County hopes parking lot in Kimball Junction encourages transit use during Sundance
As Sundance Film Festival movie-goers consider ways to avoid traffic over the next 10 days, Caroline Rodriguez, Summit County’s transportation planning director, is hoping the public uses the free parking in the Kimball Junction area before taking the Electric Express buses into town.
“The parking lot at Sheldon Richins is our biggest contribution,” she said. “People have said they would ride the Express to the festival, but there is nowhere to park. Now there is.”
Summit County’s Public Works Department paved the open space south of the Sheldon Richins Building and adjacent to the transit center in November to create 38 new parking spaces for commuters.
This year, the county is taking less of an active role in addressing the festival’s impact on traffic in the Basin, particularly in Kimball Junction, where several screenings are held. In addition to screenings at Redstone, Temple Har Shalom along S.R. 224 will also host several Sundance screenings.
Sundance Institute is once again offering shuttle services between theaters for screenings. But, no additional transit routes are scheduled to be offered.
The county does not restrict parking in Kimball Junction. But, Rodriguez said she doesn’t condone parking in private lots. She added, “There are no restrictions at the Sheldon Richins Building for late-night parking.”
The Electric Express will continue to operate as normal during the festival, with buses running every 10 minutes between the Kimball Junction Transit Center and Old Town. The service is offered seven days a week between 7 a.m. and midnight. Stops are scheduled along S.R. 224 at Canyons Transit Center at Park City Mountain Resort, Fresh Market and the Old Town Transit Center.
While Newpark Resort and Hotel has in the past offered 25 spaces on the south side of the resort parking lot for taxi, Uber and Lyft drivers, it will not be using the area again this year.
“Newpark had provided the free staging area with a restroom and trash cans, but it wasn’t utilized and those drivers were driving around so we are not going to do it this year,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said she anticipates Kimball Junction will be more crowded this year than in the past because of Park City’s new paid-parking system.
“I’m guessing people are going to notice it’s harder to drive in the Junction because those who are not wanting to park in town will be looking for free spaces and then riding transit in,” she said. “Luckily, there will be some spaces available so that is an option.”
Rodriguez encouraged festival attendees to download Park City Transit’s application and sign up for text alerts.
The Sundance Film Festival begins on Thursday and continues through Sunday, Jan. 28.
For more information about the festival shuttle, go to http://www.sundance.org/festivals/sundance-film-festival/attend.
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The Coalville native doesn’t see any major roadblocks for this year’s fair, though presenting in front of the County Council is a little nerve wracking.