Park City prepares to open park-and-ride off Kearns Boulevard | ParkRecord.com

Park City prepares to open park-and-ride off Kearns Boulevard

The lot is designed to offer an alternative for Main Street workers

by Jay Hamburger
THE PARK RECORD

Park City acquired the parcel now referred to as the Homestake lot, strategically located off Kearns Boulevard, in the spring. It was once known as The Yard. Officials want to operate a park-and-ride lot on the land that will be designed for people who work on Main Street.

City Hall intends to operate a parking lot on land off Kearns Boulevard acquired by the municipal government in the spring, a temporary use for a well-positioned parcel that offers easy access from Park City's two entryways.

Officials refer to the parcel as the "Homestake lot." It had been known for years as The Yard while it was under private ownership. City Hall purchased the 1.86 acres, approximately one-half of The Yard, for just less than $6 million in May. Leaders have not crafted long-term plans for the land, but they want to ensure it used during the upcoming winter nonetheless.

The plans involve creating a park-and-ride lot that will be dedicated to people who work on Main Street. A shuttle will carry people between the Homestake lot and the Old Town transit center. The park-and-ride lot and the shuttle will be introduced in combination with a revamped paid-parking system in the Old Town core that will involve fees on parking in the China Bridge garage and on Swede Alley.

Officials want to provide a parking alternative at the Homestake lot for Main Street workers who do not want to pay to park close to Main Street. The revamped paid-parking system is partially meant to discourage employees from driving to work and parking in prime locations that may otherwise be occupied by customers.

Alfred Knotts, who is the transportation planning manager at City Hall, said details about the Homestake lot must still be crafted. It was not yet clear how many parking spaces the parcel could hold, but City Hall anticipates the number will range between 200 and 250. It was also not known what hours the shuttle will operate. It seems likely the hours will run from the midafternoon until approximately 3 a.m., Knotts said. People who work on Main Street typically need bus service starting before the morning commute and ending in the overnight hours as shifts sometimes do not end until 2 a.m. or later.

City Hall recently posted a document requesting proposals from firms wanting the contract to design and manage the construction of the Homestake lot. Proposals are due Wednesday. The work is expected to be completed by the Dec. 15 start of the paid-parking system. The posting describes the work as including access controls like medians, the layout of the lot, striping, improved lighting and the design of a prefabricated waiting area for passengers. A contract could be awarded by the end of September.

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The Homestake lot will be another move by the municipal government to address traffic and parking issues in the Main Street core. Parking is difficult at many points of the ski season as Parkites, visitors and employees descend on the shopping, dining and entertainment strip. Open spaces are rare along Main Street on busy days and nights, leaving drivers backed up as they circle Main Street and Swede Alley looking for a spot.

The location off Kearns Boulevard will be convenient for drivers headed to Park City from either S.R. 224 or S.R. 248, allowing them to park before reaching backups on streets like Bonanza Drive, Deer Valley Drive and Park Avenue.

The acquisition of The Yard was a dramatic move by City Hall that ensures the municipal government rather than the private sector will determine the future use of the strategically placed land. The former owner, the Bonanza Park partnership, once envisioned the parcel as anchoring an ambitious redevelopment of the district. The development proposal did not advance, though, and the partnership is pursuing a redo of the district without The Yard included.

Leaders must still craft long-range plans for the parcel. Ideas have included developing the land with work force or otherwise restricted housing, transportation infrastructure and parking. Those discussions are continuing.