Park City told to consider one-way route on busy road
There are some who want traffic to depart Old Town on Park Avenue outbound.
But not return on the same road.
Mayor Andy Beerman and the Park City Council on Thursday evening received input from someone describing what would be a dramatic change to the traffic flow in tightly packed Old Town. Peter Tomai, who lives on Park Avenue, addressed the elected officials remotely as they held a discussion about concepts to temporarily redesign the stretch of road between the Deer Valley Drive-Empire Avenue intersection and the intersection with 9th Street, a heavily traveled section of Park Avenue.
Tomai spoke about the prospects of that section of road being made into a one-way route in the outbound direction. There are numerous residences on Park Avenue between the two intersections as well as the Park City Library and one of the entrances to City Park. Under the concept outlined by Tomai, traffic headed into the Main Street core would be shifted to Deer Valley Drive, a road with more capacity than Park Avenue.
In an interview afterward, Tomai said he wants the one-way route to be considered as a long-term solution. Two-way traffic on Park Avenue, he said, “leads to abuse of the residential zone” with commercial traffic and ridesharing vehicles on the road.
“It’s too tempting to just go straight up Park Avenue for through traffic,” Tomai said.
A similar concept was instituted during the Sundance Film Festival in January and was among the most aggressive measures City Hall has taken to combat traffic during Sundance. Drivers needed an access pass for two-way traffic on that section of Park Avenue. Traffic is especially bad during Sundance and officials over the years have made moves to discourage drivers like increasing parking prices in the Main Street core and heavily restricting other parking, deciding on the one-way route for the event earlier this year.
Making such an alteration to the functioning of Park Avenue on a broader basis would require an extensive discussion that would be expected to involve the neighborhood, businesses along Park Avenue and in the Main Street core and City Hall transportation planners as well as the Park City Police Department.
Some of the people who live along that section of Park Avenue or on nearby streets would be anticipated to support a one-way route, which would be expected to reduce traffic and make turning easier. Others, though, could criticize a concept as eliminating one of the key Old Town routes.
The elected officials for now opted against pursuing a concept like the one described by Tomai with the possibility of discussions later between City Hall and the neighborhood. A timeline is not clear. Several of the city councilors mentioned a one-way route in their comments, but none of them dwelled on the idea.
The City Council wants staffers to move forward with an option that calls for a redesign of Park Avenue with parking on the curb and an adjacent southbound bicycle lane. The mayor and City Council also touched on the speed limit on Park Avenue with talk of a reduction to a 15 mph limit. More research was desired before moving forward with a different speed limit.
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The Park City lodging industry in recent weeks experienced an uptick in projected occupancy numbers during the dates of the Sundance Film Festival, but the figures remain depressed from a typical year during the largest special event on the city’s calendar.