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Google Maps update makes riding Park City buses much easier

Understanding which Park City bus to take can be confusing. For those who ride the same bus every day, it probably seems simple. However, for those of us taking different routes, once or twice a week, it can be hard.

What do the bus colors mean? What is inbound versus outbound? How do I know when the next bus will come? What if I miss it? How will I get back from wherever I’m going. It’s harde than it seems.

For the last couple of years, the best tool to navigate the buses was an app called My Stop Mobile (recommended by Park City and Summit County). It would show you routes, buses, and stops. It probably took me six months to figure out how to use the app effectively. Unfortunately, recently the app seems to be providing shoddy results. Often it won’t tell you when the next bus is coming. It won’t show you where buses are anymore. It will tell you no bus is scheduled today for the bus stop you are waiting at. It is confusing.

On Sunday morning, while trying to get back from Deer Valley, I gave up on My Stop Mobile and tried Google Maps and it was brilliant. It showed me the bus stop closest to me. It then showed me all the colors of buses and in how many minutes the bus would arrive. If I wanted to know where the bus was going, I could click on the bus and it showed all the stops. It was easy.

If you’ve had trouble navigating the bus or haven’t ridden because you’re not sure how it works, I’d give Google Maps a try. You’ll want to make sure you have installed the newest version of the app. After launching the app, click on transit at the bottom of the app.

Then you’ll want to scroll down and show the Stations Nearby (It’s at the bottom of the screen). You should see the closest stations.

Google will tell you about the next buses that will arrive at your location. That’s great information. You’ll then need to figure out which one of the buses you want to take. Do you want the Green 2 or the Orange 4, or perhaps other departures. When you click on that item it will show you all the stops. It will look something like this:

It’s not perfect, because you still need to translate what the “official stop” names mean, but it’s generally easy to deduce where a stop is located. So, it becomes much easier to figure out when the bus will come and which to ride.

Google has made it much easier to use Park City Transit. Currently, I believe it is the preferred method of using the service. If you give it a try, let me know how it works for you. Likewise, if you have any questions, let me know. I’m happy to help.

The newest issue with Kilby Road

Just when you thought it was safe to back in the water… new Kilby Road issues have surfaced.

Since its inception, Kilby Road has been a problem. Kilby Road is the road that runs from Fresh Market, at the base of Pinebrook, to Walmart. The curves that were created to slow traffic cause traffic to go into the bike lane. That’s dangerous, and make people car sick, but it’s not a problem in winter because people just drive through the bike lane and thank god there are no bikes.

However, a new issue has arisen. On Friday I was driving on Kilby headed west back towards Fresh Market and a car was in my lane and headed right at me. I stopped when I saw the car headed at me — and I assume my honking and flashing of lights caused the car to stop and back up.

While this was the first time I have been involved in an incident, I have seen two other cars turn right out of Fresh Market and go onto the wrong side of the divided road. This used to not be a problem, as there was just lines on the road and people would not get confused.

Now, for whatever reason, people are going down the wrong lane and they can’t get back to the correct side. I’m not sure why people are choosing the wrong side of the median. It makes sense to me but I have done it a million times.

Like they say, one time is an accident, two times is coincidence, and the third time is meaningful. I personally have seen this happen three times. I’m not sure what would help (perhaps, a DO NOT ENTER sign, but that has to be done right or it will confuse the people who are turning correctly.

Regardless, Summit County needs to get this figured out before something bad happens.

We’ll miss you Robert Redford

Each year I tune into Sundance’s opening press conference. I love the Q&A with Robert Redford. He tells it like it is.

This year Mr. Redford opened the festival by saying “This press conference has been going on for 34 years. Having done this for 34 years now, I think we are at a point where I can move on to a different place. I don’t think the festival needs a whole lot of introduction anymore, it runs on its own course.”

He then thanked the volunteers and left the stage — likely not to return.

Instead of the interesting question and answer that typically followed Redford’s remarks, where Mr. Redford would expand upon a plethora of topics from the state of the industry, to VR, to the history of Sundance, we were left with six “Sundancers” who expounded on fluff and self-indulgence. When they started comparing themselves to the Avengers you know this thing ain’t what it used to be. It felt like a bad Bravo show airing at midnight. Where’s Andy Cohen when you need him?

