Sundance traffic jams arrive right on cue in Park City |

Sundance traffic jams arrive right on cue in Park City

Traffic backs up on Kearns Boulevard at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, the opening day of the Sundance Film Festival.
Jay Hamburger/Park Record

The Sundance Film Festival traffic jams arrived right on cue on Thursday.

At approximately 4:30 p.m., as the first screenings of the festival neared, cars lined at the intersection of Bonanza Drive and Kearns Boulevard. It is one of Park City’s traffic chokepoints, and the backup appeared even worse on Thursday with the festival crowds moving about. A screening was scheduled an hour later at the Eccles Center along Kearns Boulevard. It appeared some of the drivers, in vehicles emblazoned with corporate logos, were headed to the screening. Other drivers, though, were likely commuters and skiers on their way out of Park City after a day on the slopes.

Navigating traffic during Sundance has for years been a frustration for Parkites and the visitors as trips that may take just a few minutes at other times of the year could extend to 30 minutes or longer.

The City Hall-published Community Guide to Sundance includes a set of tips meant to help drivers avoid the worst of the traffic. The Community Guide says the traffic is worst between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and then again from 4 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Traffic to the schools and the ski resorts increases in the morning while the busy hours in the afternoon involve skiers and commuters.

“Plan ahead and factor in additional time to get from place to place,” City Hall-published Community Guide

The Community Guide notes some of the especially congested streets as S.R. 224 and S.R. 248, which are the two state-highway entryways, as well as Bonanza Drive, the lower stretch of Deer Valley Drive, Empire Avenue and Lowell Avenue. Commuters heavily use the state highways and Bonanza Drive while skiers typically arrive and leave using streets like Deer Valley Drive, Empire Avenue and Lowell Avenue.

City Hall suggests someone change their schedule during Sundance so they are not on the roads during the busiest times and “plan ahead and factor in additional time to get from place to place.”

The Community Guide also recommends someone ride buses, walk or take carpools. The City Hall bus lines are complemented by a Sundance line that runs on a loop between screening rooms and other important festival locations.

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