Guest Editorial | ParkRecord.com

Guest Editorial

Carolyn FrankenburgPark City

There is much going on in our town right now with the efforts to create a walkable, sustainable community. Recycling, wind power, open lands and transportation initiatives are all part of what our town is doing to lessen our impact and initiate sustainable practices. Our city has brought new focus on this effort by identifying a planning position to anticipate and identify sustainable practices. We have a citizen initiative brought on by many Park Meadows and Prospector residents to make our streets safe for our children to walk and bike to school. The Walkable Study currently underway is a direct result of this citizens’ initiative.

The Leadership 2006 class sponsored the National Walk to School Day in October where 900 Park City school kids got out of their parents’ cars and walked or biked to school. We had nearly 300 kids at McPolin who took to the streets that morning to show their solidarity in support of healthy lifestyles, traffic mitigation and cleaner air.

The Share The Road organization led by Carol Potter meets monthly and includes membership from the many and varied facets of our government and community. Their objective is all about alternative transportation. This group is about getting out of the car and using other means to get around the city and county.

On Jan. 9, there was the Save Our Snow symposium. Isn’t it logical that every single time you "don’t" drive, you help save our snow? Don’t we all make a difference?

There is a Traffic Calming Committee that has organized at McPolin Elementary School to address safety issues and school access with our children.

All these efforts are intended to make Park City a better community. And there is measurable progress in these grass roots efforts.

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There are big things and little things going on all over Park City. We have a long way to go with a government process that at times seems interminably convoluted and bureaucratic. But walkable-community efforts are underway. We all need to ask how we can be a part of it. There are so many little things that we can do today. For starters, just get out of your car for one trip. Or combine your trips with a friend or neighbor. Fill up our school buses (which run more than half empty) and stop driving kids to school if you can. Carpool whenever possible. Ask your elected city and county representatives to make the streets safe to walk on all year long. Ask the same from your school board representatives regarding routes to school. Ask to read the Walkable Study results and ask to see things change. Ask Park City Police Department to slow down the traffic in your neighborhood so it is safe to walk. Ask for the absurd — no cars at the ski resorts. Other ski towns do it. NO PARKING AT SKI RESORTS. How would this affect our traffic issues?

I want a safe way (other than by car) for my kids to get to the schools, playing fields, recreation facilities and commercial centers. I want a safe way for all of us to walk from our neighborhood to other locations in town. I want to ride my bike whenever possible and for my kids to do it, too.

Write a letter, make a phone call. Ask our leaders to be brave about changing things to make Park City a sustainable community. Ask for the absurd.