Letters: The time to solve problems at trailheads is before they’re built
Problems have been building
This “sudden” problem at trailheads involving traffic and parking has been a long time in the making. As a 30-plus year resident of Summit Park, I have seen the adverse effects when Basin Rec establishes a trailhead. I was part of an HOA committee that met with officials a couple of years back on this issue. Basin Rec seemed to have tunnel vision when it came to trailheads. They only saw “trails = good.” The negatives were minimized or ignored. These issues should have been foreseen and addressed, prior to advertising and promoting trail access. As far as luring visitors to other businesses on Main Street or the Basin, the people from Salt Lake Valley come to the Summit Park trailheads because they are the closest. They flock up here after work during the work week, then head home. Unlike most trailheads in the area, the ones in Summit Park require a 1- to 2-mile drive through our neighborhood on steep, narrow roads.
Trailheads are development. When you put in two or three houses, you get six to 10 cars. When you put in a trailhead, you get 20 to 30 cars throughout the day. More on the weekends. Yet many visitors don’t pay taxes to support the maintenance or policing of this access. Many Summit Park residents I’ve talked to would like to see days designated for hiking these trails, as no one feels safe walking them now with the volume of bikes. Maybe a fee schedule will help reduce some of the traffic and parking issues, but enforcement will take time and effort. Until then, think about the consequences of development of recreation access, and pre-plan efforts to mitigate them.
Let’s end this pandemic
I am baffled about people not wanting to wear a face mask during this pandemic. Here’s the thing — the virus needs a place to live, and that is inside our bodies. The virus enters our body through our eyes, nose or mouth. A mask simply reminds us to keep our hands from touching our face, or breathing in the virus. If everyone wears a mask, the virus has no place to live. It seems so simple to me — wear a mask, wash hands after touching something, and stay 6 feet apart. For the love of our country, let’s end this sooner than later.
Take trail problems seriously
In response to the July 15 Summit County Council meeting regarding trails and trailheads in neighborhoods, we would like to commend the council for taking this issue seriously. We also specifically encourage action from the council to address these problems in our neighborhood of Summit Park.
It is no longer a secret that the Summit Park trails are awesome. These trails are currently seeing significant pressure from Summit County and Salt Lake Valley residents, tourists, teams and guided groups. There is a combination of only six off-street parking spaces for the four official trialheads in Summit Park. At 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 15, there were 28 cars at the Matterhorn Drive trailhead with cars parked haphazardly on both sides of the narrow mountain residential road, creating very limited space in the right-of-way. At the top of Innsbruck Strasse, 22 cars were parked along both sides of the narrow dirt road. This is unacceptable from a safety standpoint with respect to fire access, emergency medical access, water systems access and wildfire emergency egress.
As a result of this situation, we are asking the council for three considerations:
1. Increase and clarify signage at parking areas for these trails.
2. That the county assists with enforcement of the new parking signage and regulations.
3. Especially during the current COVID-19 situation, we request that the county please encourage people to recreate only within the limits of approved parking spots, and if possible, near where they live.
There are serious concerns with the amount of people on all of the local trails, and we encourage the county to continue looking at solutions to the issues surrounding crowded trails within our communities. However, here in Summit Park, fire safety is on all of our minds and these access issues need to be addressed immediately.
Alisa Schofield, Rebecca Diehl and Heidi Lane
Develop your own land, Hideout
The town of Hideout in Wasatch County is waging a campaign to convince us their need for “groceries, gas, take-out, dry cleaning, haircuts and coffee” should be satisfied by annexing land in Summit County and placing commerce there. (See hideoututah.gov, Richardson Flat Annexation.) Meanwhile Hideout can keep its little slice of heaven traffic free, dark skies intact.
Why did the town not foresee its citizens having need of such services and plan accordingly? I’ll tell you why. Because they are used to getting sweetheart deals from the state Legislature. It’s how the town was incorporated in the first place. A short-lived bill, H.B. 466, was amended soon after it was created, but a real estate agent managed to incorporate Hideout within the window of opportunity.
As psychologists say, “The best predictor of future behavior is relevant past behavior.” So guess how they plan to annex land from Summit County into their Wasatch County town. Yes, by a few words slipped into a bill the night before the last state legislative session was over. How prescient that developers Nate Brockbank and Josh Romney (yes, that Romney family) had all their documents in place and as Hideout Mayor Phil Rubin put it, “are the first to avail themselves of the new provision.”
Now, Jerry Dwinell, chair of the Hideout Planning Commission says they want to do “this development the right way and with smaller, walkable shopping facilities (no big box retail).” Do we believe him? Sounds to me like another way of saying, “Lie still, don’t move, and the bear won’t hurt you.” If it’s smaller walkable shops they want, they should fit nicely within their own community.
Dear family who camped near us at Haystack Lake in the Uintas recently:
We hoped you enjoyed your campout. What a beautiful place! We were concerned about whatever emergency caused you to abandon camp in the shape you left it. We hope no one was seriously injured or that the dog might have died.
