Main Street supports Park City taxi, shuttle parking trial, but with concerns
The group representing the interests of businesses along Main Street or just off the street supports a trial of a City Hall idea to create locations for taxis and shuttles to drop off and pick up passengers, but said in a detailed memo to municipal leaders questions remain about the prospects for the idea’s success.
The Historic Park City Alliance in August prepared a three-page memo for the Park City Council that addressed the idea of City Hall creating drop-off and pick-up locations in the Main Street core. The memo provides insight from the business perspective as City Hall continues to consider ideas for the drop-off and pick-up zones. Main Street is closely monitoring the talks since the zones would be expected to reduce the number of parking spots available to customers.
The memo outlined support for a trial involving two or three zones along Main Street. The organization supports zones that would be “in front of businesses seeing the highest frequency of service from commercial transportation vehicles” as well as one or two spots on Swede Alley. The memo also explained support for personnel that would be needed to manage and enforce the zones. The Historic Park City Alliance in the memo calls for a “more comprehensive data driven study to assess traffic patterns not only within but delivering visitors, patrons, and employees to the district.” The organization wants a study to consider citywide and regional traffic.
The Historic Park City Alliance in the memo, though, indicates certain aspects of the drop-off and pick-up zones require additional study, including “whether any number of pick up / drop off zones will be effective in addressing congestion given the current number of commercial vehicles service a limited area.”
Mayor Andy Beerman and the Park City Council are expected to address the issue shortly, possibly at a meeting as early as Thursday. City Hall staffers in late October held a gathering at the Marsac Building about the topic that drew an audience that included figures representing transportation companies. There was limited discussion at the gathering about the potential impact of the drop-off and pick-up zones on Main Street businesses. There could be greater input from Main Street, though, as businesses learn of the details. City Hall at the gathering provided a list of locations that are under consideration, but it was not clear how many will be selected if the elected officials support the overall idea.
There could be concern among Main Street businesses that the drop-off and pick-up zones that would be set aside would reduce the number of spots available to customers. Main Street has long closely watched any City Hall changes to the parking program in the commercial core.
Alison Kuhlow, the executive director of the Historic Park City Alliance, said in an interview there is a “potential impact” on sales at Main Street businesses should City Hall create the drop-off and pick-up zones. She said some of the locations under consideration are the “most prime spots” in the Main Street core.
“Loss of parking is a concern,” Kuhlow said.
City Hall is considering a program that sets aside drop-off and pick-up zones that would only be available at certain times to vehicles with a permit that would be issued by the municipal government. Officials say the idea is intended to reduce congestion in the Main Street core and increase the safety of pedestrians. A program would also potentially boost the competitiveness of traditional taxi and shuttle companies against ridesharing firms since they may be better able to absorb the cost of the permits from City Hall.
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