Park City drop-and-load violations logged, Uber and Lyft problematic
There are numerous drivers without the required permits dropping into Park City’s newly created drop-and-load zones.
The Park City Police Department reported a string of cases involving vehicles in the drop-and-load zones lacking the permits since the zones debuted in the Main Street core just before the holidays. The Police Department logs show cases in a variety of locations along Main Street. In some of the incidents, drivers holding the permits apparently complained about those without permits while in other instances it appears the police initiated contact with a violator.
The police on Dec. 26 indicated three citations were issued to people who were parked in a drop-and-load zone without the permit while three tickets were issued to drivers for double parking, which led to a traffic obstruction, the police said in an online posting. The police on Christmas said there were seven issues in the drop-and-load zones, which resulted in warnings, and another three incidents of double parking. The cases on Christmas included several instances of vehicles left unattended in a drop-and-load zone, the police said. On Dec. 24, meanwhile, the police reported seven traffic stops regarding the drop-and-load zones and six parking issues at the locations. The Dec. 24 cases involved warnings to the violators, the police said.
Rob McKinney, a Police Department sergeant who supervises the officer assigned to enforce the drop-and-load zones, said locally based transportation firms have generally secured the permits needed and are using the zones. He said many rideshare drivers for Uber and Lyft are not aware of the requirements to use a drop-and-load zone, though. He also said the rideshare drivers are opting to drop off customers in the middle of Main Street, creating traffic issues.
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“Uber and Lyft have been the biggest problems. It’s educational for everybody, though,” McKinney said.
He said the majority of the drivers who have been pulled over for violating the drop-and-load zone rules have generally received warnings rather than tickets. He said egregious offenses, such as when a driver leaves an unoccupied vehicle in the middle of the road, have resulted in tickets.
The municipal government installed numerous signs along Main Street designating the drop-and-load zones in an effort to discourage drivers without the permits from pulling into the spots. City Hall earlier posted workers at each of the zones to stop drivers without the permits.
The Park City Council in November created the series of drop-and-load zones in an effort to reduce the amount of congestion and improve the safety of the Main Street core. The permits cost $200 annually. The drop-and-load zones are seen as especially benefiting traditional transportation firms and the lodging industry since they are likely better able to absorb the cost of the permits compared to drivers for ridesharing firms. It is a pilot program.
The drop-and-load zones require a permit after 5 p.m., and vehicles must be actively dropping people off or picking them up in the zones. Prior to 5 p.m., the drop-and-load zones are available to anyone for 15-minute parking.
Jonathan Weidenhamer, the manager of City Hall’s economic development programs and a staffer who was heavily involved in the discussions about the drop-and-load zones, said there will be people posted on Fridays and Saturdays at nearly every drop-and-load zone, and there will be several people monitoring the zones at night for an undetermined period, likely through Presidents Day weekend.
“They don’t know. They don’t see the signs. There’s too much going on,” Weidenhamer said as he described some of the reasons behind the violations.
Weidenhamer said City Hall has received complaints from several Park City residents attempting to get their mail at the Main Street post office, one of the locations of a drop-and-load zone. He said the drop-and-load zones outside the post office, Flanagan’s on Main and the Brew Pub lot have been heavily used. He said the various parties — drivers, visitors, enforcement staffers and City Hall staffers — are adjusting.
“I think it’s made a difference,” Weidenhamer said.
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Park City leaders on Thursday released a two-page statement addressing the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and describing that “bias and systemic racism exists in our community.”