Park City drivers confused by one-way road in construction zone
A temporarily one-way street continues to puzzle drivers in Park City.
Major roadwork continues on Prospector Avenue that involves crews turning the street into a one-way route in the westbound direction. Numerous signs are posted designating the road as a one-way street, but wrong-way driver cases are mounting, according to the Park City Police Department.
The cases logged by the Police Department have not appeared serious, and it seems the drivers who have been pulled over by the police were confused with the one-way designation rather than intentionally committing a violation. Jay Randall, a sergeant, said officers assigned to traffic patrols have made Prospector Avenue an area of focus.
The Police Department generally warns drivers who are stopped for violating the one-way rule. At least one of the drivers pulled over last week was issued a ticket, though. Public police logs indicated the ticketed driver was pulled over at or just off the intersection of Bonanza Drive and Prospector Avenue at 2:19 p.m. on Aug. 9.
The sergeant said perhaps 10 percent of the drivers stopped for violations of the one-way restriction receive a ticket. The rest are warned. Randall said many of the drivers stopped are from outside of Park City and were not aware of the restriction.
Police officers stopped at least seven other drivers last week after observing violations of the one-way restriction, according to public police logs. There was a string of cases reported in the afternoon and evening hours of Aug. 11 while others were logged at various times during the week.
The restriction temporarily limiting Prospector Avenue to one-way only in the westbound direction has removed a key route into the Prospector business district and neighborhood from Bonanza Drive.
Turns from Bonanza Drive onto Prospector Avenue are prohibited as part of the roadwork. The restriction essentially moves the route into the business district to Kearns Boulevard. The prohibition has shifted many drivers headed to the Prospector neighborhood onto Kearns Boulevard as well.
Randall said some of the traffic stops have involved drivers attempting to turn onto Prospector Avenue from Bonanza Drive or drivers making U-turns at the intersection after realizing the one-way restriction is in place. He said drivers attempting to make the turn may not see the sign designating the one-way road since they are waiting for cars to clear before starting the turn.
“They’re so focused on the northbound traffic, they’re not looking to the left,” toward the sign, Randall said.
The roadwork was anticipated to cause significant disruption since Prospector Avenue is critical to the overall road network of Park City, but it was not clear what sort of problems the work would create until the crews started the project in July. There were issues early on, leading to additional measures meant to warn drivers of the one-way restriction.
City Hall officials selected the one-way restriction over another option that called for a partial road closure that would have ensured traffic flow in both directions throughout the work. The officials, though, said that option would have led to a longer project timeline and would have required flaggers. They also said the one-way westbound direction would reduce queuing of vehicles on Bonanza Drive.
The project, forecast to cost a little less than $2 million, involves milling the road asphalt and putting down a new layer. Other upgrades include new bus pullouts, work on lighting and sidewalk improvements. The work is expected to be completed late in the fall.
The project has proven difficult for drivers and some businesses along the Prospector Avenue corridor. There have been reports the work has led to dramatic drops in sales at some businesses.
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