Make a personal pledge to go car-free this coming Presidents Day weekend
Over Christmas week, residents hunkered down and dealt with the expected deluge of holiday traffic. And then, after a series of snowstorms and several relatively busy weekends, they girded themselves again for the Sundance tsunami of out-of-town entourages. But their patience is wearing thin.
Last weekend, which was studded with spectacular weather and two massive special events, traffic jammed roadways and caused resort parking lots to overflow into nearby neighborhoods. The mood on the mountain may have been festive but down on street level it was grim.
And Presidents’ weekend is stacking up to be even busier.
The best advice we can offer is to hide your car keys and adopt an alternative mode of travel: walk, bus, taxi, Uber, carpool, satellite parking or just tell the boss you are going to tele-commute until traffic thins out. Traffic congestion, at least for the foreseeable future, is here to stay.
City and county officials are grappling with the problem but relief is a long way off. Proposals range from light rail to county-wide bus routes and everything in between. They are also debating the relative merits of creating more parking — which would invite more cars — or discouraging drivers by limiting parking or making it more expensive.
So far the only common ground is that the current situation is unsustainable.
If you have a better idea, local leaders would welcome your input. There is a public meeting to discuss long-range traffic solutions today, Wednesday, Feb. 10, at the Swaner EcoCenter and Preserve, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. where Park City and Summit County officials are scheduled to outline a long range transportation plan to address local transportation needs for the next 35 years.
But, of course, the meeting won’t produce results in time for this coming weekend. That will be up to us. If you hopped on a city bus during Sundance — try it again this weekend. If you have visitors coming in from out of town — tell them skip the rental car and avoid resort parking hassles by using our local taxi companies or free public transit.
There is still a lot of wide open terrain to enjoy on the mountain but the best way to get there on a busy holiday weekend is to leave your car in the garage.
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In the wake of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, PJ Falten has been thinking about the “fallen heroes who gave their lives so that something like last Wednesday could never happen on sacred ground. … What would they have thought?”