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Thoughts on Park City’s New Parking Proposal

This week the Park City City Council will discuss Main Street employee parking. The City believes that the majority of parking on Main Street is being taken up by employees. A staff report says “A Main Street Business survey was completed that showed that there may be as many as 1,000 employees working during busy times which could be taking up 60-70 percent of available parking in the Main Street area.”

So, the city is considering raising parking fees for people parking more than 6 hours in China Bridge, increasing enforcement, initiating a transit service that runs every 10 minutes between Treasure Mountain and the Old Town Transit Center, and enforcing main street meters until 11PM (instead of 8PM like now).

Here are some thoughts on those ideas:

  • The proposed parking permit for China Bridge is $300 per year to enable 6 hours of parking that includes Friday and Saturday nights or $150 without Friday and Saturday nights. The claim we heard this morning on KPCW from City Manager Diane Foster was that “It’s even cheaper [even if we raise the rates] to get a parking pass in China Bridge than to rent a locker at the MARC.” Sounds good, except a large locker at the MARC costs $120 per year (a small one is $90). We always worry when they use manipulative concepts like this that don’t appear to be true.
  • How many of the people who need to buy this $300 pass are seasonal? We have many friends that trade their summer jobs to work on Main St during peak season. So, this $300 isn’t spread across a year, it’s only a few months. Perhaps the businesses will buy it for employees?
  • They are providing a van that will take people from Treasure Mountain school into the Old Town Transit Station from 3:30PM – 7:00PM. The thought being people will park at the school and ride the van in. Our question is how do they get back to their car when they are done at the restaurant at 11:30 PM?
  • They are considering enforcing parking meters on Main St until 11PM (instead of until 8PM). They say it’s to stop people from “spot jumping”… that is moving their car onto Main St after 8PM. We wonder if that’s really just a cash grab for more meter revenue.
  • Speaking of meter revenue, we as locals liked to be able to go down to Main St at 8PM and park for free in front of a restaurant during the slow season. Does this stay in effect during the shoulder season? Will that ability to park free go away? If so, will the locals also go away?
  • They are going to issue up to 600 permits. There are 648 total spaces in China Bridge. So, if this program is successful and say 80% of the available permits are sold. That’s about 500 people. Those people are probably going to use the heck out of the permit. So that leaves about 23% of the spaces for customers. How exactly does this solve the problem?
  • Perhaps the biggest question is why those people who park and then “spot jump” today would buy a pass? It still appears just as easy to move a person’s car under these new rules. Maybe the convenience of not having to move their car or the fear of a ticket will encourage them? We’ll see.
  • Is this just another in a long line of things that will be implemented, fees will be introduced, and we’ll never hear about again? If they are going to implement this we’d like to have some way to gauge success of the program (i.e. how many visitors to Main St can’t find parking now… how many can’t after this is implemented). Otherwise, we’ll likely be back in 3 years proposing more of the same not knowing whether the same ever did anything to curb the problem.

During the city’s pilot program this summer, they didn’t have much success encouraging workers to reduce parking around Main Street. We’re afraid that the concepts being considered here won’t do anything to stop your local bar-keep from doing what she’s doing today.



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