Park City celebrates short, tucked-away trail
Park City on Tuesday celebrated the debut of a redone trail in Old Town, a short, tucked-away route that is not expected to have broad impacts on the area’s network of trails but one that is seen as an upgrade for people who live in the southern reaches of the neighborhood nonetheless.
The route is known as the Chambers Neighborhood trail, and it runs between Hillside Avenue and Swede Alley. The trail, which is unpaved, follows a path close to the Hillside Avenue retaining wall and behind a small row of houses and backyards on upper Main Street before reaching the Swede Alley terminus. It generally is not visible to someone unless they are looking from one of the houses or yards.
A trail existed along the route prior to the upgrades that were highlighted on Tuesday, but it was generally known only to the immediate neighborhood. City Hall upgraded the pathway, installed a wooden railing and posted signs as part of the work. One of the signs asks trail users to respect the residences. The work started in early June.
Julia Collins, the senior transportation planner at City Hall, said in an interview the upgraded trail also provides erosion control. She described the trail as offering an option for people who do not want to walk on Hillside Avenue, a narrow road without sidewalks. She called the trail a neighborhood amenity.
Mayor Andy Beerman, members of the Park City Council, City Hall staffers and people who live in the southern end of Old Town on Tuesday celebrated the opening of the trail, cutting a ribbon and talking about the benefits of the route.
The mayor told the crowd he appreciated the input of the neighborhood as residents waited for the improvements. He praised City Councilor Tim Henney for pressing for the work.
“It’s a much safer way down,” Beerman said.
One of the people who lives along the trail, Betsy Wallace, thanked City Hall in brief comments to the crowd.
“It is our neighborhood and we’re very prideful of it,” Wallace said.
Park City over the years has greatly expanded trails and other pedestrian-bicycling routes in an effort to offer options to people who otherwise would drive between destinations in Park City and the Snyderville Basin. Leaders have long said the trail network provides benefits like reducing traffic and cutting emissions.
The Old Town location of the redone trail places it in a neighborhood where many people walk between their homes and Main Street and also in a spot where the traffic can be heavy much of the year.
The trail is seen as an accomplishment at a time when some in the neighborhood immediately surrounding the route are displeased with what they argue has been a marked increase in traffic in recent years. The unhappiness became especially notable in the spring amid a confrontation between a pedestrian and a driver on Hillside Avenue. City Hall discussions about traffic-calming possibilities for the street and the potential impacts on nearby roads followed the confrontation.
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City Hall in December posted strong sales-tax numbers, powering past projections and nearly equaling the figure from the same month in the previous year, as Park City continued to beat expectations amid the continued spread of the novel coronavirus.