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The fundamental problem with traffic around Park City…

We all know traffic can be bad around Park City, on a handful of days during the year. That said, I am of the opinion that we don’t really have a traffic problem compared to other areas, that any issues we have are typically a minor inconvenience, and that a few times a year it will take an hour to get from Park City to Kimball Junction (but it’s not the end of the world).

I am starting to believe that our focus on traffic, and our seeming demands to our government officials to “FIX IT”, detract from larger issues we need to collectively be working on.

Yet, I am still drawn to the issue more out of curiosity than anything. Why does it take 6 minutes to get through Kimball on a Friday versus 3 minutes on a regular day? The video below shows one of the fundamental problems with traffic. I was a little skeptical when I watched it but I began watching traffic around the Basin. It is spot on.

Solve this and much of our traffic “problem” is solved.





We’ve been living in Park City for one year, having come from a major East Coast city, which is the center of Traffic Hell.

The problem, as we see it, stems from a few specific things, aside from the obvious on the video:

1) People driving in the left lane, say on 224, seem to have a basic misunderstanding of what the left lane is actually for. It is for PASSING…it is NOT for driving directly next to the person in the right lane, thereby creating a slowly-moving barricade behind which other cars are perpetually trapped.

2) A related idea to this is the driver who believes he/she is the unofficial Speed Police, and as such is entitled to set the speed for everyone behind him. In many cities, there is something called the Slowpoke Law: if you drive in the left-hand lane and a driver behind you flashes his brights, signaling that he wants you to GET OUT OF THE WAY so he may pass, then for God’s sake, move over to the right lane and let them! It doesn’t matter if you were driving the speed limit or not…if they want to drive 100 mph in the left lane, that’s their business, not yours. The left lane is for PASSING, not TRAVELING. Deliberately trapping people behind you on a four-lane major thoroughfare is not only poor driving etiquette, in certain southern cities you could also reasonably expect to get shot at. And you’d deserve it.

3) This one seems to be unique to Park City. We like to call it the Park City Entitlement Attitude, and it’s evident everywhere, but especially around Kimball Junction. Drivers here seem to believe that they are entitled to pull out in front of others, run red lights, stop in the middle of traffic, or anything else they’d like to do, and the rest of us can go suck it. Even pedestrians suffer from this: you can always tell if a person is from Park City by the way they refuse to be bothered to look for traffic before crossing the street. Quite frankly, I’m amazed there aren’t more flattened pedestrians around here.

4) Related to #3 is the Park City Entitled Biker Attitude. Apparently no one told all these cyclists that they are NOT Lance Armstrong, nor are the streets around Park City the Tour de France. Furthermore, you are riding a BIKE, not driving a car, and as such you need to GET OVER so cars can pass you safely, NOT ride in the middle of the road so you can chat more comfortably with your cycling buddy next to you. It would be especially nice if you’d also stay the hell away from neighborhood school zones during the high-traffic times of drop-off and pick-up, but I guess that’s too much to hope for. Seriously though, is it absolutely necessary for you to ride your bike down the center of the road in front of Trailside Elementary at 8 a.m., when you can clearly see a dozen cars and a school bus trying to get around you? If it wasn’t so close to winter already, where we finally get a break from all these amateur Armstrongs with their spandex shorts and shaved legs, I’d go out and buy an airhorn just for the fun of blasting it behind these idiots.


Some education about roundabouts would go a long way as well. Ho many times do I have to slam on my brakes to avoid being plowed into by the vehicle that doesn’t understand they must yield to the vehicles already in the circle.

My Jeremy Ranch roundabout prediction:

“Look Kids, Jeremy Store. ”

“Look kids, Jeremy Store. ”

“Look kids, Jeremy Store. “

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