Who knows why it’s ending this way. Perhaps the festival has outgrown Mr. Redford and it’s no longer what he envisioned. Perhaps he does want to get back to the art. Perhaps he is turning it over to the next generation. Perhaps he is tired and has given what he can (thank you Mr. Redford).

Regardless of the reason, without Robert Redford’s face and influence, the festival won’t be the same. It was inevitable that the day would come, but it seems too soon.

Redford was Sundance’s soul. It was named after the most famous part he played. How do you replace that? I’m not sure, but Sundance better find a much better way than what they put on stage today.

Sundance has been about authenticity. Some of that is now missing.

Give the Ecker Hill Park and Ride a shot. It may make your ski day even better.

Those of you who follow the Park Rag know I can be skeptical of our bus system. I don’t think we, as a community, are people who embrace the bus. Yet, if the bus experience is better than a car, you may be tempted to try it. That is what I hope you’ll find when going skiing with the Ecker Hill Park & Ride and the 6 Lime Bus. Let me start by asking a question. If you live in Pinebrook, Summit Park, or Jeremy Ranch, how do you get to PCMR, Deer Valley, or Canyons? You probably get in your vehicle, drive to the resort, and hope there is parking. Then you circle the lot, park, unload your SUV, walk a mile in your boots, with your skis in hand, dragging your kids in tow, and finally get to the base of the resort. Let me present an alternative. Drive to the Ecker Hill Park and ride. Nobody goes there, so there is a ton of parking. Unload your vehicle in peace, and a couple of minutes later the 6 Lime bus will arrive. You’ll then be driven directly to the base of Canyons in lass than 15 minutes or to PCMR in 21 minutes. If you want to go directly to Deer Valley via the 6 Lime, get on the bus that leaves Ecker at 12 or 42 minutes after the hour. The 6 Lime becomes the 4 bus, which goes to Snow Park Lodge. You’ll be there in 35 minutes. Despite the resort you choose, you’ll walk about 2 minutes to the lift. You won’t have to stress over parking or lug your equipment a mile across a parking lot. Yes, you could drive to each resort in a little less time, but once you factor in parking, if you can find it (PCMR we are looking at you), it’s a wash and a lot less stressful to take the 6 Lime bus. Getting back from the resort is a little more complicated because you have to pay attention to inbound versus outbound buses and potentially make a connection. It’s not hard, you just need to know how it works. So, here are the tricks:

  • If you are coming back from PCMR, catch the 6 Lime OUTBOUND. That will take you back to Ecker Hill.
  • If you are coming back from Canyons, hop the 6 Lime OUTBOUND. That will take you back to Ecker Hill.
  • If you are coming back from Deer Valley, look for any bus. Ask the driver if the bus is going to the Old Town Transit Center (95% of them are). From there, catch the 10 white to the Kimball Junction Transit Center. Then hop on the 6 Lime OUTBOUND to get back to Ecker Hill.

It’s really pretty simple. Unfortunately, if you haven’t done it, it seems daunting. I think that’s why a lot of people don’t try it. I remember reading about the first few weeks of the 6 Lime bus service in the Park Record. They quoted ridership, and I realized my family represented 5% of the riders. My biggest fear is that not enough people will take the 6 Lime and they’ll cancel it. I personally love it. It’s so much better than driving. I can check email, read the news, and not personally over-pollute the environment. The next time you are headed to the resort, you may want to consider using the Ecker Park and Ride. The bus comes every 15 minutes. If you try it, I’d be willing to bet you’ll never go back to your car. It’s just that easy and carefree.

