Gondola concepts show PCMR-Bonanza Park link | ParkRecord.com

Gondola concepts show PCMR-Bonanza Park link

by Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

Someday a skier or snowboarder headed to Park City Mountain Resort could start the day boarding a gondola or other sort of aerial transit blocks away from what is often a jammed parking lot at the resort.

City Hall officials on Wednesday night hosted the first of two planned workshops centered on the future of two important districts in Park City — Bonanza Park and the lower Park Avenue corridor.

Much of the discussion, particularly about Bonanza Park, was focused on transportation possibilities. The related issues of transportation and traffic in Bonanza Park have been challenging as City Hall attempts to craft a long-term growth plan for the district, which is roughly bordered by Bonanza Drive, Park Avenue and Kearns Boulevard.

The officials presented a range of ideas. One that will almost certainly attract attention if it is pursued is a gondola or other type of aerial link between Bonanza Park and PCMR. Backers would see such a link as something that could reduce traffic on roads that are already clogged at many points during the ski season. Others could question the overall attractiveness of an aerial route through a heavily developed part of Park City.

A map showing early possibilities for an aerial route between Bonanza Park and PCMR was on display at the workshop, held at the Park City Marriott. The map charted three potential routes, each with the terminal on the PCMR side at the edge of the resort’s lower parking lots. The other terminals were situated at a Munchkin Road property under PCMR ownership, the yard outside the Park City Public Works Building on Iron Horse Drive and The Yard or the Recycling Center, which are close to each other just off Kearns Boulevard.

Alfred Knotts, the transportation planning manager for City Hall, said each of the routes covers just under one mile. He acknowledged the routes have not been studied in detail. There would likely need to be significant cooperation between City Hall, PCMR and other landowners to proceed with any of the routes. It is not clear how an aerial route would be funded. It seems plausible a funding partnership of some sort involving City Hall, PCMR owner Vail Resorts and other landowners could be arranged.

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Bonanza Park is critical to City Hall’s growth and transportation planning. It is seen as a district that could accommodate significant growth through new development and redeveloped properties. The anticipated growth and the three important road corridors in Bonanza Park make the district especially notable to City Hall’s efforts.

People at the workshop provided opinions by placing stickers on the maps — sparkled ones to show support and red ones to indicate opposition. At one point late in the workshop, there were eight red stickers placed along the potential aerial routes or close to them. There were three sparkled stickers.

The workshop also presented a transportation concept in the vicinity of PCMR calling for a vehicle tunnel or a road linking S.R. 224 and Silver King Drive through what is now the Park City Golf Course. There were six red stickers placed on the route and zero sparkled ones at one point. Knotts said people at the event expressed concerns with the concept. There would be expected to be widespread opposition from golfers and others if City Hall ever pressed ahead with such an idea.

Some of the other ideas shown at the event included:

  • reversible transit lanes on Kearns Boulevard, Deer Valley Drive and lower Park Avenue
  • street, bicyclist and pedestrian improvements along lower Park Avenue
  • east-west and north-south transportation spines in Bonanza Park serving either transit exclusively or transit and private vehicles
  • park-and-ride locations at the intersection of Bonanza Drive and Munchkin Road, the yard outside the Public Works Building and a spot referred to as the Homestake Triangle along Homestake Road

    A prepared list of alternatives also included improving pedestrian routes between Old Town and Bonanza Park as well as private sector or public transit connections between Park City and Salt Lake City International Airport.

    The second workshop is scheduled on Tuesday, Nov. 10 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m., also at the Park City Marriott on Sidewinder Drive. The same information will be presented. Approximately 45 people attended the first workshop, according to a City Hall count.

    City Hall staffers and a consultant will consider the input from the two workshops in anticipation of making a series of project recommendations in early 2016. It is unclear when work would commence on any of the selected projects.