Main Street parking regulations unchanged for winter
Parkites are gearing up for what they hope will be a big ski season, but they’re also getting ready for another annual rite of winter: battling it out for parking near Main Street.
Officials are expecting the parking squeeze near Main Street this winter to be similar to recent years. But this year, they aren’t making any changes to try to make it any easier.
Alison Butz, executive director of the Historic Park City Alliance, said one of the reasons things will remain the same is the fact City Hall has hired a traffic and parking consultant to dig into the Main Street parking situation this winter — it’s best if the firm can get an unblemished look at what parking is really like. Additionally, any changes would likely be short-term, pending the solutions the firm comes up with.
"The last thing I would want to do is implement a change that is only going to be valid for four months," Butz said, adding that parking on Main Street will still be $1.50 for three hours, and all public lots will remain free with their usual time restrictions. "At this point, there is no more low-hanging fruit as far as changes go. So if we’re going to make a big change, I want to do it once and I want to make sure that’s the change that needs to take place. So let’s wait and have the (firm’s) study come back."
Last winter, the Historic Park City Alliance spearheaded efforts to make more parking available near Main Street. It allowed people to park at Treasure Mountain Junior High on Fridays and Saturdays and take a shuttle to Main Street. But the idea never caught on. The service ran for more than a month but saw only one rider.
No similar initiatives will be tried this year, but Butz is still encouraging people to find other ways to get to Main Street that don’t rely on taking up precious parking spaces.
"The message we would like to promote is: If people have an alternative way to get there, please use it," she said. "Especially if you’re looking at coming in the winter season, come a little bit earlier and make sure you get a space. Come at 5 p.m. and walk and window shop. But if you have an opportunity to take a shuttle or some other way to get there, please do because we have more demand than supply."
Carpooling is one option that is particularly effective, added Brian Andersen, a parking official with City Hall.
"I know it’s a challenge, but if people can carpool when they can, that’s huge," he said. "If you’re visiting Main Street, that probably happens a bit more naturally, but if we can get some of the service staff carpooling, too, that would help. But I know that’s challenging, given the various schedules employees have."
People can also park at City Park and catch the bus to Main Street. And when it comes to parking, Andersen said, any little bit helps.
"There will definitely be times when we do fill up, similar to last year," Andersen said. "We just need to manage it as best as we can."
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