Park City adds special effects to Sundance parking, transit
Park City is poised to add some special effects to the Sundance Film Festival: expensive parking, expanded bus lines and barricades.
City Hall outlined the operational plans for the festival and published the annual online community guide as the Sundance’s Thursday opening approached. The community guide is designed to assist festival-goers as they navigate a jammed Park City during Sundance. It includes information about transportation, parking street closures and a range of other topics related to the municipal operations during the festival.
The transportation and parking information will likely be especially valuable to many Parkites as they consider their options during the festival. Sundance opens on Thursday and stretches until Jan. 28. Sundance is typically the busiest stretch of the calendar in Park City with some of the worst traffic of the year. Parking in the Main Street core is heavily restricted during the festival, making things even more difficult for people who drive during Sundance.
The bus system runs on a peak schedule during Sundance. A bus loop with stops at festival screening rooms and other official venues supplements the regular transit system. Park City and Sundance officials have long encouraged festival-goers to use the buses in an effort to reduce traffic and lessen the pressure on parking lots.
City Hall in the community guide outlines parking options ranging from the pricey Main Street core to the outskirts of Park City, where the parking is free. According to the guide and City Hall staffers, parking options include:
• the China Bridge garage on Swede Alley, with easiest access available from Marsac Avenue. The charge will be $40 per entry between Jan. 18 and Jan. 27. Cash is preferred. The $40 allows someone to park for 24 hours. It is a significant increase from the $25 cost in 2017.
• the flagpole lot on lower Swede Alley. The charge will be $40 per day between Jan. 18 and Jan. 27 with only cash accepted.
• the Richardson Flat lot along the S.R. 248 entryway, which will operate as a free park-and-ride location meant to intercept drivers before they reach Old Town. Sundance will provide a bus between the parking lot and Park City High School between 7 a.m. and 3 a.m. starting on Jan. 18 and ending on Jan. 27. Officials say someone may park at Richardson Flat, take the bus to the high school and then board either the regular bus system or the Sundance loop. The last bus leaves the high school for Richardson Flat at 2:45 a.m., while the last bus leaves the Old Town transit center for the high school at 2:30 a.m.
• the Park City Mountain Resort parking lots and the Deer Valley Resort Snow Park Lodge lots will be available from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m. People parking there may board a City Hall bus or walk to their destination.
• the Sandridge parking lots along Marsac Avenue, which will be set aside during Sundance for people holding a City Hall-issued carpool permit.
• Park City School District lots at McPolin Elementary School, Treasure Mountain Junior High and the Park City Learning Academy will be available on Saturdays and Sundays. People who park there may take a City Hall bus or a Sundance shuttle.
“It’s vital that people use the transportation systems we set up. . . . It’s vital because it will help open up the transportation flow,” said Jenny Diersen, who is City Hall’s special events and economic development program manager and a key figure in the municipal government’s Sundance efforts.
There are also privately held garages and lots in the Old Town core. Prices are set by the operators and generally run significantly higher during Sundance than is typical. City Hall says the costs in the privately held locations can run as expensive as $100 for a day.
Parking on neighborhood streets surrounding Main Street, meanwhile, is regulated by a resident-only pass system. City Hall has increased enforcement of the pass system. Officials also do not want commercial traffic to use neighborhood streets in Old Town. Parking on Main Street itself is restricted during Sundance with allowances for emergency vehicles.
City Hall plans to begin the Main Street parking restrictions at 6 a.m. on Tuesday on the west side of the street. The parking on the east side of Main Street will be restricted starting at 6 a.m. on Thursday. Parking along Main Street is expected to reopen by midday on Jan. 28.
Other parking restrictions are planned just off Main Street. The Swede Alley spots will be closed between Sunday and Jan. 29 for Sundance’s own festival operations while the Brew Pub lot will be closed from Jan. 17 until Jan. 29 for municipal operations.
The community guide is available at: http://parkcity.org/home/showdocument?id=48708. Information about traffic during Sundance is also available through text messages by texting FILMFEST to 888777.
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Park City leaders could adopt a resolution regarding the future of S.R. 248 that maintains a concept for a redo of the entryway does not jibe with community wishes.