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What About Transit? Park City Residents Give Feedback At SR 248 Open House

Curious and concerned Park City community members attended the public hearing for the Utah Department of Transportation’s SR 248 environmental assessment Wednesday. 

Representatives from UDOT peppered the lunchroom at Treasure Mountain Jr. High, talking one-on-one with residents to explain the 1400-page environmental assessment. Poster boards were set up around the room highlighting different parts of the project and the process, and Park City staff and councilmembers were also on hand to field questions throughout the two-hour open house.

Sue Rosenberg lives at Trailside Court. She has concerns about noise and additional traffic that could be brought on by the preferred alternative, which includes four lanes of traffic plus a center turn lane; bicycle lanes; and a widening of the road to accommodate future shoulder-running buses from between Comstock Drive and U.S. 40.

“It’s not environmentally, in my mind, a good idea to do," Rosenberg said. "I think we should be dealing more with ways on cutting back on traffic and making things more environmentally sound.”

Eileen Kintner, who lives by the MARC, says she can tell a lot of time and research went into the assessment. Looking at all the options that were considered in the document, she likes the idea of a roundabout or two lanes intersecting 224 and 248 but has problems with further cutting into Park City Hill.

“I also, grudgingly, recognize we need two lanes between there and right before PC Hill in each direction," Kintner said. "However, I am against carving into PC Hill and making two lanes going into each direction.”

Rosenberg and Kintner have similar ideas when it comes to what they’d like to see as a solution to SR 248 traffic.

“I'd like to see more perimeter parking outside of town and then more mass transit in terms of buses actually bringing people into town and having fewer cars in town,” Rosenberg said.

For Kintner, she would "rather see a carpool and bus lane going into town in the morning and going out of town in the afternoon.”

Park City Interim Transportation Director Alfred Knotts says he heard a lot from the public about the role transit plays in the project. He says, within the environmental assessment, there is some flexibility for incorporating transit.

“It’s hard for the public to glean that from the document because the document is structured in a manner of a typical UDOT environmental assessment—and they are a highway agency, they don’t operate transit," Knotts said. "So, that’s been the benefit of us being at the table is being able to incorporate that into the project description. That’s what we’ve been hearing about.”

For those who missed the public hearing, the full environmental assessment, as well as different tools to summarize it, are available at UDOT’s website. The comment period ends July 11. Knotts stressed that comments must be submitted in writing to be incorporated and considered in the final draft of the environmental assessment, which UDOT anticipates releasing this fall.

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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