Facebook Twitter

Day or night, Park City traffic no picnic

SHARE Day or night, Park City traffic no picnic

Park City area resident John Harman has a foolproof way to get around Olympic traffic snarls.

"I'm going to Maui," he said.

When he returns from 10 days of island sun and fun, he'll still have a week of the 2002 Winter Games to contend with. He has that figured out, too. He plans to telecommute.

Harman, a lawyer, says he probably won't drive to his Salt Lake office or to Park City, except to go to church on Sundays.

Not everyone has the bank account to jet off to Hawaii or a job that allows him to work from home. That means figuring out how to get around the backside of the Wasatch Mountains.

Salt Lake Organizing Committee transportation officials suggest Park City businesses work noon to 8 p.m. because most Olympic events at Utah Olympic Park, Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain Resort will be in the morning.

But evening won't be a traffic picnic, either. The hippest Olympic parties might not be in Salt Lake City.

Home to Sundance Film Festival, America's Opening World Cup ski races and Park City Arts Festival, the old mining town knows how to show people a good time.

Deseret News graphic

Park City Olympic Traffic

Requires Adobe Acrobat.

Action on Historic Main Street with its numerous bars and restaurants will be nonstop during the Games.

Main Street will be closed for myriad festivities including live entertainment, Olympic video boards, pin trading and food and sponsor pavilions.

All the food and fun, of course, means a lot of extra traffic in the city 25 miles east of Salt Lake City and in surrounding areas including Wasatch County. But it doesn't mean residents looking for an Olympic night out or a day of skiing shouldn't consider heading up Parleys Canyon or, for Utah Valley residents, Provo Canyon.

"They can definitely come to Park City. Not only that, we want them to come to Park City," said Myles Rademan, city public affairs director.

Rademan expects about 250,000 people to visit the Main Street celebration over 17 days.

So, to avoid too much of a hassle, there are a few things travelers should consider.

There won't be any shortcuts into town or to Olympic parking lots. Exiting I-80 at Jeremy Ranch in favor of the frontage road, for example, won't work, says Andrew Gemperline, Salt Lake Organizing Committee transportation and planning director. Drivers will have to reverse course at some point.

"It would be longer if you try to short-circuit" the designated routes, he said.

There won't be any checkpoints to stop drivers from going into town, but city officials say it will create traffic problems. In addition, there won't be any place to park.

Catching a free shuttle at the Silver Creek Junction park-and-ride lot on U.S. 40 will be the easiest way to Park City. "The buses drop you off right at the celebration," Rademan said.

Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley day skiers should also use the park-and-ride lots.

Wasatch County residents will want to plan their trips around events in the Park City area, as well as Soldier Hollow. Traffic around venues will be heavy three hours before and and two hours after an event, transportation officials say.

E-MAIL: romboy@desnews.com