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Park City, Summit County Officials Contend Over Transit At Bonanza Park

Park City

Representatives of Park City and Summit County got into some lively conversations during a Dec. 17th meeting of the Joint Transit Advisory Board.

The major topic was the planned Bonanza Park Arts and Culture District.   The two groups are struggling to get to a common understanding about Bonanza’s role as a transit location.

At a meeting last month, County representatives said they were concerned about Bonanza being a transit center.    Park City officials said that was news to them.

At Tuesday’s JTAB meeting, Park City Mayor Andy Beerman acknowledged the issue is a point of friction between the two entities.

County Council Member Kim Carson said it certainly makes sense for Bonanza Park to be a transit hub.    She said their issue is, they want to know how the county’s hoped-for Bus Rapid Transit System on Highway 224 will connect to the Bonanza location; how it will function; and how riders from Kimball Junction can get to where they want to go.

County officials said they want a better idea of what’s happening to BRT since they have applied for a major Federal Transit Administration grant, and in terms of that request told the feds that the southern terminus for the BRT was Bonanza.    As a County Council member previously said, they tentatively, “stuck a pin in it.”

County Transportation Manager Caroline Rodriguez said she fears the grant will be jeopardized if they have to tell the FTA the plan has changed.   

“Because then I have to go back to FTA and say, “Hey I know I applied for this.  But we didn’t really know and now we want to do the project elsewhere.”  So we need sort of a –we need a comfort level, with understanding where it’s gonna go and how it’s gonna work, so we can pursue a $75 million grant.”

Park City Council Member Tim Henney turned to County Council Members Carson and Doug Clyde and pressed them to say clearly that the county supports a transit hub at Bonanza.       

“(Carson) As I said when I first made my comments today,  it’s just only natural that that would be a transit hub.   (Henney) So I……getting the comments about, it’s a pin, it’s a placeholder it’s this or that.  (Carson) That’s referring, I think, really to the BRT.   We’ve got to make sure that… (Henney) Is that council-wide, or is that just the two of you here?  Cause I’m not hearing that in conversations with…council members.  (Carson) I’ll talk to my fellow council members, and I’ll make sure they look at how they—the semantics involved.”

Henney said he didn’t hear the support during the county’s recent Visioning session on transit.

“I listened to that, and there were a lot of semantics involved that don’t really identify or support that as a transit hub.    (Carson) Well, I don’t know that I agree with that.  For us, it’s how it works with BRT.  And we’re getting ready to launch into the NEPA phase.  And we just have to have a clear idea of how that’s going to work, and be effective.”

Henney said perhaps one problem is that the transit hub and the BRT terminus have been treated as the same issue.   He favored separating those in terms of planning.

But he again said the county hasn’t been clear about what it needs.      

“This is an opportunity for you all   to say, “If we’re gonna run a White-Line-spine BRT, we need the terminus to be in this location.”  And what we’ve got now is a placeholder, a pin over here, possibilities over there, visioning going on about how essential transit is or is not.  I mean, we need to kinda get going on this, at a minimum.  (Carson) Well, trust me.    But we’ve never heard the plan.  That’s why we asked for more information.  We’ve never been told how it’s envisioned that the BRT terminus could be at the Bonanza location.  (Henney) I guess we…..from the county as far as where you’d like that location to be.”

Carson said she wishes the county had an opportunity to run the BRT from Kimball Junction all the way to the Main Street transit center.

Meanwhile, city officials are saying Main Street has a problem as a traffic hub.    During peak times, the two major roads running north from Oldtown are jammed with cars, and the buses are caught up in the congestion.   

Mayor Beerman said that’s why the Bonanza transit center makes sense.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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