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White Pine Touring overflow parking plan for Thaynes Canyon Dr. approved

The blue area shows the overflow parking area along Thaynes Canyon Dr. There is a total of 18 spots.
Park City Municipal Corporation
The blue area shows the overflow parking area along Thaynes Canyon Dr., which has a total of 18 spots.

Fifteen spaces will be available daily on Thaynes Canyon Dr. from noon to 6 p.m. for White Pine customers only.

The Park City Council came to an agreement and settled on a plan Thursday for overflow winter parking at White Pine Touring’s Nordic Center.

Fifteen spaces will be available daily on Thaynes Canyon Dr. from noon to 6 p.m. for White Pine customers only.

Three additional spots will be dedicated to adaptive Nordic programs, and will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

Parking on the street will not be allowed outside of the approved timeframe.

All users of White Pine’s cross country tracks are encouraged to carpool or take public transit, in an effort to decrease traffic congestion.

Thaynes Canyon Dr. has been used for overflow parking at the Nordic center, which operates out of the municipal golf course, for over 30 years. However, the city government recently discovered that parking there is not permitted under land management code.

In response, the Park City Council ordered the golf course this summer to come up with a plan to manage parking for the overflow area since it is essential for business operations. The council asked White Pine Touring to come up with a similar plan, and that was approved at a meeting Thursday night.

Discussion on the agreement went on for over an hour Thursday night.

Several people, including former White Pine owner Charlie Sturgis, called for councilmember Jeremy Rubell to recuse himself from the decision, citing a conflict of interest. Rubell lives in the neighborhood, and has repeatedly voiced concerns about road safety there as a result of the overflow parking.

Exacerbating that is the massive spike in outdoor recreation that has come as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic — which correlates to more traffic around winter sports.

Nationally, cross country skiing is the fastest growing winter activity, according to the Cross Country Ski Areas Association. White Pine Touring Nordic Director Richard Hodges has said they’ve seen skier visits nearly double in the past two years.

Several people Thursday night spoke in support of Rubell, and said it’s important the city enforces its codes and prioritizes pedestrian safety.

White Pine initially proposed overflow parking to run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., but Rubell suggested they amend it to a shorter time frame, which the council ultimately approved.

Earlier this year the city launched a traffic study for the area, and results are expected next month.

Mayor Nann Worel told KPCW the council is now turning its focus to finding a long-term parking solution before next winter.

“I was pretty clear when we finished the conversation that I’m not going to have this conversation again next year,” Worel said. “We need to come up with a permanent solution.”

The approved parking plan is in place until the end of March.