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New Permit Restricted Drop And Load Zones On Park City Main Street

Double parking and dropping and loading on Main Street have been a long-term problem affecting safety and traffic flow.  Park City is launching a pilot program this winter designating drop and load zones along historic Main Street and Swede Alley.

If an establishment or car company wants access to the drop and load zones, they’ll have to purchase a $200 permit which is good for the winter season. Park City’s Economic Development Manager Jonathan Weidenhamer says they are trying to create a balance so for those companies that don’t want to pay the permit fee, there will be several options.

“And commensurate to that, we’ve created three free drop and load zones in Swede Alley and at the bottom of Main Street to try to provide some balance. So the idea is if you wanted to have premium access on Main Street for dropping off and picking up a good level of service, we’re creating-- I think we're moving about 50 or 55 paid parking spots out of the system to create these zones.”

Weidenhamer says the zones will be well marked and kept clean with parking staff hand shoveling and monitoring usage.  City Council plans to assign a full-time police officer to Main street.

“Next Thursday is going to consider and they've already provided direction to staff to come back and allocate a full time senior new police officer to the street and a new car and a new ticket writing system and so we're going to be writing moving violations for anybody who double parks and that officer will be allocated to Main Street and so it's going to be a combination of the parking enforcement folks and the police.”

Drop zones are for active loading and unloading only from 5 PM to Midnight which covers peak hours. Senior Transportation Manager Alexis Verson says if a car company doesn’t want to be a part of the permit program, there will be a few areas on Swede Alley that will remain free to use.

“After that timeframe we do have the opportunity to allow these ground transportation vehicles to stage in these areas, once the parking demand has gone down for the evening. So, there are some opportunities there and then we have some areas on Swede Alley specifically that are designated for staging areas so that vehicles do have the opportunity to wait for a fair and they don't have to keep driving and circulating.”

Weidenhamer says they’ve received support from lodging and taxi companies. However, the transportation network companies, such as Lyft and Uber have pushed back on the permit system saying their contract drivers won’t purchase the permits. The City hopes to meet with the TNC directors in 2020 to discuss options but for now, the City will require all car companies to buy a $200 permit to have access to the premium drop and load spots on Main Street.

“In return for free access to the drop and load zones for all their drivers that they would start to share some aggregated form of data to learn how many trips where they're coming from where they're not coming from. And so right now we haven't taken them up on that. We want to keep a level playing field to a degree that everybody if they want access to these should have to pay but I think we're going to try to bring them out here and see what they really have to offer."

The permit fees the city is charging will not cover the costs of the new police officer or the costs of lost revenue from the parking spaces. Weidenhamer says the goal of the program is to address the concerns over traffic flow and safety not to make money on permits.

There will be a total of 10 new loading zones. The city will paint the curbs and install signs showing the restrictions, which includes an idle free notice. There will be three free staging zones on Swede Alley.

The permit system starts Friday December 20 and will run through the winter season. They’re taking permit applications at the parking office and issuing hang tags.

A link to apply on-line: https://www.parkcity.org/departments/parking/permits


KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.
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