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Local News

Old Town Traffic And Transportation Planning Continues

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The Park City Council will continue its discussion of the Old Town access and circulation plan Thursday, a city effort to reduce traffic congestion on Main Street and in the surrounding neighborhoods. 

The city council in August received an update on the plan after city staff conducted community meetings about traffic in Old Town. Park City Economic Development Director Jonathan Weidenhamer described the efforts as wanting to balance the impacts of the town’s resort economy with the quality of life for residents.

The plan centers on implementing small changes that don’t require capital investments, such as changing 4th and 5th streets into one-way traffic. It also includes, Weidenhamer says, an assessment of traffic in the area that could cost $280,000.

“How many cars, what kind of cars are they, what time do they come, when is it really busy, when is it dangerous, what are the response times?" Weidenhamer said. "To collect robust data and establish that baseline it will take a significant amount of effort, and I think there's been some sticker shock to that number.”

One part of the plan that’s moving forward quickly is to establish some drop-and-load and staging areas for commercial vehicles on Main Street and Swede Alley, to prevent double parking and alleviate traffic congestion. Weidenhamer says city staff has met with for-hire transportation companies and lodging shuttles over designating the zones and making them available to drivers who purchase permits. The initial idea was to have three spots on Main Street and two on Swede Alley, but Weidenhamer says the stakeholders expressed that wouldn’t be enough to meet the level-of-service offered to high-paying customers.

“We're recommending tonight expansion to a minimum of five of those on the street, if not up to eight, and then commensurate with that there's still going to be other people that need to drop off that don't have a permit, so we want to have a talk with council Thursday about creating a drop-and-load zone in Swede Alley that's free,” Weidenhamer.

The drop-and-load spots would be designated as free 15-minute parking until 5 p.m., then only vehicles with a permit would be allowed to use them.

The city council will discuss the circulation plan and drop-and-load zones for commercial vehicles at a work session Thursday, beginning at 3:15 p.m.

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