Sundance antagonist returns: Parked cars drive many to call cops |

Sundance antagonist returns: Parked cars drive many to call cops

Parking barricades that were used during the Sundance Film Festival are seen stacked outside the Public Works Building on Monday, the day after the festival ended. The barricades had been deployed in numerous places in Park City, especially in the Main Street core. The Park City Police Department received numerous parking complaints during Sundance despite parking and transportation plans crafted by City Hall and festival organizers.
Jay Hamburger/Park Record

There was a familiar antagonist in Park City during the Sundance Film Festival: parked cars.

City Hall and Sundance organizers each year attempt to craft a parking and transportation plan designed to reduce traffic and other impacts, but there are annual complaints about parking nonetheless. The municipal government tightly restricts parking in the Main Street core during Sundance, and residential-zone parking rules remain in effect in Old Town during the festival, but there were numerous reports of parking problems during the 11 days of Sundance.

The municipal government early in the week declined to discuss the parking situation during Sundance, indicating a debriefing of the event operations is planned later. City Hall staffers next week plan to outline the debriefing process in a written submittal to Mayor Andy Beerman and the Park City Council. The debrief itself is expected in late March or early April, City Hall said. It is an annual look at the festival operations that provides a chance for Park City officials and Sundance leaders to consider alterations for the next year.

The Park City Police Department received numerous complaints about parking problems throughout the festival. Police Department logs showed some of the cases were concentrated at certain times, but at other points the complaints stretched for hours. The Police Department on Jan. 28 received more than 60 reports of parking issues on streets that included Main Street, Woodside Avenue and Sidewinder Drive. The police the next day logged approximately 40 complaints, including on Gold Dust Lane and Lucky John Drive. The Jan. 30 police logs show more than 30 reports while the Jan. 31 logs showed more than 50 complaints.

The police were told cars were parked too close to crosswalks, they blocked driveways and, in several cases, cars were parked in other people’s driveways. There were also parking problems along Main Street, where there were heavy restrictions during Sundance, and at least one case at Park City High School. The Police Department in many cases issues warnings instead of tickets, but a breakdown of the ratio was not available.

Some of the cases included:

• on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 4:52 p.m., a police officer issued a warning after a parked car was found on Sidewinder Drive blocking a mailbox and within five feet of a driveway.

• on Feb. 2 at 12:36 p.m., when a vehicle was parked in a location on Comstock Drive where it blocked part of a driveway. Two cars could not pass each other, the police were told.

• on Thursday, Jan. 31 at 1:21 p.m., when a vehicle was parked in a driveway on the 500 block of Park Avenue. There was apparently a note left indicating the people had arrived for a check-in. The person told the police he did not know the people and needed the car moved out of the driveway.

• on Monday, Jan. 28 at 9:18 p.m., when someone called the Police Department inquiring whether neighbors can “really have her car towed for parking there.” The case was reported on Woodside Avenue. Public police logs did not provide details.

Parking problems have long been pervasive during Sundance as large crowds descend on the Main Street core, particularly over the jammed opening weekend. Parking on neighborhood streets surrounding Old Town is restricted to residents, while City Hall’s operational plan for Sundance restricts parking on Main Street and involves premium prices in public lots and garages close to Main Street. The restrictions and premium prices are designed to discourage festival-goers from driving to the Main Street core by nudging them to outlying lots and the bus system.

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