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Park City Looks At Park-and-Ride Options To Accommodate S.R. 248 Traffic

The Park City Council approved a services agreement for nearly $420 thousand dollars Thursday, to explore improvements on an existing park-and-ride lot or the development of a new one. 

The greater Park City area currently has four park-and-ride lots: at Jeremy Ranch, Ecker Hill, the Kimball Junction Transit Center and Richardson Flat.  But Park City is looking to catch more traffic from everyday commuters off S.R. 248.

The city has hired AECOM Technical Services to work on the engineering and design for two options: improving the Richardson Flat park-and-ride lot or developing a new park-and-ride lot near Quinn’s Junction Highway off Highway 40, on a parcel of land that the Utah Department of Transportation owns.

Councilmember Steve Joyce says this project is about making park-and-rides that are more parking lots, perhaps by providing e-bikes at them, so people can ride the Rail Trail into town, or installing restrooms at the lots.

"If you look at Richardson Flat right now, it’s a chunk of pavement," Joyce said. "But to really make it something that people can easily get in and out of, buses can easily get in and out of—it would be easy to serve with transit, and people would actually use it. It’s a useable park and ride." 

Engineers and staff will look at both options—Richardson Flat and the potential UDOT lot at Quinn’s Junction—and determine the pros, cons and possible “fatal flaws” of each. Once they’ve determined which is more viable, they’ll begin the design process. Richardson Flat has 750 parking spaces—and some barriers to filling them. It isn’t easily accessible from the main corridors and is currently closed, except for big events. Joyce says his money’s not on Richardson Flat.  

"If you made me bet right this minute, I would go, yeah, that’s going to lose," Joyce said. "It’s just access; they’ve done some experiments, some design work, with like flyways off of 40, so that it would be easier to get into, or changing the access off of 248 so it would be easy to get into, but there’s just a whole lot of issues out there. That’s what we’re going to hire the engineers to do, is to really go through and to figure out how simple some of those things could be to fix."

At the council meeting, Joyce mentioned the conversations happening between Heber City, Park City and the Mountainland Association of Governments about supporting bus service that connects Midway, Heber and Park City. Transportation Planning Manager Alfred Knotts says he believes the park-and-ride project could complement that project.