Park City continues to encounter problems in the newly created drop-and-load zones in the Main Street core as drivers without the required permits leave vehicles in the locations, leading to numerous violations and a series of tows.
The Park City Police Department has logged numerous unspecified parking problems in the Main Street core since late December. Many of those cases are believed to involve issues in the drop-and-load zones. The Police Department in online postings has said that some of the cases have resulted in officers summoning tow trucks to remove the vehicles.
One of the cases involving a tow truck occurred at approximately 8:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 30, as the large holiday crowds descended upon Main Street for dining, shopping and entertainment. The vehicle, a Mitsubishi sport utility vehicle, was parked in a drop-and-load zone on the east side of Main Street at approximately the midpoint of the street.
The tow truck navigated through heavy traffic to reach the vehicle. The Police Department was at the scene as well to direct traffic. There were backups in both directions, though, as the tow truck moved into an angled position to take the vehicle before the Mitsubishi was pulled onto the flatbed tow truck. The truck then left northbound on Main Street.
It was expected there would be numerous violations involving the drop-and-load zones at the outset since they represent a major change to the operations of Main Street. City Hall pledged to tightly enforce the zones, though, since the permits needed to use one costs $200 annually. The permits are available to anyone, but the transportation and lodging industries appear to be the primary users in the first weeks of the program. The permits are required in drop-and-load zones from 5 p.m. until midnight.
The Police Department in online postings provided some details about the enforcement of the drop-and-load zones during the busy stretch around the holidays. On Jan. 1, the police reported “multiple violations” and said eight citations were issued as well as seven warnings. The posting said two vehicles were impounded for “various parking and traffic related violations.” On Dec. 30 three vehicles were impounded that were left in a drop-and-load zone on the 700 block of Main Street, the police said, explaining “the vehicles had been warned by parking services and had been parked for extended periods of time.”
On Dec. 28, meanwhile, seven traffic stops and eight problems regarding parking were logged in the drop-and-load zones. One vehicle was impounded from one of the zones while tickets were issued to an unspecified number of vehicles for double parking.
The Park City Council created the drop-and-load zones as the holidays approached as a pilot program through March. The elected officials want to reduce the amount of congestion and improve the safety of the Main Street core. They also wanted a high level of enforcement.
The recent cases were logged during what is typically one of the busiest stretches of the year. The Christmas-New Year’s period usually draws some of the largest crowds to Park City and Main Street, and the street appeared to be jammed at many points over the holidays.