January 16, 2009
May I park here?
City Hall is tightly regulating parking during the Sundance Film Festival, with spots on or near Main Street under restrictions or costing more than usual.
Officials have outlined the restrictions in a document posted on City Hall’s Web site, http://www.parkcity.org.
Some of the key restrictions include:
City Hall has turned Main Street from 7th Street south into a no-parking zone, a first for festival week. Lower Main Street, meanwhile, has been turned into a pedestrian-only festival zone, also a first. Officials will allow drivers to park on Main Street for 15 minutes to allow them to drop people off or pick them up and make deliveries.
The restriction is in effect 24 hours per day. City Hall says it may allow parking on the east side of the street halfway through the festival, if staffers determine doing so would not cause problems.
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City Hall will charge $20 for parking in municipal lots in the Main Street area, without in-and-out privileges. People who hold Main Street employee parking permits, which are designated CB, may park on the top level of China Bridge and in spots in the Gateway Center.
People may park in Deer Valley Resort’s Snow Park lots after 5 p.m. without a charge. City Hall warns people not to park there before 5 p.m., and officials say the vehicles must be removed from the lot by 3 a.m. Buses run to the lot from the Old Town transit center, with the last leaving at 2:30 a.m.
Parking is available without a charge at Treasure Mountain International School on Kearns Boulevard on the weekends. Buses run to the lot until approximately 2 a.m.
Finding parking is typically challenging during the festival, with it being especially difficult in the Main Street area. Parking on residential streets close to Main Street is regulated through zoned permits.
Meanwhile, many businesses, using threats to tow festival-goers cars, prohibit festival parking in their lots.
For more information, visit City Hall’s Web site, choose the Sundance Film Festival 09 link on the front page and select "Sundance Parking Regulations." Recorded information is available by calling 435-615-7275. During business hours, parking information is also available from the Public Works Department, 615-5301.
Avoid traffic headaches
City Hall, in a release entitled "Sundance survival tips for locals," suggests people avoid driving during the Sundance Film Festival and, if they must drive, do so outside of rush hour.
In a statement sent on Wednesday, the local government says drivers should form carpools during Sundance or change their commuting times by an hour. Morning traffic is worst from 7 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. The evening rush hour peaks at between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Meanwhile, the city advises people with post-office boxes at the Main Street post office to get their mail before noon. Shopping should be done early or late, the city says to "avoid the lines at grocery and other stores."
The release also recommends riding buses or walking instead of driving. City Hall runs a free bus system, and Sundance has its own free bus route as well. Information about buses and walking routes are available on City Hall’s Web site, http://www.parkcity.org. The Sundance bus stops are designated by special signs.
"Leave the driving to us. Save time and energy," the release says, advertising that City Hall’s buses run on cleaner-burning biodiesel fuel.
Traffic during Sundance is usually some of the worst of the year, with streets like Bonanza Drive, Kearns Boulevard and Park Avenue clogged. Officials at City Hall and with Sundance in recent years have more aggressively marketed the bus system and the walking routes, saying that using them allows people to more easily navigate Park City.
It takes less time to walk between some Sundance sites than to drive between them, organizers have said.
"Take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the show," the release says.
Compiled by Jay Hamburger