnel could be built underneath Kearns Boulevard at Wyatt Earp Way for school kids and someone else mentioned that snowplows should do a better job clearing bicycle lanes.

A second open house was scheduled Tuesday evening, organized for people who live in Old Town and Deer Valley, and a third gathering is scheduled on Wednesday, when people from the neighborhood around Park City Mountain Resort, Thaynes Canyon, Aspen Springs and Iron Canyon are expected.

Woods, from Annie Oakley Drive, says she wants the government to ban left-hand turns onto Wyatt Earp Way from Kearns Boulevard, a wish of lots of neighbors.

That, she says, would stop people from using shortcuts through Prospector to avoid Kearns Boulevard, where traffic frequently backs up.

"It will cut down on the quantity of cars cutting through Prospector driving too fast," Woods says.

Joe Maslowski, who lives on Wyatt Earp Way, also mentions turning restrictions on Kearns Boulevard. He wants signs prohibiting left-hand turns from Kearns Boulevard posted at Wyatt Earp Way and Buffalo Bill Drive.

"It’s in large measure not walkable and bikeable because of the traffic coming through," he says, claiming that commuters and commercial drivers take shortcuts through Prospector. "Traffic is the key issue. Traffic in areas we shouldn’t have much traffic."


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