Letters to the Editor, Sept. 30 – Oct. 3, 2017
Submissions from Park Record readers
Park City can’t solve traffic problems without cooperation
Residents of Park City: Consider this an intervention, undertaken with love. You’ve weathered many blockages and at least one complete stoppage. You’re weighed down and bulging. Plaque chokes your arteries, and circulatory pressure seethes. We have for years accommodated your ever-worsening condition, inserting a bypass here, a stent there — all this, at great communal cost. Yet you persist in self-abuse, sabotaging your health with ever-increasing, gluttonous intake. Stop the madness.
Park City, the source of our traffic overload is not narrow entry corridors. Nor is it a lack of in-town parking space. It’s cars. If we want to relieve pressure and regain true circulatory health, don’t further expand arteries, and don’t further enlarge parking volume: Stop feeding the mouth
Current traffic proposals are temporary Band-aids that will permanently damage mountain life. For example, we’ve spent millions to acquire scarce in-town open space, and now plan to top that with a parking structure. We’ve also acquiesced to thousands more stalls in large-scale developments above Old Town. Until our market fails, or until Utahns stop procreating, cars will saturate all the in-town space we make available. And so, inundated, entry corridors must be widened, again and again. As we see, this requires paving over beloved trails, sacrificing bike lanes for auto lanes, and slogging even more traffic through already clogged residential neighborhoods. (Take note Old Town-based electees: Prospector, Park Meadows, and Thaynes are constituents, too. Current measures, such as Bonanza parking schemes, simply push Old Town’s traffic issues onto your neighbors’ doorsteps.)
Smart leadership would attack the problem’s source rather than shortsightedly bandage its symptoms. The source of our traffic problem is clear: Intake at Quinn’s and Kimball. To be effective in the long term, we must separate people from their cars at those points, where, unlike in town, there is a nexus of road capacity, transit infrastructure, space for off-site parking, and an opportunity to develop adjacent services.
But we can’t fix it alone. Long-term traffic mitigation requires both a compelling wide-lens vision and complex cooperation with Summit County. In the upcoming election, does any candidate demonstrate such foresight and influence?
Be bold, PC and Summit! The assumption that more people equates to more cars is fallacious. People and cars are, in fact, separable. European resort towns have been doing this for decades. Let’s nudge the U.S. paradigm: Accommodate people, thwart cars.
Councilman Tim Henney should allow private sector to handle housing
I had the opportunity to attend a Meet the Candidates event on Wednesday evening. Meetings of this sort are both valuable and available in a town the size of Park City. While I would like to say it was enjoyable, it was not, but it was highly informative
Tim Henney was one of the candidates who had the floor. His opening remarks framed the discussions that followed. It became clear that Tim, who has already served a 4-year term on the Park City Council, thought he knew more than anyone else in the room.
The discussion immediately settled on the three priorities which Tim “knows” are the issues burning in the hearts of every Park City resident. While affordable housing, mitigation of traffic congestion and obtaining a zero-carbon footprint are laudable objectives, the provenance of those objectives was “obvious” to Tim, not requiring polling or other opinion gathering.
And if that were not enough, the achievement of progress against those objectives “requires suspension of economics and the free market” in order to pursue his nirvana. While discussing affordable housing he said, “We have given the market a chance and it has failed,” with the only viable course of action to be empowerment of the City Council to act as “master developer.
When asked why private interests could not develop real estate projects that would provide affordable housing, Tim’s view is that “it hasn’t worked for 30 years” and they would attempt to skirt the regulations. Upon further discussion it was learned that developers had built 9-unit developments when only developments of 10 unit or more required the construction of an affordable housing component.
While it would seem that more comprehensive regulations would be a solution that would allow the private sector to produce the type of housing sought by Tim, it was his view that ‘government can do it’ and the private sector can not.
I would suggest that anyone who has ever taken Economics 101, waited in line at the DMV or the Park City Planning or Engineering Departments might have second thoughts about the ability of the local government to take on yet another role.
In brief, I am very happy to have attended the event and learned about a candidate who is foursquare behind further government overreach.
It’s not too early to contribute to Live PC Give PC
OMG! Snow and it’s 32 degrees outside! Really, in September? Forget it, I’m heading South.
Wait! Live PC Give PC is Nov. 10 and I won’t be here.
Not a problem, I will go to livepcgivepc.org early and give to my favorite nonprofits. Giving early still counts. On Nov. 10, I’ll watch the day unfold. One organization, I already know, will get matching funds when I give.
There is so much I love about this town. I’m proud of its zero-emissions goals, I love the colorful history, the art, the films, the concerts and lectures. I love it that people deeply care about each other’s well being. It is beautiful here and we all want to keep it that way. We all love adventures, being active, and staying healthy.
Please join me before, or on, Nov. 10. Go to livepcgivepc.org and donate to your favorite organizations that enrich your life and make Park City the place it is today.
Submissions from Park Record readers
Amy Roberts column on campus assault policy is biased
It was difficult to believe how badly Amy Roberts fumbled the discussion of campus sexual assault in her Sept. 27, 2017 column. The utter distain she displays for the many young men falsely accused of sexual assault in campus Title IX proceedings and for their entitlement to basic fairness and due process is staggeringly wrongheaded
Ms. Roberts is right that most claims of sexual assault on campus present “he said/ she said” testimony without any independent witnesses. But in her view, a naked accusation of sexual assault, lacking even the slightest bit of supporting evidence, should in every instance lead to the immediate expulsion of the accused from college, and the summary termination of his academic future and life ambitions.
She gives two enthusiastic thumbs-up to the campus game of “I accuse; you lose.” As Ms. Roberts puts it, “the only justice for a victim is seeing the accused student — who more than likely committed sexual assault — expelled by the university.” In other words, since a young woman would never lie, there is no reason to carefully examine the truth of her accusations.
Ms. Roberts would routinely deprive every young man targeted by a campus sexual assault claim of the fundamental safeguards and fairness that our judicial system automatically provides to criminal rapists, murderers and assorted other felons. She not only wants to dispense with our traditional presumption of innocence, she is advocating that we adopt a presumption of guilt previously seen only in totalitarian regimes.
While I disagree with much of what Betsy DeVos has said and done as Secretary of Education, Ms. DeVos was right on target when she declared that: “We know this much to be true: one rape is one too many. One assault is one too many. One aggressive act of harassment is one too many. One person denied due process is one too many.” Amy Robert’s reflexive rejection of this truth is unworthy of her obvious intelligence and compassion.