“‘Oceans of snow’ and no place to move it presents a very ‘tough’ problem… the past winter has been fit for neither man nor beast” – Stroller Notices, Park Record, March 3, 1949.
Snow in Park City before it was a ski resort town was just a nuisance. In October 1945, the Park Record urged motorists to prepare their cars for winter driving. It was right after WWII, and several factors had led experts to predict that it would be the worst winter ever for auto accidents. The end of gasoline rationing meant more cars would be on the road, and would be driving longer distances. Motorists, used to driving the compulsory speed limit of 35 miles per hour, might have forgotten how to judge stopping distance when driving at higher speeds, especially on slick roads.
In addition, people, weary of war-time constraints, may be inclined to take greater chances just for the thrill of it. On top of all that, most of the cars on the road were “over-age” at about eight years old and might not be running properly. The President of the Utah Safety Council urged motorists to put their cars in the safest possible condition for winter to help prevent accidents. “A motorist whose car is in shape has the safety battle half won,” he said.
If worrying about winter driving accidents wasn’t enough, there was the problem of clearing the roads of snow. Before modern snow removal equipment, the large amounts of snowfall in Park City had nowhere to go. The snow would pile up on the sides of Main Street, towering over pedestrians and automobiles, and blocking views of businesses. In December 1948, the Park Record commented that the city had received a “dandy” new snow plow, and that the “roads and alleys will be kept clear of snow this year by the street crew.” Little did they know that the winter of 1948 would be one of the worst in Park City’s history. Nothing could keep the roads free of snow that year!
In the 1950s and 1960s, there were several articles in the Park Record praising the work of the State Road Crew, who came into Park City to clear the snow banks that lined Main Street. Usually by February, enough snow had accumulated for the crew to do their work. Depending on the year, the banks could be between four and nine feet deep, and a car’s width wide. Using a patrol with a snow plow attached or a grader with a blade, the road crew cut down the icy banks and moved the snow to the middle of the street, where cars and sunshine would help melt it. The snow was then either pushed to the bottom of Main, or taken to open areas outside the city and dumped.
These days, heavy snowfall is cause for a celebration in Park City. Unfortunately, we haven’t been so lucky this year. Let’s hope the next big one is on its way!
 Prepare Your Car for Winter Driving, Park Record, 1945-10-25.
 Stroller Notices, Park Record, 1948-12-02.
 Thompson, George and Fraser Buck, Treasure Mountain Home, page 120.
 Head in a Snow Bank!, Park Record, 1965-01-28.