January 27, 2007
Parking returns to normal
City Hall’s paid-parking system in Old Town returns to its normal operations and prices on Monday.
The government made changes for the Sundance Film Festival, including increasing prices and charging for parking in lots that are normally free.
The regular system restarts at 11 a.m. Parking will return to $1 per hour on Main Street with a three-hour limit. During the festival prices were set at $1 for the first hour, $5 for the second hour and $10 for the third hour.
On Swede Alley, parking will be free starting at 8 a.m. on Monday. There is a four-hour limit from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Parking in the China Bridge garage has the same restrictions but people who work on Main Street and hold an employee pass are able to park for longer periods.
The parking restrictions are enforced from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. each day.
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The government adopted the higher prices and temporarily installed collection booths as the festival started. There were not widespread complaints about the higher prices.
Officials have said that they adopted the festival prices in an effort to persuade people not to drive to Main Street, not as a way to earn more money. They prefer that festival-goers take buses, which are free.
The officials hoped that the higher prices would reduce congestion on Main Street and nearby roads but there were frequent traffic jams during Sundance, as is usual.
For more information about parking regulations, call the Public Works Department at 615-5306 or 615-5352.
Racquet Club closings
The Racquet Club will shut down for part of the closing weekend of the Sundance Film Festival for the festival’s awards ceremony, held traditionally at the Park Meadows facility.
The public fitness club plans to close at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27. It will reopen at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 28. The awards ceremony is planned from 8:30 p.m. until midnight on Jan. 27.
The ceremony takes place on the club’s indoor tennis courts and crews must set up and then dismantle a stage and other installations for the event.
The indoor tennis courts will be closed starting at 6 a.m. on Jan. 26, reopening at 9 a.m. on Jan. 29.
Meanwhile, the Racquet Club gymnasium will reopen on Jan. 30 at 6 a.m.
The club is an important Sundance venue, hosting the awards ceremony and housing one of the largest festival theaters.
Sundance turns the gymnasium at the club into a screening room. At 602 seats, the theater is the festival’s second larges locally, trailing the Eccles Center’s 1,270 seats. The last scheduled screening at the Racquet Club is at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27, a showing of "Year of the Fish."
The films winning awards at the Racquet Club during the ceremony will be shown on Sunday at other Sundance venues.
Neighbors protect parking
Someone placed fake ‘parking violation’ cards on some vehicles parked in Old Town during the film festival, an attempt to discourage drivers from parking on streets surrounding Main Street.
Parking on those streets is generally restricted to people who live there or their guests but during Sundance and other busy times lots of people park their cars there anyway.
The ‘parking violation’ card says, in part, that it is not a real ticket but that the person who parked there was "rude."
"You have received this ticket in hopes that you will learn to think of others before parking in the future. You probably change lanes without using a turn signal too. I hope your engine blows up during rush hour on your birthday," the card says.
Part of the text is printed and part appears to be written by hand.
On its back, the card says: "We did not have you towed or ticketed by the police but we should have because you obviously don’t care about others. We don’t park in your garage & make you walk a block with your groceries!"
Sundance is notorious for parking problems in Old Town, which attracts huge crowds of festival-goers and other revelers. The drivers see parking on neighborhood streets as an easy way to park close to Main Street for free.
There have been numerous parking tickets written in Old Town during the film festival.
All year in Old Town some neighbors try to keep Main Street visitors and skiers from parking outside their houses. Some post signs saying that parking is only allowed for people at a certain address and others use traffic cones or other obstructions.
Compiled by Jay Hamburger