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Park Ave bike lane construction eliminated 102 free parking spots and cost $80,000

PARK CITY, Utah — The Park Avenue Redesign Pilot Program sought to give more power to pedestrians and bikers on Park Avenue from the stretch that goes from Harvest to Jans and Cole Sport.

It’s long been eyed by the City as a spot of redevelopment.

After a public outreach period in 2020 that involved the Historic Park City Alliance and community stakeholders, it was determined that on-street parking was not a top priority.

City Council approved the restriping plan in September 2020.

Melanie Jackson, an analyst with the City Engineering Division, said the total redevelopment cost was roughly $80,000. Johnny Wasden, Park City Parking Manager, confirmed that 102 free, non-permitted parking spots were eliminated through the project.

This comes at a time when parking facilities in Old Town are filled up rapidly in heavy hours, such as during Silly Sunday Market.

During every Silly Sunday Market in the month of July, Park City Government had to take to its social media pages to tell visitors to park elsewhere and take transit because Old Town parking facilities were completely full. The posts were normally sent out before noon, for an event that started at 10 am and goes until 5 pm.

In a staff report to City Council for their mid-July meeting, public comments were made available regarding the project.

One Instagram comment reads, “it looks like you took a page out of Mayor Bloomberg’s book calling a permanent measure a ‘pilot program’.”

Another comment on a different post said, “for anyone who lives in Old Town this isn’t great. Parking is already hard enough. Now we lost an entire side of the road. I get what they were trying to do but we already have an ENTIRE trail system 100 feet to the left.”

An opposing stance sent via email reads, “I just wanted to express my feelings about the traffic changes on Park Avenue. I love them! I’ve spoken to several full-time neighbors and they too are SO happy with the changes. The traffic now travels closer to the speed limit, the bike lanes are surprisingly busy. With E-bikes, many people who have not ridden in years, are everywhere on their bikes. It is great to have permit parking only, particularly when we get into the ski season. I’ve often had my driveway blocked by people who are ‘going skiing’.”

While eliminating a lot of parking space, proponents may argue that the redevelopment is about a culture change.

Revently installed bike racks in front of Blind Dog. The city installed these racks through the Request-a-Rack program.
Recently installed bike racks in front of Blind Dog. The city installed these racks through the Request-a-Rack program. Photo: Park City Municipal

Additionally, to make biking around the Park City area easier, Park City Municipal and Summit County have partnered to provide free bicycle racks and installation to businesses in Summit County. Businesses can request a bike rack to be installed here.

During the pandemic, the city of London installed low-traffic neighborhoods, which are designed to incentivize walking and biking while discouraging driving.

Research on police data in those areas shows road injuries cutting in half.

“Across Britain, over half of all pedestrian casualties take place on urban minor roads, as do a third of all pedestrian fatalities,” Dr. Anna Goodman of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine told the Guardian. “This suggests extending these kinds of schemes to more urban minor roads could have substantial impacts on overall pedestrian injury rates.”

The Park City Engineer has reported that there has been a significant change in driving patterns following the redesign.

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