Paid Parking Returns to Park City After A Long Respite On Saturday, Dec. 19
If there was one good thing to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, free parking in Park City might have been it.
Since the pandemic began affecting Americans in earnest in March, the city has waived parking fees at all of the major parking areas like Main Street and the China Bridge parking garage.
However, on Saturday, Dec. 19, the time of free parking in Park City will end.
As the winter tourist season reaches its peak, the city will be reintroducing paid parking citywide in an effort to reduce car traffic downtown and encourage people to walk or use alternate methods of transportation to get downtown.
Park City Manager Matt Dias told KPCW this week that although parking fees are returning, 2020 has been a year unlike anyone has seen. He said the city will be monitoring the situation closely and adjust parking plans accordingly.
“We understand that this year all bets are off so we’ll continue to be flexible and nimble and respond to the environment and the visitation that we get,” Dias said. “In the event that somehow the parking is underutilized, we could always make some tweaks to the system, but we don’t anticipate that. We’re expecting a lot of drive traffic this year, we’re going to be encouraging people to use transit and we’re going to need all the parking resources that we have.”
Dias said the city has worked closely with the Historic Park City Alliance to offer employee parking passes to workers at businesses in town. The passes cost $30 per month and are offered through individual employers and are approved by the city’s parking department.
HPCA Executive Director Alison Kuhlow said the organization has gotten a lot of positive feedback about the free parking, but appropriate space to park over the winter is something the business community has an eye on as well.
“We definitely have been getting fantastic comments about the ability to have free parking since March, but it is one of those things where once we start charging for parking, that can help us measure and mitigate the demand on parking,” Kuhlow said. “One of the things we do anticipate this winter is to see more people driving to Main Street versus taking transit. It’s something we understand needed to be put back in place, but we did work with the city on coming up with a new employee pass so that way we can encourage employees as well, not just to park at the Yard, but also to be able to park in China Bridge.”
Although areas like Main Street and the Brew Pub lot charge no matter how long you park, most other parking areas like China Bridge and Bob Wells Plaza offer free parking for a portion of the day.
Full parking information, including hourly rates and regulations, can be found here.