Pignanelli Suggests Turning Employee Parking Lot Over to Public

Pignanelli Suggests Turning Employee Parking Lot Over to Public

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- With hundreds of construction workers' cars occupying prized parking spots during the Capitol reconstruction, lobbyists, reporters and the public have a tough time finding somewhere to park.

State Administrative Services Director D'Arcy Dixon Pignanelli has proposed opening up a state employee parking lot to the public during the two-month legislative session and busing the employees from a Triad Center parking garage.

Pignanelli said building a bridge from that employee parking lot to the Capitol Plaza, renting a Triad Center garage and running a shuttle bus would cost about $130,000.

"This is messy. It's not perfect," said Pignanelli, who is a Capitol Hill resident and has an underground Capitol parking space.

Pignanelli raised the idea at a recent Capitol Preservation Board subcommittee meeting.

"It's an obvious problem. We're just trying to put some solutions on the table," she said.

Neighbors around the Capitol have petitioned the city to turn their public street parking into monitored spots that require resident stickers.

State employees using the northeast parking lot often double park and change their work hours to beat the crush.

"The problem is so bad now, there's no good fix for it," said computer specialist Greg Shoop. "Anything they can do would be a good thing."

Many workers are skeptical of the shuttle proposal, and Shoop figures many would park in the surrounding neighborhoods to avoid the inconvenience of a shuttle.

But the residents' sticker proposal could close that alternative.

City Councilman Eric Jergensen, who represents the Capitol Hill and Avenues neighborhoods, said the city is processing the request from property owners to curtail public parking on the streets near the Capitol.

Jergensen said the residents are tired of having their driveways and crosswalks and corners blocked.

Senate President John Valentine suggests giving state employees a bonus if they use the shuttle.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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