Transportation… Carmageddon… Traffic Jam… Oh the horror.
Yes, at times traffic can be bad around here. Not Washington DC Beltway bad or LA Commuter bad… but it gets a lot of attention.
The same can be said for traffic up Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon. I skied Solitude a couple of weeks ago and everyone warned me that if I wasn’t headed up Big Cottonwood Canyon by 8:15, I would be in an endless line of cars. Little Cottonwood Canyon is no different with two of the best resorts in Utah up a single lane road.
As we reported earlier this week, the Wasatch Backcountry Alliance was providing free shuttles up Little Cottonwood Canyon today. They wanted to show that people would take alternative forms of transportation up the canyon, if it was cheap and accessible. So, how did that ultimately work out? We’re not sure, yet. But the same reader that tipped us off to the free shuttles sent us a later email from Wasatch Backcountry Alliance that said:
“Our Shuttle Day event is tomorrow, March 12, 2016, serving Little Cottonwood Canyon. We hope to raise awareness of transportation problems we face each winter, and to collect feedback from those who try the shuttle. Problem is: very few people have reserved a van spot. From the event, maybe we’ll learn that while most of us think an alternative transportation option up the canyons is a great idea – that it’s a great idea for other people – not me.”
Ding. Ding. Ding.
Most people love the idea of alternate transportation solutions like buses and rail … because they think that if more people use it, the roads will be clearer for them and their car. I didn’t make that idea up. It came from a Los Angeles study in the 1990’s.
It will be a long time before people are willing to get out of their cars in and around Park City. The basic problem for most every person, who may want to take a bus, is that they will need to drive and then park in order to catch the bus. While that’s not true for everyone, for the majority, our community is just not laid out in a way that makes sense for buses.
So, I have a simple request. For the meeting on any vote on increasing bus service, spending more on buses, or raising taxes for more buses, I request that EVERYONE involved in either the County or City ride a bus to and from that meeting. On the City Council, everyone should ride the bus both ways. The County Attorney? Yep, please ride the bus. County and City Managers? Yep, ride the bus to the meeting. Planning Directors and staff… yep, please ride the bus. Basically if you come to a city or county meeting in any official capacity, please ride the bus.
Then, if the vote passes, commit to riding the bus for 26 of the next 52 meetings.
I think what you’ll find is that many of you are not really willing to commit to riding the bus.
We as citizens aren’t either.
So please before you sign us up for spending more money on buses (and wasting money we could spend on other ideas), will you please commit that you will ride them most of the time? If not, you’re like the rest of us that say that buses are a great idea…. FOR SOMEONE ELSE.