Park City deals with another parking crush
Park City officials last week dealt with a crush of parking issues as crowds of skiing and snowboarding fans crammed into the city to watch major competitions, another week of difficulties following problems during the Sundance Film Festival and, earlier, a big snowstorm.
The parking issues have essentially stretched from late December to early February and impacted numerous neighborhoods and commercial districts inside Park City. The time period is usually one of the busiest in Park City each year, but the parking issues have appeared to be more pronounced.
The Park City Police Department logged numerous reports of parking problems last week. They were spread through disparate parts of the city, but many of them were in the vicinity of Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort. PCMR hosted Grand Prix events in skiing and snowboarding while freestyle skiers descended on Deer Valley for a World Cup competition.
"There were a lot of spectators that showed up to both events," Phil Kirk, a police captain, said. "It was quite a challenge, I’d say, for us."
Kirk said the problems were worst on Friday and Saturday. Kirk said the parking lots at PCMR and Deer Valley filled early in the day. That pushed drivers out of the lots searching for places to park. He said good ski conditions attracted people in addition to the events.
Police Department logs illustrated the issues, particularly on Saturday, and showed that problems extended to places well outside the resort areas. On Saturday morning, the police received complaints that a vehicle was parked in front of a fire hydrant and close to an intersection along the 1300 block of Woodside Avenue. At about the same time, two blocks north on Woodside Avenue, parked vehicles were reported to be blocking drivers’ views since they were left too close to an intersection.
Later that day, the police received complaints that a vehicle was parked in the wrong direction in the vicinity of the intersection of Woodside Avenue and 12th Street. It also was parked close to the intersection, obstructing the view of drivers, the police said. Other issues included a car reported to be parked in front of a fire hydrant on Crescent Road. There was a series of issues along Lowell Avenue as well.
On Deer Valley Drive, meanwhile, one of the reports involved a vehicle driving in the wrong direction. The police indicated the person was in a hurry to park and was pulled over. Another problem was reported at or close to the intersection of Deer Valley Drive and Royal Street, where a vehicle was left in a place obstructing traffic, the police said.
Kirk said the Police Department issued upward of 20 parking tickets on roads in the vicinity of PCMR and Deer Valley Resort. He said approximately six vehicles were towed.
"If they went to the resort . . . they would find the lots were already full," Kirk said, explaining that the situation pushed drivers farther afield to find a parking spot on the street.
The Police Department was aware of the possibility of heavy traffic and parking issues and prepared for the crowds, Kirk said. He said electronic message boards were posted encouraging drivers to park at Park City High School and take shuttles. He said the school’s parking lot was approximately three-quarters full on Saturday. The city also posted barricades on sections of Deer Valley Drive, Empire Avenue and Lowell Avenue prior to the events, Kirk said.
"Some people just were inconsiderate, parked illegally," he said.
A PCMR spokesperson indicated there have not been parking issues during the ski season and there has been coordination with City Hall and Summit County officials. The Park Record was unable to immediately contact a Deer Valley spokesperson.
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Hotel occupancy in the Park City area during Sundance is projected to drop dramatically from a typical year as organizers shift the event online.