Sundance antagonist returns: parking problems widespread
A regular Sundance Film Festival antagonist has returned to the streets of Park City.
Parked cars quickly became problematic during the opening days of the festival, Park City Police Department logs showed, as a crush of vehicles arrived for Sundance. The problems were widespread as people in disparate neighborhoods reported issues to the police.
The Police Department has regularly received complaints about parking during Sundance for years, but the cases in 2018 were reported at a time when Park City leaders want to reduce the impacts of special events like Sundance on the community.
Park City in 2018, as an example, has effectively forbidden non-local traffic on neighborhood streets in Old Town, posting signs noting that parking there is for people who hold resident-only permits and prohibiting thru traffic. The signs indicate there is a $145 fine and towing enforced.
Police Department logs from the opening days of Sundance detail numerous problems, and at some points there was a concentration of complaints with only sporadic other calls to the police.
Some of the especially problematic stretches included:
- on Sunday, Jan. 21, from 8:49 a.m. until 9:30 a.m., when at least 12 complaints were logged on streets like Sandridge Road, Main Street, Swede Alley and Little Kate Road.
- on Saturday, Jan. 20, from 4 p.m. until 4:23 p.m., when seven complaints were reported on Main Street and Swede Alley.
- on Jan. 20, between 1:12 p.m. and 2:47 p.m., when 11 cases were reported, including on Main Street, Comstock Drive and Rossie Hill Drive. Just earlier that day, between 11:33 a.m. and 1:09 p.m., 12 cases were reported, including problems on Rossie Hill Drive. The Police Department said three cars were reportedly blocking Rossie Hill Drive.
- on Friday, Jan. 19, over the course of just less than an hour ending at 7:42 p.m., six issues were reported on streets like Park Avenue and Poison Creek Lane. Earlier that day, over an approximately two-hour stretch ending at 5:25 p.m., 12 problems were logged on streets like Little Kate Road and Main Street. Another busy stretch that day, from 11:28 a.m. until 12:55 p.m., involved 20 reports on streets like Sidewinder Drive.
Phil Kirk, a Police Department captain, said the agency stepped up enforcement of parking issues during Sundance this year, resulting in a large number of cases. He said officers on foot patrols along Main Street are working 10-hour shifts addressing parking and other problems. Kirk said the officers on foot patrols observe upward of 50 issues each day with approximately half of them necessitating formal police action.
“That’s the first time we’ve done this, to my knowledge,” Kirk said about the foot patrols.
Kirk said a majority of the people seen violating parking rules receive warnings unless a vehicle creates some sort of safety hazard.
“Before they’re causing serious issues, we’re addressing them,” he said.
City Hall and festival organizers have long discouraged Sundance-goers from driving into Old Town, cautioning them that parking is prohibited on neighborhood streets and parking in the Main Street core is expensive and heavily restricted.
The parking issues continued on Monday. During one shift on Monday, most of the issues related to parking and traffic, the Police Department said in an online posting.
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The Park City Council primary election is slated for Aug. 13, but the ballots in the vote-by-mail contest were scheduled to be sent on Tuesday. The Summit County Clerk’s Office anticipates the ballots will arrive in mailboxes and post-office boxes on Friday or Saturday.