With this year's Sundance Film Festival set to begin Thursday, visitors and Park City residents should be ready to brace themselves for a hectic traffic weekend. With free public transit options available, however, filmgoers won't have to succumb to road rage.
"Don't drive cars, ride the bus," said Brooks Robinson, Senior Transportation Planner with Park City. "We're a pretty walkable town and we're not expecting bad weather."
The joint Park City/Summit County bus line will continue to run on its normal schedule and there will also be free Festival shuttle buses. This year will again see the shared shoulder concept implemented on State Road 224 northbound to allow bus traffic to move faster during congested traffic times.
The Utah Department of Transportation has installed the shared shoulder signs, which allow buses to drive on the shoulder during traffic congestion, on S.R. 224 northbound from Cutter Lane to Newpark Boulevard. Whether the shared shoulder concept will continue after Sundance remains to be seen. UDOT will be restriping S.R. 224 this summer as part of a repaving project.
Summit County Public Works Director Derrick Radke said he also expects a lot of congestion at Kimball Junction.
"It'll be a busy time. I encourage people to not get on roads at peak skier loadout and commuter hours if you can help it," Robinson said, adding that Martin Luther King, Jr. Day adds to traffic congestion. "Leave a little earlier or later or stay and have dinner.
Park City contracts with Lewis Stages for shuttling people to theater venues, and Robinson said those buses as well as the public buses are usually full. He urged festival goers not to worry too much about traffic if they are using public transit.
"Only a couple miles of road will be going slow," Robinson said. "It will be situation normal [like during] previous years."
To view the Park City/Summit County bus line routes and schedule, visit parkcity.org, select 'Government,' 'City Directory,' then 'Transit Bus,' or call 435-615-5301. To view the Sundance shuttle service routes and schedule, visit sundance.org/festival, select 'Attend' and click 'Getting Around.'