Editorial: Construction on S.R. 224 is frustrating, but cooler heads should prevail
Anyone who has regularly driven S.R. 224 in recent weeks has likely suffered through at least one traffic jam as construction crews repave a large section of the major entryway into Park City.
Orange barrels line the road for more than 2 ½ miles between Silver Springs Drive and Kearns Boulevard, and traffic has often been reduced to one lane in at least one direction. The work, officials say, has also pushed traffic to other roads as drivers seek to avoid the construction.
It hasn’t been pleasant for anybody, particularly since it’s happening during the shoulder season, one of the only times of year residents can typically count on easy commutes because roads aren’t packed with visitors. But the frustration, for some, has seemingly boiled over. The Park City Police Department has recently investigated a handful of road rage incidents, with officers citing the construction as a likely cause.
So far, the reported incidents have been relatively minor, but the potential always exists for such episodes to turn serious.
Rather than letting the situation get the best of them, drivers are better off taking a deep breath and going with the flow, slow as it may be. They can settle in for the extended commute by putting on a compelling podcast or rolling down the windows and jamming out to their favorite summer hits (but not browsing the internet on their cellphones).
After all, there isn’t anything drivers can do about the delays. The best we can do is make them less painful, by remaining patient, obeying the rules of the road and being courteous to other drivers, none of whom are any happier about being stuck in a traffic jam. That tactic will be particularly important as the congestion likely worsens in the coming weeks with the arrival of the summer tourism season. And it’s one drivers will need to employ regularly, as the construction is set to continue through mid-August.
The alternative of lashing out against their fellow commuters won’t get drivers to their destinations any quicker — and may even earn them a visit from the police.
When the road work is done, driving on S.R. 224 will be a better experience. Until then, painful commutes caused by the construction will be a fact of life in Park City. But it will be less maddening if drivers take it easy, allowing everyone to get where they’re going without incident — even if a bit late.
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