Parking problems pervasive during opening days of Sundance | ParkRecord.com

Parking problems pervasive during opening days of Sundance

Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

Parking spots in Park City are, as many Sundance Film Festival veterans understand, at a premium during the festival.

Many people apparently attempted to make their own spots during the opening days of the festival. The Park City Police Department reported a string of cases involving parking problems between the start of Sundance on Thursday and the close of the especially busy first weekend on Sunday.

The Police Department in recent weeks has dealt with numerous parking problems as a result of heavy snowfall in late December that left streets narrowed by piles of snow as holiday crowds arrived.

But the Sundance crowds, typically some of the largest of the year, attempted to carve out parking spots in places that were problematic, the Police Department says. There are parking problems annually during Sundance, but the snow still left from the December storms apparently made the situation even worse.

"We certainly had a fair share of them," said Phil Kirk, a Police Department captain who oversees the department’s operations.

Some of the issues since the start of Sundance have included drivers parking on Main Street, which has been turned into a drop-off and delivery zone, people leaving vehicles well off the curb and drivers parking too close to driveways. The driveway issue has been especially widespread along Park Avenue, Kirk said. There have also been issues involving drivers parking on Old Town streets where residential permits are required, he said.

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The problems have been "aggravated with all the snow buildup," Kirk said. He added that snow-removal efforts continued as the festival opened.

Police Department logs from the opening weekend of Sundance illustrated the breadth of the parking problems. The reports were logged on numerous streets in Park City. There was a concentration in Old Town, but the problems stretched well off the Main Street core.

The reports included several heavy stretches. In a little more than two hours on Sunday, starting at 8:03 a.m., 13 parking problems were reported on streets like Iron Horse Drive, Park Avenue and Three Kings Drive. Eleven parking problems were reported from late morning until midafternoon on Sunday on streets like Park Avenue and Woodside Avenue.

During one period on Saturday, meanwhile, there were six problems reported in 21 minutes starting at 1:56 p.m. The cases were logged on Deer Valley Drive, and Woodside Avenue. Four problems were reported on Swede Alley over the course of 36 minutes on Jan. 21, the first day of Sundance.

Kirk said "very few" of the problem vehicles were towed. In many of the other cases the police found the vehicle owner. Kirk said the Police Department issued approximately 12 tickets and another 36 warnings.

The parking situation in Park City during Sundance is tighter than at any other point in the year. Many public spots in the Main Street core that are normally available are either barricaded or are turned into paid spots. Privately held garages or lots on or close to Main Street charge premium prices during Sundance.