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City and County Officials Say Their Holiday Traffic Strategy Was a Hit

Melissa Allison
City and county officials build on last years strategy for dealing with traffic.

Parkites are long from forgetting the Carmageddon of Dec. 2014 where traffic was bumper to bumper and intersections looked like parking lots. Though 2015 went well, Summit County Manager Caroline Rodriquez and Park City Transportation Planning Manager Alfred Knotts were not willing to rest on their laurels. Looking to build on last year’s successful exclusion of the citywide traffic jam, Knotts said their success was a collaborative effort.

“We were in constant contact," Knotts said. "We were talking to the resorts constantly, we talked to UDOT, we were working with UHP and just the communication and collaboration helped a lot.”

But it wasn’t just increased communication that helped officials manage the traffic. Rodriguez said they introduced some new techniques to create a better flow for traffic.

“One of the things that we’ve done this season is put some thresholds in place in terms of parking lot capacity," Rodriguez said. "So for example, when the Park City Mountain Resort lot fills to a certain capacity, then we’re routing people to another lot. And then Canyons Village lot, before it reaches capacity, we know to start routing people to a different lot and tell people to use transit. And so it’s sort of this mix of communication strategies and those thresholds in terms of visitors.”

Once Canyons Village was filled to capacity Monday, the Park City School District allowed the city to use Parley's Park Elementary to manage overflow.

With only one lane coming from Deer Valley, traffic was backed up during the load out on Monday. Knotts said the Park City Police, Summit County Sheriff and UHP responded immediately to the city’s request for help. For others trying to leave town last Thursday, what would normally take 15 minutes to drive from Old Town to the hospital, became an hour long ordeal.