Provo developer offers information about plans for paid parking at PCMR project
System would reduce traffic headed to the slopes, firm contends, but pricing details unknown
The Provo developer pursuing a major project at the Park City Mountain Resort base area intends to incorporate a paid-parking system as a key measure in the efforts to reduce the amount of traffic the new lodging and commercial spaces would generate, a concept that has largely been in the background in the discussions but one that could be addressed this week.
PEG Companies and the Park City Planning Commission are scheduled to discuss issues related to parking at a meeting on Wednesday. The concept of introducing a paid-parking system is one of the topics that may be raised, but it is not clear how detailed of a discussion could be held about that aspect of the overall plans.
Most of the parking at the PCMR base area has been free for decades. The introduction of a paid-parking system would be designed to cut traffic by discouraging people to drive to the base area in private vehicles. A shift from the traditional free parking to a paid-parking system, though, would almost certainly incense many in the community who have for years driven themselves to the resort and parked for free.
PEG Companies at the outset of the discussions more than a year ago indicated a paid-parking system would be included in the overall design of the project, but the concept has not been heavily discussed at Planning Commission meetings as the panel dealt with other issues. The idea of a paid-parking system has the potential of drawing interest from PCMR skiers and snowboarders who have otherwise not closely followed the discussions about the project.
In a prepared statement in response to a Park Record inquiry, Robert Schmidt, the president of PEG Development, explained the concept of paid parking as a key traffic-fighting measure.
“Following considerable input to align with the City’s parking management plans, we are proposing to introduce paid parking as the primary tool to reduce private vehicle trips to the site — that is the number one goal — getting people out of their cars and utilizing public transit or shuttles or even bikes,” Schmidt said.
PEG Companies said 1,200 parking spots included in the plans would be managed as paid parking.
“Very similar to any public parking garage or lot, anyone from the public willing to pay for day use can park in one of the 1,200 spots,” he said.
Schmidt, meanwhile, did not detail prices that are under consideration. He said PEG Companies has agreed “to establish the price of parking at a level to deter use of private vehicles and encourage use of public transit or shuttles.”
The statement noted the developer has proposed upward of 20 spots for additional short-term parking for drivers dropping people off and said “all parking spaces within the publicly available stalls will be 15-minutes free to accommodate those who may be dropping someone off.” Schmidt also said the plans include housing for the workforce, something that reduces traffic since employees in those units would not need to commute.
“We anticipate the reduction of the number of cars accessing the site by 20 percent — a goal the city and community have asked us to meet in the Transit First collaboration,” he said.
A City Hall report drafted in anticipation of the meeting on Wednesday mentions paid parking several times and, importantly, said “the City is supportive of paid parking as one way to decrease the number of passenger vehicles headed to and from the resort,” if a system is implemented in conjunction with other traffic-fighting steps like a “robust transit system.”
The City Hall report also said an analysis of the plans “appears to show that the resort is expected to have sufficient parking on most days under a paid parking model.”
PEG Companies earlier reached an agreement with PCMR owner Vail Resorts to acquire the parking lots for the development. The transaction is not expected to close until after a Planning Commission decision. There are development rights attached to the land dating to an overall approval secured by a previous owner of PCMR in the 1990s.
The PEG Companies proposal involves residences and commercial square footage. Large garages would be built to replace the parking lost as the lots are developed. The Planning Commission discussions have been difficult as panelists and the opposition have raised questions about a range of topics like the overall design and traffic.
The Planning Commission meeting is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday and will be held virtually as City Hall continues to hold online meetings in an effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. More information is available on the City Hall website, parkcity.org. The direct link is: parkcity.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/38077/15.
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