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Park City Council To Review Transit Report Card

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Transportation is one of Park City’s critical priorities and it’s making its way back to City Council’s agenda Thursday. The city staff will present its annual report card on transit, and some related items to the council.

The transportation reports are on council’s work session which begins at 3:15 Thursday afternoon in council chambers.

Senior Transportation Planner Julia Collins told KPCW that the city has had the report card since 2011. She noted some of the achievements in this year’s survey.

“We just have added additional service to the Kamas commuter which has been very successful.” Collins continued, “That connects Kamas to Old Town and Kimball Junction. We’ve also expanded service with our shoulder running busses along SR-224. Allowing the busses to operate in the shoulder. We’ve also completed some additional complete street improvements with Prospector Avenue and Hillside Avenue.”

The report also notes some areas they need to work on.

“The trends over the past three years show that we have low vehicle occupancy levels.” Collins explained, “That really characterizes the main use of transportation in our city which is roughly 80-90% single occupancy vehicle use. Other trends include that busing and bikes continue to take a little bit longer than driving but they are headed in the right direction. We’re seeing improvement over the years as we are investing in more transit service. We’re just at the beginning of our shoulder transit running, like I mentioned on 224, where the bus is actually able to bypass traffic on 224. We’re also monitoring the impacts of the Electric Express and the Kamas Commuter. Those are new services, but we expect to see progress in the direction with those investments as well.”

The staff is also seeking council direction on what are called “Shared Active Transportation Mobility Devices” which are appearing in many cities.

“This includes e-bikes, e-scooters, bikes any modes that are really designed for shared use.” Collins said,
“They’re deployed by third-party companies. They ultimately operate in the public right-of-way, like streets, parks, sidewalks, kind of all the public realm. For the most part, to date, they’ve exclusively been dockless technologies. Cities across the nation have taken very different approaches to regulating and managing these new technologies. Currently Park City ordinance prohibits business in the public right-of-way and permits it only on public property.”

Summit County has already approved a Temporary Zoning Ordinance, to allow them to get policies in place for e-scooters. Collins said they’re asking the council if they want to follow in a similar direction.

“That’s one of the factors we’ll definitely consider.” Collins continued, “If we’re directed to explore this, look at kind of our regional connection and what our neighbors are doing. We’ll also look at what type of devices and how the devices would fit in the context of Park City. We’d look at equipment standards. We would also make sure that we have the proper enforcement tools that would be necessary to make that happen. We would do an evaluation of what would be the adequate fees and how we would license and permit this. We’d look at the operations and really make sure that the public welfare and safety is not impacted by this.”

The city has also taken on a new Transit Planning Manager, Alexis Verson. She said her previous experience was in Salt Lake.

“I was with Salt Lake City for almost seven years.” Verson explained, “I spent a couple years in event planning, so I have that skill set to bring to the table with Sundance and event permitting and things like that. After that I spent about four-and-a-half years as a transportation planner for Salt Lake City focusing on active transportation. So that’s something that I’m really interested in and I have a lot of projects here in Park City that focus on that. I also have a master’s degree in strategic communications. So, I’m really focusing on target market analysis and how do we communicate with people and how do we change their behavior.”

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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