The Park Record editorial, January 27-29, 2010 |

The Park Record editorial, January 27-29, 2010

In offering sidewalks, buses, Park City walks the talk

If snow only fell on ski runs and scenic rooftops, it would indeed be a perfect world, but anyone who has helped to clear the highways or groomed a halfpipe this week, knows that isn’t the case.

One of the busiest weeks of the year coincided with the heaviest snowfall of the season, so far, and neither Sundance nor the U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix skipped a beat. The fact that the two world-class events, along with the midst of the ski season were, able to let the show go on is due in large part to the careful planning and hard work of the city and county public works crews and all three ski areas’ mountain operations teams.

Public works crews and private contractors worked overtime to clear the highways — in addition to local side streets and parking lots — for the heavy traffic expected for the Sundance Film Festival. But that is not all. With hundreds of pedestrians dashing to screenings and bus stops, they also did an excellent job clearing sidewalks and pathways.

Park City has come a long way toward becoming a walkable community even in a winter snowstorm. Lighting has been added along Kearns Boulevard and Bonanza, which used to be dangerously dark and there is more signage now at intersections and bus stops. All of that promotes leaving cars behind, and that is good for the community in a myriad of ways.

First and foremost, fewer cars means cleaner air. Park City is not immune from concerns about pollution and, in fact, between storms this week, a gray haze was clearly visible over the heart of the city. Secondly, fewer cars facilitates better traffic flow. As we learned during the Olympics, when private cars were all but banned from the city, it is remarkably easy to get around a small town using public transportation.

With environmental initiatives front and center in the nation right now, Park City took another step toward establishing itself as a green leader by plowing through three consecutive snowstorms while providing ample public transportation and safe passage for pedestrians.

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