Guest editorial: Mountain Accord is traveling down the wrong road
I’m concerned about where we are going under the leadership of Mountain Accord. They have been hired to review all of the previous 28 plans and studies and come up with a comprehensive, formal analysis of long-term solutions.
At the last community meeting we were presented with the DREAMS of the Transportation, Recreation. Environment, and Economy groups. Really? All that dreaming was done in the past few years. That’s what all the studies and reports are about. There are some very comprehensive studies which actually detail what should be done about transportation issues along with detailed funding for such projects. There are studies that show where residents drive to for work and recreation. Everyone should read the Snyderville Basin Transportation Master Plan. It is extremely detailed.
I’m going to pull out a few quotes from a few studies.
Eastern Summit County Transportation Plan (2013): "Achieve maximum mobility for minimal cost by using existing transportation resources as efficiently as possible before investing in new infrastructure."
Summit County Master Plan: "Exhaust Alternatives Before Increasing Capacity: All efforts should be made to use existing transportation resources to their maximum efficiency before new infrastructure is built. Expanding capacity of any roadway should be considered as a last resort."
Park City "A community of Diverse Cultural & Economic Opportunities"
There are many more very similar to these.
Transportation is a major issue but is Mountain Accord trying to get people out of their cars and into our resorts? I don’t think that is what the rest of us are wanting. Let the resorts work that out themselves. We need a transportation overhaul but I think that was done in other studies.
We should work on building a sustainable future for the majority of the citizens of Summit County and not try so hard and spend so much money on trying to enrich the few businesses and resorts who can do what it takes to prosper. Let’s concentrate on the near future (2020) and present. A rail system shouldn’t even be in our conversation. Revamp what we have. Make better use of the bus system. All this has been written about in the Master Plans. We seem to be in a rush to solve the future problems without making a whole hearted attempt at solving the present problems. That’s equivalent to buying another landfill site without designing a recycling program.
DREAMING about one system and not considering the others is how we got here. Holistic thinking with the bottom line being the restoration, preservation and sustainability of our environment is what should be done. Not, how to fill up the hotels and chairlifts.
When this study is finished by Mountain Accord maybe instead of moving ahead with their plans we should just stop and see what we can do about the present situation. Lets just try to reduce traffic issues THIS WINTER. I know we can do it. All the studies are there. We have terrific smart people in the right positions to make this work. Just ask them their thoughts. Lets do it now. There are so many issues that are probably on the minds of the residents of Summit County including our education system, bringing in higher paying jobs so the residents don’t have to commute to make a decent wage, having assisted living housing, open space and clean air. Again, I don’t believe that the majority of Summit County residents are concerned that the hotels, restaurants and resorts are not full to capacity.
We don’t want them to fail (I doubt they would) but I don’t think we should spend any more money on their prosperity. They will be fine. We need to work on the sustainability of our community, our residents, our schools, our water and air, and our happiness.