Transit touted as best way to get around Summit County during Sundance Film Festival
It’s no surprise to locals and veteran Sundance Film Festival attendees that traffic can become a nightmare during the 11-day event, particularly in the two entry corridors into Park City.
Officials often tout Park City’s free public transportation system as the best way to get around town during the film festival to avoid the headaches of driving congested roads and trying to find a place to park near the venues. Traffic is oftentimes at its worst during the film festival as Park City is packed with attendees and tourists trying to navigate jam-packed streets. City Hall heavily restricts parking within city limits and traffic during the festival.
Caroline Rodriguez, Summit County’s transportation planning director, encouraged festival attendees to take advantage of the transit system by parking at one of the two remote parking lots in the county.
Bus service will be available from the Richardson Flat lot along S.R. 248 and the new Ecker Hill lot on Kilby Road. Both lots will operate as free park-and-ride locations where drivers can catch a bus to either the Kimball Junction transit Center or into Park City. The county also created a free parking lot with 38 spaces in Kimball Junction south of the Sheldon Richins Building, adjacent to the transit center.
“Congestion is exacerbated during these times by tourists and transportation network companies that don’t know where they are going,” she said. “They are often trying to navigate unfamiliar and snow-covered terrain.”
City Hall heavily restricts parking along the Main Street core during the festival and fees in the China Bridge garage have significantly increased in the last two years during the film festival.
“Anecdotally, it seems that people are considering the trade-off between paid parking and the ease of transit,” Rodriguez said. “But, I have no data other than overall increased ridership to support that.”
The Electric Xpress bus route and Summit County’s circulator through the Kimball Junction area will both continue to operate as normal during the festival. The Electric Xpress runs 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 Village at Park City Mountain Resort, Fresh Market and the Old Town transit center.
Rodriguez said the circulator will be included on Park City’s Transit mobile app this year, which she suspects will be helpful. The Metropolitan Redstone 8 Cinemas in Kimball Junction and Temple Har Shalom along S.R. 224 host several Sundance screenings.
Sundance Institute is once again offering shuttle services between theaters for screenings, with several routes available. The shuttle will be allowed to stop at city and county bus shelters. But, no additional transit routes are scheduled to be offered.
“During Sundance and other big events, locals have adopted transit,” she said. “They generally don’t even attempt to drive and park and we appreciate that. I would seriously suggest using the park-and-rides and then using the Lime or express routes to get into town. I don’t suggest driving or trying to park anywhere.”
The Sundance Film Festival begins on Thursday, Jan. 24, and continues through Saturday, Feb. 2.
For more information about the festival shuttle, go to http://www.sundance.org/festivals/sundance-film-festival/attend.
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