Park City devises possible pedestrian upgrades, including a Main Street sidewalk widening
There could someday be more space for pedestrians on the southernmost stretch of Main Street.
And pedestrians could eventually have a better place to cross the street at one of the edges of the Park City Mountain Resort parking lots.
City Hall recently outlined a list of concepts for pedestrian improvements that are under evaluation and could be pursued in 2021, as leaders continue to press for pedestrian and bicyclist routes.
A municipal report drafted in anticipation of a recent Park City Council meeting provided limited details about the possibilities for 2021, but the list could offer a preview of the projects. None of them appear to be overly costly at a time of economic uncertainty, but each of them seems to be something that could address issues at an individual location.
One of the concepts could be especially intriguing for people who live or stay in the southern reaches of Old Town. The list identifies a project that would widen the sidewalk on the east side of upper Main Street, north of the intersection with Hillside Avenue. There are not details in the report, but there could be broad support in the neighborhood for such a widening.
The stretch of sidewalk on the east side of upper Main Street is commonly used by people who live in a row of houses on upper Main Street itself, but it is also used by those living on nearby streets like Daly Avenue, Hillside Avenue, upper Park Avenue and King Road as pedestrians head to and from Main Street.
There are long-running concerns about traffic and pedestrian safety in the vicinity of upper Main Street as some drivers entering or departing the shopping, dining and entertainment district opt for upper Main Street and Hillside Avenue. People who live on the nearby streets complain about speeding and the danger to pedestrians with so many of them choosing to walk on the edge of the street rather than a sidewalk.
There has especially been concern about the traffic on Hillside Avenue, and City Hall has attempted to address at least some of the worries with striping and large planters. A widened sidewalk on the east side of Main Street from Hillside Avenue to the commercial district, though, would be a much more aggressive step. It would essentially provide a better link from the upper Old Town neighborhood to Main Street but also to the Old Town transit center, where someone can board a bus to points across Park City and the Snyderville Basin.
Some of the other potential projects outlined in the recent report include:
• a new design for the crossing at the Silver King Drive-Empire Avenue intersection. The report did not provide details about a redesign. The intersection is important to some of the skiers and snowboarders on the perimeter of Park City Mountain Resort who walk to the slopes in the winter and walk or ride bicycles in the warm-weather months. The intersection is located on the northeast corner of the PCMR parking lots.
• new ways to delineate places where Old Town stairways are accessible, perhaps with lights or paint. There is a series of public stairways in the neighborhood, some in the Main Street core and others outside the commercial district.
• the creation of so-called public parklets, or small spaces that are put in locations that are traditionally parking areas. The report did not provide potential locations. The report, though, acknowledged creating parklets would require the removal of parking spots on the street where they would be located. It did not offer details about the number of spaces that could be lost.
“While staff will continue to push forward, Old Town Park City is ultimately somewhat limited by very constrained historic roadways, and inadequate and aging infrastructure,” Alexis Verson, a City Hall transportation planner, said in the report.
The concepts were outlined as City Hall continues broad efforts meant to provide pedestrian and bicyclist routes through the community. Leaders see the routes as encouraging people to walk or ride bicycles instead of driving, and the routes are considered to be one of the most important traffic-fighting efforts in a community where congestion on the roads has long been upsetting. Officials have also long said the pedestrian-bicyclist routes act to reduce air pollution as vehicle emissions are cut.
The pedestrian and bicyclist routes reach from the Old Town core to outlying neighborhoods in Park City and into the Snyderville Basin. In some places, there are trails or pathways while in others there are bicycling lanes. There are also pedestrian-bicyclist tunnels that carry people below busy streets like Bonanza Drive and Kearns Boulevard.
The pedestrian-bicyclist efforts at City Hall are continuing in the months after a series of auto-pedestrian accidents in Park City early in the year. A California man died from his injuries in one of the cases.
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