Summit County identifies park-and-ride lot options
Staffers say Ecker view area ready for early implementation
Last week, the Summit County Council began exploring locations for potential park-and-ride lots that would intercept commuters traveling into Park City.
County staffers, with the help from members of a Blue Ribbon Citizens Advisory Committee, identified three possible sites for the lots: Ecker view area, Richardson Flat and Park City Tech Center.
The Ecker view area, located on Kilby Road, has been the county’s “primary focus for its first large scale park-and-ride lot, primarily because of its current use, availability and that it is one of the few open/available parcels between Salt Lake City and the greater Park City area,” according to a county staff report. Most of staff’s hour-long conversation with council focused on the Ecker site.
“Ecker is available and UDOT (Utah Department of Transportation) is supportive of the concept,” said Derick Radke, Summit County public works director. “It won’t be accessible from Interstate 80, but will be connected to transit and trails and Kilby Road can be improved for better access.”
“If we can get 500 spaces – and we haven’t done any of the design work yet – but, if you take 500 cars off the road that is a 20 percent reduction in vehicles when you do the level of service calculation for State Road 224,” he said. “Right now, UDOT has the right-of-way, but if it is successful we could approach them about owning it.”
Radke said Ecker view area would be the best option for early implementation if significant improvements were made to Kilby Road. However, he acknowledged that there are disadvantages to the site, including its proximity to Ecker Hill Middle School, the stress of adding cars to Kilby Road and transit riders would likely have to make a transfer at the Kimball Junction Transit Center to head into Park City.
With the Jeremy-area transportation improvement project, which will add roundabouts at the entrances of the Jeremy Ranch and Pinebrook neighborhoods in 2018, approximately $3.5 million worth of improvements would be needed for Kilby Road to make the park-and-ride lot successful.
“The road would still be two lanes, but we would add a bike lane or paths. It would no longer be linear, but we would have these turn pockets,” Radke said. “It is not a dramatic change and it increases the capacity. The reason it is so expensive is because it is a mile-long road. The road improvements are not necessary if we don’t do the park-and-ride. We could probably phase it and get a couple hundred spots without the improvements.”
Radke said staff is suggesting the county pursue the Ecker view area first, partly, because it would not be required to go through the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission, which did not sit well with County Council Chair Chris Robinson.
“My advice would be not to skip the public process,” Robinson said.
He also questioned why staff is not focusing on land that the county already owns, such as the Cline Dahle parcel, which is currently being explored as a potential site for affordable housing with a park-and-ride component.
“It seems like we could build it and they may not come,” Robinson said. “It seems like we will spend $3.5 million on a road we don’t need improvements on. Why not focus on the land we own?”
Caroline Rodriguez, the county’s regional transportation planning director, said part of the reason the advisory committee decided not to present a formal concept to the public is because market rates would drastically increase.
“The committee felt very strongly that it was not a matter of choosing one parcel and building parking there,” Rodriguez said. “For anything to be successful there had to be a network of intercept parking lots and ways to access those.”
Tom Fisher, county manager, said the community’s expectation is that there would public involvement in the planning process.
“I think this could be the first in a series of lots that will be developed over time,” Fisher said. “It’s not an either/or.”
Doug Clyde, County Council member, said he was also skeptical about Ecker before the discussion with staff. However, he added, “But now I’m persuaded that Ecker may be the priority.”
To view the county staff report prepared in anticipation of the meeting, go to http://summitcounty.org/DocumentCenter/View/6588.
A former Summit County victim advocate who was facing a felony count of misusing public money pleaded guilty Tuesday to a lesser charge in a deal with prosecutors.