Park City tinkers with parking rates during big events
Park City is not joking when it sets parking rates for the Park Silly Sunday Market.
And parking prices during the Savor the Summit dining event on Main Street might not be as delectable as the meals.
City Hall this year plans to introduce China Bridge garage parking charges for one Main Street event and restructure the pricing for several others, moves that are meant to discourage people from driving into the packed Old Town core on what are usually busy days anyway. Officials have long sought to reduce the impact of Park City’s busy calendar of special events on Old Town, but the efforts have seemed more aggressive in recent years as worries increased.
Parking rates planned in 2018, according to a City Hall report drafted in anticipation of a Park City Council meeting held on Thursday, include:
• Park Silly Sunday Market, which takes place in the summer and early fall, priced at $5 per hour between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The pricing structure is redone from 2017, when the cost was $20 per entry. The report indicates all the parking stalls were occupied in 2017.
• Savor the Summit, priced at $5 per hour between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The report says the parking charge will be new for Savor the Summit, explaining there are other events planned that day as well.
• The Saturday and Sunday of the Park City Kimball Arts Festival, priced at $5 per hour. The rate was historically $20 per China Bridge entry, and City Hall says 95 percent of the parking spots in China Bridge were occupied in 2017.
• Halloween festivities, priced at $20 per China Bridge entry between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. The report explains a rate of $10 per entry was piloted in 2017. All the spots were filled, leading to problems with queuing vehicles, the report says.
There will be an $18 maximum per day during the Silly Market, Savor the Summit and the Saturday and Sunday of the arts festival.
Parking prices for three other major events — the Tour of Utah bicycling race, the Independence Day festivities and Miners Day — will remain as they have been. The Tour of Utah and Independence Day will carry $20 prices per entry while Miners Day is set at $10 per entry.
The City Hall report, drafted by Jenny Diersen, who is the special events and economic development program manager, and parking and fleet manager Kenzie Coulson, says the overall plans are meant to lessen problems during events and encourage people to travel to them on buses instead of private vehicles.
“At the core of event mitigation staff is committed to ensuring smooth street operations, to reducing residential impacts and to promoting park and ride transit options,” the report says.
Coulson said in an interview the hourly parking rates will encourage some to attend an event who prefer that sort of structure over one with a higher flat rate. She also said City Hall could revise the parking rates for the Silly Market if there are issues since the event stretches for several months.
The changes also were crafted in the months after City Hall introduced a revamped and expanded paid-parking system in the Old Town core. The staffers say the paid-parking system was a “key consideration” in the plans.
“The hourly rate model (Silly Market, Savor the Summit, Kimball Arts Festival) allows full utilization of gates and meters,” the report says, adding that data and information about trends can be collected as well.
The changes to the paid-parking system are especially meant to discourage Main Street workers from parking in prime locations, leaving those spots for paying customers. The revamped and expanded system from the outset also was seen as playing a role in the parking plans for special events.
Park City leaders have spent time in recent years addressing the impacts of the special events. There are concerns in Old Town and other neighborhoods about increased traffic, parking and noise. Some prefer stretches of peacefulness over the events.
Anita Lewis, Brent Ovard and Travis English were influential in shaping how residents interact with the county.