Park City, jammed, forced into temporary one-way Main Street traffic
The crowds in Park City last weekend overwhelmed the parking infrastructure, resulting in a series of reports to the Park City Police Department as people complained about parked vehicles in other people’s driveways and in locations in the Main Street core where parking is prohibited.
The Main Street core appeared to be especially busy last weekend as crowds of skiers and St. Patrick’s Day revelers converged on Park City. There were repeated traffic backups on Main Street, and parking appeared to be tight at several times over the weekend.
The issues become serious enough on Sunday evening for the Police Department to temporarily institute a one-way restriction toward the southern end of Main Street in an effort to ensure two cars could pass each other side by side. The restriction, a rare move for the police, was in place from 7:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Sunday, which was St. Patrick’s Day. The police allowed one-way southbound traffic, which is the uphill direction, between the Swede Alley and 4th Street intersections. The Police Department said the traffic backup stretched north of 5th Street by the time the restriction started.
“There wasn’t enough room with cars parked on both sides,” Phil Kirk, a Police Department captain, said.
He added some curbs on Main Street are not painted red to designate a restriction on parking. Parking barricades were posted on the 200 block of Main Street on Sunday as the traffic and parking situation deteriorated. The barricades remained midday on Monday.
Some of the cases reported to the Police Department included:
• on Sunday, March 17 at 2:22 p.m., the police received a report of cars parked in locations on Main Street where parking is prohibited. The police were told the parked cars narrowed the road into one lane and 15 cars were backed up as they attempted to move past the parked cars.
• on March 17 at 1:31 p.m., the police received a complaint about parking in the Main Street core. The police were told a vehicle was stuck between other vehicles and the snow, apparently after parallel parking. The driver would hit another car “if she moves an inch,” according to public police logs.
• on March 17 at 10:49 a.m., a vehicle was reported to be parked in someone’s driveway on Daly Avenue.
• on March 17 between 12:24 a.m. and 1:02 a.m., eight complaints about parking were reported on Main Street. Public police logs did not provide details, but there was a series of parking problems reported earlier in the night as well.
• on Saturday, March 16 at 1:26 p.m., a vehicle was reported to be parked in front of a garage on Main Street at 1:26 p.m.
• on Friday, March 15 at 6:16 p.m., a vehicle was reported to be parked in a driveway on Daly Avenue.
• on Wednesday, March 13 at 4:36 p.m., the police received a complaint that a vehicle was parked outside the Main Street post office as the person or people inside went to a restaurant rather than the post office. It was not clear from public police logs whether the vehicle was on the Main Street side of the post office or in the parking on the north side of the building. The spots outside of the post office are heavily restricted to ensure access to the building.
Parking in the Main Street core and on the residential streets surrounding Main Street has long been difficult as traffic pours into Old Town. City Hall has broadened the paid-parking system in the Main Street core in an attempt to discourage traffic and parking on nearby neighborhood streets is restricted to residents holding the proper permits.
The large crowds coupled with heavy snowfall has created parking challenges that have seemed more pronounced during the 2018-2019 ski season than recent ones.
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The planning committee and the newly formed task forces will continue to work on the master planning priorities and will present to the Board of Education at its meeting Dec. 17.