Remote lot in the Snyderville Basin unofficial winner of Sundance
The remote parking lot on Kilby Road may have been the unofficial winner of the Sundance Film Festival, with hundreds of commuters taking advantage of the park-and-ride option during the 11-day event.
Summit County Manager Fisher estimated between 200 and 350 cars daily were parked at the 450-space lot across from Ecker Hill Middle School.
The lot was particularly well utilized during the opening weekend of the film festival. But, Fisher said usage did not dramatically decrease throughout the week, especially with the FIS World Championships beginning.
“There was a steady flow of people and cars all day,” Fisher said.
Leading up to the film festival, commuters had not yet taken to using the lot. County officials estimated that only about 20 to 50 cars were parked there on any given day. The lot is intended to catch traffic coming from Interstate 80 and the far western end of the county before reaching Kimball Junction. Bus service is available from the lot to the Kimball Junction transit center about every 10 minutes.
Additional signage was placed along Interstate 80 prior to the film festival to let commuters know the lot was available. The site is not accessible from Interstate 80. Commuters must use Kilby Road.
But, Fisher suspects the Sundance Institute’s efforts advertising the parking option is what really led to the significant increase in usage. He said FIS World Championship partners are doing the same thing.
“It is being heavily promoted on websites and as part of literature as a way to get people to use alternative modes of transportation and avoid the heavy traffic,” he said.
Caroline Rodriguez, Summit County’s regional transportation planning director, also credited advertising on social media for the lot’s draw. She said it reaffirms county officials’ understanding of the importance of social media and advertising.
“We know that our citizens have demonstrated during these events where there is heavy traffic that they are willing to use transit and it worked really well,” she said. “We just have to push it through social media to remind them it is there.”
Rodriguez suspects that people will continue to increasingly use the lot now that they know it is reliable. But, if something didn’t work during the film festival or world championships, she wants to know. She encouraged residents to take a survey about their transportation experience during the two events to let Park City and county officials know what worked and what didn’t. The survey can be found atsurveymonkey.com/r/PCMCTransportation.
Fisher said the past couple of weeks have shown that people are willing to use remote parking options, especially during larger events. He hopes that will continue for other heavy traffic days, such as on snow days, over the Fourth of July and during the Tour of Utah.
“We were keeping our fingers crossed leading up to it, and we were more than pleasantly surprised how it was being used,” he said.
Meredith Reed was elected to a two-year term as chair of the Summit County Democratic Party and said she sees an opportunity to ride the so-called blue wave that saw a Democratic surge nationally and within the state.