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Traffic back-ups, crashes, snow in the forecast; heads up while driving in Park City

Renai Bodley Miller

Monday night's traffic woes reverberated throughout Park City due to accidents occurring on SR 224 and 248 at the Kearns Park Avenue intersection.

It's the holidays, and people are flocking to Park City. The resorts are busy as ever, and when they empty at the end of the day, it snarls traffic and tries the patience of locals and visitors alike.

Two crashes occurred in Park City between 5 and 6 PM on Monday during peak evening drive time.

The first happened at Kearns Boulevard and Park Avenue at about 5:15. A vehicle traveling southbound on SR 224 was making a left-hand turn onto Kearns Boulevard and had a head-to-head crash with the right-hand turning vehicle. Charges are pending. There was one injury that did not require a hospital visit.

Another crash occurred a little before 6 PM and closed northbound lanes on SR 224 at the Holiday Ranch Loop Rd intersection for about 30 minutes. It involved two pick-up trucks, one getting t-boned while turning left off 224 onto Holiday Ranch Loop. Traffic northbound was at a standstill, with both lanes closed, while the accident cleared. One person with chest pain was transported to the hospital.

Park City Special Events and Economic Program Manager Jenny Diersen and her team consider various data sources as they plan for the Christmas weeks in Park City. Based on their projections, she said they are not surprised with the traffic volume, and with snow in the forecast, people should prepare and plan trips to avoid driving between 3 and 6 PM.

"Simply pay attention when you're driving, and in the conditions, whether there's snow on the ground or not. People should be extra cautious. It's hard to remember to be this way sometimes but be kind, you know, sometimes people don't know exactly where they're going. They may need to get back into Atlanta traffic and just be kind, and in the way, you're driving out there and have a little extra patient this holiday season that goes a really long way."

Park City Police Operations Lieutenant Jay Randall said everyone should plan for a hectic period.

"This week is going to be just one of those weeks that's, other than Sundance, it's one of the busiest weeks in town. I would really like for your listeners and your readers to know that they need to use patience and understand that the roads are going to be heavily congested at times. Look down the road and try to leave early and try to account for that extra time."

Diersen said the schools are out, it's the holiday season, and she is not surprised by the number of people in town. The city has a few ways people can get current information about traffic conditions.

"They can text the word rideon. It's just one-word rideon with no spaces to 888777 and they can get real time text alerts. So, if you're not already signed up to that, or you're new in our community or just visiting over the week, that's a great way. So you'll get weather updates or updates on traffic incidents and, you know, all sorts of different things. And then also we have a really good social media platform. We have Facebook and Twitter, and Instagram. We regularly call into KPCW in the evening show. People know what to expect out there on that commute."

udottraffic.utah.gov provides real-time updates on state roads, including 224, 248, I-80, and US 40.

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.