Park City considers set of traffic restrictions on tiny Old Town street
Park City officials and people who live in Old Town on Wednesday continued to discuss traffic in the tightly packed neighborhood, particularly on streets in the southern reaches of the historic district like Hillside Avenue, as City Hall, transportation firms and residents attempt to reach what will likely eventually be some sort of compromise.
City Hall hosted an open house that drew more than 30 people to the Park City Library to discuss Hillside Avenue and the broader issue of traffic in Old Town. Much of the attention appeared to be on Hillside Avenue, a small street that links upper Main Street and Marsac Avenue. There are only a few houses along Hillside Avenue, but there are ongoing complaints about traffic on the street.
Taxis, shuttles and transportation firms regularly use Hillside Avenue as an outlet from the Main Street core or a quicker route into the core. The residents of Hillside Avenue and people who live on nearby streets like Daly Avenue have long been upset with the amount of commercial traffic on Hillside Avenue.
Park City officials previously took steps on Hillside Avenue like putting down striping marking a pedestrian route and installing a traffic-calming measure known as a speed table, which functions similarly to a speed bump.
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City Hall staffers at the Wednesday event detailed other options for Hillside Avenue that are expected to be presented to Mayor Andy Beerman and the Park City Council shortly. Two of the options are prohibiting left turns onto Hillside Avenue from S.R. 224 prior to 3 p.m. and barring right turns from Hillside Avenue onto S.R. 224 prior to 3 p.m., steps that would especially have impacts on traffic headed to and from Silver Lake Village and Empire Pass.
The staffers, though, will not recommend more dramatic measures for Hillside Avenue. Some of the options that are not recommended include widening the road and turning Hillside Avenue into a one-way road in the westbound direction from 5 p.m. until 12 a.m. Other options that are not recommended include prohibiting commercial traffic on the street, implementing a weight restriction on the street and turning Hillside Avenue into a one-way road in either direction.
Other topics under discussion in the immediate area that are not directly tied to Hillside Avenue include creating a permit designed for vehicles that are for hire, such as taxis, and designating so-called drop-and-load locations for the for-hire vehicles and shuttles in the Main Street core between 5 p.m. and 12 a.m.
City Hall also says lodging properties in Silver Lake Village and Empire Pass will voluntarily take steps to reduce trips by their vehicles on Hillside Avenue.
Many of the people at the meeting either appeared to live in the immediate area or were in some fashion involved in the transportation industry. The people who live in the southern reaches of Old Town generally desire restrictions while the transportation industry has been hesitant to endorse further regulations on Hillside Avenue or other Old Town streets. There was some talk at the event from the industry, though, about the possibility of restricting the size of vehicles on Main Street to, perhaps, those carrying up to 14 or 15 passengers.
Liza Simpson, a onetime Park City Councilor who lives in Old Town, offered a radical Hillside Avenue solution, describing a desire that City Hall turn the road into a pedestrian thoroughfare with barriers called bollards blocking traffic.
“We need to take control of that street,” Simpson said.
Tom Gadek, a Daly Avenue resident, said it is difficult at some points to drive out of Old Town. He broached an idea calling for a “cruising limit” for taxis, shuttles and ridesharing vehicles on Main Street, a step that would restrict the vehicles from driving laps waiting for customers or passengers.
The mayor and City Council are tentatively scheduled to address the issue at a meeting on Thursday. More information about the meeting is expected to be released early in the week.
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The group that represents businesses in the Main Street core of Park City formally outlined a request to close the shopping, dining and entertainment strip to traffic on Sundays in the summer and early fall.