Vote on building Quinn’s Junction park-and-ride postponed
Some Park City Council members want commitments first from potential partners in the project
The Park Record
The Park City Council has postponed indefinitely a vote on whether to move forward with the construction of a park-and-ride project at Quinn’s Junction, a decision that means the lot will not be built by winter – if it is built at all.
No action was taken on two items on the City Council’s Thursday agenda that would have authorized City Manager Matt Dias to enter into contracts for the construction of the lot and professional services for improvements at the site.
The proposed plan for Quinn’s Junction calls for 465 parking stalls to be built between U.S. 40 and the Old Highway 40 frontage road north of S.R. 248. The city was awarded a nearly $3.9 million federal grant for the project.
Three City Council members – Ryan Dickey, Jeremy Rubell and Tana Toly – did not want to proceed with the project at this time.
Dickey said he wants to understand the level of engagement Summit County and High Valley Transit want to have with the project and improvements at the intersection of S.R. 248 and Old Highway 40.
Toly said she would like a commitment from the resorts that they will participate in some sort of funding because most of the people who would use the park-and-ride would be their guests.
“I think this is our opportunity to negotiate with them to pay for the transportation that’s going to their resort,” she said.
The other two City Council members, Max Doilney and Becca Gerber, were ready to go forward with the project.
“We need to start taking cars off the road one way or the other,” Gerber said. “To have something built by this next winter is a great opportunity for our community.”
Doilney said he was “blown away” by the hesitation to build the park-and-ride.
“I just want to get this straight,” he said. “We’re going to continue an item that would potentially solve a little bit of traffic problems in Park City and we’re going to wait for the Summit County Council’s thumbs up. We’re going to wait for High Valley Transit’s thumbs up, both governments that don’t necessarily serve our community.”
The project is expected to come back before the City Council, possibly in June. City Hall staffers plan to gather information by then about the degree of collaboration and partnership desired by the Summit County Council, High Valley Transit and the resorts.
In March, the City Council delayed a decision about whether to allow construction of the Quinn’s Junction park-and-ride to begin, with the same 3-2 split. The city councilors who wanted to wait requested more information about traffic flow and costs, among other factors.
A City Hall staff report prepared in response to the request has a favorable view overall of the park-and-ride.
“Though this Project is not a silver bullet to resolve community traffic and congestion, there are several reasons we continue to believe a regional parking facility outside town and at a very conspicuous location is a worthwhile community transportation investment,” the report says.
The information in the report includes a transportation impact study that shows the intersection of S.R. 248 and Old Highway 40 will be in failing condition by 2026, with or without the project. The report also says Summit County is in the early stages of contemplating in its Long Range Transportation Plan a road realignment there.
But Summit County Councilor Doug Clyde, who spoke during the public comment part of Thursday’s meeting, said the county has no plans to move the road.
“It’s never going to get to the priority level,” he said. “We’re always going to have higher priorities.”
Clyde added he personally does not care if the road is moved but “just don’t expect county people to fund it necessarily.”
Doilney said the realignment suggestion was just one of many potential solutions for the failing intersection.
“There was no indication that we thought Summit County was moving a road,” he said. “Our residents have asked time and time and time and time again, ‘please do something to reduce traffic in Park City.’ If this captures traffic that would otherwise come into Park City, it’s worth the money.”
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