Park City Staff Recommends One-way Traffic On Park Avenue For Sundance
The Sundance Film Festival is two months away, and Park City staff is considering transportation plans to put into action.
Park City Special Events Manager Jenny Diersen says city staff recommends changing traffic patterns on Park Avenue to one way headed northbound, stretching from King Road all the way to the Deer Valley Drive and Empire Avenue intersection. Residents, city transit, Sundance staff and emergency vehicles could still access the street in a southbound direction. Diersen says Park Avenue would likely remain one-way for all 10 days of the festival, to keep traffic patterns consistent, but could be changed if determined to be unnecessary.
Diersen says the strategy would achieve a few objectives.
“Our goals are very strongly focused on reducing that neighborhood traffic specifically, and then increasing transit priority," Diersen said. "There could be other goals as well—increasing traffic flow or reducing single-occupant cars, but our staff is acutely focused on reducing residential impacts, which is why that's our recommendation.”
But one-way traffic on Park Avenue isn’t the Sundance Institute’s preference. A letter to the city from Sundance Managing Director Betsy Wallace says the institute is worried that guests attending programming at the Santy Auditorium will miss their films and that restricting Park Avenue traffic might push more traffic onto other neighborhood streets. If the city sticks with the two-way traffic option, though, Diersen says they’d have to make other adjustments.
“One of the things that we see on Park Avenue, in particular, when we have snow loads and parking on both sides of the streets, it's hard for buses to get through and cars to get through with those narrow roadways," Diersen said. "If that is the case, and we keep that two-way traffic and traffic flowing inbound, our recommendation is to get rid of parking on both sides of Park Avenue.”
Other parts of the plan include increased police presence and traffic signage at intersections and a bus lane on Deer Valley Drive. The Sundance Institute supports the city’s strategies, except for the Park Avenue one-way traffic. Diersen says city staff is confident in the plan.
“I think Sundance and lots of community members who have given us feedback—that's how we come together with these plans, and we're ready to implement based on council’s direction.”
The proposed transportation changes for the event require council approval. City staff’s recommendation would cost an additional $48,000 in city services, plus $24,000 in contracted security services, which the city would take on. Sundance’s recommendation—keeping two-way traffic on Park Avenue; removing street parking completely; and increasing security throughout Old Town—would cost $1,000 in city66 services and $41,000 in contracted security services. Staff does not recommend the city absorbs the costs of that plan.