Silver Creek Resident Expresses Concern About Bell Station Lot
UDOT says the creation of a truck parking area near Bell’s Station is a matter of safety in Parley’s Canyon but residents in Silver Creek say there are health and safety concerns for those where the proposed lot would be.
Residents of Silver Creek have expressed concerns about the installation of a truck parking lot near the Bell’s station at Silver Creek. Larry Finch is one of those concerned citizens. He’s a board member for the Silver Creek special services area #3. Finch says the community’s worries come from previous experiences.
“Back in, I believe the summer of 2017 UDOT put up some courtesy parking signs and an ad hoc truck stop out there.” Finch explained, “The residents’ concerns are really a lot of what happened at that ad hoc spot. There was a lot of open urination out there. Unregulated parking there’d be 20-50 trucks parking out there. Human waste disposed in glass containers and really no enforcement of long-term storage or camping or those kinds of things. That’s the biggest concern that we have as residents out there. We’re trying to be good neighbors and we’re trying to support the objectives of it. We’re concerned that the facility does not accommodate the overnight rest needs of the trucking community. They’ve put up these long concrete barriers that could be a quarter of a mile walk to Bells. If a fella pulls in there late is he really going to want to go use facilities? So, there’s no pedestrian access, there’s no bathrooms for the guys and gals out there.”
Finch worries that history will repeat itself.
“We had people camping there for two-three weeks at a time.” Finch continued, “Nobody would come and shoo them away. UDOT says that they’d allow the county to put the cameras up and they would allow the county to put their no idling sings up. But that’s really taking UDOTs problem and forcing it back onto the citizens of Summit County. There’s also a problem with the Summit County no idling ordinance as its written, you get a number of warnings before you’re issued a citation. These are transient truckers out there warning them is a good thing but if there’s no teeth behind it then how do you really enforce it?”
Finch is also hoping that the station would have air-monitoring devices but says that UDOT has done little to give in to the request of the citizens at Silver Creek.
“The only accommodation that UDOT has made is landscape screening across the facility, but they won’t take any responsibility for the maintenance or irrigation or installing irrigation or those kinds of things out there.” Finch said, “All they will do is put the plants in, sign an interlocal agreement with the county for that particular landscaping. As far as cameras go, as far as air monitoring goes as far as bathroom or port-a-potty facilities go, UDOT will not make any accommodations to those things.”
Finch encourages residents to express their displeasure to UDOT and elected officials. Ultimately, Finch says that the overcrowding of the area is going to lead to greater issues.
“UDOT talks about the Parley’s situation but when the trucks really pile up out there is when the East bound lanes are closed into Wyoming over The Sisters or high-wind warnings and those things.” Finch explained, “There can be anywhere from 40-50 trucks parked out there idling at that time. The other challenge is its within a half a mile of our bus stop down there. A lot of times when there’s no room at Bells or this facility is freed up the trucks will go into the neighborhood and park into the neighborhood. It’s not a well-conceived plan and that’s the irony of the situation.”