In regional blueprint, expansion seen in Park City transportation routes
Mountain Accord, a group of government, not-for-profit and corporate entities crafting a plan for the Wasatch Mountains, this week released a proposed blueprint that has numerous references to Park City and Summit County.
Mountain Accord addresses the related topics of the environment, recreation, the economy and transportation. The Mountain Accord region stretches from the Wasatch Front to the Wasatch Back. Growth spurred the Mountain Accord participants to study the tropics on a regional level.
Some of the highlights that involve Park City or Summit County include:
- a transit route between Park City and Salt Lake City International Airport. The blueprint mentions an analysis of feasibility and funding for an express bus. It says a rail line connecting the two could be considered in the future.
- some sort of route that could extend from Quinn’s Junction to Park City, and then into Big Cottonwood Canyon and Little Cottonwood Canyon. Transportation options for the Quinn’s Junction to Park City stretch include several types of buses and light rail. The section between Park City and Big Cottonwood Canyon could be accomplished through a tunnel or an aerial link while the Cottonwood Canyons could be linked via a tunnel.
- a S.R. 224 corridor between Park City and Kimball Junction served by a rapid transit bus line, a transportation management system or light rail.
- an express bus could run a route on Interstate 80 between Kimball Junction and the Salt Lake Valley
"The Blueprint proposes to connect residents and visitors to mountain destinations and connect communities and people to jobs via efficient and sustainable transit choices," the document says.
Park City leaders have indicated transportation is a critical issue the municipal government intends to address in 2015. They say traffic threatens Park City’s lifestyle and environment. The Mountain Accord work is occurring as City Hall also addresses traffic and transportation.
In the environment section of the blueprint, Mountain Accord discusses preserving land and watershed issues. The blueprint mentions the possibility of teaming with mountain resorts in the Cottonwood Canyons to protect lands while also acquiring lands from private owners.
The blueprint also discusses recreation, saying that the trail network should be improved and connected. Terrain in the backcountry should be preserved, it says. There should also be better transit to recreation spots.
The economy portion of the blueprint wants to "encourage development patterns that preserve community character and quality of life." It wants the option of a "car-free experience for residents, workforce and visitors." The section also mentions tourism, saying that the Mountain Accord region should "develop an urban-mountain brand that is unique in the world."
Mountain Accord has scheduled a public meeting in Park City to gather comments. It is set for Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Eccles Center.
More information about Mountain Accord is available online at http://www.mountainaccord.com. The direct link to the blueprint is: http://mountainaccord.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Mountain-Accord-Proposed-Blueprint.pdf.
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Park City leaders in the last week spoke of the prospects that a second Winter Olympics could create funding opportunities as City Hall continues to consider what are anticipated to be high-dollar infrastructure projects.