City Hall outlines a broad, ambitious 2014 improvement list
There will be work along Main Street this year as City Hall continues its efforts to make the shopping, dining and entertainment strip more attractive.
And the Park City Library and Education Center will undergo a major renovation in 2014. Add numerous other public-sector projects, generally smaller in scale, and it will be a busy spring, summer and fall for City Hall.
Park City officials on Tuesday evening held an open house at the library at Park City High School to introduce Parkites to the various projects planned in 2014. It was billed as a one-stop shop for people to learn about the array of projects, different than open houses in the past that typically centered on a single one.
Approximately 75 people attended the open house on Tuesday evening, a crowd that was larger than most of the events centered on one project that have been held in the past. The crowd was a mix of Parkites from a variety of neighborhoods.
Mayor Jack Thomas and at least four of the five members of the Park City Council were in attendance at some point. City Manager Diane Foster led a roster of City Hall staffers. The staffers manned stations, answering questions about the projects that they are overseeing. Some City Hall consultants were also at the open house to answer questions.
There were numerous maps and charts on display to illustrate where the projects are planned or what they might look like when they are finished. There was lots of information about the work upcoming along Main Street and the renovation of the Library and Education Center, which are seen as two of the top projects for the year.
Glenn Wright, a Prospector resident, said he was interested in the information presented about what is known as the Mountain Accord, which is a broad study of transportation issues in the region. He said he also learned about the library renovation and the work planned along Main Street and Swede Alley.
"In general, I’m in favor of most of what’s going on," Wright said.
He said he was not sure if all the improvements planned along Deer Valley Drive are necessary. The Deer Valley Drive roadwork was one of the projects outlined at the open house.
Wright said he also supports the idea of creating bicycle lanes, another topic that was discussed on Tuesday evening.
"It warns the drivers if you’re going to have bicycles there," he said, noting that the lanes provide "better visibility" for bicyclists.
One of the consultants described an idea for what are called sharrows, which use markings to turn a lane of travel for vehicles into a shared one for vehicles and bicyclists. There are no recommendations to create sharrows in Park City, but some roads in the city meet the criteria for one. The roads include Comstock Drive, Sidewinder Drive and part of Main Street.
The Main Street upgrades drew interest on Tuesday evening as well. Matt Twombly, a City Hall staffer who is managing the work, used a set of poster boards with illustrations of the planned improvements to describe the upcoming work. He showed how intersections will be made friendlier for pedestrians and spoke about a plaza that will be built on Swede Alley at the base of the Marsac Building stairs.
The work on Main Street is some of the most anticipated of the year. It will continue a significant investment by the municipal government as Main Street attempts to remain competitive with outlying commercial districts.
Some of City Hall’s major work on Main Street this year is anticipated to include:
The improvements along Main Street are scheduled to start in April. They are estimated to cost approximately $2 million. Twombly said he received positive comments at the open house.
Other projects or topics that were broached at the event included:
The open house did not highlight the private-sector projects that will be underway in Park City alongside the ones by City Hall. The municipal work along Main Street this year will be especially notable as it will be done during a busy construction season on the street. There have been complaints recently about the impact of the private-sector projects on business. The City Hall work will add more crews to the street.
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Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin once landed in Deer Valley Resort for the Merrill Lynch Celebrity Ski Classic races. He spoke to The Park Record during the visit in 2004 about topics like America eventually embarking on a mission much more ambitious than the moon landings – a trip to Mars.