What Park City needs is a little patience

It’s funny how 18 inches of snow can destroy a community — especially a mountain community. People are pissed. Why aren’t our roads plowed better? Why is traffic so bad? Why wasn’t school closed? Why am I the only one who can drive? Where did the idiots come from? Where are the snow plows? I get it. I could barely snow blow my driveway this morning (the most snow in 3 years). My kid’s school bus never came. My dog chewed through her leash because she was tired of waiting for the school bus. My other kid’s daycare had blocked off the parking lot because people would get stuck. It’s a bit of a mess. However, you are what you make of situations like these. My neighbor ended up driving my kid to school (thank you). The teachers at my daycare started driving up from SLC at 6:30 AM to make sure they were there on time (thank you). My wife left early for work, knowing traffic would be bad. I got my kid to daycare 30 minutes late, but he got there. I started work late, but it is what it is. Park City isn’t South Beach. Winters shouldn’t be easy. Days like today are few and far between, but they happen. I personally wish they would happen more often. That’s one of the things that makes this place interesting. Park City isn’t all Sundance, Vail, and unicorns. Or perhaps, I like days like today, because it reminds me that it doesn’t have to be that way. What I’d hope for is a little more patience. We’re all in this together. That’s the fabric I would hope would be sewn into Park City’s ever-changing DNA.  

Thanks for the support

A few days ago my wife and I were discussing the election. She turned to me and said, “It could have been worse. You could have got fewer write-in votes than Grizzley the Philadephia Flyers Mascot.”

For those unaware, I ran for Summit County Council as a write-in candidate. In the end, I received 1,159 write-in votes — which exceeded my wildest expectations. Unfortunately, with an 80% turnout, I would have needed at least 7,000 more people to write me in to have had a chance.

In the end, incumbent Glenn Wright won the election. I’m sure he’ll do a fine job. His dedication to the environment will serve us well over his four-year term.

The next election for County Council is in two years. If any readers are considering running, now is the time to start planning. If you’d like to talk, I’d be happy to share what I’ve learned.

With that… back to work. A lot is going in Summit County and Park City.

Top 10 Suggestions for Homestead Road

Homestead Road construction between Pinebrook and Jeremy Ranch is a disaster. While we usually don’t like to tell people what to do, it seems the contractors doing this work may have never done road construction before. So, we thought we’d offer some advice:

  1. Don’t begin construction at 8:00 AM, when everyone is going to school.
  2. Don’t block off the main road out of Jeremy at 7:45 AM.
  3. Perhaps workers should use STOP and SLOW signs to direct traffic, you know like you see in every other road construction project, instead of whatever little, red flags they seem to wave in every direction at all times.
  4. The construction company may want to take out extra insurance. From the looks of what almost happened to two bikers who were almost hit today (both with kids), they are going to need it.
  5. If the construction company is going to install stop signs, they may want either use them or take them out. Using them one day and then not for a few days is kind of confusing.
  6. Your employees may not want to yell at drivers who are frustrated by the fact that you keep people stopped for ten minutes while you let other traffic continually go by.
  7. Summit County may need to get someone to manage this group of construction workers. Every day we think we have heard or seen the worst, but now we only expect it to get more depressing.
  8. Maybe work should be done at night, you know, when there is no traffic.
  9. Summit County, please don’t let this construction company work on the roundabouts next spring, summer, and fall. That would be a disaster to the 10th power.
  10. … and for everyone who has to bike or drive this road every day: pray it’s done before December.

Good luck out there.

Hi, I’m Josh Mann and I write most of the Park Rag. I’m running as a write-in candidate for Summit County Seat E. If you enjoy what you read here, consider writing my name in this November. I want to bring the same energy, logic, and critical view to the Summit County Council that you read here. More information on my platform can be found on my website.

I’ve launched the Bull Moose Newsletter to help keep people up to date on what has happened and what is coming up in Summit County

As many of you know, I am running a write-in campaign for Summit County Council. I want to show the type of information that the County Council should be providing. Therefore I have created the inaugural Bull Moose Newsletter. It’s not as good and detailed as I will eventually make it… but you have to start somewhere. Each week I’ll be providing an overview of what has happened, what’s in progress, and what’s going to happen if we don’t all get involved. So, if you are interested, here is a link to the first edition. The Bull Moose (9/14/2018) If you would like to get the newsletter via email, you can sign up here.

