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Planning Commission Weighs Traffic Matters for Deer Valley’s Snow Park Proposal

Park City Municipal

The Park City Planning Commission got an in-depth look at parking and circulation plans for the proposed development of Deer Valley’s Snow Park parking lots on Wednesday.


After a project introduction last month, the Park City Planning Commission dove head-first into Deer Valley’s vision for how skiers will get to and from the mountain.


The biggest changes on that front include moving all parking underground and reconfiguring Deer Valley Drive into two separate transit and day-skier routes.


The proposal would turn Deer Valley Drive South into the primary road used by buses. Day-skier and other traffic would be rerouted on Deer Valley Drive North and East. Both routes would feature turnarounds and dropoff and loading zones.


Project Director Peter Pillman said Deer Valley isn’t trying to push one particular transit solution, and would be open to alternate proposals. 


“There’s a lot of flexibility with this, which is nice,” Pillman said. “It’s not like some situations where you’re really boxed into a corner and there’s only one solution, and then you’re trying to force something to work. Here, because of things, we’ve got a lot of different ways to come up with the right solutions to the problem, and we just have to make sure we’re asking the question all the time: what’s the problem we’re solving? From a design point of view, we really feel like there’s a lot of flexibility here and ways for us to come up with solutions.”


Deer Valley also presented a schedule that would have approvals granted before the new year and construction beginning in the spring of 2022.


Members of the planning commission called the timeline “aggressive” and Commission Chair John Phillips said in his experience, large projects of this nature usually take longer to work through than when they are first proposed.


Members of the public also got a chance to weigh in. John Lindell is a 20-year resident of the Fawngrove condos and a member of the Lower Deer Valley Coalition. He expressed concerns for issues like building heights and construction noise, but singled out how the changes to circulation would affect bus riders who live to the north and east of the ponds on Deer Valley Drive.


“We are worried about traffic and parking like everybody, and we’re looking forward to more clarity on that,” he said. “I’m worried about one thing that has not come up. With the current proposal, it’s going to reduce the bus service that services the residents on the east side, and I’d like to know that a little better. I just know there are going to be fewer busses going that way.”


Commissioner Christin Van Dine added that Deer Valley must prioritize how non-motorized traffic accesses the base area during the summer months.


“The multi-use paths need to be bigger, but there is so much bike traffic around Deer Valley, and in general, I feel like around Park City, that I feel like keeping multi-use trails are great, but also trying to sort out the bike traffic is essential,” Van Dine said. 


No votes or decisions were made on the project. The next planning commission meeting on Snow Park is scheduled for September 22nd.

Sean Higgins covers all things Park City and is the Saturday Weekend Edition host at KPCW. Sean spent the first five years of his journalism career covering World Cup skiing for Ski Racing Media here in Utah and served as Senior Editor until January 2020. As Senior Editor, he managed the day-to-day news section of skiracing.com, as well as produced and hosted Ski Racing’s weekly podcast. During his tenure with Ski Racing Media, he was also a field reporter for NBC Sports, covering events in Europe.
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