Park City continues its efforts to address traffic circulation and access in Old Town. The city council will hear an update on the plan Thursday.
Since the Park City Council instructed city staff to move forward with measures to alleviate traffic congestion in Old Town, a few ideas and projects have risen to the top.
Economic Development Manager Jonathan Weidenhamer says the plan includes three drop-and-load locations for commercial vehicles at Chimayo; Wasatch Brew Pub; Tupelo; and three staging areas: at the Post Office; Swede Alley; and the 9th Street trolley turnaround. Before 5 p.m., the drop-and-load zones will be free to everyone for 15-minute parking, and after they’ll only be available to commercial vehicles. To use the zones, lodging shuttles and taxis will need special permits from the city. Weidenhamer says the city has engaged local lodging companies and for-hire transportation to determine the locations.
“We had a heat map generated of where the restaurant square feet are that tend to generate a lot of these drop-and-load areas, and we identified in the beginning kind of 15 or so alternatives," Weidenhamer said. "We reduced it to these six areas that we are recommending we kind of roll out in a trial period.”
Another project, one that Weidenhamer says has been two years in the works, is a roundabout at the bottom of Hillside Avenue, to encourage traffic that’s escaped from Main Street to go back to the commercial district. In the short term, the turnaround would be painted, but if it’s deemed effective, the roundabout could be memorialized in concrete. Weidenhamer says he’s received a lot of comments from the public on this particular project.
“Where I would agree that it would be more effective if that happened kind of near the Brew Pub or Grappa intersection," Weidenhamer said. "That would take significant utility realignments and some real work and grading. The tiered projects we've always talked about for years had a small turn around at the bottom of Hillside, so it's not intended to be a Deer Valley-scaled roundabout. It's intended to be just a small thing with a little sign in it that says, 'hey, stop, turn around, you're bleeding into the residential district.”
Staff estimates the Old Town circulation and access plan could cost $270,000. While there will be traffic models and data collection involved, Park City Manager Diane Foster stressed that it’s less of a study and more of a plan.
“For folks on Hillside and in that area and in Old Town, I think this is one of those that they should really want to have happen because, for example, looking at can we put in a road that connects Marsac to Swede Alley behind China Bridge?" Foster said. "Is that possible? Is there the grading there, and really looking deep at what alternative solutions exist out there. That's really important, and as staff, we recommended that. We've got current council direction to move that way."
The city council will discuss Old Town traffic updates at their regular meeting this Thursday, 6 p.m. at the Marsac Building.