Giant Park City parking lot activated for first time
Park City officials recently reached an agreement to allow construction workers to use a City Hall-owned parking lot along the S.R. 248 entryway, the first time the lot has been used as a satellite parking area.
The lot is located close to the southeast corner of Quinn’s Junction, on Richardson Flat Road. It has 750 spaces, making it one of the largest parking lots in the Park City area. It had not operated as a traditional park-and-ride lot and instead has been used as a place to stage vehicles. Park City leaders, though, eventually see the parking lot as a facility that could play an important role in City Hall’s transit and traffic planning.
Blake Fonnesbeck, the transit and public works director for the municipal government, recently drafted a memo for Mayor Jack Thomas and the Park City Council outlining the agreement, which is between City Hall and the developer of the Stein Eriksen Residences project in upper Deer Valley. The Stein Eriksen Residences is under construction on Silver Lake Drive and is one of the largest building sites in the Park City area.
According to the memo, officials agreed to allow the developer to use as many as 150 parking spots. The spots are primarily used on weekdays, the memo says. The developer is moving the workers between the parking lot and the construction site on private shuttles, Fonnesbeck says in the memo. Alfred Knotts, the transportation planning manager at City Hall, said the developer started using the parking lot in early December.
Knotts said officials are considering the possibility of using the facility as a satellite lot during the Sundance Film Festival in January, when traffic is typically some of the worst of the year. Details were not available at the beginning of the week, but those decisions would need to be made shortly. The film festival opens Jan. 21.
The lot is located along an especially busy stretch of S.R. 248. Traffic backups on the state highway between Quinn’s Junction and the S.R. 224 intersection are frequently some of the worst in Park City as commuters from parts of the Snyderville Basin, the East Side of Summit County and Wasatch County converge on the road during rush hours. Officials say the satellite parking lot could someday be tapped for wider uses as part of an overall traffic and transit plan to reduce congestion on S.R. 248.
"Any car we can get to park out there . . . is one less car in our system," Knotts said about the satellite lot, describing the facility as having "huge potential."
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Parkites see traffic and transportation as Park City’s biggest challenge over the next five to 10 years, a City Hall-hired firm that is leading the efforts to craft a community vision has found as part of its research. And they also see transportation solutions as one of the two top opportunities, alongside strategic development, during the same period, the research found.