Letters, Nov. 18-20: Overuse and restrictions have turned me off trails
Can’t be replaced
When I first started hiking and skiing at Summit Park, I hardly saw anyone.
Then not so long ago, Basin Rec added a series of looped trails, creating a hiking/biking mecca. I initially thought that was great and it opened up places I could not previously reach.
With the explosion of mountain biking and backcountry skiing, Salt Lake Valley people arrived and traffic jumped up, especially at the trailhead at the end of Parkview Drive. Restrictions followed with the “dogs on a leash” rule, appearing on trail signs. Then, no-parking signs on one side of a road were next. COVID increased traffic again, as the best safe exercise option.
And now, last week on upper Innsbruck Strasse, with my tires deep in the snow on the shoulder, I get a warning note. I was obeying the correct side parking signs and yet not obeying a new law. The new law says you can’t park anywhere in winter with your tires on pavement, except in the designated parking areas, for “snowplowing safety.” So, that only provides for the eight or 10 spaces at the end of Parkview, period.
Yes, I am from Salt Lake and I don’t pay taxes in “your” county. Although I personally would be comfortable paying a fee to “play” there, that is not currently an option. You all are fine with us coming up to eat in your restaurants, sleep in your hotels, buy stuff in your shops and pay to ski on the lifts, but not to enjoy your outdoors for “free.”
I am incredibly disappointed that I won’t have another winter in your county. Building those trails seemed so cool at first, but they have led to restrictions and overuse, and for me a loss that can’t be replaced.
What’s the secret?
Before some of the Park City High School teachers form another union to better protect themselves from COVID, they may want to spend some time talking to the wonderful (and “essential”) people who work at places like Smith’s, Walmart, Home Depot and other businesses. Those businesses have dealt with a LOT of different customers, face-to-face, every single day, for the last nine months. And their customers are more likely to transmit the virus than school-aged students. Those people wear masks, socially distance, wipe off surfaces, wash their hands, etc. They’re cheerful and get the job done, safely. Wonder what their secret is.
Give science a try
We can’t even get a little pot shop open in Park City after more than two years since legalization. How will we ever deal with COVID vaccinations, especially facing all the right-wing roadblocks? Science and education aren’t too hard to live with — we should give it a try here in Utah.
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Jim Arnold of Jeremy Ranch writes that the community cannot continue to operate without a long-range plan for development.