Rail Trail Corridor on 2nd Round of public feedback after 1st round gathered mixed opinions for, against development

PARK CITY, Utah — The second public comment period is now open for the Rail Trail Corridor project, the 30-mile arts, culture, recreation, and tourism corridor that runs along the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail.

Summit County has issued a survey that residents can fill out with feedback on the project before the deadline on Dec. 1.

“During this second round of community engagement, from October 2022 to January 2023, we are asking for more specific information to ensure the plan for the Rail Trail Corridor represents the nearby communities in the best way possible,” the survey says. “Feedback received during this round of engagement will help edit the rough draft plan into a polished version that our community is proud of.  This polished plan will be presented to the Summit County Council in February of 2023 for final revision, adoption, and implementation. ”

The public can now weigh in on the Rail Trail Corridor project. Photo: Summit County

The first round of community engagement was from September 2021 through June 2022, and according to Summit County, the Planning Department received 478 survey responses, held two open house events that were attended by 90 community members, and held focus groups with 25 different stakeholders.

Summit County is now sharing the results of its initial round of community engagement, and community opinions were decidedly mixed.

When asked what would improve their experience on the Rail Trail, 45% of those surveyed responded “more regular maintenance,” 37% responded “a stronger connection to parks and trails,” and 30% responded “other.”

Many of those surveyed were adamant that the trail remain undeveloped and relatively untouched by Summit County in the future.

“None of the suggested improvements would be welcomed,” one respondent commented. “Lighting, shopping, cafes, events, and art would all significantly deteriorate the nature experience of that resource.”

“Nothing,” another commenter agreed. “The fact that it is NOT developed is what I like about it. It is peaceful.”

However, other survey respondents welcomed the idea of some level of development and commercialization alongside the trail.

“Destinations (businesses that open to the trail, art projects and nature stops) would also be appreciated,” one respondent commented.

“Zone commercial strategically for some cafes along the route,” another respondent commented.

Find more information on the Rail Trail Corridor project  here.

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