Pedestrian panel seated |

Pedestrian panel seated

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Thirteen people, a mix of government officials, activists and regular Parkites, will help direct $15 million Park City voters authorized City Hall to spend on upgrades to pedestrian and bicycling routes.

The Park City Council, choosing from a packed field, recently selected five regular Parkites to join a panel known as the Walking and Biking Advisory Liaison Committee, which officials are calling by its acronym, WALC.

The elected officials had expected to appoint three, but they were impressed with the field and expanded the panel by two.

The regular Parkites selected are:

( Kathy Kahn, is a 39-year Parkite who owned a restaurant for 20 years and says she often walks and bicycles. She says she wants sidewalks, roads and trails improved and made safer. She talks about her "enthusiasm for making Park City better" and says she knows lots of people. That gives her an idea of what the community desires, she says.

( Joe Maslowski is a three-year Parkite and lives in Prospector, where he is a neighborhood leader. He talks about his hope for a "fair and equitable" plan to spend the $15 million. Maslowski does not provide details but says he is patient, civil and listens well, among other attributes he offers.

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( David "Bo" Pitkin, who says in his application he has lived in Park City for seven years and has been an activist for bicycling. He talks about overarching goals for the committee to make the city safer. He says he has ridden on trails, paths and sidewalks in Park City and has "a good understanding of problem areas and can bring solutions."

( Adam Strachan, who says he has lived in Park City sporadically for 20 years and is involved with the Main Street merchants group. He says he rides his bike to work when the weather is nice. He uses the Rail Trail and crosses Bonanza Drive, which many Parkites say is dangerous. He says the committee can help make the city more convenient for pedestrians and bicyclists. That would influence people not to drive as frequently, he says.

( Alex Butwinski, who has lived in the city for 11 years and once served for two years as an officer in the Park City Motorcycle Club. He says he wants to be a "neutral representative of the community at large" and claims he is good at building consensus. He mentions he could research whether there are matching funds available elsewhere.

The size of the field was unexpected, but lots of people are interested in what has been a lengthy debate about ways to make the city’s pedestrian and bicyclist routes safer. Over months, City Hall held numerous meetings and open houses about the topic, including well-attended gatherings in which Parkites marked on maps what they see as danger spots.

The Parkites and City Hall generally agree that Bonanza Drive and Kearns Boulevard are problem areas, with Bonanza Drive receiving considerable attention in the last year.

The committee will review a packed list of potential improvements and recommend which ones they want funded. Its first meeting is tentatively scheduled Dec. 18. The City Council will consider the committee’s choices, but the elected officials can overrule the lower panel.

Big-ticket items that the committee will discuss include pedestrian-bicyclist underpasses, including one on Bonanza Drive near the Rail Trail. Many say crossing Bonanza Drive at that spot is dangerous, even with a well-marked crosswalk there already.

The committee is expected to work quickly, with much of its discussion likely to occur before City Hall’s annual budget talks start in the spring. The City Councilors want to divide the money between the projects in the upcoming budget.

Park City voters tend to support City Hall’s ballot measures, including approving three bonds to conserve open space and a bond to build the Quinn’s Junction recreation complex. The voters passed the $15 million bond with 55 percent voting favorably.

The City Councilors on Thursday also appointed eight government officials and activists. They are:

( City Councilman Roger Harlan

( City Councilwoman-elect Liza Simpson

( Carol Potter from Mountain Trails Foundation

( Carolyn Frankenburg from the Share the Road committee

( Rob Lea from the city’s Recreation Advisory Board

( Evan Russack from the city’s Planning Commission

( David Chaplin from the Park City School District

( Jan Wilking from the Park City Chamber/Bureau