The Park Record editorial, August 25-27, 2010 | ParkRecord.com

The Park Record editorial, August 25-27, 2010

Zen and the art of highway maintenance

Park City students who start school at McPolin, Treasure Mountain and the high school tomorrow may get some unplanned vocabulary lessons from their parents this week. The morning race to make the first bell is bound to be more challenging than ever thanks to the massive Prospector-area construction project.

Even without school carpools and yellow buses, Kearns Boulevard has been backed up for miles as regular commuters try to thread their way through the construction zone. So let’s all take a deep breath and vow to be good role models. The last thing a jittery kindergartner needs is a road-raging parent at the wheel blurting expletives that would normally warrant a trip to the principal’s office.

First of all, if your commute to work or school involves Kearns Boulevard, expect the trip to take longer than usual. Second, be prepared to take a scenic detour. The intersection of Kearns and Bonanza Drive is still an all-terrain hopscotch course which has squeezed the traffic flow headed toward Main Street and Deer Valley down to a trickle.

To make matters worse, the pedestrian tunnel under Kearns Boulevard at Comstock, which will eventually help alleviate traffic slowdowns during school load-in times, was not completed in time for the first day of school. Therefore, school buses will drop elementary and middle school students at the high school and staff will then escort them to their buildings. Parents who drive their children to school are being asked to drop them off at the east high school parking lot or at the turnout just north of the baseball field on Lucky John Drive. The goal, for everyone’s safety, is to avoid all of the gnarly construction surrounding the Comstock intersection.

There is a lot that non-school-related commuters can do to help too. It would be helpful if local employers could stagger shifts to avoid adding to the rush-hour mayhem.

Keep in mind that the schools along Kearns Boulevard start between 7:30 a.m. and 8:10 a.m. Students are released between 2:25 p.m. and 3.20 p.m. So, if you don’t want to be sandwiched between soccer moms and novice teen drivers, plan to run errands in a different time slot.

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Also, it goes without saying, or should, now that school is starting pay extra attention to the road, yield to school buses, watch for kids on their bikes and boards darting around parked cars, and make a pledge to be part of the solution, not part of the problem during this stressful but worthwhile construction project.