Kilby-Gate isn’t going away and it highlights communication issues

We don’t have too many dramas in Summit County and the Snyderville Basin. However, changes to Kilby Road, which runs in front of Pinebrook to the Whole Foods is shaping up to be a doozy. Therefore we’ve decided to call this issue Kilby-Gate. For those who haven’t been following the story, Summit County wanted to put in a Park and Ride across from Ecker Hill Middle School. Residents were worried about traffic coming off I-80 and speeding down the frontage road (Kilby Rd). The County listened and worked to mitigate the issue. They ended up building an unusual road with lots of curves, which is designed to “calm” the traffic. It’s a known and standard principle, so it’s not out in left field. However, one could argue that it was taken to an extreme with Kilby. Once the asphalt had dried, residents became enraged at the road design. Social media exploded with people questioning how the design was approved. I was at meetings where people berated the Public Works Director for building the road. Yet that was before paint was even put on the asphalt to designate lanes. Typically issues like this rise and abate quickly. Attention spans are short. However, this one seems to have staying power. People are now flying drones over Kilby Road to show how cars are driving into the bicycles lanes. Worse, it allegedly shows that Park City Transit Buses are driving into the bike lanes. That’s not good. What it tells the public is that even professional drivers have problems with the course. I for one love the new bike lanes on the road. However, if a Park City Transit bus takes me out on my e-bike I probably won’t be so enthused. I tried to look back to see how much communication there has been about this road. It seems the County tried to do an innovative design and it hasn’t been well received. I found that there was a meet and greet in March about the road. That was a full 4 months before construction began! Why weren’t people up in arms then? Why didn’t they jump all over the design months before it began? It’s because the lead was buried. I think too often our government leaders don’t want to anticipate criticism for fear of driving further criticism. They don’t want to say, “Hey we made a road that is really different to slow cars down… but you may not like it… so we wanted to check with the community first before we started.” It’s human nature after you have worked years on a project to just want to get it done. You don’t want to hear the negativity. You don’t want to think about starting over. It’s hard. I think if Summit County had looked at this project, realized it was a major change, and worked from the position that most people are going to freak-out, they would have been better off. If Summit County had ensured that the Park Record headline was “Kilby Road is going to be VERY DIFFERENT. You Better check it out. Speak now or forever hold your peace,” it may have got people motivated to look at the design and provide feedback when it mattered. But that is the past. That ship has sailed. What we as residents should now be focused on are the roundabouts coming next year to Pinebrook and Jeremy. The County should be coming out right now and explaining everything they can possibly think of that you won’t like. The roundabouts have a UDOT component which makes them even tougher to have control over. Let me pose a few questions:

  • How are your kids going to walk through the roundabout or will there be tunnels for all anticipated paths?
  • How many cars do they anticipate will be backed up, coming from Salt Lake City at peak times?
  • How are your kids going to bike through the roundabout?
  • How is your 7 year old kid who lives in Pinebrook going to traverse two roundabouts on her bike to get to Jeremy Ranch Elementary?
  • How long should you expect to wait at the roundabout to be able to enter and head the direction you was to go? What is acceptable per the plan?
  • When will construction begin and when will it end?
  • Will construction happen during school hours?
  • Are the roundabouts balanced (i.e. there is equal traffic from all directions), so that it maintains proper traffic flow?
  • How many lanes will there be within the roundabout?
  • How will this impact traffic going to Jeremy Ranch Elementary?

If you don’t know the answer to all these questions, or other questions you have, you should reach out to Summit County. You should force them to answer the tough questions because now is the time you can affect outcomes. Change is EXTREMELY HARD once the asphalt is down. I had the chance to me Krachel (pronounced kruh-shell) Murdoch, the Summit County Public Affairs coordinator, a few weeks back. She wants to hear what you think. She wants to ensure your voice is heard. She can be reached at . Ask her the questions you have. She can then let our County Manager know the concerns and he can find ways to solicit further opinions. Kilby-Gate isn’t going away. This winter, expect a flood of social media on the trial and tribulations of winter-navigation of Kilby Road. However, that’s in the past to a large degree. Let’s try to prevent the future conversations over the upcoming roundabouts that we’ll be living with forever.

Hi, I’m Josh Mann and I write most of the Park Rag. I’m running as a write-in candidate for Summit County Seat E. If you enjoy what you read here, consider writing my name in this November. I want to bring the same energy, logic, and critical view to the Summit County Council that you read here. More information on my platform can be found on my website.