Park City Halloween: Nothing scarier than a traffic jam
It will be a treat rather than a trick to take bus, City Hall says
October 30, 2017
There may be nothing scarier on Halloween than a traffic jam in Park City.
There is a trick to getting to the festivities as well as a treat awaiting people who head to Main Street on Tuesday.
City Hall has readied a plan for the Halloween festivities along Main Street, a popular place for families with youngsters or others to celebrate. A parade of costumed dogs, trick-or-treating and other Halloween fun is centered on the shopping, dining and entertainment strip, drawing large crowds each year.
The municipal government has designed a transit and parking plan for Tuesday meant to encourage people to take buses to Main Street rather than driving in personal vehicles. There has been increasing concern in recent years about the impact of Main Street special events on surrounding Old Town.
The Halloween festivities, dubbed Howl-O-Ween in honor of the popular parade of dogs, are scheduled to start at 3 p.m. with trick-or-treating on Main Street. The dog parade is slated to begin at 5 p.m. on lower Main Street.
City Hall intends to close Main Street to traffic and parking at 2 p.m. and reopen the street by 7 p.m. Swede Alley, meanwhile, will be turned into a one-way road northbound between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Park City will charge $10 to park in the China Bridge garage between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Drivers must enter the garage from Marsac Avenue with exits available on Marsac Avenue and northbound Swede Alley.
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Park City officials encourage drivers to park at Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort and Park City High School, which will each offer free parking. People who park there may walk or take a City Hall bus to Main Street. Officials plan a Deer Valley Drive bus lane to ensure the buses reach the Old Town transit center quickly. Dogs that are service animals or transported in a certified carrier are allowed on the buses.
Buses will also head to Main Street from a park-and-ride lot at Jeremy Ranch, the transit center at Kimball Junction and the lot at the base of Canyons Village.
City Hall provides event information via text message by texting PCEVENTS to 888777.
The Park City Historical Society planned Howl-O-Ween. Colleen McGinn, who organized the event on behalf of the Historical Society, said the event in 2016 involved a parade with upward of 150 dogs.
"People don't mess around," McGinn said. "They want to make sure that their costumes are top-notch… We want to make sure that we have a good showing."
The Halloween celebration on Main Street is a locally flavored gathering that officials support even as there have been concerns about the community impact of Park City's busy calendar of special events. There are worries about the traffic, parking overflows onto neighborhood streets in Old Town and noise. Others, though, contend the events provide a boost to the Park City economy, particularly during the shoulder seasons.
The Park City Police Department, meanwhile, anticipates it will have a heavy presence on Halloween. The department said it will put more officers on traffic patrols in an effort to combat drunken driving. Officers will also be assigned to traffic control and the Halloween festivities on Main Street itself. The Police Department typically is busy on Halloween with numerous reports of partying, drunkenness, noise and parking issues.
The Police Department published a set of safety tips for Halloween for drivers and trick-or-treater, encouraging people behind the wheel not to speed, telling them not to use a phone while driving and asking them not to pass vehicles that are stopped since there could be children nearby. The department also suggests parents make sure kids wear clothes that are brightly colored or reflective. Tape that is reflective may also be used, the police say. The department also mentions makeup is preferred over masks since masks can obstruct someone's view.
James Hoyt contributed to this article.