The Park City Council will consider requests for funding for two different transportation projects Thursday.
The Transportation Department is asking the City Council for an additional $82,000 to extend the service contract for the S.R. 248 environmental assessment. That would pay for two more months of service, bringing the total time on the assessment to 28 months—and the total cost to nearly $1.6 million. City Manager Diane Foster says the extension comes from plans for running buses in the shoulder lane and accommodating pedestrians and cyclists. Foster says if the City wants to access federal dollars through the Utah Department of Transportation for the project, it must comply with all the processes—and the environmental assessment is a big part of that.
"In order to get that kind of money, we absolutely have to go through and make sure we're going through all the steps," Foster said. "The steps aren't just there to make more processes; they are actually to protect the environment and make sure that where we're going to be spending a lot of taxpayer dollars—even though they're federal, we all pay federal taxes—so it's important that we make sure we get it right."
The Transportation team is also requesting nearly $178,000 on bus shelter improvements on the six most-used bus stops and a bus shelter accessibility study. Foster says the improvements are largely geared toward complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act, making the shelters more accessible. It’s also about making the stops safer.
"When you improve bus shelters, you increase bus utilization—just like we saw at the MARC and the library," Foster said. "So if we make them safer, and I believe our bus stops are safe for people, but we will have be looking at lighting in those, as well as if it provides a shelter, then someone is going to be more willing to go out on a cold winter day and wait for the bus."
The first phase of the bus shelter improvement projects will tackle the Park Ave. Condos and Fresh Market stops.