Park City’s controversial drop-and-load zones remain suspended indefinitely
Park City officials suspended the controversial drop-and-load parking program in the Main Street core amid the steep decline in business as the novel coronavirus spread, and City Hall said this week there is no timeline for further talks about whether it will return.
The drop-and-load zones debuted in late 2019, as the holidays approached, and were designed to reduce the amount of congestion and improve safety. A vehicle needed to have a City Hall-issued permit to use a drop-and-load zone, which allowed a driver to briefly stop to pick someone up or drop them off. The permits were available to anyone, but the transportation and lodging industries appeared to be the heaviest users.
Jonathan Weidenhamer, who manages City Hall’s economic development programs, said the program has been suspended indefinitely. There is not a timeline for additional talks about the zones, he said, indicating other issues in the Main Street core, such as the paid-parking system, are expected to be addressed prior to the future of the drop-and-load zones.
The drop-and-load zones drew attention at their launch as numerous violations were logged with heavy enforcement. Some vehicles without the proper permit were towed from the zones in clear view of the Main Street crowds.
The Historic Park City Alliance, the group that represents the interests of businesses along Main Street or just off the street, briefly addressed the drop-and-load zones in its plan for emerging from the decline spurred by the pandemic. The group calls for the elimination of the use of the drop-and-load zones in what it labels the recovery phase, the final of three phases outlined in the plan.
There will be broad discussions about the economic recovery in coming months, with some of the talks focused on Main Street. Any talks about drop-and-load zones would likely be held in conjunction with other matters related to transportation and parking in the Main Street core.
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The Park City police responded to a series of accidents involving drivers and wildlife, indicating at least one of the animals was killed during a collision.