Public comments at this week’s meeting of the Park City Planning Commission brought up the greater issues related to transit in the Park City area like ever-increasing traffic, efficient bus routes, and satellite parking lots.
Although this week’s discussion about the proposed base development at Park City Mountain Resort was focused on transit and traffic circulation at the resort base, it’s clear to anyone who has tried to get around town during rush hour that traffic is not a problem unique to the resort.
Cars routinely back up throughout town on peak ski days and holiday weekends and commute times can easily double getting in and out of town on SR 224 and 248.
During public comment at Wednesday evening’s planning commission meeting, Baja Cantina owner Stephen McComb highlighted the need for a more holistic approach to transit. He said with his employees competing with resort guests for parking, a better way to not just get people to and from the resort, but to and from Park City itself is needed.
“Where are the people going to park to get on the bus?” asked McComb. “I mean, we’ve got the people coming from in town, but what about the people coming from out of town? Where are those parking lots? Where do people access the busses? We can concentrate on the transit, but if the busses are gonna share those lanes of traffic coming into town, it’s not going to work. Where’s the big plan?”
Park City Mayor Andy Beerman highlighted the issue of traffic and transit during his State of the City event in February and told KPCW that Park City’s geography is partly to blame for the city’s traffic woes.
With Park City surrounded by mountains and only two year-round roads in or out with little space to expand, creative solutions are a necessity if traffic is truly going to decrease.
An expansion of the park and ride near Quinn’s Junction, as well as a repaving project on SR 248 to create dedicated bus lanes are expected to get underway in the coming years. The city also studied the feasibility of a future aerial gondola system as a way to potentially move people around town.
Beerman said those types of solutions will be what the city is looking towards in the future.
“Some things I think we’ve talked about is large park and rides on the outside of town and whether we bring people by bus, by rail, by aerial in from those to the core of town and move people around internally with microtransit or, again, one of those other forms of transportation,” said Beerman.
How Park City will integrate with Summit County’s newly-formed transit district and future bus rapid transit system will also be a challenge to take on going forward.
Discussions surrounding the development of the base area of PCMR are expected to continue through the spring and city discussions about transit in the greater Park City area will be a central topic throughout 2021.