Car rates

Park City Council reviews new parking rules and charges; advance on rail trail planning

With Vail introducing paid parking and a mandatory reservation system for people arriving at PCMR by car this winter, Park City officials said they will ensure surrounding downtown areas are not overrun with the station visitor parking.

During a working session, the municipal council mentioned the pricing of daytime parking, at rates intended to deter visitors to the station; for example, a reduced rate for two hours to encourage shopping and restaurant visits, but a higher rate for overtime. The council is also considering adding more “resident parking” signage at Thaynes Canyon, Prospector, and expanding those signs.

Council members noted that all plans are preliminary. Council member Ryan Dickey said that with paid parking being brand new, the city will adjust its strategies as the season progresses.

With Vail introducing paid parking and a mandatory reservation system for people arriving at PCMR by car this winter, Park City officials said they will ensure surrounding downtown areas are not overrun with station visitors.

During a working session, the municipal council mentioned the pricing of daytime parking, at rates intended to deter visitors to the station; for example, a reduced rate for two hours to encourage shopping and dining visits, but raising the rate for a third hour beyond the resort’s $25 parking fee. The council is also considering adding more “residents-only parking” signage at Thaynes Canyon and Prospector and expanding them.

Council members noted that all plans are preliminary. Council member Ryan Dickey said that with paid parking being brand new, the city will adjust its strategies as the season progresses.

“I think you’re going to see us try some things and change some things,” Dickey said. “What we don’t want is for the old town to become a station overflow car park. I think the logic was that if the cost is the same, then if the lots are full, we’ll just go park on the main street, fill up the Chinese bridge, and locals won’t be able to get to the main street. So the idea is to come up with a parking system that doesn’t punish locals and allows people to come to Main Street.

The council also discussed setting up a special permit process for residents who want temporary extra parking for things like parties. Staff said special permits are easier to manage than annual permits.

The next step in the city’s plans will be to go door-to-door in neighborhoods that will be hardest hit.

About a dozen residents weighed in at the meeting to oppose proposed changes to the Rail Trail, which follows the route of the old Union Pacific Railroad line through Park City and to Echo Reservoir. This trail is 28 miles long, paved and for non-motorized use only. It has become congested in recent years, and changes like its widening aim to improve safety by giving people more space and separating pedestrians from people on wheels.

But not all residents agreed that it would work, or even that it was necessary. Some said the trail was busy during the COVID-19 shutdown, but that was dropped. Others said a wider trail would just give people room to go faster.

Much discussion has focused on the risks to people, especially children, who use e-bikes.

“Now we have a new third rail of Park City policy, which is e-bikes; we can add it to the list,” Dickey said. “I think we need to talk about e-bikes and of course there are different categories of e-bikes which are e-bikes driven by pretty young people without even a driver’s license and they go fast. . So we talked about widening the track on whether it’s the right answer or the wrong answer. The goal is to separate these users and reduce path conflicts. And I think we’ll have to you know, joking aside, come back and talk about e-bikes as it relates to trails.

Proposed changes to the rail trail also include adding amenities such as bathrooms and benches

The board unanimously approved moving forward with a strategy document, but did not approve details of what will be done. Approval simply gives the green light for city staff to continue working on a proposal.

The council gave details of another project which ran into neighboring and stubborn opposition. The 10,000-square-foot home in the Fox Tail Trail subdivision is going to be built, much to the dismay of dozens of residents who wanted it to be rejected in part because it would mean the end of a well-used stretch of trail.

Opposition has been vocal over the siting of a house on the plot, but town planner Alex Ananth told the meeting that the project complied with existing zoning and land use agreements.

A ¾ acre piece of the 4 acre parcel fell into the city’s recreation and open space area. When council raised concerns about a private lot containing land zoned for public use, the developer quickly said they would remove it from the project and turn it over to the city.

Town Solicitor Margaret Plane said it could be done on site, and after that the council unanimously approved the project.

Council member Max Doilney said he sympathized with the neighbors but council needed to move on. He said “Every box was checked and then some” by the developer.