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Park City

Transit takes center stage at Thursday’s Park City Council meeting

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Park City
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Park City's transit goals will be under the microscope this week.

Transit will be a primary topic of discussion at Thursday’s Park City Council meeting. The council will examine its comprehensive transit plans and potentially approve construction of a new 465-spot park and ride.

Thursday’s Park City Council meeting has no fewer than 16 items on its agenda, and that’s not counting the three hours dedicated to discussing the city’s transportation goals.

After taking a look at historical traffic data in Park City and examining modern-day challenges like navigation apps directing traffic to residential streets in order to save time, the city will be looking for solutions to traffic problems that data show have only gotten worse in recent years.

Topics being discussed include investing more in the city’s traffic mitigation efforts, and revisiting a microtransit pilot program that was abandoned before the COVID-19 pandemic after pushback from local taxi companies.

Park City Manager Matt Dias says along with examining every facet of the city’s transit infrastructure, the council will also consider a few long range and out of the box transportation ideas.

“In addition, we’re going to call some big questions, potentially, about future projects or things on the horizon that take several years to put together, are very complex, are disruptive, and are expensive," says Dias Things like taking over [State Route] 248 or building more tunnels or talking about gondolas. Everything is on the table for this new group.”

The city council commissioned a study on a cross-city gondola system in 2020, but decided to hold off on exploring the option further.

Deputy City Manager Sarah Pearce will be leading the conversation and says she wants to understand what the council's goals are and what city staff should focus on.

“We’re really looking for direction from council on where staff should spend their time," Pearce says. "We’ve been hearing from the community, ‘why don’t they think about reversible lanes on 248?’ and things like that. We want to talk about it. Should we be spending time investigating those big ideas and kind of narrowing down the list of what is worth thinking about?”

Later on the agenda, the council will also consider awarding a $3.5 million contract to build a 465-spot park and ride out at Quinn’s Junction. Park City was awarded a $3.9 million grant from the Federal transportation Administration for the project.

That comes after two members of the Summit County Council, Doug Clyde and Glenn Wright, came out against the park and ride at a joint meeting on Tuesday, citing traffic issues the lot could cause at the Quinn’s Junction interchange.

Dias says it’s important to understand that the park and ride won’t fix all of the city’s traffic problems on its own.

“While we all wish that this was the panacea solution, it is not," he says. "It is but one of many, and we take their comments to heart and we choose to digest them that they’re constructive and they really do want the best.”

The council will also review other summer construction projects, including the roadway improvements on Rossi Hill and a project to build new bus shelters and sidewalks on Park Avenue.

Thursday’s meeting begins at 3pm. A link to the full agenda and details on how to participate is here.