Park City plans a Sundance world premiere along S.R. 248 |

Park City plans a Sundance world premiere along S.R. 248

There will be bus service to large satellite parking lot for the first time

Park City is readying a premiere of its own amid all the first showings in the world of Sundance Film Festival movies.

City Hall will offer bus service to a large satellite parking lot along the S.R. 248 entryway, the first time the facility will operate as true a park-and-ride lot with the transit system shuttling people to and from the location.

The lot, at Richardson Flat close to Quinn’s Junction, is seen as someday being a critical component to the transportation system, but there has been only limited use thus far. The bus service during Sundance will be a significant step as officials consider long-term possibilities.

The park-and-ride operation is planned from 7 a.m. until 3 a.m. daily from Friday until Monday. The period covers what is typically the busiest stretch of Sundance, including the jammed opening weekend. Buses will serve the park-and-ride lot every 10 minutes from 7 a.m. until midnight and every 20 minutes after midnight. Parking at Richardson Flat and the buses are free.

The buses will run from the satellite lot to a stop outside the Eccles Center, a straight route on S.R. 248, which is signed Kearns Boulevard inside Park City. Once someone is outside the Eccles Center they can access the rest of the bus system from a nearby stop on Kearns Boulevard or they can board the Sundance shuttle, which stops at theaters and other important festival locations.

The lot will be open on a 24-hour basis from Friday until Monday. Someone would need to use private transportation to drive to the lot past 3 a.m., though. The last bus that would connect with the route to the satellite lot departs at 2:30 a.m. from the Old Town transit center, according to City Hall.

“It is an asset we have and it is underutilized,” said Alfred Knotts, the transportation planning manager for the municipal government.

He said the target market is festival-goers and employees who work in Park City.

Knotts said the bus route to the parking lot is considered a pilot program. City Hall staffers intend to gather data during Sundance.

The parking lot, with space for 750 vehicles, has been used sparingly. Construction workers have been allowed to park there and, in 2016, Park City opened the lot to people headed to Sundance. There was no bus service during the festival in 2016, though. People would park there and then carpool to their destination.

The lot will revert to a similar carpool operation without bus service from Jan. 24 until Jan. 29 as well as on Thursday, the opening day of the festival.

The bus service to the parking lot was one of the late decisions by City Hall as officials prepared for Sundance. In December, just weeks before the festival, the municipal government had indicated the lot at Richardson Flat would be available for carpool parking like it was in 2016. Officials at that time said there would not be bus service to the lot.

Park City and Sundance organizers have long attempted to craft plans meant to reduce traffic that has become legendary over the years of community and festival growth. The combination of the regular bus routes and the Sundance routes is one of the major steps, but other measures like increased parking prices in some public lots have also been adopted in an effort to discourage drivers.

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