Sundance parking: Drivers set own script as problems persisted
Parking barricades were some of the key City Hall props during the Sundance Film Festival.
But many drivers set their own script as they looked for places to park as the festival unfolded.
The Park City Police Department last week, from Monday until Sunday, dealt with numerous parking issues that arose as a result of the large crowds in the city for Sundance. Parking problems are typical during Sundance, but the number of incidents reported by the Police Department appears to provide evidence that the issue was especially notable during this year’s festival. The Police Department, though, said the numbers are a result of stepped-up enforcement of parking rules during the 2018 edition of Sundance.
Public police logs between Monday and Sunday show the parking problems occurred in a variety of places. The reports last week followed an earlier set of complaints fielded by the Police Department during the opening days of the festival.
The Police Department during the festival this year assigned two officers to foot patrols in the Main Street core. The officers dealt with a range of cases, but they emphasized parking issues.
“If you dedicate officers…you’re going to see more of those,” Phil Kirk, a police captain, said about the parking problems, adding, “I think it’s more of a reflection of our dedicated resources.”
He said it was not clear if the parking issues were wider spread in 2018 or whether the officers assigned to the problems made it appear that way through the heavier enforcement.
The problems between Monday and Sunday were reported in disparate locations. The officers on foot patrols would have been involved in many of the cases in the Main Street core but not those elsewhere.
There were concentrated problems on some days, including Saturday, Jan. 27. Police logs show there were 10 problems in succession starting at 6:29 p.m. on streets like Swede Alley, Heber Avenue, Little Kate Road and Prospector Avenue. Earlier that day, between the 11 a.m. hour and the 2 p.m. hour, a string of cases was reported.
Some of the reports last week included:
• on Saturday, Jan. 27, parking issues were reported in the evening hours in places like the 800 block of Main Street, the 400 block of Main Street, the 800 block of Park Avenue and the 300 block of Swede Alley. In another case that day, a tow truck was reportedly called after a parking issue was reported a little bit before 8 p.m. on Heber Avenue. At 6:38 p.m. that day, a vehicle was left on Chambers Avenue. The police were apparently told the vehicle was parked in front of a sign indicating the space was for residents. A ticket was issued.
• on Friday, Jan. 26 , problems were logged in the vicinity of Sidewinder Drive and Gold Dust Lane. The issues appeared to include vehicles parked too close to an intersection, in a fire lane and at a crosswalk. The cases were reported at approximately 6 p.m. Another case involving an apparent fire-lane violation was logged on the 1700 block of Park Avenue. The police were told up to eight vehicles were at the location.
• on Thursday, Jan. 25, one of the cases was logged at 4:11 p.m. at or close to the intersection of Norfolk Avenue and King Road, where a car was reported to be parked “in a bad spot,” according to Police Department. The person who contacted the police was worried another driver could hit the car.
• on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 7:43 p.m., a car was reported to be parked in the middle of the street on King Road.
• on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 7:04 p.m. a car was reported to be parked in a location where it blocked a Norfolk Avenue driveway. It was there for several days, the police were told. It was one of more than 30 parking issues reported that day. Some of the problems were caused by vehicles hindering City Hall’s snowplows, according to the Police Department.
• on Monday, Jan. 22, there were stretches of problems, including in the late morning and early afternoon. In one stretch, between 11:27 a.m. and 2:12 p.m., 11 problems were reported. In one of the cases, a vehicle was reported to be blocking a driveway on the 1100 block of Park Avenue. The vehicle was to be impounded, the police said.
City Hall officials and Sundance organizers have long attempted to discourage people from driving in Park City during the festival, citing the bad traffic and minimal parking options, with limited success. The parking issues in 2018 could be addressed in coming months as the sides conduct a review of festival operations in anticipation of the event next year.
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A group of people that appeared to largely represent Park City’s development and real estate industries joined family members of the late United Park City Mines President Hank Rothwell on Wednesday as a road was named in his honor. It was a tribute to a key figure in the great growth battles of the 1990s.