Plow routes based on priorities
Those people living on the fringes of Park City, like in Solamere and Aspen Springs, waited for their streets to be plowed after the big storms since New Year’s. Those in Old Town and along major roads like Royal Street didn’t have the same wait. The Park City Public Works Department plows streets on a priority basis, determining what streets are cleared first by how important they are to bus routes, among other criteria like the number of people living on or nearby the street. "It’s huge. It’s a big part of what the city does," Pace Erickson, the operations manager in Public Works, said about snowplowing, calling it one of City Hall’s "key services." The Public Works Department has published a snow-removal guide, informing Parkites about procedures and identifying which roads are priorities for snowplow crews. Of note is a map of Park City streets showing which ones are plowed first. The map shows that arteries like Bonanza Drive, Holiday Ranch Loop Road and Royal Street are among those that receive first priority. Those streets are widely traveled and bus routes use the roads. "I think public transit is the most important. That’s how a lot of visitors get around. A lot of locals use the (buses)," Erickson said. After those, second-priority streets include those like Aerie Drive, Mellow Mountain Road, Meadows Drive and Lucky John Drive. Third-priority streets generally are those on the edges of the city, like Aspen Springs Drive, Rising Star Lane, Sunny Slopes Drive and Paddington Drive. State crews are responsible snowplowing on S.R. 224, including the stretch known as Deer Valley Drive, and S.R. 248, also known as Kearns Boulevard inside the city. Lots of the streets in Old Town are designated as first priority and Erickson said the neighborhood is important to the snowplow crews because many of the streets are either narrow or steep and because of the number of people living and visiting the neighborhood. Some tips in the guide include that shoveling sidewalks is the responsibility of the property owner but that the city takes care of sidewalks on Main Street, Park Avenue and Kearns Boulevard. Erickson said Public Works owns six snowplows for roadways and two mini-plows used on sidewalks. The department also has three big snowblowers, which are used to load the snow onto dump trucks. The trucks then haul the snow to a spot off S.R. 248 about one-half a mile east of Park City High School. The snow is then stored there. Three front-end loaders are also part of the department’s snow-removal operations. Erickson said the city’s snowplow crew totals 17 people, with four being on each shift. Public Works runs snowplow crews on day and night shifts. For more information about snow removal, call 615-5301 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and 615-5346 after 5 p.m.
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Thanks to COVID-19 cutting into visitation numbers, Park City’s seasonal workforce is sufficient. In any other winter, “the hiring situation would be dire.”