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DRAPER &38212; Commuters and Draper City appear to be at odds over where they can park near the city's FrontRunner stop.
The drivers say the city streets next to the Utah Transit Authority pay-to-park structure are free and have been unmarked, yet they've been hit with tickets from parking enforcement in recent weeks.
"I don't know if they're just trying to generate revenue or if it's just something to do because there's not much else going on," Dave Mortimer said. "It's puzzling to me just as a citizen."
Meanwhile, city leaders are raising concerns about visibility and safety in the growing area and have said the only drivers who got tickets to date have parked too closely to street corners and fire hydrants.
"I saw people parked way too close to stop signs, too close to the crosswalks," said city spokesperson Maridene Alexander, speaking about a visit to the area a week ago. "At that time, I really thought it was a safety issue."
Starting May 6, Draper City plans to ban all street parking along FrontRunner Blvd. and eBay Way in hopes of making the area safer for pedestrians. Alexander said the city was going to begin distributing flyers warning of the added restrictions and enforcement plans.
City engineer Troy Wolverton showed maps and blueprints that illustrated how narrow the roads are.
"There's just not adequate parking to provide for through-travel on the roadway in a safe manner," Wolverton said, pointing out the individual streets' measurements.
Wolverton said that though the area seemed somewhat sparsely developed now - with only the new eBay building in range - the development would only grow in the future, presenting more congestion issues and more potential for accidents if the streets aren't clear.
Still, commuters Wednesday had difficulty grasping the importance of enforcing parking in the area.
"It's barren - there's nothing really out here," said Erin Siebenhaar. "There's no red lines on the curb or fire hydrants to park in front of, so I don't see that there's any problem with that."
"Yeah, I don't see why it would be a problem," said another commuter, Jordan Gillen.
Drivers said they found the city streets to be a cheaper option, since it costs $1 per day or $15 per month to park in the UTA structure.
The safety risk, though, apparently hasn't been lost on eBay. Senior communications and engagement manager Brad Hatch issued this statement:
"eBay is cooperating with the city of Draper as they enforce traffic rules in the area out of concern for the safety of our teammates and the safety of those who live and work around us. To help increase a focus on safety, we're conducting an awareness campaign at our own campus to remind teammates to obey all traffic rules. We've heard from several teammates who've expressed concern to us about the lack of clear visibility along the streets surrounding our facility and the safety hazard it creates." Alexander underscored that no drivers to date have been targeted in a way that would differ from elsewhere in the city or any other city.
"We would be ticketing for those people who are parking too close to a crosswalk or an intersection or a fire hydrant," Alexander said. "That would be the case anywhere in the city."