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Old Town Businesses Narrowly Disapprove of City Proposal to Raise Parking Rates at China Bridge

Sean Higgins

The Historic Park City Alliance narrowly voted against supporting a city hall proposal to raise parking rates at the popular China Bridge parking garage.


Last week’s Historic Park City Alliance vote was a close one -- six to five against support for raising the parking rates at China Bridge to $10/hr with a daily maximum rate of $40.


Currently, rates are $5/hr with a daily maximum of $18.


Parking on the weekends in Old Town routinely fills up by 10am, causing frustration for many visitors looking to check out Main Street. The city does have parking agreements with Park City High School and Deer Valley and offers a free bus from those locations to the Old Town Transit Center on Swede Alley, but people still flock to China Bridge and Old Town.


Councilor Steve Joyce said at the July 2nd council meeting the city wants to incentivize people to park for only a few hours at a time and then leave, or utilize the satellite lots. He said a higher daily maximum would help encourage that.


“Part of what we’re looking for is turnover,” Joyce said. “I show up for two hours, then Nann shows up for two hours, then Andy shows up for three hours or whatever. If you just park for the day, that $18 max says, ‘stay as long as you want, whatever.’”


HPCA Executive Director Ginger Wicks told KPCW the Old Town parking situation is a complicated one for HPCA members. She said although a slim majority voted against raising the rates, the organization will be looking towards how effective other city measures are -- like increased signage -- before looking at the issue again.


“While it was very close, the majority did vote that they did not want to see the rates increased,” she said. “I will say, however, the city in the last council meeting is going to be implementing a lot of different things -- cane security, additional police, adjusting signage -- so we’ll continue to monitor how those affect the situation and I guess if need be, we’ll still consider raising rates, but at this point, the HPCA does not support raising the rates.”


Although the HPCA voted against raising the parking rates, it can only send a recommendation to the city. The final decision on parking rests on the shoulders of the Park City Council. Their next meeting is scheduled for August 19th.

Sean Higgins covers all things Park City and is the Saturday Weekend Edition host at KPCW. Sean spent the first five years of his journalism career covering World Cup skiing for Ski Racing Media here in Utah and served as Senior Editor until January 2020. As Senior Editor, he managed the day-to-day news section of skiracing.com, as well as produced and hosted Ski Racing’s weekly podcast. During his tenure with Ski Racing Media, he was also a field reporter for NBC Sports, covering events in Europe.