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Summit County Councilors want Park City to scrap Quinn’s Junction park and ride

The proposed park and ride at Quinn's junction.
Park City Municipal/AECOM
The proposed park and ride at Quinn's junction.

Two Summit County Councilors encouraged the Park City Council to abandon the Quinn’s Junction Park and Ride project at Tuesday’s joint meeting.

In an effort to reduce the number of cars coming in and out of Park City each day, a planned park and ride at Quinn’s Junction is supposed to supply 465 parking spots along with infrastructure for electric buses, cars, and bikes to the eastern edge of Park City.

If the project advances on schedule, the Park City Council will award a $3.5 million contract to a developer on Thursday and construction will begin in May.

But Tuesday, Summit County Councilors pushed for Park City to abandon those plans.

Summit County Councilor Glenn Wright voiced concerns over traffic circulation at the Quinn’s Junction interchange and said the council should dump the project.

“We’ve looked at this before and I see this parking lot as having marginal utility and having big problems with traffic flow off of Route 40," said Wright. "I don’t see it as very practical. I would urge city council to reject funding on this when you get the chance.”

Current plans have the park and ride placed on the north side of SR 248 between Highway 189 and Old Highway 40 on land owned by the Utah Department of Transportation. In order to access a new parking lot there, drivers would have to turn on to Old Highway 40 from 248 or access Old Highway 40 from the north via the Silver Summit Parkway exit.

Wright and fellow councilor Doug Clyde said trying to get into the lot from 248 would create too much of a bottleneck to be a practical solution.

Park City Councilor Becca Gerber advocated for the city’s side of the argument, saying the project is a feasible option to get more people riding buses and would help alleviate some of the city’s traffic woes.

“Our traffic and parking problems don’t start in our community, they start outside of our community, so every opportunity we have to do something like this, especially when its 465 parking stalls, they'll be used," Gerber said. "We have so many events in the summertime and in the wintertime. There’s always something going on where we could use additional parking. We just can’t handle that many cars in Park City.” 

Another sticking point for Summit County is the Richardson Flat park and ride. Built in 2008, it has over 750 parking spots, but there are no bus routes that service it, so it doesn’t provide a public transit option. The lot is also not easily accessed from Highway 189.

Clyde said rather than adding more congestion with a lot at Quinns, Park City should take another look at utilizing the Richardson Flat lot.

“The whole notion that people will not go to Richardson Flat is some fantasy that somebody dreamed up a while ago and we’re stuck with it," he said. "We need to do real work out there, solve a real problem, put in real infrastructure. I just don’t see the compounding of this error as being progress.”

But neither Park City or Summit County control the Richardson Flat lot. The land is owned by the United Park City Mines company, but is part of Park City’s ongoing plans to annex into the Richardson Flat area.

Park City Councilor Jeremy Rubell said he needs to see more information on Richardson Flat before he’s in support of the Quinn's Junction project.

“I’m just being honest, it’s gonna be hard for me to get behind putting in another lot without understanding why the current one doesn’t work," said Rubell.

The Park City Council is scheduled to discuss the Quinn's Junction park and ride again during its regular meeting on Thursday.

Sean Higgins covers all things Park City and is the Saturday Weekend Edition host at KPCW. Sean spent the first five years of his journalism career covering World Cup skiing for Ski Racing Media here in Utah and served as Senior Editor until January 2020. As Senior Editor, he managed the day-to-day news section of skiracing.com, as well as produced and hosted Ski Racing’s weekly podcast. During his tenure with Ski Racing Media, he was also a field reporter for NBC Sports, covering events in Europe.