Sundance Brings Parking Problems

Sundance Brings Parking Problems

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Alex Cabrero reportingThe more people you have in one city, the more problems you have. So when Park City almost quadruples in size during the Sundance Film festival, police officers are rather busy.

One of the biggest problems: Just trying to get around.

You can call Park City “No-Park” city when Sundance rolls into town. You can't blame people, it's a fun, good time out.

But you can blame people for parking where they're not supposed to, especially when its blocking emergency vehicles trying to save someone’s life.

All the movies, all the stars, and of course, all the cars.

Officer Leslie Walker: "Probably the biggest issue we deal with for Sundance."

Most small cities would love to have the business and attention that comes through Park City once a year, as long as common sense comes too.

Officer Leslie Walker: "A lot of what we deal with is like what we got up here. Somebody is double parked. It makes it so traffic can't flow up and down the street."

Officer Leslie Walker understands the parking problem, .but there's no reason for drivers to make it bigger. She'll write tons of tickets, but what's a small city ticket to a big city somebody?

Officer Leslie Walker: "Some of the people from LA or New York, they consider a 30-dollar parking ticket cheap parking."

Imagine, parking illegally, because a tow truck is considered valet service.

Officer Leslie Walker: "You can't tow everybody, you can't arrest everybody."

For police officers, dealing with Sundance is a balancing act. They have to find that line between people who live here fulltime, and people who come here just for the festival. Sure, they can overlook some things, but when there is an emergency, there is no bending the rules.

Capt. Scott Rapshus, Park City Fire Dept.: "Double parking is really a problem because no one is in the vehicle that can move it if we need them out of the way."

While we were at the fire department, the ambulance crew got called to an elderly man suffering chest pains. Hopefully, no one was double parked between here and there.

Capt. Scott Rapshus, Park City Fire Dept.: "Seconds do count, and traffic is bad enough as it is."

Which is why officers continue to write tickets. It may be cheap for some to pay, but you can't put a price on saving someone’s life.

Officer Leslie Walker: "Keep an eye on everything. Make sure they're staying as open as possible.”

The best way to get around, is to just take public transportation.

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