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Park City Community Can Learn More, Comment On SR 248 At Public Hearing

Utah Department of Transportation

The official public hearing for the Utah Department of Transportation SR 248 environmental assessment happens Wednesday. It’s a chance for Park City community members to learn more about what’s in the assessment and to make their voices heard.

The hearing takes place from 4-6 p.m. at Treasure Mountain Jr. High. Comments given at this meeting will be considered and responded to in the final draft of the environmental assessment. The format for the hearing allows people to drop in when they can during the two-hour time frame and visit specific stations to learn more about the 1,400 page assessment and the preferred alternative, which includes four lanes of traffic plus a center turn lane, intersection improvements and bicycle lanes. Participants can submit written comments for the record at the meeting.

Residents have already begun to express their thoughts on the project, through social media and other avenues. Former Summit County and Park City councilmember Sally Elliott says she’s sent her comments out to hundreds of locals. Elliott says she’s received many responses that mostly express the same thing.

“We can’t handle more cars in Park City, so there's no reason to bring them in," Elliott said. "What we need is better access to satellite parking and improved public transit.”

Summit County Councilmember Glenn Wright says the County Council hasn’t taken an official stance on the project, but as a Prospector neighborhood resident he views the preferred alternative as a temporary fix for the 248 corridor traffic—and one that doesn’t address the City and County’s carbon emissions goals or the pressure traffic puts on other roads.

“Those tailpipes are going a block away from my house, and from all the folks in the Prospector neighborhood, and folks across the street from the high school, and that entire stretch of terrain in Park City," Wright said. "Plus, where are we going to put the cars once they get into the city? Is the City going to increase the size of their streets? No--there's no room to increase the size of the streets.”

Ernest Oriente has lived in town for 21 years and says traffic on 248 has been a challenge for at least the last five. He has what he described as a neutral opinion of the project proposal, which he refers to as option A, but he says the proposal gets people talking about all the options.

“I’m actually very glad that the A option is on the table," Oriente said. "Do I know definitively that is the best option on the pros and cons? Yes, and I can see all of the engagement, but everyone who wants to engage better get on the side of the B and C and D options, and we better all come to the table and sort of figure out what we're going to do.”

The environmental assessment is available in full at the SR 248 project page on UDOT’s website, where you can find other tools to summarize the project and process. Hard copies are also available locally at the Park City Library; the Summit County Libraries at Kimball Junction and in Kamas; and at Park City Hall.

The public comment period for the SR 248 environmental assessment ends July 11. For those who can’t make the hearing and would like to submit comments for the record, visit the SR 248 project web page.

Emily Means hadn’t intended to be a journalist, but after two years of studying chemistry at the University of Utah, she found her fit in the school’s communication program. Diving headfirst into student media opportunities, Means worked as a host, producer and programming director for K-UTE Radio as well as a news writer and copy editor at The Daily Utah Chronicle.
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