The Park City Council voted unanimously to transform Main Street into a car-free, pedestrian zone every Sunday from June 14 through September 6. The council’s decision is part of a larger effort to bolster consumer activity in Old Town during the summer as coronavirus continues to wreak economic havoc. The hope is that added space and a vibrant atmosphere will attract people to return to Main Street to dine, drink and shop as summer tourism season arrives.

Pedestrian zones are a familiar experience in Park City. Summer Sundays have long featured a vehicle closure on the northern end of Main Street for the Park Silly Sunday Market, though that weekly event has been canceled this year in response to pandemic-related distancing guidelines. The popularity of other seasonal pedestrian-only events on Main Street—including the Kimball Arts Festival and the Independence Day parade—have led to some community members to support closing the road to vehicles for some time.

The Main Street closure will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. each Sunday, encompassing two stretches between Heber Avenue south to the Wasatch Brew Pub lot and north to 9th Street. Cross traffic will be permitted on Heber Avenue and 9th Street, and there will be a turnaround in the Brew Pub lot in an effort to keep drivers from heading onto residential streets, a commonly voiced community concern whenever the topic of pedestrian zones are discussed. City officials will assess the pedestrian zone’s effects on Main Street businesses and the surrounding community in July and August to help determine when and how vehicle closures may be implemented in the future.

Traffic and parking congestion have been consistent scourges in Park City, and the pedestrian zone could be a step towards mitigating those issues. Increasing the usability of Main Street as opposed to optimizing it for high traffic volume is essential to the area’s economic recovery and the viability of businesses there. Hopefully more outdoor dining and shopping will provide a welcome sense of vibrancy and normalcy to Old Town this summer.

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