Input needed for State Road 224 study
Online survey outlines alternative transit options
During peak hours, traffic on State Road 224 between Park City and Kimball Junction has slowed to a crawl during the last couple of weeks. Caroline Ferris, Summit County’s transportation planning director, says everyone who has been affected needs to start considering the alternative modes of transportation they think would be most helpful in reducing congestion along one of Park City’s main entry corridors.
Summit County and Park City, along with the Utah Department of Transportation, Utah Transit Authority, Salt Lake City Corporation and the Wasatch Front Regional Council, are conducting a study to evaluate transportation connections between Salt Lake and Park City. The first phase of the study will focus on S.R. 224 from Interstate 80 to Kearns Boulevard.
Ferris said the study will identify ways to increase mobility and capacity on S.R. 224 without widening the road or adding more cars. An online survey will be available to the public until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 1 and can be accessed at http://valleytomountainstudy.com/.
“People have been talking and talking about traffic so this is hitting at the right time,” said Ferris. “This is a major chance for people to give detailed information about what their needs and concerns are, and what may be an appropriate alternative.”
The survey asks participants to consider the cost, feasibility and their preference among several alternative modes of transportation, including hybrid electric bus, rapid street car/light rail, a tram/gondola, automated guideway, monorail and high-speed rail.
Ferris said the comments will help narrow down the options for an environmental and financial analysis before the best alternative is identified.
“We are always taking public input on this, but this month is really the public’s opportunity to give us that detailed information even if they are out of town,” Ferris said. “At this point, we haven’t planned any open houses in person. By doing it online we are trying to reach the most amount of people, while being respectful of their time.”
The study was one of the main reasons the Summit County Council agreed to stay involved with the regional transportation plan known as the Mountain Accord through the second phase.
Ferris said this project is “just another step” in the county’s overall plan to deal with traffic, which includes the two new sales taxes voters overwhelmingly approved in November. More than $2.1 million in additional revenue from the taxes is anticipated for transportation-related improvements.
The prioritized projects supported through the two taxes include improvements to the two main entry corridors, such as intersection upgrades; access to park-and-ride lots; expanded bus services with more frequent stops, and improvements to pedestrian and bike facilities.
“But with this we are trying to determine whether there is some kind of mass transit system that would work for State Road 224,” Ferris said. “What this input is going to do is help the consultants narrow down the preferred alternatives. The list is still very broad, but we want to know if we are hitting the mark because we want to find solutions that will work for our locals and our visitors.”
The survey will be open until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 1. It can be accessed at http://valleytomountainstudy.com/..
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The Coalville native doesn’t see any major roadblocks for this year’s fair, though presenting in front of the County Council is a little nerve wracking.