Park City probes another vandalism case targeting paid parking
Someone purposely damaged a parking gate arm on Sunday at the China Bridge garage, the Park City Police Department said, the first such case since a series of acts of vandalism targeting the paid-parking infrastructure during the winter.
The Police Department said an officer noticed the damaged arm while on a regular patrol. The arm is located on the south side of the garage. Phil Kirk, a police captain, said the damage occurred sometime between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m.
Information about a suspect was not immediately available. Kirk said the Police Department plans to review surveillance tapes. Surveillance cameras were installed after the launch of a revamped paid parking system in December. The vandalism started just after the debut of the system.
Kirk said the case on Sunday was the first vandalism incident involving a gate arm in approximately three months.
The revamped paid parking system returned parking charges to Swede Alley for the first time in years. Park City officials opted to expand the system in an effort to ensure there are parking spaces available for Main Street customers. The officials said Main Street workers occupied an outsized number of spots that otherwise could be used by patrons of downtown businesses.
Main Street employees have expressed displeasure with the system, contending that paying to park on Swede Alley cuts into their budget. They also say free parking options like those on the edge of the Main Street core or the Homestake park-and-ride lot, about a mile and a half away along the Kearns Boulevard corridor, are not as convenient.
The Police Department has said each of the vandalism cases involves approximately $1,000 in damage to the gate arms. At the height of the vandalism last winter, City Hall indicated an average of one gate arm was broken each day. Officials at the time said the vandalism leads to lost revenue and the possible loss of user data collected as part of the system in addition to the damage itself.
In some of the earlier cases, people were seen on camera walking by a gate and then purposely breaking the arm while in other cases someone drove through a gate normally, parked, walked to a gate arm and broke the arm, a City Hall consultant has said.
Anybody with information about the vandalism may contact the Police Department at 615-5500.
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