Sundance delivery: Transportation firm vehicles hog post office parking
Spotting a celebrity sometimes seems more common during the Sundance Film Festival than spotting a free, and available, parking spot in the Main Street core.
But drivers for transportation firms over the opening weekend of the festival discovered a few well-placed parking spots along Main Street even though, according to City Hall, the spaces are restricted.
Sport utility vehicles with transportation company markings were seen parked in stalls on 5th Street outside the Main Street post office. Those spots are free, but they are reserved for people using the post office. The United States Postal Service does not deliver mail to homes in Old Town. Many neighborhood residents drive to the post office to collect their mail, making the parking spots important to the everyday lives of Old Town residents.
At a little bit before 1 p.m. on Sunday, the transportation company vehicles occupied spots. The drivers backed into the spaces and waited. Some of the drivers idled the engines while they waited, a practice that is prohibited in Park City. Nobody was inside the post office at the time.
The drivers appeared to use the parking spots outside the post office as a place for staging. One vehicle would leave onto Main Street while another one would back into the spot that was vacated by the other vehicle. At least one of the vehicles displayed an HBO sticker on the rear window.
The parking spots provided the drivers a strategic location within a few blocks of much of the Main Street hubbub as large crowds moved about the Main Street core. From the parking spots outside the post office, the drivers could quickly reach points on Main Street as well as Swede Alley. Vehicles from other firms were seen circling Main Street and Swede Alley in traffic at the same time.
A representative of a firm with markings on several of the vehicles seen in the spots outside the post office declined to provide a statement.
City Hall’s transportation planning manager, Alfred Knotts, said the 5th Street parking restrictions remain intact during Sundance. He said staffers are “actively managing and ticketing if it is being utilized by non-postal customers.”
Parking is tightly restricted in the Main Street core during Sundance. There are restrictions on Main Street itself, and City Hall increases the prices of paid parking in public lots during the event.
Sundance, meanwhile, is the most competitive stretch of the year in Park City for the transportation industry. There is an influx during the festival of ridesharing vehicles and firms that do not operate inside Park City at the same level on a year-round basis, putting pressure on the established Park City-area companies. There have long been strained relations between the Park City-area companies and the other ones.
The 5th Street side of the post office was expected to be closely monitored during Sundance as a result of City Hall’s recent change to the one-way direction of the street. The one-way change was designed to better manage traffic rather than address parking issues.
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Parkites see traffic and transportation as Park City’s biggest challenge over the next five to 10 years, a City Hall-hired firm that is leading the efforts to craft a community vision has found as part of its research. And they also see transportation solutions as one of the two top opportunities, alongside strategic development, during the same period, the research found.