The China Bridge Parking program has been in place since mid-December of 2017. It has cost city tax payers a little over $3.5 million. The parking program is part of the broader Old Town parking management system and the City’s overall Transportation plan.
Implementing the Old Town parking system has cost $2.6 million in technology, hardware and enforcement. A half million dollars has been spent on first-year operations and $113,000 was spent on consultants. Park City Transportation Manager Alfred Knotts says the parking system is an investment, just like roadways and transit. He says parking programs like China Bridge cost far less than constructing and maintaining roads and highways. He says the upfront costs of the system will be recuperated over time.
“A very critical component of our transportation strategy is the overall transportation management program and reducing vehicle trips. So it all comes with a cost. The initial up-front cost obviously is the most significant cost. And then ongoing O and M is included in that also.”
With paid parking on Main Street, area employees were given options to carpool and park for free in China Bridge or take a shuttle from the Homestake parking area just off Bonanza Drive. It cost the city $641,000 to run the shuttle last year. On average there are less than 150 cars per day in the lot. Knotts says the shuttle program will go away eventually.
“And then the Homestake Shuttle, we are going to revisit it. At that cost and the amount of people we’re moving on that service, it's honestly not sustainable. So again, we’ll look at that strategy also. And, how we may be able to offset some of those rides and program. The county constructed the Ecker View park and ride lot. That is the ultimate strategy to push those trips further and further out not only just in terms of volume but also in vehicle miles traveled through the corridor.”
The City’s goal is to reduce vehicle trips into town by 25 percent. Knotts says paid parking, mass transportation and carpooling programs are essential to reduce single-occupancy vehicle trips.
“It’s kind of transportation management 101. If we're building these facilities out on satellite lots and spending millions and millions of dollars and we still have free paid parking in Old Town, there's really no incentive and motivation to have that mode shift to these other alternatives.”
Officials will need a couple more years of data to determine if the expense of the paid parking program offsets the additional business and tax revenue coming to Main Street. The revenue generated from garage receipts since China Bridge opened is $952,000. Of that, Sundance permit sales contributed more than $200,000. Day use was $606,000 and the Main Street business parking permits generated $134,000.