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Summit County Council Discusses Park N Ride Near Quinn's Junction

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Summit County
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The Summit County Council Wednesday grappled with the question of how to handle traffic pressures around Quinn’s Junction, as they heard a presentation from Park City on three possible sites for park n ride lots.

The Council members had mixed reactions to the choices. One Council member clearly told the city they should look at more options.

The Council heard from Park City Transportation Manager Alfred Knotts, and associate planner Alexis Verson, about three sites, surveyed under what they called a “Fatal Flaw Analysis.”

The site given the most positive response from the city is off Highway 248, just east of the Quinn’s Interchange. It’s a parcel owned by UDOT, wedged between Highway 40 and the 40 frontage road. The city representatives said it’s up to 8 acres and could hold up to 550 stalls.

The so-called “frontage site” was rated highly for safety, due to its visibility, its access, and being connected to possible bus routes and the rail/trail.

Second place went to a site right across Highway 248 to the south, also owned by UDOT, with a detention pond. The lowest preference was the existing Richardson Flat park n ride.

Knotts and Verson said they could start design and survey work on the frontage site. Some work might even take place there next year, if federal funding can be obtained.

Knotts said finding a site to divert vehicles is a high priority, given the traffic pressures on 248.

“I can see about 2 to 3 percent average daily traffic growth over an annual basis on 224,” Knotts explained. “On 248, we’re seeing growth between 6 and 8 percent at this point. So, I don’t see, based on the proposed developments out in that area, that number going down without some solutions to intercept some of that traffic.”

Council Member Glenn Wright agreed there is a need, but he said he has serious doubts that any of the three options would help.

“I think we should be looking on a broader scale on where intercept lots should be,” Wright continued. “Should we be having intercept lots further east on 248. Should we have intercept lots in Wasatch County, on Mayflower, or down at River Road or even into 500 North in Heber, somewhere in that area. Cause that’s where the traffic’s coming from. When I look at how you have to get off at 40 to get into this parking lot, and then get out again, I have doubts that people are going to use it.”

Wright said he couldn’t support any funding from the county toward a park n ride, unless the city looked at more options.

Council Member Roger Armstrong also said he was concerned that for motorists coming from Heber, off Highway 40, there would be too many turns needed to get to the lot, and they might just decide to park in the city.

On the other hand, Council Member Chris Robinson said the frontage road site would be easier to get to than, say, the Ecker Hill park n ride lot.

“And this is just—y’know, you get off and you’re there,” Robinson said. “I think every little bit helps. I like your comment about intercepting further out, but—if you can take 500 cars off 248, you’ve done something.”

Glenn Wright said he’d like to see the state do a complete revamp of the Quinn’s Interchange, but Knotts said the state isn’t likely looking at that for 20 years.

County Manager Tom Fisher said that timeline could be changed. He pointed to the work being done at the Jeremy Ranch Interchange.

“UDOT did not have it on its radar for another 20 years either,” Fisher explained. “We moved that forward because we put local money into it, and quite a bit of local money. Given what you guys are doing on 248 with UDOT, given this type of transit solution, should we be really looking at that interchange, among all of that project and saying, we advance some of our bond money further, and really press UDOT to work on this interchange."

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covers Summit County meetings and issues. KPCW snagged him from The Park Record in the '80s, and he's been on air and covering the entire county ever since. He produces the Week In Review podcast, as well a heads the Friday Film Review team.
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