Park City City is ready to roll out new Main Street parking plan, come check it out
The Park Record editorial, April 8-11, 2017
April 7, 2017
Park City has done a magnificent job beautifying its historic downtown core. The new sidewalks, signage and pedestrian crossings, interspersed with public art, have certainly made Main Street more attractive and easier to navigate. But the most effective welcome mat any commercial district can offer may be as simple as an easy-to-find empty parking space. And along Park City's vaunted main drag, that can be a real challenge.
Park City has been wrestling with the parking issue for decades. For a long time it was seen as a seasonal problem — something to be endured for just a handful of weekends each year. But as the resorts expanded, local merchants multiplied and both summer and winter traffic piled up, the dearth of parking turned into a year-round complaint. In response, and amid loud debate, the city built a parking structure, installed parking meters, imposed time limits, expanded the parking structure, added parking apps, etc. Each upgrade, it seemed, ran the gamut from initial complaints to acquiescence and, finally, acceptance.
Now they are at it again.
The city has hired T2 Systems Incorporated to begin implementing a set of initiatives derived from of an exhaustive two-year long 'strategic parking management study.' Locals who frequent Main Street may begin to sense a shift in the wind as soon as this month as technicians begin scouting for appropriate locations to install "revenue control gates," "parking zone detection" and "license plate recognition" hardware at the China Bridge parking structure.
Let the yowling begin.
But the city hopes to minimize local concerns by rolling out a proactive public engagement effort.
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As acknowledged in a recent Park City Council information packet, local officials are keenly aware that the success of Main Street's commercial district is dependent on satisfying a very diverse set of Main Street constituents — employees, residents, guests and business owners – each with their own itineraries and "personal needs."
In hopes of learning how best to accommodate each, the city is hosting two community forums. Experts will be on hand to introduce the Old Town Parking Management Plan by explaining some of the new technology that will be used to guide travelers to open parking spaces, the variable, demand-based parking rates and options for carpool and transit incentives.
According to the city's three-year, $2.6 million contract with T2Systems Inc., next week's meetings are just the beginning of what is expected to be an ongoing exchange between the city and stakeholders about how to manage parking in a way that will ensure a vibrant future for Park City's Main Street commercial district.
The forums will be held Wednesday, April 12, from 4-5:30 p.m. at the Park City Library Community Room and Thursday, April 13, from 9-10:30 a.m. at the Park City Library coffee shop.
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