We are very grateful you did not burn all your trash and even left us food scraps all over the place in case we were hungry. The still-intact chocolate milk container allowed us to douse the fire you left burning on a high fire warning day. After several trips to the lake and back, we hope we got that doused for you (and everyone else in Utah). We carried out some of your trash (we didn’t have room for all of it), because your packs may have been full. Otherwise, you would clearly have had room to pack out the leftovers of what you packed in.
Hopefully the children learn outdoorsmanship from someone other than this family. Even in a supposed emergency, you don’t leave a fire burning on any day (high-risk or otherwise) in one of our most vulnerable landscapes! It is irresponsible, selfish and downright dangerous to you and the rest of us in the mountains. Maybe you and your family won’t see this note because you’re not from these parts. We hope that is the case, as Utah and its outdoors need people who take care of our landscapes, not the kind you have displayed yourselves to be. For your information, there are trash cans at Lagoon, Hogle Zoo and most other public outing places should you need a different entertainment venue.
Garry and Jill Beckett
Main Street needs support
I was saddened to read of the closure of the Main Street Deli. The loss of any business on our Main Street is disheartening, and even more so the loss of a small independent business. I think it is important for the community to know that many businesses are hanging by a thread on Main Street. A day does not go by when I am in my store, Artworks Gallery, that someone does not tell me that it is their favorite store on the street and they always look forward to stopping in. I try not to sound too sad when I tell them that I may not be here in a few months. It is not just my little gallery. This is a terrible time for everyone. Many people are not working or the business that they have spent years establishing is struggling. I would like to suggest that the next time you need a small gift, a birthday or wedding gift, or something for yourself that you think of Main Street. If you have started going out to eat, please consider Main Street restaurants and bars. The city has turned Main Street into pedestrian-only on Sundays for the summer months. Come on down! Grab lunch and listen to some music and visit the stores. The weather is beautiful and your old favorites may not be around next summer.
The next cool thing?
If the goggle tan line is the cool thing in the winter, is the mask tan line the cool thing this summer?
A shining legacy
“Promote, preserve and protect” is the Park City Museum’s mission statement. Accomplishing this goal requires a leader with incredible expertise, training, intelligence and compassion for the many aspects of the job — not an uncomplicated business.
Sandra Morrison, former director of Park City Museum, has spent the last 22 years embracing the challenge. Her success is evident in the Museum Collections repository building, the inclusion of Ski Mountain Mining mine sites preservation, the Glenwood Cemetery and the remodel of the museum to the highest standards. Sandra has been the envy of many other small museums and has a state and national reputation that has benefited all of us greatly. Her skills in organizing tasks and managing personnel and her ability to acquire monies through grants is unparalleled.
No matter what the circumstances that led the board of directors to want a change, Morrison needs to be celebrated for all her accomplishments. While difficult in this time of social distancing, I am sure the board will come up with an appropriate tribute. In recent years some key local nonprofits have seen abrupt changes of leadership. How that change is handled is the sign of a solid organization which will continue to prosper.
Stop playing with fire
Mackey Hughes’ recent letter to The Park Record about fireworks said it all: Too many losses of lives, property and wildlife, not to mention the danger to our firefighters. Unfortunately this selfish behavior seems to continue, even with adults who should know better.
On July 4, a neighbor used illegal fireworks with a bunch of young kids looking on, loudly enjoying the flares in the night sky. Waves of sparks and ambers came directly our way, hitting our roof and an old Alpine Fir close to our house. It was frightening. Fortunately, my husband was able to wet down that area of our property and we avoided disaster.
I confronted the neighbor asking he stop immediately and what on earth he was doing, burning us down? His sheepish behavior indicated he knew well his fireworks were illegal.
He claimed he set things up so it would “go down the street,” not over our house. Well, there is such a thing as wind, and it blew directly over to us.
Please stop playing with fire.
Use bike paths
In light of the recent bike accident, I have felt compelled to share some thoughts that I have had for a long time. Disclaimer: I don’t know the circumstances of this accident, and I don’t want to be insensitive — this is heartbreaking for all involved and my heart and thoughts go out to these people. However, I feel as though it sadly was a matter of time and am honestly surprised it doesn’t happen more often. I have seen so many bicyclists risking putting themselves and drivers in the same situation by biking on the line, in the lane, or on blind corners, when there are literally bike paths right next to them. I feel like we need to stop accepting/allowing this and doing more to prevent these horrible accidents from occurring. No one wants to go through this and it can be prevented. I believe anyone biking on the road should be ticketed for public and self-endangerment (unless they are crossing the street on a crosswalk). There is really no excuse for it in a place like Park City, and it is unnecessary and scary. It needs to stop. And so does the air of entitlement and the “it won’t happen to me” mentality that seems to be apparent in a lot of road bikers. We get it. You have a road bike. Good news: There are plenty of paved bike paths you can safely use. I personally have come across a multitude of bikers in the highway, on blind corners, that are putting themselves in a dangerous situation along with the drivers, and even if you do everything you can to ensure their safety, they look at you like you’re the problem. For driving on the highway. This needs to stop, before more accidents happen. We need to take action proactively, not as a result.
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“[I]f Park City and Summit County love Richardson Flat as much as they claim to, maybe they should demonstrate their love by cleaning it up and leading by example,” writes Micah Kagan in a letter to the editor.